Ganapathy Narayanaraj

Visiting Assistant Professor


PhD, South Dakota State University (geospatial science and engineering)

MS, University of Minnesota (geographical information science)

MA, Smith College (biological sciences)

BS, University of Vermont (ecology, natural science)

1536 Dana


Dr. Narayanaraj has a wide range of research and teaching interests and experience in geospatial science, field biology, animal behavior and wildland fire ecology.  His experiences have taken him to institutions and organizations in both tropical and temperate countries. His research interests currently focus on using geospatial techniques to map and model the spatial and temporal patterns of devil's gardens in the Amazon, created by ant plants inhabited by Myrmelachistaschumanni. He is also continuing his research on the lightning- and human-caused wildfire regimes at multiple scales using satellite remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems. He was raised in India's Western Ghats, a tropical mountainous region in Southwest India.  Like his grandfather before him, his father was a forester at the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Wildlife Reserve.  Their family has thus been involved in forest management and conservation of the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Wildlife Reserve for more than five decades.


Mellon Tri-College Faculty Brainstorming Grant. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA. 2015-2016.


Faculty Research Awards. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA. 2015 – 2016 & 2014 – 2015

NASA-MSU Professional Enhancement Award. U.S Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE), Athens, GA. 2010. 

Graduate Research Fellowship. Geospatial Science Center of Excellence. South Dakota State University, SD. 2006 – 2010. 

International Conference on Ecology and Transportation Award. Duluth, MN. 2009 

Elected to Sigma Xi. Biological Sciences, Smith College, Northampton, MA. 1998.

Holzer Leadership Award for community service. College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, University of Vermont, VT. 1992.

Select publications: 

Narayanaraj, G., Wimberly M.C. 2013. Influences of forest roads and their edge effect on the spatial pattern of burn severity. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 23: 62-70.

Narayanaraj, G., Wimberly M.C. 2012. Influences of forest roads on the spatial pattern of human- and lightning-caused wildfire ignitions. Applied Geography. 32(2): 878-888.

* Narayanaraj G., Wimberly M.C. 2011. Influences of forest roads on the spatial pattern of wildfire Boundaries. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 20(6): 792-803. 

Narayanaraj G., Bolstad P.V., Elliott K.J., Vose J.M. 2010. Terrain and landform influence on eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.) distribution in the southern Appalachian Mountains.Castenea. 75(1): 1-18. 


Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF)

The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB).

The U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE).

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