Suzanne P. Wechsler, Ph.D.

Suzanne Perlitsh Wechsler, Ph.D.

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Department Chair and Professor of Geography
Director, Masters of Science in Geographic Information Science (MSGISci)
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840
562 985-2356 | Fax: 562 985-8993
suzanne dot wechsler AT | Office: PH1-217 |




Research Interests

As part of the geospatial science faculty in the Department of Geography, my expertise falls in the areas of geospatial science with academic training in both geographic information science and the environmental sciences. Current research involves the application of data collected from remotely piloted aircraft to address a variety of spatial questions. I continue to explore topics in the area of spatial data uncertainty and how uncertainty resulting from errors in spatial data can be quantified and responsibly communicated.


  • PhD, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2000
  • MS, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1995
  • BA, Tufts University, 1989

Recent Publications

  • Wechsler, S., 2021. Error-based Uncertainty.  The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge (3rd Quarter 2021 Edition), John P. Wilson (ed.). DOI: 10.22224/gistbok/2021.3.3. (link is external).

    Wechsler S.P., Ban H., Li L., 2019. The Pervasive Challenge of Error and Uncertainty in Geospatial Data. In: Koutsopoulos K., de Miguel González R., Donert K. (eds) Geospatial Challenges in the 21st Century. Key Challenges in Geography (EUROGEO Book Series). Springer, Cham.

    Li, L., Ban, H., Wechsler, S.P., Xu, B., 2018. Spatial Data Uncertainty. In: Huang, B. (Ed.), Comprehensive Geographic Information Systems. Vol. 1, pp. 313–340.

    Laris, P., Jo, A., Wechsler, S., Dadashi, S., 2018. Effects of Landscape Patterns and Vegetation Type on the Fire Regime of a Mesic Savanna in Mali. Environment and Management, Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 227, p. 134-145.

    Laris, P., Dadashi, S., Jo, A., Wechsler, S., (2016). Buffering the savanna: Fire regimes and disequilibrium ecology in West Africa., Plant Ecology, Vol. 217 Number 3.

    Wechsler, S., Lipo, C. , Lee, C. and Hunt, T. (2016) Technology in the Skies – Benefits of a commercial UAS for archaeological applications, SAA Archeological Record, Society for American Archeology, Special Issue – Drones in Archaeology. Volume 16, No 2, March 2016.

    Wechsler, S. (2014) An Alternative Approach to Geospatial Graduate Education, ArcNews, Volume 36, No. 3, page 25. Fall 2014.

    Journal of Geography, July/August 2005, Volume 104, Number 4 p. 141-149.

Contracts and Grants

  • Co-PI: with Dr. Paul Laris. National Science Foundation: Coupling burning practices, vegetation cover change and fire regimes to determine fire emission dynamics for a savanna in southern Mali. 2013-2017. 
  • Co-PI: with Drs. Chris Lee (CSULB, Geography) and Carl Lipo (CSULB, Anthropology). NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Geospatial Research and Mapping on Easter Island (GRAM-EI). 7/10/12 – 6/30/15.
  • PI/Collaborator with CCPE: CSULB Science Master’s Program, Proposal to the CSU Commission on Extended Education. 


  • GEOG 280: Introduction to Geospatial Techniques
  • GEOG 481: Geographic Information Science for Natural Sciences
  • GEOG 487A/587A: Environmental Applications of Geographic Information Science
  • GISC 601: GIS Professionalism
  • GISC 602: Applied GIS

Thesis Supervision

  • Richards, Daniel (2015), Open source UAV Platform Development fort Aerial Photography
  • Nesbit, Paul (2014), Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles and Structure from Motion: a fresh approach to photogrammetry
  • Schumacher, Zoe, (2013), A geo-spatial database of the monumental statuary (moai) of Easter Island
  • Jaynes, Jessica (2011), Investigating the potential for using structure from motion technology as a tool for improving trail degradation assessment
  • Sims, Brian (2010), A viewshed accuracy assessment: comparison of field-derived and computer-derived viewsheds
  • Vargas, Alma (2010), Implementing modern geographic technology in the trucking industry: a case study
  • Moriarty, Kathleen (2006), Baseline native habitat restoration assessment at Pelican Point Crystal Cove State Park, California