Karen K. Kemp, PhD, GISP  

Independent Scholar, Island of Hawaii, Hawai‘i

Senior Scientist, Kohala Center, Waimea, Hawaii

 Senior Consultant, Redlands Institute
Professor of Geographic Information Science (retired)
University of Redlands, Redlands, CA 

Adjunct Professor
University of Hong Kong
University of Southern California

Contact: KarenKemp(at)geokemp.net

Brief Biography

Karen Kemp was the founding Director of the International Masters Program in GIS at the University of Redlands in southern California, having held that position and Professor of Geographic Information Science until December 2005. Dr. Kemp holds geography degrees from the University of Calgary, Alberta (BSc 1976), the University of Victoria, British Columbia (MA 1982) and the University of California Santa Barbara (PhD 1992). Before moving to the US in 1988, she taught Geography, Geology and Microcomputer Applications in the university transfer program at Malaspina College, in Nanaimo, British Columbia (now Malaspina University College). In 1988 she joined the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) in Santa Barbara working as Coordinator of Education Programs and co-editor, with Dr. Michael Goodchild, of the internationally recognized NCGIA Core Curriculum in GIS. After completing her PhD at UCSB in 1992, she worked at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, and with Longman GeoInformation in Cambridge, England on various international GIS education projects. She returned to the NCGIA in 1994 to work as Assistant Director and later Associate Director. In January 1999 she moved to the University of California Berkeley to become Executive Director of the Geographic Information Science Center where she helped build the foundation for an innovative campus-wide GIScience initiative. In September 2000, she was invited to join the faculty at the University of Redlands to create and direct their new MS GIS program.

Dr. Kemp has traveled widely to present workshops on GIS education and has published extensively on this topic.  She acted as Program Chair for the Second and Third International Symposia on GIS in Higher Education (GISHE'96 and GISHE'97), and as Program Co-chair for the UCGIS 1997 Annual Assembly and Summer Retreat.  She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) and acted as senior editor of the UCGIS Education Priorities. She was also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) and a member of the Editorial Team for the UCGIS GI Science and Technology Body of Knowledge. In recognition for these and other contributions, in October 2004 she was named Educator of the Year by the UCGIS.

In December 2005, Dr. Kemp stepped down as Director of the MS GIS Program and is currently on permanent sabbatical on the Big Island of Hawaii, while continuing to work with the University on various GIS initiatives and as Senior Consultant with the Redlands Institute. In Hawaii she is working on the GIS framework for the Ala Kahaki National Historic Trail and with the Kohala Center on a vision for an Island-wide GIS infrastructure integrating Hawaiian and Western sciences. She also holds adjunct teaching positions at the University of Hong Kong in the Electronic Commerce/Internet Computing MSc program and at the University of Southern California in the on-line Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) Graduate Program.

Her scientific research has focused on developing methods to improve the integration of environmental models with GIS from both the pedagogic and the scientific perspectives and on formalizing the conceptual models of space acquired by scientists and humanities scholars, across a wide range of disciplines.


Selected Publications

Kemp, K.K., Keali'ikanaka'oleohaililani, K., & Hamabata, M.M. (in press). Ha‘ahonua: Using GIScience to link Hawaiian and Western knowledge about the environment. In M. Dear, S. Luria & D. Richardson (Eds.), Geography and the Humanities: Interactions and Investigations: Routledge.


Kemp, K.K. (in press). Geographic Information Science and Spatial Analysis for the Humanities. In D. Bodenhamer, T. Harris & J. Corrigan (Eds.), The Spatial Humanities: Indiana University Press.


Kemp, K. K. 2009. What does GIS offer to History? International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, 3(1-2), 15-19.


Kemp, K. K. (Ed.). 2008. Encyclopedia of Geographic Information Science. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


DiBiase, D., DeMers, M., Johnson, A., Kemp, K., Luck, A., Plewe, B., et al. (Eds.). 2006. Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge (1st ed.). Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers.


Kemp, K. K. 2006. Future for GIS Education in a World of Embedded GIS. GIS Development, 10, 41.


Kemp, K. K. and D. Unwin. 2005. Instructor's Manual for Geographic Information Systems and Science, 2nd Edition by P. A. Longley, M. F. Goodchild, D. J. Maguire and D. W. Rhind. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published on-line.


Brown, D.G., G. Elmes, K.K. Kemp, S. Macey, and D. Mark. 2004. Geographic Information Systems. In Geography in America at the Dawn of the 21st Century. G.L. Gaile and C.J. Willmott, eds., Oxford University Press, pp. 353-375. proof available on-line


Gregory, I., K.K. Kemp and R. Mostern, 2003. Geographical Information and Historical Research: Current progress and future directions. Humanities and Computing 13:7-22. final draft available on-line


Kemp, K. K. 2003. Guest Editorial: Why GIS Professional Certification Matters to Us All. Transactions in GIS 7(2): 159-163.


Kemp, K. K. and L. Wiggins 2003. Guest Editorial: Introduction to the Special Issue on GIS Education. URISA Journal 15(1): 4-6.


Kemp, K.K. 2002. Book Review of “Concepts and Techniques of Geographic Information Systems”. Transactions in GIS 6(4):485-489.


Kemp, K. K. and R. Mostern, 2001. Spatial Vagueness and Uncertainty in the Computational Humanities. First COSIT Workshop on Spatial Vagueness, Uncertainty and Granularity, Ogunquit, ME. CD-ROM.


Kemp, K. K. 2001. "Using Geographic Information to Improve the Sharing of Digital Information Resources in the Humanities". Symposium on SIG-CH: Computer and the Humanities of Information Processing Society of Japan, Osaka, Japan.


Maher, R. and others.  2001. Report for Project 19122 - Geographic information/Geomatics - Qualifications and Certification of personnel. Oslo, Norway, ISO/TC 211 Secretariat, on-line.
Somers, R. and others. 2000. "Defining the GIS Profession and Debating Certification and Regulation". Geo Info Systems. 10: 22-29.


Reeve, D., Hardwick, S., Kemp, K., and Ploszajtska, T. 2000. "Delivering courses internationally". Journal of Geography in Higher Education 24(2):228-237.


Goodchild, M. F., Egenhofer, M. J., Kemp, K. K., Mark, D. M., and Sheppard, E. 1999. “Introduction to the Varenius Project.” International Journal of Geographic Information Science, 13(8), 731-745.


Heywood, D. I., Kemp, K. K., and Reeve, D. E. 1999. “Interoperable education for interoperable GIS.” Interoperating Geographic Information Systems, M. F. Goodchild, M. J. Egenhofer, R. Fegeas, and C. A. Kottmann, eds., Kluwer, New York, pp. 443-458.


Kemp, K. K. 1999. "Strategic Change in GIScience Education". Geographic Information Sciences, 5(1):24-29.


Kemp, K. K., Reeve, D. E., and Heywood, D. I. 1999. "Interoperability for GIScience Education". In Interoperating Geographic Information Systems, A. Vckovski, K.E. Brassel, and H.-J. Schek, eds., Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 101-114.


Kemp, K.K. and A. Vckovski. 1998. "Towards an ontology of fields", Proceedings of the Third International Conference on GeoComputation, 17-19th September 1998, Bristol, UK. CD-ROM.  Available on-line.


Kemp, K.K. and D.J. Unwin. 1997. "Guest Editorial. From geographic information systems to geographic information studies: An agenda for educators", Transactions in GIS 2(2):1-7. 


Kemp, K. K., and Wright, R. 1997.  "UCGIS identifies GIScience education priorities", Geo Info Systems, September, 7(9):16-20.  Draft version available on-line. 


Kemp, K.K. 1997. "Fields as a framework for integrating GIS and environmental process models. Part one: Representing spatial continuity", Transactions in GIS 1(3):219-234.


Kemp, K.K. 1997. "Fields as a framework for integrating GIS and environmental process models. Part two: Specifying field variables", Transactions in GIS 1(3):235-246.


Kemp, K. K. 1997. "Integrating traditional spatial models of the environment with GIS". In Proceedings of 1997 ACSM/ASPRS Annual Convention and Exposition, Technical Papers Volume 5: Auto-Carto 13, Seattle, WA. American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. pp. 23-32.  Draft version available on-line.


Kemp, Karen K. 1997. The NCGIA Core Curricula in GIS and Remote Sensing. Transactions in GIS 2(2):181-190.  Draft version available on-line.


Kemp, K.K. 1996.  "Easing environmental models into GIS".  Proceedings of the Third International Conference/Workshop on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling, January 21-26, 1996, Santa Fe, NM. National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, University of California Santa Barbara.  CD-ROM.  Available on-line.


Kemp, K.K. and A.U. Frank. 1996. "Toward consensus on a European GIS curriculum: The International Post-Graduate Course on GIS." International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 10(4):477-497.


McDonnell, R. and K. Kemp. 1995. International GIS Dictionary.  Published by GeoInformation International, Cambridge, UK.  Distributed by John Wiley & Sons.


Kemp, K.K. 1995. Teaching and learning about GIS.  Presented at III Simpósio Brasileiro de Geoprocessamento, São Paulo, Brazil, July 1995.  Available on-line.


Goodchild, M.F., K.K. Kemp, M. Theriault and Y. Roche. 1994. Systèmes d'Information Géographique: Notes de Cours.  LATIG, Départment de géographie, Université Laval, Québec. (NCGIA Core Curriculum French translation)


Leipnik, M.R., K.K. Kemp and H.A. Loaiciga. 1993. "Implementation of GIS for water resources planning and management." Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 119(2):184-205.


Kemp, K.K. 1993. "Environmental Modeling with GIS: A strategy for dealing with spatial continuity." National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, University of California at Santa Barbara, Technical Report 93-3. Available on-line.


Kemp, K.K. and Fiona M. Goodchild. 1992. "Evaluating a major innovation in higher education: the NCGIA Core Curriculum in GIS." Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 16(1):21-35.


Kemp, K.K., M.F. Goodchild and R.F. Dodson. 1992. "Teaching GIS in geography." The Professional Geographer, 44(2):181-191.


Goodchild, M.F. and K.K. Kemp. 1992. "GIS Accreditation: What are the options?" ACSM Bulletin, November/December 1992, p. 44-47.


Goodchild, M.F., and K.K. Kemp. 1992. "GIS Research and Education in the USA", Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta, Geography Series 4:68-72, in Russian.


Kemp, K.K. and M.F. Goodchild. 1991. "Developing a curriculum in Geographic Information Systems: The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis Core Curriculum project." Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 15(2):121-132.


Kemp, K.K. 1991.  "The NCGIA Core Curriculum evaluation program: A review and assessment". Cartographica 28(3):88-93.


Goodchild, M.F. and K.K. Kemp. 1990. NCGIA Core Curriculum in GIS. National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. Text available on-line.

Full CV available here

last updated April 2010