Glenn Humphress

Glenn Humphress

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Expertise & Interests
  • Grants
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Degree PhD in GEOG
Address 244 Hardin Hall - Section 39
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
Phone 402-429-2080
FAX 402-472-2946
Advisor(s) J. Clark Archer


While I have been fascinated with maps for as long as I can remember, my first introduction to geography as a discipline was a remote sensing course I took in 1988 while completing my Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology (1989) from the University of Kentucky (UK), and from that point on I was hooked on both geography and geospatial technology. My subsequent coursework included the very first course in geographic information systems (GIS) offered at UK, in 1990, and I went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Geography at UK in 1993. My master’s thesis, entitled Place Characteristics and Appalachian Elderly Migration: 1975-1980, completed a project in spatial demography examining influences on elderly gross migration rates in Appalachia using multiple regression and multiple discriminant analysis techniques.

During the interval between my master’s degree and current doctoral program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), I was an analyst with Allstate Financial/Lincoln Benefit Life for 12 years, 10 of those in the information technology (IT) division. During that interval I also completed various continuing-education curricula including: Coursework in geography, biology, computer science, and history at UNL; the Life Office Management Association's (LOMA) “Fellow, Life Management Institute” (FLMI) designation; Microsoft certification for Windows 2000 and Windows XP; and certification for hardware and network support.

Over the course of my academic and professional careers I have participated in several projects that have both contributed to and drawn on my diverse background. These projects include:

  • GIS planning, processing, and documentation for the Civil War Washington online Historical GIS project (2009-2010)
  • Developing and teaching World Regional Geography and Human Geography courses at a community college (1998-present)
  • Assisting with or leading a variety of projects within a multinational corporation, including leading the development of an employee-training program, the strategic planning of geographical asset location and customer service, and metric development for multiple teams (1996-2009)
  • Assisting with a grant-funded project to design and implement multimedia educational techniques into a general biology lecture course, including primary responsibility for designing and maintaining the course website (1995-1996)
  • Starch-gel electrophoresis processing and spatial data analysis in a grant-funded project investigating the spatial population genetics of the clonal grass Andropogon gerardii in tallgrass prairie remnants (1993-1995)
  • Assisting with the final preparation of the book The Changing Prairie: North American Grasslands, edited by Joern and Keeler and published in 1995 (1992-1993)
  • Conducting a literature search and assisting with GIS processing for a grant funded project investigating strategies for effectively designing more ecologically diverse golf courses using GIS (1991)

Current Interests

Spatial Demography, Hazards, and Geospatial Technology

My current research focus is on populations at risk from natural and anthropogenic hazards. I am in the process of developing a project that will investigate the spatial-demographic changes that resulted in the areas impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. My goal is to develop and analyze a data set that brackets the events by a few years either side of that year to document any changes in county/parish-level fertility, mortality, and gross migration rates, as well as total population, that occurred as a result of these disasters, and to examine the spatio-temporal aspects of recovery in these demographic characteristics.

Other areas of interest include: The geography of political boundaries, particularly in the maritime and polar realms; the effects of political boundaries on spatio-temporally dynamic geographic phenomena and the effects of political boundary changes on temporal research; 3D visualization of spatial patterns and processes; globalization of folk culture, particularly martial arts and world music; geography of information and communication technology (ICT); military heritage tourism; and historical GIS

Geographic Education

I have been teaching in higher education since 1992, and the second primary focus of my PhD program is in the development of quality educational material and delivery methods that utilize a blend of traditional and multimedia formats. Obviously coursework needs to develop both the knowledge base expected of students in a given course and the critical analytical and communication skills expected of today’s graduates, but I also have the personal goal of developing the ‘geographical imagination’ of my students. I view this skill as an important outcome for students of my courses, and work hard to leave them with the ability to think geographically about everything from analyzing the local spatial patterns they see and experience to appreciating global diversity and understanding global processes.

History of Geography and Cartography

My primary focus within this specialization has to date been on the geographic and cartographic work of E.G. Ravenstein (1834-1913), best known for his “Laws of Migration” papers published in the 1880s. Ravenstein was a very diverse and widely published geographer and cartographer who was ahead of his time in some of the questions he asked and methods he used, not to mention widely recognized by his peers as a leader in the field, yet he is all but forgotten today except for his influence on migration research.

Other areas of interest include: The history of academic geography and cartography in the U.S.; the history of population studies in geography; and the history of political boundary studies in geography

Research Center Affiliations

  • Center for Advance Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT), University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Teaching Experience

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (semester schedule)

  • Principles of Ecology Lab – Fall 2010, Fall 2011
  • Introduction to Agriculture and Natural Resources Recitation – Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011
  • Elements of Physical Geography Lab – Summer 2010, Summer 2011
  • Quality of the Environment Lecture (a large enrollment course) – Spring 2010
  • Geographic Information Systems Lab (and substitute lecturer) – Fall 2009; Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011)
  • General Biology Lab T.A. Manager – Fall 1994, Spring 1995, Summer 1995, Fall 1995
  • General Biology Lab – Fall 1993, Spring 1994
  • Introductory Human Geography Lecture (a large enrollment course) – Spring 1992, Spring 2010

Southeast Community College (quarter schedule)

  • Introduction to Psychology Lecture – Winter 2011
  • Introduction to Human Geography Lecture – Fall 1999-present (four terms per year)
  • World Regional Geography Lecture – Winter 1998-Summer 1999; Winter 2010-present (four terms per year)

Professional Memberships

  • Association of American Geographers (AAG)
  • Geographic Educators Of Nebraska (GEON)
  • National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE)
  • Population Association of American (PAA)
  • UNL Geography Students Organization (GSO)

Professional Service

  • Developer and co-administrator of the “UNL Geography” Facebook page, 2010-present
  • Member, Geography Student Organization, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2008-present
  • Member, Graduate Student Association-Academic Affairs Committee, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2008-2009
  • Member, Student Judicial Board Resolution Sub-committee, 2008-2009
  • Member, Adjunct Faculty Committee, Southeast Community College, 2008-present

Outreach Service

  • Assisting with planning and activities at the UNL Geography table, Weatherfest, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2010-present
  • Assisting with planning and activities, Geography Awareness Week, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2008-present
  • Panelist, Social Sciences Career Day, Southeast Community College, February 5, 2008
  • Setting up the SCC Geography table and promoting geography courses, Open House for high school seniors, Southeast Community College, 2005-2008
  • Assisting with the UNL Parents’ Association booth, Big Red Road Show for high school seniors, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2005-present
  • Assisting with preparation and activities, UNL Parents Weekend, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2004-present
  • Assisting with the UNL Parents’ Association table, Big Red Welcome for start of academic year, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2004-present

Honor Society

  • Gamma Theta Epsilon, International Geographical Honor Society, Inducted April 30, 2010

Major Recognitions

  • LAMB Award Nominee, “For teaching excellence and dedication to the college and students”, Southeast Community College, 2008
  • BRAVO Award, “For commitment to living and displaying the Allstate Financial Values and Principles of Operational Excellence”, Allstate Financial, December, 2006

Other information

  • My wonderful and busy family consists of my wife, Tonda; three kids, Rebecca, Cassie, and Alex; as well as two cats and a fish
  • I am an avid martial artist, plastic model hobbyist, and gardener


Selected Presentations

Mapping Geosynchronous Satellites
  • Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
  • Date: 10/11/2013
  • Abstract:

    Over 400 satellites from almost 40 countries currently occupy Geosynchronous Earth Orbits (GEO), with the majority of these in geostationary orbit over the equator. In spite of the importance of these satellites to communications and other roles, and the limited number of geostationary orbital slots available, little attempt has been made to analyze the spatial characteristics of this recently created human ‘landscape’. This paper presents the results of an initial step in such an analysis, the mapping of geosynchronous satellites.

  • Full Citation: Humphress, Glenn O. 2013. Mapping Geosynchronous Satellites. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division of the Association of American Geographers, October 11, 2013, Omaha, NE.
Comparing Measures of the Demographic Impact of Migration
  • Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
  • Date: 4/19/2013
  • Abstract:

    Various measures have been developed with the goal of assessing the demographic impact of migration on locations, including net-migration rate, migration-effectiveness ratio, and migration-efficiency ratio. While each of these measures has received a level of support in the literature, to date there has been no comprehensive evaluation comparing these measures to each other. In this paper the relative strengths and weaknesses of each measure are discussed and county-level data from the 2000 Census for Nebraska are used to provide a case study in the comparison of these measures. The results show a high degree of correlation between all three measures, particularly between the effectiveness and efficiency ratios, indicating a significant amount of redundancy between them. Variability is greatest at the extreme high and low ends of comparisons between net-migration rate and each of the other two measures, which has implications for migration theory.

  • Full Citation: Humphress, Glenn O. 2013. Comparing Measures of the Demographic Impact of Migration. Paper presented at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, April 19, 2013, Lincoln, NE.
Beyond Projecting Power in Ocean-Space: The Naval Vessel as Place
  • Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
  • Date: 11/2/2012
  • Abstract:

    Naval vessels represent a high level of technological development and are often portrayed in sterile terms as military assets that project power in ocean-space, however ships also meet many of the criteria used for defining places in the geographic sense. For example these vessels have populations and community characteristics that can rival many land-based places, follow place-naming conventions, and American naval vessels have unique zip codes. When considering “place” though, geographers rarely think of ships, judging by the absence of such from the relevant literature, but such a consideration could prove fruitful for our conceptualizations of both ships and place. The goal of this presentation is threefold: 1) to establish the place-nature of naval vessels; 2) to examine the effects being a place can have on naval vessels and their interactions with other places, with particular attention given to interactions between vessels named for other places and their namesakes; and 3) to explore how rising sea level may bring floating places to the forefront of place research.

  • Full Citation: Humphress, Glenn O. 2012. Beyond Projecting Power in Ocean-Space: The Naval Vessel as Place. Paper presented in the Fall 2012 Geography General Seminar Series, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, November 2, 2012, Lincoln, NE.

Educational Background

  • BS - University of Kentucky, Zoology (1989)
  • MA - University of Kentucky, Geography (1993)


  • – Gamma Theta Upsilon Inductee awarded by GTU Alpha Phi Chapter 
  • 2008 – LAMB Award Nominee awarded by Southeast Community College  For teaching excellence and dedication to the college and students
  • 2006 [December] – BRAVO Award awarded by Allstate Financial  For commitment to living and displaying the Allstate Financial Values and Principles of Operational Excellence
  • 2004 [November] – Fellow, Life Management Institute Designation awarded by Life Office Management Association 

Affiliations (index)

Professional Organizations

Notable Websites

Topical: Political Geography, Geography of Peace and Conflict, Geographic Education, History of Geography and Cartography; Regional: U.S., Global; Techniques: Cartography, Geographic Information Systems, Quantitative Methods

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

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