Iskar Waluyo has a mixed background with experience qualitative and quantitative research in academia and as a private consultant. His research is rooted in a holistic distress related to finding ways to balance social development and environmental conservation.

His qualitative focuses on how we build meaning and identity through lived experiences. His M.S. thesis evaluates how lived experiences in urban farms in Mexico City contribute to local sustainable development. His work suggests that all urban farms can be broken down into essential experiences that create networks of citizens empowered to act as agents of change in their communities. His work was awarded “Academic Mention” and branched into a methods paper and the opportunity to publish a book chapter in Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. He collaborated in another qualitative project in 2022 which led to a book chapter titled “Shortage, Meanings, and Adaptations of Water: Reflections on the Perspectives of Elders from San José Lachiguirí, Oaxaca, Mexico”. It was published “Socio-Ecological Systems and Decoloniality: Convergence of Indigenous and Western Knowledge”. Along with José García and Griselda García López they analyzed how mythical-religious explanations of locals regarding water share many parallelisms with Socio-Ecological Systems perspectives.

His quantitative work includes two conference papers; “Spatial analysis of forest systems in Oaxaca, Mexico based on the DPSIR framework” published in Advances in Geospatial Data Science, 2021 International Conference on Geospatial Information Sciences, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography), Springer and  “Using Open-Source Data and Software to Analyse Land-Use Changes and Deforestation in Marqués de Comillas, Chiapas, Mexico (Work in Progress)” at the GI_Forum 2021, was published in the 12th International Symposium on Digital Earth: Digital Earth for Sustainable Societies special edition. In all of his quantitative work he explores the use of open source software and data to create web maps that can serve a decision support system tools. He recently finished a research project that uses business outlet data to evaluate the spatial distribution of municipal waste in México City which is expected to be published later this year.

His professional and academic experiences have led him to food systems. Currently, Iskar is exploring the environmental, social and economic trade offs embedded in how we produce, distribute and consume food. He believes a key element for sustainable development is finding more efficient and responsible food systems. In this sense, at USC he is evaluating how food systems can be conceptually framed using a combination of Socio Ecological Systems theory and the Driver, Pressure, Impact, Response (DPSIR) framework. He also is reviewing the potential of using life cycle assessment methods as an empirical tool to help better understand the complex trade offs embedded within these food system linkages.

In addition to his academic work, Iskar enjoys using maps to tell more personal stories. He presented Market Murals in Mexico City, presented in USC Los Angeles Geospatial Summit 2022 which evaluated how public markets in Mexico City are not only sites of commerce but unique repositories of past and present cultural expressions. In 2023, he presented L.A.’s Orange Economy Potential at the Southern California Association of Government’s 2023 Regional Conference & General Assembly. This map evaluates creative-based small business clusters in Los Angeles. This year, he plans to create a map about Latin American musical genres.

He is a 2022 COMEXUS-Garcia Robles Fulbright Scholar and is currently working with other USC Fulbright student scholars to create a USC-recognized student organization.


M.S., Urban Studies and Design, Data Science and Geomatics, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco, Mexico
B.S., Environmental Engineering, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco, Mexico


Specialist in Geomatics with CentroGEO (Center for Research in Geography and Geomatics)

Reviewer in Journal of Cleaner Production and Environmental Research Letters