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Mike Johnson

UCSB Geography Department
My name is J. Michael Johnson, but everyone calls me Mike.

I am a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara working with Keith C. Clarke. I was the 2019-2020 Jack Dangermond GIS Fellow in residence at UCSB.

Currently, I am a NOAA Affiliate (Water Resource Engineer II) assigned to support The National Water Center and their next generation water modeling efforts. Additionally, I'm a primary data scientist working to to develop the NSF supported Urban Flooding Open Knowledge Network.

In the past, I have served as a research fellow and coordinator for the NOAA National Water Center Summer Institute, spent time as a visting researcher at NCAR and the VU Amsterdam. Most recently, I am working closely with members of the USGS on issues related to data access and data modeling including the NHDPlus, the Network Linked Data Index, and the National Water Model.

In the summer of 2020, I independently developed a geoinformatics course teaching the foundations of spatial data science and have TA’d courses in physical geography, climate change, remote sensing, and software development.

Before coming to UCSB, I received my B.S in Geography & Anthropology from Cal Poly along with minors in GIS for Agriculture, Water Science, Statistics, Economics, and Environmental Studies.

If interested you may view my current work, publications, and software if I can answer any questions, feel free to reach out by email

2021 (Expected)
University of California, Santa Barbara, California (UCSB)
> Degree: PhD Candidate in Geography
> Emphasis: Modeling, Measurement, and Computation
> Advisor: Dr. Keith C. Clarke
> Committee: Dr. Hugo Loaiciga, Dr. Kelly Caylor, David Blogett (USGS)
2019 - Present
Data Scientist: Urban Flooding Open Knowledge Network
2020 - Present
Water Resourcees Engineer II*: Lynker Technologies/ NOAA-Affiliate
Assigned to the NOAA Next Generation Water Modeling Engine
and Framework Prototype development group

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California
> Degree: B.S. Geography and Anthropology
> Honors: Cum Laude
> Minors: Water Science (Watershed Management Emphasis)
Geographic Information Systems for Agriculture
Environmental Studies
Visiting Researcher The VU Amsterdam Amsterdam, The Netherlands
June - July 2019
Jan - Mar 2018
NCAR Research Applications Laboratory Boulder, CO
Aug - Sep 2018
NOAA National Water Center Tuscaloosa, Alabama
June - Aug 2017
June - Aug 2016
*Security Clearance (Secret)