Christopher Sutton joined Western's faculty in 1998 as assistant professor and environmental studies minor adviser in the Department of Geography, after working as an adjunct instructor at the University of Denver and assistant professor at Northwestern State University. During his tenure at Western, he has served as the environmental studies minor adviser; graduate program coordinator, and also as department chair from 1999-02.
"In order to understand any phenomenon, whether one is examining tree species, marketing or crime, location often plays a central role. Understanding location helps us understand where phenomena occur and how they relate spatially to their surrounding environment," Sutton explained. "Over the past two decades, technological advances have allowed researchers and government agencies not only to increase the capability of data collection but also to focus on the locational nature of the phenomena they are studying. Today, as much as 80 percent of all data collected by government agencies is geographic in nature. And how is this geographical data being communicated? Through maps."
According to Sutton, his lecture will also focus upon the fundamentals of maps as communication as the written or spoken word.