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Melinda J. Laituri, PhD.


Professor Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Contact Info

Phone: (970) 491-0292   Office: NESB A112

Email:   Lab:


Fields of Expertise

1.) Management and Planning
2.) Models, GIS, and Data

Areas of Interest

 Cultural water resourcesRisk management


Melinda Laituri received her PhD from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona in geography. Her dissertation research focused on environmental equity and groundwater resources in the American Southwest and the US-Mexico border. Her other degrees are in Hydrology (M.A., California State University, 1985) and Geography (B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1979). Dr. Laituri accepted a post doc at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where she then served as a lecturer in a tenure track position for three years. She is a Fulbright Scholar in Botswana and a Rachel Carson Fellow. Dr. Laituri is the Director of the Geospatial Centroid @ CSU ( that provides information about GIS activities, education, and outreach at CSU and in Colorado. Dr. Laituri’s research interests are diverse. She has worked with indigenous peoples throughout the world on issues related to natural resource management, disaster adaptation, and water resource issues using geographic information systems (GIS) that utilize cultural and eco-physical data in research models. A key focus is participatory GIS where indigenous peoples develop spatial information and maps essential for their management of their own resources. Other research work focuses on the role of the Internet and geospatial technologies of disaster management and cross-cultural environmental histories of river basin management.