James O’Brien is an instructor for GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Automation (and also its previous guise, GIS Programming and Customization), GEOG 489: Advanced Python Programming for GIS and GEOG 863: Web Application Development for Geospatial Professionals. James is also Chief Geospatial Scientist at Risk Frontiers, a consultancy specializing in catastrophe loss modeling, climate risk and resilience located in Sydney, Australia. Prior to joining Risk Frontiers, James was a Principal Lecturer in GIS at Kingston University London, where he taught programming, spatial databases, online/web GIS, cartography and natural hazards.
James’ research interests are concerned with the integration of physical and social science factors in modeling risk and vulnerability, modeling evacuation times and routes in vulnerable areas, hydrological modeling, building indices of vulnerability based on the intersection of physical and social vulnerability, software optimization and developing web mapping and visualization platforms. James completed a BSc in Geographic Information Science at Curtin University, has a PhD (Geography) from Penn State, and has over 20 years of programming and database experience and over 10 years of teaching experience.