Cynthia Wallace


Cynthia Wallace is a Research Geographer with the U. S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Geographic Science Team. Her current research uses satellite imagery, spatial analysis and GIS to inform natural resource management, map natural phenomena, and characterize the spatial and temporal variability of the landscape. She earned a Ph. D. in Geography and Regional Development from the University of Arizona. Her doctoral research used Fourier transforms and geostatistics to extract temporal and spatial information from remotely sensed data for mapping wildlife habitat. Prior to her position with the USGS, Cynthia worked at the Arizona Remote Sensing Center on the University of Arizona campus, where she contributed to several interdisciplinary projects. Cynthia also has a background in geology: she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and geology from the University of Minnesota at Duluth, a Masters degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and she worked as a minerals exploration geologist for over 12 years.



PhD in Geography              University of Arizona-Tucson            2002

MA in Geography               University of Arizona-Tucson            1997

MS in Geology                   University of Wisconsin-Madison      1980

BS in Math and Geology      University of Minnesota-Duluth         1978, Magna cum Laude



11/04 to present:          Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey

2/02 to 11/04:              Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey

6/95 to 11/02:              Research Assistant, Arizona Remote Sensing Center, U. of Arizona

Raster and vector data processing and analysis, primarily for land use and land cover mapping change detection, and landscape trend analysis; generation, interpretation and analysis of data using a variety of image processing, GIS, and statistical software packages; grant,  proposal, and report writing; presentations to staff and funding agencies; design and production of graphics.

9/95 to 2/02:                Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography and Regional Development, U. of Arizona

Investigate and apply geostatistics and signal processing techniques to remote sensing data to extract measures of landscape structure and temporal dynamics. Interpret and apply research results to characterize habitat and environments. Instructor: Introduction to Remote Sensing;

1/93 to 7/93:                Owner/Instructor of an after-school mathematics program

Established an after school math class using a Kumon franchise.

1985 to 1993:              District Geologist  (9/91-1/93), Advanced Geologist  (1-85 to 3-90), Pennzoil Sulphur Company, Houston, Texas

Responsible for domestic frontier exploration program as District Geologist.

1981 to 1985:              Exploration Geologist, Duval Corporation, Tucson, Arizona 

Exploration for sulfur and potash, phosphate and borates. 

9/78 to 6/80:                Research Assistant, Geology and Geophys. Dept., U. of Wi.-Madison,

Structure determinations and identification of crystalline solids using x-ray diffraction and electron microprobe techniques; data synthesis using FORTRAN computer applications.



Wallace, Cynthia S. A.; Gass, Leila, 2008. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat. Geological Survey (U.S.) Open-File Report 2008-1283, iii, 7 p. [Link]

Wallace, C.S.A. and K.A. Thomas, 2008. An Annual Plant Growth Proxy in the Mojave Desert using MODIS-EVI data, Sensors 2008, 8(12), 7792-7808; DOI: 10.3390/s8127792

Wallace, C.S.A., R.H. Webb, and K.A. Thomas, 2008. Estimation of perennial vegetation cover in the Mojave Desert using MODIS-EVI data and pre-existing field data. GIScience and Remote Sensing. 45-2, 167-187

Webb, Robert H.; Griffiths, Peter G.; Wallace, Cynthia S. A.; Boyer, Diane E., 2007. Channel Response to Low-Elevation Desert Fire: The King Valley Fire of 2005. Geological Survey (U.S.) Data Series 275, 52 p. [Link]

Lowry, J. H, Jr., R. D. Ramsey, K. A. Thomas, D. Schrupp, T. Sajwaj, J. Kirby, E. Waller, S. Schrader, S. Falzarano, L. Langs, G. Manis, C. Wallace, K. Schulz, P. Comer, K. Pohs, W. Rieth, C. Velasquez, B. Wolk, W. Kepner, K. Boykin, L. O’Brien, D. Bradford, B. Thompson, J. Prior-Magee, 2007. Mapping moderate-scale land-cover over very large geographic areas within a collaborative framework: A case study of the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP). Remote Sensing of Environment. Vol. 108, p. 59-73

O’Brien, J. Prior-Magee, D. Bradford and B. Thompson,2006. Land cover classification and mapping. Chapter 2 in J.S. Prior-Magee, ed. Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Final Report. U.S. Geological Survey, Gap Analysis Program, Moscow, ID.

Wallace, C.S.A., and Marsh, S.E. 2005. Characterizing the Spatial Structure of Endangered Species Habitat Using Geostatistical Analysis of Ikonos Imagery: International Journal of Remote Sensing vol. 26, no. 12, p. 2607-2629.

Lowry, J.H., Jr., R.D. Ramsey, K. Boykin, D. Bradford, P. Comer, S. Falzarano, W. Kepner, J. Kirby, L. Langs, J. Prior-Magee, G. Manis, L. O’Brien, T. Sajwaj, K.A. Thomas, W. Rieth, S. Schrader, D. Schrupp, K. Schulz, B. Thompson, C. Velasquez, C. Wallace, E. Waller and B. Wolk. 2005. Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project: Final Report on Land Cover Mapping Methods, RS/GIS Laboratory, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

Brooks, M.L., J.R. Matchett, C. Wallace, and T. Esque. 2004. Fuels and fire hazard assessment in a desert ecosystem. Arid Lands Newsletter, Vol. 55. [Link]

Wallace, C.S.A. 2002. Extracting temporal and spatial information from remotely sensed data for mapping wildlife habitat: Tucson, The University of Arizona, Ph.D. Dissertation. 198 p.

Hutchinson, C.F.; Marsh, S.E.; Wallace, C.S.A.; Walker, J.J.; Mauz, K.; Krausman, P.R.; Boyd, H.;, Enns, R.M.; Salazar, H.; Howery, L.D.; and Trobia E. 2000. Informing the Elk Debate: Applying NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Data to Natural Resource Management Conflicts in the Western States: National Park Service Annual Report, University of Arizona. 51p.

Wallace, C.S.A.; Watts, J. M. and Yool, S. R. 2000. Characterizing the Landscape Structure of Vegetation Communities in the Mojave Desert Using Geostatistical Techniques: Computers and Geosciences. v. 26, no. 4, p. 397-410.

Marsh, S.E., Wallace, C.S.A. and Walker, J.J. 1999. Evaluation of Satellite Remote Sensing Methods for Regional Inventory, Arizona Remote Sensing Center Final Report submitted to the National Park Service: Tucson, University of Arizona.