Lisa and Matt Jordan on a walk through Drew University campus (summer 2020)

Lisa Jordan is Director of the Spatial Data Center at Drew University, and also Associate Teaching Professor in Biology, Environmental Sciences and Studies, and Public Health.  Her teaching and research interests focus on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in environmental justice, public health, and population geography.  

Her recent work has explored the upstream contributing factors to gun violence, such as the manufacture, distribution, advertisement and use of firearms. She has been involved in a long-term collaboration with USAID FEWS NET on demography and acute food insecurity in program countries, with particular attention to internal displacement and refugee migration into and out of South Sudan.  She led the EPA-Drew University partnership (2013-2015) to promote spatial analytical research of the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), and currently teaches several courses in support of the Civic Engagement curriculum on campus.

Lisa is the mother of two sons, Jacob and Matthew.  Her husband is Jason Jordan.  Jacob maintains a blog on his explorations in mapping.  Jason is Associate Professor at Drew University in the Department of Political Science.

Jacob Jordan on Walkway over the Hudson (fall 2020)
Jason Jordan at Sunday Motor Co. Cafe, Madison, New Jersey (fall 2020)

For nearly a decade, Lisa has resided in Madison, New Jersey. This is the longest duration residency she has kept.

The map above was made using Google MyMaps. I enjoy using Google GIS applications, but I am also aware of significant and problematic unethical practices of the organization. According the the Amnesty International Report, Surveillance Giants: How the Business Model of Google and Facebook Threatens Human Rights:

“…despite the real value of the services they provide, Google and Facebook platforms come at a systemic cost. The companies’ surveillance-based business model forces people to make a Faustian bargain, whereby they are only able to enjoy their human rights online by submitting to a system predicated on human rights abuse. Firstly, an assault on the right to privacy on an unprecedented scale, and then a series of knock-on effects that pose a serious risk range of other rights, from freedom of expression and opinion, to freedom of thought and the right to non-discrimination” (5).

Amazon and Microsoft, not a focus of the Amnesty report, are also not without criticism, and almost all of these organizations deploy software and hardware related to Geographic Information Systems. As a teacher, I see that I have considerable work to do to help build more just systems and technologies. I cannot do this alone, but rely on the activist work of organizations like Amnesty International and the work of activists scholars to shed light on harm and violence perpetrated through commercial technology companies.

Drew University is a participant in the “Domain of One’s Own” Project, where students, faculty and staff learn to develop and maintain their own personal website.  The hosting and maintenance of this website was enabled through a Digital Humanities Grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, which founded our Digital Humanities Program.  I highly recommend that Drew students, faculty and staff take advantage of this valuable program, and consider creating your own domain.