About me


I serve as Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science and run the MOVE Lab at the Department of Geography at the University of California Santa Barbara. I received my PhD in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) from the GIScience Center of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

My research interests mainly involve developing spatiotemporal data analytics, knowledge discovery, modeling, and visualization techniques to study and understand movement. Our ability to study movement and its relationship to the environment can advance our understanding of social and natural systems. My research on movement advances spatial data science and quantitative approaches for modeling problems such as human-wildlife conflicts, environmental change, natural hazards, spread of diseases, population mobility, and global migration. My research contributes to solving these important problems by advancing the knowledge and understanding of how movement patterns are formed in dynamic coupled natural and human systems. Through interdisciplinary research, I aim to develop a broadly applicable analytical framework to unravel how movement patterns of individuals are driven by their behavior, their environment, and their interactions across multiple spatial and temporal scales.

I teach introductory and advanced GIScience Courses, including geographic visualization, and analysis and modeling of movement.

Professional Experiences:

  • Assistant Professor, UC Santa Barbara (since 2019).
  • Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Spatial Information Science (since 2019)
  • Editorial Board member of the Journal of Location Based Services (since Dec 2019)
  • Editorial Board member of The Professional Geographer (since 2019)
  • Editorial Board member of Geographical Analysis (since 2018)
  • Editorial Board member of Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (since 2018)
  • Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (2016 – 2019)
  • Editorial Board member of the UCGIS Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge (2016 – 2017)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), 2014 – 2016
  • Geospatial Lab Director, UCCS, 2014 – 2016
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, UCCS, 2013 – 2014


  • Postdoc – Computational Movement Ecology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, The Ohio State University (2012-2013).
  • Postdoc – Computational Movement Analysis, University of Zurich, Switzerland, (2011-2012).
  • Ph.D. (Dr. sc. nat.) – Geography with specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience), University of Zurich, Switzerland (October 2011).
  • M.Sc. – Geographic Information Systems Engineering, K.N.Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran (2005).
  • B.Sc. – Geomatics Engineering, K.N.Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran (2003).

Contact Information:

Somayeh Dodge, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor
Email: sdodge[AT]ucsb.edu
Department of Geography | UC SANTA BARBARA