GEOG 487
Environmental Applications of GIS

Instructor Information


Instructor Information

Fall 2022 - Michelle Zeiders
Spring 2023 - Brandi Gaertner

Michelle Zeider (Fall 2022)

Michelle Zeiders
Michelle Zeiders

I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Online Geospatial Education Program. In addition to teaching courses for the OGE Program, I have taught and worked on research projects for the Geographic Information Analysis (GIA) Core at the Penn State Social Science Research Institute. Before coming to Penn State, I worked as a GIS Project Manager and Instructor for the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University, a GIS Project Manager at a civil engineering firm, and a GIS Engineer at Mapquest. I earned a Master of Science degree in Geoenvironmental Studies from Shippensburg University.


Contact Information

2217 EES Building
Dutton e-Education Institute
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

EMAIL: Please use the Canvas Inbox to send messages to the instructor.

AVAILABILITY: Students are welcome to contact the instructor anytime. You will get a response within 24 hours, typically much sooner. Although Canvas messages are the preferred methods of correspondence, students may also arrange to contact the instructor by telephone.

Meet Michelle Zeiders, instructor of GEOG 487 (1:11 minutes).

Click here for a transcript of the meet the instructor video.

MICHELLE ZEIDERS: Hi, my name is Michelle Zeiders. And I have been a member of the online geospatial education program faculty since 2007. I teach several introductory courses in our program. Before coming to Penn State, I worked in private industry for about 10 years as a GIS analyst, a project manager, and a researcher. I really do enjoy teaching in our program. And one of the reasons for that is our fantastic students. Our adult learners are really focused and committed to learning. I also enjoy learning and exploring unique places and new things. Every year, my family and I plan a road trip during the summer to visit national parks. We're trying to visit all 59 before my sons graduate from high school. This past summer, we drove from Las Vegas to Seattle. And we were lucky enough to visit nine different national parks. I'll see you in class.

Credit: Michelle Zeiders © Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Brandi Gaertner (Spring 2023)

Brandi Gaertner
Brandi Gaertner

I am Dr. Brandi Gaertner, Assistant Teaching Professor of Spatial Data Science in the online Geospatial Education program. I joined the Penn State faculty in 2021. I am a climate change hydrologist and GIS analyst. My research focus is on evaluating the historical and future impacts of climate change on surface streamflow and climate variables such as precipitation and temperature. I also use remote sensing techniques, such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), to study the impact of climate change on lengthened growing seasons, evapotranspiration, and hydrology

Prior to joining Penn State, I was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, W.V. I earned my doctorate in Forestry and Natural Resources with a focus on Climate Change Hydrology from West Virginia University in 2019. Prior to pursuing my doctorate degree, I completed an M.S. in Environmental Biology with a focus on Aquatic Ecology.

I have extensive experience and education in online teaching. I graduateed in 2022 with an M.S. in Instructional Design and Online Technology. I also have a graduate certificate in University Teaching, have received several Quality Matters certificates for Online Education, and have taught and designed over 10 online courses at previous institutions.

Meet Dr. Brandi Gaertner, instructor of GEOG 581 (0:52 seconds).

Click here for a transcript of the meet the instructor video.

I’m Dr. Brandi Gaertner. I am a climate change hydrologist and I study the impact of climate change on growing season length, which is the amount of time that trees stay green. I have a Master of Science in Online Technology and Instructional Design and I'm also working on a Master of Education and Lifelong Learning and Adult Education. Both of these degrees have taught me the value of an open communication learning environment. With that in mind, feel free to contact me, even if it's just to say hi. I have a lot of hobbies outside of academia including running, walking, hiking and reading. I also have a daughter, Anna Marie. She was born July of 2021 and she keeps life very fun and interesting. I look forward to meeting you in the future and have a great day.

Credit: Dr. Brandi Gaertner © Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0