Freshly minted Regents' Professor plumbs geospatial data to make sense of the world


Stewart Fotheringham

You could say Stewart Fotheringham, a distinguished sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, is where he is now because of a dogged preoccupation with that perennial question of the human condition: Why?

“When I look at a map of disease rates across the country, for example, and I see there are clusters of high rates over here and low rates over here, what I want to know is why? What's causing that?” he said.

In pursuit of an answer, the Yorkshire, England, native has studied or taught at universities across the U.K. and in North America, from Canada to Florida and New York to Indiana. His quest eventually brought him to Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, where he was recently named a Regents’ Professor for his scholarship in the field of spatial data analysis.

ASU Now talked to Fotheringham about his current work, including spatial variations in disease rates and voting behavior.