SAGE Laboratory
223E Johnson Hall
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Memphis 38152
Phone: 678 2238


The SAGE Lab currently has one Dell web server, five Dell workstations with dual screens designed for intensive computing, image processing, simulation, and visualization, one color laser printer, one big size map plotter, one scanner, one laptop, and four GPS systems.


Main remote sensing and GIS software includes ArcGIS and Erdas/Imagine. A variety of statistics, mathematics, computer languages, and neural network and data mining software are also available, such as SPSS, SAS, and S-Plus.


The Spatial Analysis and Geographic Education Laboratory (SAGE), located in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Memphis, focuses on GIScience research and geography education and outreach.

SAGE laboratory has extensive international connections and promotes international geography education by conducting GIS & RS research in various countries abroad such as Latvia, Turkey, Norway, Russia, and China. Through our research projects, we offer study abroad opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students.


We foster training of teachers in the Memphis Chapter of Tennessee Geography Alliance in the areas of GIS and geospatial technologies. We do geocaching with local highschools.



Esra Ozdenerol, Director

Dr. Esra Özdenerol is an Associate Professor in the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Memphis. She is the Director of Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. She served as Associate Director of Benjamin L. Hooks Institute between 2010 and 2012. Her research lies in the intersection of human-environmental interaction, medical geography, health disparities, landscape ecology, and (at times) GIS and visualization.  She primarily investigates spatial analytical methods and applied GIS.


office: 236 Johnson Hall

Dr. Özdenerol grew up in Ankara, Turkey. She obtained her BS degree (Landscape Architecture) in 1993 at the University of Ankara and MLA degree (Landscape Architecture) in 1996 at Louisiana State University. She completed her PhD in Geography in 2000 at Louisiana State University under Professor Nina Lam. Since beginning her tenure-track appointment in the University of Memphis, she has worked on developing an accurate integrated spatial morbidity database using GIS. She found spatial clusters of infant low birth weight in Memphis and the results were published in 2005 in the International Journal of Health Geographics.  She published a paper integrating spatial analytical methods with multi-level statistical analysis in 2006 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. In 2006, she was invited to a workshop by the National Academies of Science on the Contribution of Remote Sensing for Decisions about Human Welfare held in Washington, D.C.  In 2007, she was recognized as a “Health Research Fellow” by the University of Memphis for the potential of her active research agenda.  She co-wrote a review on liver disease and air pollution that has been published in the Journal of Immuntoxicology in 2008.  Her recent work in exploring infectious diseases (West Nile Virus), fusing remotely sensed data with traditional land-base data (e.g., settlement and population data) was published in the International Journal of Health Geographics in March, 2008.

In the last two years, she has worked on applying internet-GIS applications to disseminate civil rights events in the Mid-South. She is an affiliated faculty at the Ecological Research Center of University of Memphis and works with her students using GIS, GPS and RS techniques to develop models to eradicate the Chinese privet an invasive plant from Shelby Farms ecosystem, an urban park in Memphis.

Dr. Ozdenerol is also an Adjunct faculty of University of Tennessee Health Science Center and collaborates with the Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment and Research (CHEER) on applications of GIS to community-based participatory health disparities research. Over the past decade her work has been focused primarily in the Southern United States, but recently she has expanded her activities to Turkey and Eastern Europe by acquiring health data and collaborating with international institutions. Her future research will maximize the potential of applying GIS and remotely sensed data to decisions about health and health care in this region.

Dr. Ozdenerol teaches the following classes: ESCI 4515/6515, Geographic Information Science; ESCI4525/6525, Advanced GIS; ESCI 7504/8504, GIS Seminar; ESCI 7311 GIS Applications to Human Health, ESCI 1301 Surveys of World regions.

Spatial analysis is how we understand our world - mapping where things are, how they relate and what it all means.


We conduct research centered on advancing Geographic Information Science (GISc) approaches to understanding human, natural, and human-environment systems. We engage in research in areas such as:

GIS and Spatial Analysis
Medical Geography, Spatial Epidemiology, Mapping Health Disparities and Human Rights
Remote Sensing and Image Analysis
Internet-GIS, Public Participation GIS
Landscape Ecology and Natural Resource Management

GIS Certificate

The GIS Certificate Program is for those with a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field, and with an interest in using GIS as a problem-solving tool. The GIS Certificate gives students an interdisciplinary perspective that allows them to integrate GIS skills into their knowledge acquired in other disciplines; competitive skills and training for jobs in which GIS skills are essential.

Program Info



Where place is domain of the geographer, GI-YES matters!

Meet Our GIS Certificate Alumni and Graduate Students