Nominees for SAM Officer Positions (2006 – 2009)


Nominee for Chair: Mark Horner

Biographical Sketch

Mark W. Horner earned the Ph.D. in Geography from The Ohio State University (2002), where he was honored with the Willard and Ruby S. Miller fellowship for Outstanding Geography Graduate Student (2002). Mark was also honored as a finalist for the AAG Nystrom award in 2003. Mark currently serves as assistant professor of geography at The Florida State University, and has held appointments at Texas State University and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) at The Ohio State University.


Mark’s research focuses on spatial analysis issues in geographic information science, transportation, and urban geography. Mark has authored or coauthored 17 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 refereed book chapters, and 11 refereed conference proceedings. His work has appeared in Geographical Analysis, Environment and Planning A, Environment and Planning B, The Professional Geographer, Journal of Geographical Systems, Regional Studies, Transportation, and other such outlets. He has authored or coauthored over 25 papers presented at professional conferences.


Mark has had a longstanding interest in the analysis of urban systems. His dissertation research focused on the spatial modeling of commuting and land use patterns in US cities. Recently, he was awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation to explore issues in spatial modeling for hurricane disaster relief.


Mark served as webmaster for SAM from 2000-2002, and board member of SAM from 2003-2006. During these years, Mark has organized and chaired several SAM-sponsored paper sessions.


Vision Statement

The mission of SAM is ‘to foster and maintain interaction, cooperation and community among individuals interested in the analysis of geo-referenced data, modeling of spatio-temporal processes and the use of analytical and computational techniques in solving geographic problems.’ As chair, I will work to ensure that SAM continues to fulfill its mission by encouraging interaction, exchange, and cooperation with the AAG community.


First and foremost, it is important for SAM to promote scholarly endeavors in the AAG community. For example, SAM has had a great deal of success with its graduate student and emerging scholar paper competitions. I would like to explore the possibility of expanding our paper competitions to also include undergraduate research in SAM. In this regard, I foresee SAM taking a more active role in encouraging quality undergraduate scholarship.


Past SAM chairs have organized a myriad of diverse and interesting paper sessions at AAG meetings over the years. I wish to continue this practice by building on strong linkages with other AAG specialty groups with whom SAM members tend to interact (e.g., GISSG, Transport Geography SG, etc.). I will also be continuously on the lookout for ways of broadening SAM’s purview through new interactions with other AAG specialty groups and their members. In short, I will strive to ensure that SAM is a part of new and exciting cross-cutting developments in the modeling community and beyond.


I hope to discuss these and other ideas for the direction of SAM with you at our business meeting in Chicago. As interest in SAM and related subfields (e.g., GIS, RS) continues to grow, I am excited about the prospects of taking a leadership role in our specialty group. SAM members who know me can attest to the energy and enthusiasm I bring to my work. To those members whom I have not yet met, I look forward to meeting you and sharing my thoughts on how we can best serve SAM.



Nominee for Chair: Fahui Wang

Biographical Sketch

Fahui Wang is associate professor at the Department of Geography, Northern Illinois University. He earned his B.S. in geography from Peking University, China, and his M.A. in economics and PhD in city and regional planning, both from the Ohio State University. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has published over 30 refereed articles. He is the editor of the book, Geographic Information Systems and Crime Analysis, published in 2005 by the IDEA Group Publishing; and the author of the book, Quantitative Methods and Applications in GIS, published in 2006 by the CRC Press.


Services to the SAM: He has served as the Vice-Chair/Treasurer of the Spatial Analysis and Modeling (SAM) Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers (AAG), since March 2004. His main responsibilities include assisting the chair in various capacities, overseeing the finance of the SG, and organizing the annual SAM Student Paper Competition and Emerging Scholar Paper Competition.


Vision Statement for the SAM: As the chair, I will continue to serve SAM responsibly. I will emphasize five continuing practices and two new action items.

The five continuing practices include:

(1) sponsoring (organizing) and co-sponsoring SAM sessions at the annual AAG conferences (including the SAM plenary speaker session);

(2) promoting and organizing the annual SAM Student Paper Competition and Emerging Scholar Paper Competition;

(3) promoting communications among members and participation of members in SAM affairs through organizing the SAM business meetings, the award luncheon and informal gatherings at the annual AAG conferences;

(4) maintaining the quality of communication channels (listserv, website, quarterly newsletter, etc.); and

(5) using the SAM fund responsibly to promote agendas beneficial to SAM members.


The two new action items are:

(1)   encouraging the Board Members and involved SAM members to organize SAM-sponsored sessions, member gatherings and other events in AAG regional conferences to enhance communications among members at the local level; and

(2)   seeking opportunities to edit special issues for journals or books based on SAM sessions at the annual AAG (including regional) conferences.



Nominee for Board Member: Lan Mu

Biographical Sketch

Lan Mu (mulan) is assistant professor of Geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Peking University, an M.A. in Geography and Planning from the University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests are in GIScience, spatial modeling and analysis, and computational geometry. She has conducted research in characterizing landscape with the
multiplicatively weighted Voronoi diagrams, using geometric approaches to study the U.S. population landscape, and developing spatial clustering method to reveal socioeconomic patterns.  She served as one of the judges for SAM student paper competitions during the AAG meetings (2005 & 2006).  She organized sessions at the AAG meetings sponsored by SAM and GIS specialty groups.  She served the CPGIS (Chinese Professionals in GIScience) in the position of Secretary General (1998-1999) and the Research AAG-Subcommittee Chair (2005-2006).

Vision Statement
She envisions SAM as the research and education router for AAG members who are interested in spatial analysis and modeling.  This router is our gateway to communicate, to share, and most importantly, to broadcast information and ideas to not only our specialty group members, but also to the geography community at large.



Nominee for Board Member: Darla Munroe

Biographical Sketch

Darla Munroe, Ph.D. in Geography, University of Illinois, 2000, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University (

 Research and teaching in analytical economic geography, geographic information science, land-use/cover change, land use at the rural-urban interface, and land use and regional development. Articles published in The Professional Geographer, Applied Geography, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Land Economics, Agricultural Economics, Conservation and Society, Growth and Change,
Ecological Economics, Land Use Policy and Geography Research Forum. Current
research projects range from regional economies and residential land conversion in
Ohio to spatiotemporal models of land-use change in regional carbonaceous aerosols in mainland Southeast Asia.

Vision Statement
I work at the intersections of economic geography, spatial analysis and the human dimensions of global environmental change.  I have a good working knowledge, appreciation and enthusiasm for most of the academic work conducted under the umbrella of SAM.  At the same time, because my substantive foci involve rural land-use changes and regional-local land-use systems, I will bring some new perspectives to SAM, increasing the diversity of applications and approaches.  Lastly, as a young scholar and a woman, I hope to be an active point of contact to other new(er) additions to the SAM
Specialty Group.

Nominee for Board Member: Raja R. Sengupta

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Sengupta has been an Assistant Professor in the department of Geography at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, since 2003.  He has also taught GIScience previously at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (2000-2003) and The University of Iowa (1999-2000).  He obtained his PhD in Geography with specialization in Agent-based modeling from Southern Illinois University in 2000.  His research interests cover
both GIScience (Agents and Spatial Decision Support Systems) and Water Resource Management.  To date, he has authored or co-authored 8 journal articles and 5 book chapters on a variety of Spatial Analysis topics, including Temporal GIS, Agent-based modelling and Spatial Data Mining.  He has been a member of both the GIS and SAM speciality groups of the AAG since 1998, and from 2002-2004, he served as the elected AAG GIS Speciality Group Representative to the UCGIS.

Vision Statement
Generally, SAM is seen as a specialist group catering to a small audience of individuals interested in locational or spatial statistical modelling.  My vision of SAM, however, would be that it becomes the forum of choice for users of a variety of spatial analysis tools, including models of both physical and socio-economic processes.  As a member of the board, I would hope to convince the GIScience community (which I have served as their representative to UCGIS) of the relevance of SAM to a larger set of individuals with interests in spatial modelling.  This field of research (e.g., agent-based modelling) is growing and would significantly enhance the membership base of SAM in the future.  Towards this goal, I plan to become active in advocating and promoting SAM as the group of choice for the next generation of spatial modellers.