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Shadrock Roberts

Email: shadrock@uga.edu
Phone: 706-542-2856
Fax: 706-542-2388
Office: Geography-Geology Building

Research Interests

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia’s Department of Geography where I study the use of geospatial tools and volunteered geographic information for humanitarian operations. The substantive nature of my work is a geographic approach to studying refugee and internally displaced populations. Past and current projects include collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Stand By Task Force, local NGOs, and affected communities. I am currently working at USAID to stand up the agency's new GeoCenter.

Project design & management, strategic planning, remote sensing, GIS and GPS training, geovisualization. Strategic planning for volunteered geographic information data collection and reach-back to technical volunteer communities. Languages: fluent FR, basic ES



  • Master of Arts (2006), University of Poitiers International Migration
  • Bachelor of Arts (2003), Colorado State University French Language - International Development

Research Projects

Core member of the Agency’s GeoCenter: building USAID’s GIS capacity in Missions and operating units by creating and implementing policies, procedures, and best practices for spatial analysis and geographic data management. Portfolio includes:

• Baghdad, Iraq – Produced comprehensive needs assessment, recommendations, and work plan to strengthen Mission GIS capacity. Results: acquired +3,000 data points and other orphaned data from implementing partners, curated Mission-specific baseline data set of +40 layers, streamlined GIS requests using web-based tools, and developed pilot analytical products currently in use.

• Brazzaville, Republic of Congo – Provided GIS support for a UNDP Crisis and Recovery Mapping and Analysis mission to the Republic of the Congo, during which time a government munitions dump exploded, killing many and displacing more than 13,000. Acted as primary GIS support and coordination for the UNDP Misison and UNDAC/OCHA. Coordinated agency and governmental data sets for humanitarian response and managed transition of data and contacts to MapAction.

• Bangkok, Thailand – Created and taught 4-day GIS workshop for project design, monitoring, and evaluation for Mission staff of varying skills and backgrounds from 7 regional Missions. Courses included basic desktop geovisualization, metadata/quality control, and working with implementing partners.

• Remote Sensing – Acquired and delivered more than $80,000 worth of high-resolution satellite imagery to USAID Missions and principal partners – at no cost – by leveraging interagency partnerships and existing mechanisms. Currently formalizing this process by creating a remote sensing request process/desk.

• Crowdsourcing – Currently spearheading an effort to crowd-source data cleanup and mapping of +100,000 records from USAID’s Development Credit Authority. Managing all aspects of outreach, workflow, reach-back to volunteer technical communities, and data QA/QC.

Of Note

2011 Boren Fellowship (declined)
2011 ASPRS Z/I Imaging Scholarship
2010 U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation Scholarship
2009 Clarke County Geographical Society Travel grant

Selected Publications

Manuscript: Under review at The Professional Geographer
• “Exploring geographic object-based image analysis and urban geography for population estimates in protracted refugee situations.”

Selected Conference Presentations:
2011 UN-SPIDER International Expert Meeting: Crowdsource Mapping for Emergency Response – Geneva, Switzerland
• UNHCR & Crowdsourcing, A partnership with the Stand By Task Force
2010 ISPRS/CaGIS Specialty Conference: Geospatial Data and Geovisualization – Orlando FL
• “Fusing Object-Based Image Analysis Techniques with Field Surveys to Estimate Refugee Camp Population: A Case Study in Kenya”; and “Quartier par Quartier: Crisis Mapping and the Haiti Earthquake” (Poster).
2010 International Conference of Crisis Mappers – Boston, MA
• “Quartier par Quartier: a recipe for success or failure?” Video available online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRdNUAqEiIU