2017 Elections – Bios

SEDAAG Nominations 2017

For President

Dr Joann Mossa (University of Florida)

Joann Mossa is Professor of Geography at the University of Florida.  She is an active participant in SEDAAG and has organized many sessions, in addition to serving on the Technical Program committee twice, Tellers Committee, Honors Committee, and as Florida Representative.  She also was the organizer for the Florida team of the Geography bowl for a decade, and is involved with the SEDAAG committee on the Status of Women in Geography. She is a past president of the Florida Society of Geographers, and currently helps them with social media and outreach.  Her research is in fluvial geomorphology, and she has received grants from a number of state and federal agencies.  While at the University of Florida, she has won four advising awards and two teaching awards.  She is currently an Associate Editor for Physical Geography, and has been on the editorial board for the Southeastern Geographer and the Journal of Geography.  She has been Chair of both the Geomorphology and Coastal and Marine Specialty groups of the AAG.  This past summer, she joined several other SEDAAG members as a co-facilitator for the GFDA, the Geography Faculty Development Alliance.

Dr Kathy Sherman-Morris (Mississippi State University)

Kathy Sherman-Morris (Ph.D., 2006, Florida State University) is an Associate Professor in the Geosciences Department at Mississippi State University and is the Director of the Geosciences Distance Learning Programs. She was previously secretary (2014-1016) and Mississippi state representative (2010-2012) for SEDAAG. Kathy has also been chair of the AAG’s Environmental Perception and Behavioral Geography Specialty Group and was a member of the AAG’s Enhancing Diversity Committee. In other national organizations, Kathy is the rising chair of the American Meteorological Society’s Board on Societal Impacts and has co-chaired the Symposium on Societal Applications: Policy, Research and Practice for the 2016 through 2018 annual AMS meetings. She is also an advisory panel member for UCAR’s COMET program and the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. Her research focuses on communication of weather information, human responses to weather hazards, and issues of diversity in geoscience education. She has published in a number of journals including The Professional Geographer, The Southeastern Geographer, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Environmental Hazards, Geography Compass, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Journal of Geoscience Education, Journal of Operational Meteorology, and Natural Hazards.

For Treasurer

Dr Luke Juran (Virginia Tech)

Luke Juran is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and faculty in the Virginia Water Resources Research Center at Virginia Tech. His research examines human-environment interaction, specifically the human ecology of water and the intersection of disaster processes and anthropic systems. Current research interests include household water treatment, sanitation, disaster reconstruction, and the water-hazards interface. His teaching explores human dimensions of contemporary environmental issues—often from a critical perspective—with content from our backyard in Virginia to far reaches of the globe.

For State Representatives


Dr Ram Alagan (Alabama State University)

Dr Ram Alagan is Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at Alabama State University (ASU), Montgomery. Ram received graduate degrees from Ohio University, Athens, OH (Masters) and West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (PhD). Ram’s research and teaching focus is Geographic Information Science (GISc), Participatory GIS, Geo-visualization, Virtual GIS, and Environmental Impact Assessment. His latest work focuses on the Black Belt Region of Alabama, civil rights, and participatory GIS research. Ram has previously held teaching and research appointments at University at Buffalo, Indiana State University, and University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. For the seven years Ram has been at ASU, he has been an active member of SEDAAG and participated in its activities including annual conferences.


Dr Scott Markwith (Florida Atlantic University)

Scott Markwith is Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  He has been at FAU for ten years, serving as Assistant Chair for two of those years, and prior to that received graduate degrees in geography from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Mary Washington.  Scott has been a member of SEDAAG since 2002, and active presenter, discussant, and session chair at annual meetings, and has served on SEDAAG’s Tellers, Audit, and Program Committees.

Dr Phillip Schmutz (University of West Florida)

Dr Phillip Schmutz is Assistant Professor at University of West Florida, and researches coastal/beach and aeolian geomorphology, particularly factors that can build sand dunes. He is working to develop better techniques for understanding the dynamics of these environments and to build more realistic models of coastal aeolian systems. Before Schmutz joined UWF’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2015, he earned a Ph. and a MS in Geography, both from Louisiana State University, and spent a year as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M University’s Department of Geology and Geophysics. He has a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from Baylor University, where he won a scholarship to fund study abroad. In his research, Schmutz has studied surface moisture, evaporation dynamics, coastal vegetation and other topics related to beaches. His work has been published in Journal of Coastal Research, Journal of Aeolian Research, Geomorphology and elsewhere. Schmutz also has made numerous presentations to the Association of American Geographers. He teaches Earth Science, Geomorphology and other courses.


Dr John Waldron (Elizabethtown Community and Technical College)

John Waldron (PhD Texas A&M University) is a biogeographer who spent nine years at the University of West Florida where he earned tenure and the rank of Associate Professor before moving to Kentucky in 2014 for family. John is currently an Assistant Professor at Elizabethtown Community & Technical College (ECTC) in Elizabethtown, KY where he teaches both introductory geography and anthropology courses.  With his colleagues, he has published in places like Ecological RestorationLandscape EcologyJournal of Forestry, and Applied Vegetation Science.  John is a member of the AAG, NCGE, SEDAAG, Tree-Ring Society, the SAA, and is also a Registered Professional Archaeologist.  John currently serves as a member of the KCTCS geography curriculum committee, a Board Member of Greenspace, Inc., and as a member of the Hardin County AM Rotary.

South Carolina

Dr Cuizen (Susan) Wang (University of South Carolina)

Dr Cuizen (Susan)Wang received a PhD in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing from the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999 followed by a PhD in Geography from Michigan State University in 2004. She then served as an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Missouri before joining the University of South Carolina as an Associate Professor in 2013. Dr. Wang’s primary research areas are bio-environmental remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis. Particular interests are innovative modeling of optical/radar synergy in biophysical remote sensing, vegetation mapping, environmental stress monitoring and bioenergy. Her past research experience includes Land Use/Land Cover mapping, canopy radiative transfer modeling, and quantitative biophysical estimation with optical and microwave remotely sensed data. The associated field studies include China, Japan, Thailand and the United States. Example applications include weed invasion, drought and oak decline, rice mapping, prairie grassland conservation, alpine grassland (Tibet Plateau) mapping and soil/water quality assessment.

West Virginia

Dr Hilton Cordoba (Marshall University)

Dr Cordoba graduated from Florida Atlantic University with his PhD in Geosciences in 2014.   He is an urban economic geographer with publications in the fields of air transportation and minority neighborhoods.  He is interested in the spatial organization, association, and interaction of people and their socioeconomic activities. His work has focused in two areas: on the urban front, he has sought to measure the settlement patterns, demographic transitions, and economic activity of ethnic communities to better understand their formation processes and changes. On the transportation side, he has concentrated on the impact that economic policies have had on transportation networks, passenger accessibility, and connectivity of places. He taught for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for two years before moving to Marshall in 2017.