Jennifer N. Swift is Associate Professor (Teaching) of Spatial Sciences at the Spatial Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

The focus of Dr. Swift’s research is at the intersection of web and mobile GIS with CyberGIS, the latter including instruction in advanced cyberinfrastructure. These emerging technological trends, including the use of big data and evolving geoprivacy concerns, should now be considered core elements of the spatial sciences. She is particularly interested in developing pedagogical innovations in the use of 3D and time-enabled geospatial technologies in teaching and in improving methods for teaching programming skills across GIS as a discipline.

Dr. Swift teaches and has taught courses in the Spatial Sciences undergraduate and masters programs in human populations and natural hazards, principles of geographic information science, geospatial modeling and customization, concepts for spatial thinking, spatial databases, web GIS and geospatial technology project management. She also has served as thesis advisor to a number of M.S. in GIST students.

She also serves as the program liaison to the Esri Innovation Program (EIP) and received the 2018 Esri GIS Hero award.

In addition, she received the 2015 National Association of Professional Women VIP Woman of the Year Circle Award for her contributions to GIS education. She also is a certified GIS Professional (GISP) by the Geographic Information Science Certification Institute (GISCI).

Before joining the Spatial Sciences Institute, Swift was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. In her early academic career, she was an Assistant Professor of Earthquake Engineering at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.


Ph.D., Geophysics, Bogaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey
M.Sc., Geology, University of Northern Illinois, Illinois
B.S., Geochemistry, Bowling Green State University, Ohio

Selected works and presentations

Hill, K., Swift, J.N., Howard, C., Farrell, A. & Lindsey, E.L. 3D “Visualization of Subsurface Objects from La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, CA.” Digital Applications and in Archeology and Cultural Heritage 20. March 2021.

Weidemann, C., Swift, J.N. & Kemp, K.K., Geosocial Footprint and Concerns in Geoprivacy. In J., Thatcher, J. Eckert, J. & A. Shears (Eds), Thinking Big Data in Geography: New Regimes, New Research (pp. 123-144). Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 2018.

Swift, J., Teaching CyberGIS to Undergraduates. Paper presented at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, April, 2018, New Orleans, LA.

Elson, L., Wright, K., Swift, J. & Feldmeier, H., Control of Tungiasis in Absence of a Roadmap: Grassroots and Global ApproachesJournal of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 2 (3):33, 2017.

Ngo, V., Swift, J. & Chiang, Y.-Y., Visualizing Land Reclamation in Hong Kong: A Web Application. In Proceedings of the 27th International Cartographic Conference, 16th General Assembly, August 23-28, 2015, Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Weidemann, C. & Swift, J., Social Media Location Intelligence: The Next Privacy Battle; An ArcGIS add-in and Analysis of Geospatial Data Collected from International Journal of Geoinformatics, 9 (2): 21-27, 2013.