Susanna A McMaster

Photo of Susanna A McMaster

Contact Me

MGIS / Geography
410 Blegen Hall

269 19th Ave S

I am the Co-Director of the Master of Geographic Information Science (MGIS) program and member of the MGIS Graduate Faculty with over 27 years of experience in the GIS field. In these roles, I assist with administering our program, advising and teaching students, and keeping professionally active through GIS-related research, service and outreach. I also enjoy talking with prospective students, employers and educators about the field of GIS and the opportunities that exist at the University of Minnesota and in the discipline. My GIS interests include professional GIS education, the history of academic cartography and GIS, and spatial modeling and analysis with a focus on natural resource management. I teach the GIS 8501 course in which students learn the basics of project management and begin to develop their GIS interests, professional portfolios, degree program plans and participate in various professional development activities. I feel very fortunate to be part of a team of outstanding colleagues at the University of Minnesota that includes so many talented faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • B.A.: Geography-Ecosystems, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 1983.
  • M.A.: Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 1988.
  • Ph.D.: Forest Resources Management, SUNY, College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse, NY, 1994.


  • Geographic information science (GIS)
  • Professional GIS education
Courses Taught
  • GIS 8501: GIS Project Management and Professional Development
  • GEOG 1502: Mapping Our World
  • McMaster, R. and S. McMaster. 2014. Academic Cartography in Canada and the U.S. In M. Monmonier, Ed. The History of Cartography, Volume Six: Cartography in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • McMaster, S. and R. McMaster. 2011. The University of Minnesota Master of Geographic Information Science (MGIS) Program: A Decade of Experience in Professional GIS Education. In Unwin, D., K. Foote, N. Tate and D. DiBiase, Eds. Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education. London: Wiley and Sons.
  • McMaster, S., R. Edsall and S. Manson. 2011. Geospatial Research, Education and Outreach Efforts at the University of Minnesota, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 38(3): 335-337.
  • McMaster, S. and R. McMaster. 2009. Goode’s Atlas Through Time (Preface). Goode’s World Atlas (22nd ed.). Chicago: Rand McNally.
  • McMaster, R. and S. McMaster. 2002. A History of Twentieth-Century American Academic Cartography. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 29(3): 305-321.
  • Griffith, D and S. McMaster. 2002 Spatial statistical evaluation of a forestry suitability index: Assessing uncertainty in spatial decision-making. Proceedings Accuracy 2002, Melbourne, Australia, July 10-12.
  • Leitner, H., R. McMaster, S. Elwood, S. McMaster, and E. Sheppard. 2002. Models for Making GIS Available to Community Organizations: Dimensions of Difference and Appropriateness. In W. Craig, T. Harris and D. Weiner, Eds., Community Participation and Geographic Information Systems. London: Taylor and Francis.
  • McMaster, S. and R. McMaster. 2001. Biophysical Applications of GIS. In J. Bossler, Ed., A Manual of Geospatial Technology. London: Taylor and Francis.
  • McMaster, S. 1999. Assessing the Impact of Data Quality on Forest Management Decisions Using Geographical Sensitivity Analysis. In M. Craglia and H. Onsrud, Eds., Geographic Information Research: Trans-Atlantic Perspectives. London: Taylor and Francis, pp. 477-495.
  • McMaster, S. 1998. Using GIS-Based Sensitivity Analysis to Study the Affects of Data Quality and Model Specification on Environmental Decision-Making. In M. Goodchild and R. Jeansoulin, Eds., Data Quality in Geographic Information: From Error to Uncertainty. Paris: Editions Hermes, pp. 71-79.
  • Griffith, D., R. Lewis, B. Li, I. Vasiliev, S. McKnight [McMaster], and X. Yang. 1990. Developing MINITAB Software for Spatial Statistical Analysis: A Tool for Education and Research. The Operational Geographer, 8(3): 28-33.