February 21, 2012
12-45

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

Professor Delivers Lecture at Saudi Arabia University

VALDOSTA -- Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences Professor Jia Lu served as a guest lecturer at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 29.

Dr. Lu delivered an all-day lecture titled “How GIS Technology Can Help Protect Saudi’s Environment”, during which she discussed how the Saudi government can use geographic information systems (GIS) to help bridge traditional environmental science methods with cutting edge mapping analyses. The lecture was delivered to graduate students studying math, computer science, engineering and environmental science.

“While GIS classes are popular in universities in the United States, there are no environmental GIS courses in Saudi’s curriculum,” said Lu. “This lecture helped to fill that gap. Moreover, by discussing GIS technology with the Saudi faculty and students by using examples, it can also promote use of technology to develop a better environmental plan for the future. “

Lu explained that Saudi Arabia’s main environmental issues include preservation of fresh water resources, management of land use, combating desertification and management of coastal and marine areas. These issues can be very challenging to study. Lu added that there is a great shortage of environmental information and data at the national level in Saudi.
“GIS is the perfect tool to study environmental issues and to help develop some solutions.”

Lu has taught GIS courses for approximately seven years and has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning with minors in Geography, GIS, Quantitative Analysis and Urban Economics. She was selected by a committee at King Abdullah University to deliver her lecture. The committee chose from a pool of lecturers from around the world who had submitted proposals for important topics of discussion.

King Abdullah University is an international, graduate-level university that focuses on scientific and technological advancement as well as the development of Saudi Arabia.