Derek Van Berkel

Assistant Professor

Education: 

Ph.D. Spatial Analysis and Decision Support, VU University Amsterdam, 2012.
M.S. Human Geography and Urban Planning, Utrecht University, 2007.B.A. Human Geography, University of Calgary, 2004.

Phone: 
(734) 647-1208
Office: 
4036 Dana

About: 

Derek Van Berkel is Assistant Professor of Data Science, Geovisualization and Design. His research examines the human dimensions of land-cover/land-use change and ecosystem services at diverse scales. It aims to use spatial analysis and geovisualizations of social and environmental data and spatial thinking to develop solutions for today’s most pressing environmental challenges. Within this growing body of interdisciplinary work, he leverages social theory, big data, machine learning, spatial-temporal computer modeling (e.g. agent-based and cellular automata) and spatial statistics. This work addresses critical domains including (i) landscape management (e.g. weighing tradeoffs between ecosystem services); (ii) conservation and recreation planning (e.g. identifying special and valued places); and (iii) development of sustainable and resilient communities (e.g. health and well-being of communities).

Research: 

My research examines the human dimensions of land-cover/land-use change and ecosystem services at diverse scales. It aims to use spatial analysis and geovisualizations of social and environmental data and spatial thinking to develop solutions for today’s most pressing environmental challenges. Within this growing body of interdisciplinary work, I leverage social theory, big data, machine learning, spatial-temporal computer modeling (e.g. agent-based and cellular automata) and spatial statistics.

Select publications: 

Jennifer Koch, Monica A Dorning,Van Berkel, Derek B, Scott M Beck, Georgina M Sanchez, Ashwin Shashidharan, Lindsey S Smart, Qiang Zhang, Jordan W Smith, and Ross K Meentemeyer. Modeling landowner interactions and development patterns at the urban fringe.Landscape andUrban Planning, 182:101–113, 2019

Johannes Hermes,Derek Van Berkel, Benjamin Burkhard, Tobias Plieninger, Nora Fagerholm,Christina von Haaren, and Christian Albert. Assessment and valuation of recreational ecosystemservices of landscapes, 2018

Derek B Van Berkel, Payam Tabrizian, Monica A Dorning, Lindsey Smart, Doug Newcomb, Megan Mehaffey, Anne Neale, and Ross K Meentemeyer. Quantifying the visual-sensory landscape qualities that contribute to cultural ecosystem services using social media and lidar. Ecosystem Services, 2018

Boris T van Zanten, Derek B Van Berkel, Ross K Meentemeyer, Jordan W Smith, Koen F Tieskens,and Peter H Verburg. Continental-scale quantification of landscape values using social media data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, page 201614158, 2016

Derek B Van Berkel and Peter H Verburg. Spatial quantification and valuation of cultural ecosystem services in an agricultural landscape.Ecological indicators, 37:163–174, 2014

Derek B Van Berkel and Peter H Verburg. Sensitising rural policy: Assessing spatial variation in rural development options for europe. Land Use Policy, 28(3):447–459, 2011

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