Ryan Engstrom is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Director of the Data Science Program at George Washington University. In addition he is the Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Research (CUER) and the Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL). Dr. Engstrom earned his Ph.D. in Geography from the joint program between San Diego State University and University of California, Santa Barbara in 2005 prior to arriving at George Washington University. His research interests are in using geospatial techniques including remote sensing, modeling, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to understand spatial variations in a wide array of issues. He has worked on projects focusing on climate change, health, and population in a range of geographic areas including the Arctic, Africa, Asia, and Washington, DC. He has published over 20 research articles in a wide array of journals including: Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Pediatrics, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Physical Geography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Annals of GIS, Biogeosciences, Global Change Biology, Journal of Maps, and Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. He has been funded by and collaborated with a wide range of institutions including NASA, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, World Bank, USAID, Children’s National Medical Center, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Ford Foundation. Dr. Engstrom consulted with the United States Census Bureau from 2006 until 2011 working on distributing census population data at high spatial resolutions using multi-scale, optical remotely sensed data in Haiti, Pakistan, and Rwanda. Currently he works with the World Bank, IADB, Fraym, and others on projects using remote sensing to improve poverty maps, population estimates, and other socio-economic issues.
Dr. Engstrom regularly teaches Introduction to Remote Sensing (GEOG 2107), Introduction to Physical Geography (GEOG 1002) (a GPAC course), Digital Image Processing and Analysis (GEOG 3107/6307) and Water Resources (GEOG 2136). In the past he has taught Intermediate GIS, Field Methods in Geography, and Geospatial Techniques. He recently became the Director of Data Science in July 2020.