Current Bios

2017 – 2018

SAL Crew 2017 – Sarina, June, Jon, Tracy and Cindy


Jon Caris

Jon collaborates with a broad range of faculty to include spatial methods and techniques to visualize and understanding spatial data in the classroom.  He also presents frequently at Smith and within the Five Colleges on topics ranging from critical cartography, locative technologies, and the use of drones in the academy.  Privileging spatial thinking over software training enables Jon to push beyond traditional GIS domains and experiment with innovative techniques that enhance faculty/student engagement and inquiry.

Post-Bac Spatial Analysis Fellow

Tracy Tien

I’m Tracy, the fourth generation of post-bac spatial analysis fellows. I graduated from the University of Richmond in 2016, and spent the last year at Conservation International, a conservation non-profit in D.C.. Hailing from Taiwan (the elusive island of bubble teas and delicate international relations), I’m interested in contested territories and boundaries — particularly how maps manifested and mold people’s perception of occupied space. I like to apply GIS and remote sensing to unexpected disciplines, and am continuously amazed by the insights that emerge. I will be your best contact on how to velociraptor-proof your residence (round door knobs and mirrors — lessons learned from the critically-acclaimed documentary Jurassic Park), and which part of a dog is the softest (the ears). 

SAL Assistants

June Ahn

Hi! I’m June Ahn and I’m a senior studying biology and landscape studies. I really enjoy visualizing data and using spatial analysis to show a more complete picture or another perspective. I’ve used GIS to map the Northampton bike routes as the Masonic Street Laundromat for a year long special studies on how buildings change. My thesis combines plant research with educational programming and I am using multimedia to convey data. In my free time, I take care of my cactus (and air plant) family, cook vegetable driven meals, and dabble in graphic design.

Sofia Johnson

Hi everyone! My name is Sofia and I am a Geosciences major and economics minor. I’m from Washington D.C. and live in Park house. for the past two years, I have been working with Professor Jack Loveless as a STRIDE research student using Matlab and some QGIS to look at large scale tectonic events in the Pacific Northwest and am also currently doing work on volcanic rocks from Hawai’i with Professor Mark Brandriss. Some of my interests aside from the geosciences and GIS include going rock climbing and how our natural landscape impact our society through an economic lens (as an economics minor).

Kalynn Kosyka 

Hi there, I am Kalynn Kosyka from NYC, class of 2019. I am a Computer Science major and I plan to declare Statistical Data Science as my double major. Fortunately I get the experience to be exposed to GIS more and more through Jon Caris and the various projects. By working with spatial data, it allowed me to create interesting visualizations as coding gives me the freedom to control what we envision. Also, being able to apply what I have learned inside and outside of the classroom is an awesome opportunity. Outside of the academics, I have been really into cycling, calligraphy, and pottery.

Cindy Li

Hi! My name is Cindy and I am an Engineering Science, B.S. major. I got involved with the SAL through the J-term class, Fun with Drones, and immediately got hooked onto not only flying drones, but also became fascinated in their surveying and mapping abilities for environmental conservation. My interest in mechatronics, a multidisciplinary field that combines electrical and mechanical engineering, fit perfectly with being a part of the ground crew for SAL! I hope to become proficient with drone piloting and technology to better support the SAL’s drone missions. On my free time, I love being outside enjoying nature whether it be hiking, rock climbing, kayaking or canoeing.

Sarina Vega

Sarina studies environmental science + policy/studio art, but would’ve loved to be a geography major if she had thought of it sooner. Her experience with GIS ranges from working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife mapping native plant species in riparian Southern California brush to mapping Smith College’s areas of vulnerability in times of climate change. Her experiences at Smith in Environmental Integrations 201/202 and SWG 230’s Gender, Land and Food Movement have allowed her to experiment with ArcGIS, and fiddle around with Adobe Suite to create the most effective maps for research purposes (and for community-wide usage). Spatial analysis and layout, critical geography, heterotemporality of the indigenous presence along the Sun Belt (particularly in Baja California) is where Sarina’s regional focus lies and she hopes to someday attend grad school.