John H. Porter

Research Associate Professor · Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1988

Contact Information


I have research interests at a variety of scales, from microhabitat utilization of mice to biogeographic structures of entire island chains. Current research projects include: (1) the use of remotely sensed images and geographical information systems to produce chonosequences of insular vegetation, (2) testing of theories of socially induced dispersal, (3) biogeography of insular mammals, and (4) characteristics of image sources (satellites and aerial photographs) that affect perceptions of ecological landscapes.

The techniques I use to test ecological theories are similarly varied. Field experimentation is my preferred methodology when a hypothesis is testable at a scale where manipulations are logistically feasible. At larger scales, I use multivariate statistical analysis coupled with Monte-Carlo simulation models and geographical information systems. I serve as the Data Manager for the Virginia Coast Research Long-Term Ecological Research (VCR/LTER) project and mange the Remote-sensing and Geographical Information System Laboratory within the Department of Environmental Sciences.

Recent Publications


GIS Methods (EVSC 3020)
Explores the theory of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications in a range of disciplines using various GIS software packages. Example applications are from physical and social sciences, often with a focus on the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. For students interested in immediate applications of GIS in their work.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (EVSC 5020)
This is an introductory course focusing on the theory and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology. The course combines related theory with practical laboratory assignments