Melinda Laituri received her PhD in geography from the University of Arizona. Her dissertation research focused on environmental equity and groundwater resources in the American Southwest, and the US-Mexico border. Laituri accepted a postdoc position at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where she served as a lecturer in a tenure track position for three years. She is a Fulbright scholar and spent 2010 in Botswana. She was a Carson fellow in 2011, where she conducted comparative research of major rivers. Laituri is the director of the Geospatial Centroid at CSU, which provides information and support for GIS activities, education, and outreach at CSU and in Colorado. In 2014–2015, she was a Jefferson Science fellow and continues to work with the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues at the US Department of State on the Secondary Cities Initiative. 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 ecophysical data in research models. A key focus is participatory GIS where indigenous peoples develop spatial information and maps essential for the 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.
RCC Research Project 2011: Integrated Environmental History of Watersheds
RCC Research Project 2018: Urban Stories of the Majority World
- with Nicole M. Herman-Mercer, Ryan C. Toohey, Elli Matkin, Paul F. Schuster, Maggie Massey, Edda A. Mutter, and Kelly Elder. “Seasonal Vulnerability of Subsistence Harvesting in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta: A Case Study of Two Rural Indigenous Alaskan Communities.” Human Ecology (2017) in review.
- with Karie Boone and Reagan Waskom. “Accessing Flexibility: A Historical Institutional Analysis of Water Use for Oil and Gas Development in Colorado.” Journal of Society and Natural Resources 31, no. 6 (2018): 717–33.
- with Jamie D. Hoover and Stephen J. Leisz. “Comparing and Combining Landsat Satellite Imagery and Participatory Data to Access Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes in a Coastal Village in Papua New Guinea.” Human Ecology 45 (2017): 251–64.
- with Nicole M. Herman-Mercer, Elli Matkin, Ryan C. Toohey, Maggie Massey, Kelly Elder, Paul F. Schuster, and Edda A. Mutter. “Changing Times, Changing Stories: Generational Differences in Climate Change Perspectives from Four Remote Indigenous Communities in Subarctic Alaska.” Ecology and Society 21, no. 3 (2016): 28.
- with Tewodros Wakie and Paul Evangelista. “Assessing the Distribution and Impacts of Prosopis juliflora through Participatory Approaches.” Applied Geography 66 (2016): 132–43.
- with Arren Mendezona Allegretti and Jessica Thompson. “Engagement and Accountability in Transdisciplinary Space in Mongolia: Principles for Facilitating a Reflective Adaptive Process in Complex Teams.” Knowledge Management for Development Journal 11, no. 2 (2015): 23–43.