John Porter headshot

John H. Porter

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Environmental Sciences
Office location and address
349 Clark Hall
291 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
PH.D. University of Virginia, 1988

I have research interests at a variety of scales, from microhabitat utilization of mice to biogeographic structures of entire island chains. Current research projects include: (1) the use of remotely sensed images and geographical information systems to produce chonosequences of insular vegetation, (2) testing of theories of socially induced dispersal, (3) biogeography of insular mammals, and (4) characteristics of image sources (satellites and aerial photographs) that affect perceptions of ecological landscapes.

The techniques I use to test ecological theories are similarly varied. Field experimentation is my preferred methodology when a hypothesis is testable at a scale where manipulations are logistically feasible. At larger scales, I use multivariate statistical analysis coupled with Monte-Carlo simulation models and geographical information systems. I serve as the Data Manager for the Virginia Coast Research Long-Term Ecological Research (VCR/LTER) project and mange the Remote-sensing and Geographical Information System Laboratory within the Department of Environmental Sciences.

EVSC 3020: GIS Methods
Credits: 4
Explores the theory of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications in a range of disciplines using various GIS software packages. Example applications are from physical and social sciences, often with a focus on the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. For students interested in immediate applications of GIS in their work. Experience with word processing, file managers, and other computing skills is essential. Prerequisite: The equivalent of the College natural science/mathematics and social science area requirements.
EVSC 4070: Advanced GIS
Credits: 3
Explores advanced Geographic Information Systems concepts through use of Arc/Info, Erdas Imagine, and other GIS software in individual and group projects. Topics include data management, raster modeling, image manipulation, and 3-D visualization. Prerequisite: An introductory GIS course.
EVSC 4995: Supervised Research
Credits: 1–6
Original research usually involving a field or laboratory problem in the environmental sciences under the direction of one or more faculty members. The results may form the basis of an undergraduate thesis which is required to partially fulfill the Distinguished Majors Program in environmental sciences. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
EVSC 5020: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Credits: 4
This is an introductory course focusing on the theory and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology. The course combines related theory with practical laboratory assignments.
EVSC 7070: Advanced Use of Geographical Information Systems
Credits: 3
Geographical data is increasingly important i n understanding our society and our environment. This course will focus on teaching stiudents advanced principles and operation of GIS software. It's a im is to develop students who are prepared to apply GIS to a variety of research problems by expoing them to tools and techniques that go beyond those covered in a basic course on GIS. Prerequisite: EVSC 5020 or equivalent experience
EVSC 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
EVSC 8999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
EVSC 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
EVSC 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.