Catherine Lawson

Examines urban transportation and data systems, hazardous materials transport, GIS applications

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Catherine Lawson

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Geography and Planning

Urban Transportation Data and Information Systems; freight planning; travel behavior and time use; water transport; hazardous materials transport; microsimulation and GIS applications; Big Data

Campus phone: 442-4775
Campus email:


Geography and Planning Associate Professor Catherine Lawson examines Urban Transportation Data and Information Systems, hazardous materials transport, transportation and land use connection, and microsimulation and GIS applications.

She is currently leading a team of researchers and students in the AVAIL (Albany Visualization And Informatics Lab) project, which seeks to empower a new generation of graduates to assimilate computer science knowledge and subject-matter expertise in the mining and dissemination of "big data," as they create groundbreaking web-based solutions for government and business.

The AVAIL team is tackling a range of open source and open data projects. Working with New Jersey Transit, AVAIL is incorporating U.S. Census household data into microsimulations of bus transit ridership to provide travelers with ultra-efficient open source trip-planning. Lawson’s team is also developing a Cloud-based decision support system for New York’s Mesonet, a statewide network of automated weather stations. Through an AVAIL-produced interactive web-based map, Mesonet stakeholders will select evidence-based sites that best serve New York. Overseas, AVAIL is transforming an academic study on community gardens by University of Glasgow colleagues into an interactive map to increase community participation in agriculture network expansion.