Melinda Laituri

Professor of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University

Melinda Laituri is a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona in geography. Her dissertation research focused on environmental equity and groundwater resources in the American Southwest and the US-Mexico border. Dr. Laituri accepted a post doc at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where she served as a lecturer in a tenure track position for three years. She is a Fulbright Scholar and spent 2010 in Botswana. She is a Rachel Carson Fellow where she conducted comparative research of major rivers. Dr. Laituri is the Director of the Geospatial Centroid @ CSU that provides information and support for GIS activities, education, and outreach at CSU and in Colorado. In 2014-2015, Dr. Laituri was a Jefferson Science Fellow and continues working with the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues at the US Department of State on the Secondary Cities Initiative. Dr. Laituri’s research interests are diverse. She has worked with indigenous peoples throughout the world on issues related to natural resource management, disaster adaptation, and water resource issues using geographic information systems (GIS) that utilize cultural and eco-physical data in research models. A key focus is participatory mapping where indigenous peoples develop spatial information and maps essential for their management of their own resources. Other research work focuses on the role of the Internet and geospatial technologies of disaster management and cross-cultural environmental histories of river basin management.


  • 2002–2018
    Professor, Colorado State University