Movement patterns can reveal a wealth of information about a system, be it human society or animals in the wild. Cellphone, flight and driving data, for example, all evince the lockdown early in the pandemic.
“If you develop methods to study and model movement, then you can learn a lot about the behavior of humans, animals, really anything that moves, and how they interact with their environment,” said Somayeh Dodge, an assistant professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Geography, who uses movement to investigate changes and feedback between groups and their environment — from local responses to wildfire to the behavior of big cats in Thailand.
Dodge recently received a prestigious Early CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and an Emerging Scholar Award from the Spatial Analysis and Modeling (AAG-SAM) Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers. The honors recognize her work to advance Geographic Information Science education and her research to study movement as an indicator and model of change.