Todd Bacastow

Biography

I am a Professor of Practice for Geospatial Intelligence in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the founder and lead faculty of Penn State's Geospatial Intelligence program. Penn State's Geospatial Intelligence program is accredited by the United State Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and part of Penn State's award-winning portfolio of Online Geospatial Education programs that has served over 5,000 students since 1999.

My current research focuses on determining the optimal training and educational means to improve the sensemaking of the geospatial analyst working as part of an intelligence team. Sensemaking refers to the process by which humans are able to generate explanations for data that are otherwise sparse, noisy, and uncertain.

Before joining Penn State in 1994, I retired from the United States Army where I served in a variety of infantry, engineer, and geospatial intelligence assignments and positions. I was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Computer Science and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the US Military Academy. I hold a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, and a MS and PhD in Geography from Penn State University.

Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Fritz Kessler

Dr. Fritz Kessler has taught various online courses in the Master's of Geographic Information Systems at Penn State since 2007. He's also an avid cyclist and musician. Learn more about Dr. Kessler, see what he has to say about online education, and hear him play a tune on the mandolin.