Faculty and Staff

headshot of Adam Mathews

Adam Mathews

Associate Professor



Adam Mathews is a broadly trained geographer who focuses his research on three-dimensional remote sensing and environmental modeling using drone-based Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry and lidar. He is also interested in improving GIScience instruction by conducting education research at the K-12 and university levels. Recent funded projects have examined and quantified change across large urban environments using multisource, multiscale and multitemporal remotely sensed data fusion (e.g., lidar, imagery, synthetic aperture radar) and analysis.


  • Associate Professor, Western Michigan University, 2020-2023
  • Assistant Professor, Western Michigan University, 2018-2020
  • Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University, 2014-2018
  • Visiting Scholar, Charles Sturt University, 2013

Funding sources

  • NASA Land Cover/Land Use Change Program
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Michigan Space Grant Consortium
  • Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
  • Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium

Selected publications

  • Bennett, M.M., C.J. Gleason, B. Tellman, L.F. Alvarez Leon, H.K. Friedrich, U. Ovienmhada, and A.J. Mathews. 2024. Bringing satellites down to Earth: Six steps to more ethical remote sensing. Global Environmental Change Advances 2: 100003. doi: 10.1016/j.gecadv.2023.100003
  • Mathews, A.J., L. DeChano-Cook, and C. Bloom. 2023. Enhancing middle school learning about geography and topographic maps using hands-on play and geospatial technologies. Journal of Geography 122(5): 115-125. doi: 10.1080/00221341.2023.2226156
  • Rogers, S., K.K. Singh, A.J. Mathews, and A.R. Cummings. 2022. Drones and geography: who is using them and why? The Professional Geographer 74(3): 516-528. doi:10.1080/00330124.2021.2000446
  • Mathews, A.J. and S.V. Nghiem. 2021. Examining urban built-up volume: three-dimensional analyses with lidar and radar data. In: Urban Remote Sensing: Monitoring, Synthesis and Modeling (2nd Edition) (ed. X. Yang), Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN: 978-1119625841. doi:10.1002/9781119625865.ch2
  • Mathews, A.J. 2021. Structure from motion (SfM) workflow for processing drone imagery. In: Fundamentals of Capturing and Processing Drone Imagery and Data (eds. A.E. Frazier and K.K. Singh), p. 91-102, New York: Taylor and Francis, ISBN: 978-0367245726
  • Fagin, T.D., T.A. Wikle, and A.J. Mathews. 2020. Emerging geospatial technologies in instruction and research: An assessment of U.S. and Canadian Geography Departments and Programs. The Professional Geographer 74(2): 631-643. doi:10.1080/00330124.2020.1777573
  • Mathews, A.J. and T.A. Wikle. 2019. GIS&T pedagogies and instructional challenges in higher education: a survey of educators. Transactions in GIS 23(5): 892-907. doi:10.1111/tgis.12534
  • Mathews, A.J., A.E. Frazier, S.V. Nghiem, G. Neumann, and Y. Zhao. 2019. Satellite scatterometer estimation of urban built-up volume: validation with airborne lidar data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 77: 100-107. doi:10.1016/j.jag.2019.01.004


  • PhD, Texas State University
  • MA, Binghamton University (SUNY)
  • BS, SUNY Cortland

Research Interests

  • Remote sensing
  • GIS
  • Drones/UAS
  • Urban change

Teaching Interests

  • Introduction to geospatial technologies
  • Remote sensing
  • Spatial analysis and GIS


  • 2022, Honorable Mention for ABCs of Geography, Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography, American Association of Geographers
  • 2021, Emerging Scholar Award, Office of the Provost, Western Michigan University
  • 2016, 1st Place Prize, President’s Cup for Creative Interdisciplinarity, Office of the Provost, Oklahoma State University

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