Tora Johnson

Tora JohnsonTora Johnson

Title: Associate Professor of Geographic Information Systems and Director of the GIS Service Center

Phone: (207) 255-1214


Location: GIS Laboratory, Torrey 223A

Office Hours: Click here for PDF

Tora Johnson has a B. S. in Biology from University of Oregon and an M.Phil. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, and a PhD in Natural Resource Policy at the University of Maine. Since 1996, she has taught marine, environmental, and geographic information systems (GIS) at the college level. She teaches GIS and environmental studies at UMM and serves as the director of the GIS Laboratory and Service Center. Before her son was born in 1996, Tora made a career of teaching and crewing aboard several of the large sailing vessels that ply the coast of New England, as well as commercial fishing in Alaska.

Tora’s current human ecological research focuses on political conflicts over marine and coastal resources and the uses of maps in decision-making. Tora & GPS students map Passamaquoddy petroglyphsIn service projects through the UMM GIS Service Center, Tora and her students work with local towns, organizations and businesses to conserve Downeast Maine's natural resources and plan for a prosperous and sustainable future. Tora was the principal investigator for a statewide GIS education initiative in GIS education involving nine colleges and universities. She has also collaborated with installation artists and sculptors on community-based and place-based installation art projects. 

Also a writer, Tora's award-winning book, Entanglements: The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen, was released in 2005. She was the marine reporter for the Martha’s Vineyard Times from 1998 to 2000. In addition to columns and feature articles for magazines and newspapers, she has published the Guide to Freshwater Animals without Backbones (with Arlene De Strulle; The Catskill Center, 1997).

Tora and her husband, Chris Mullen, live in Sullivan with their son, Wolf. They spend as much time as they can in the summer aboard their 1941 wooden sailboat, Betsy, which Tora and Chris rebuilt.

Courses Taught: 

  • Geographic Information Systems Applications 1 (GIS 230)
  • Geographic Information Systems Applications 2 (GIS 330)
  • Introduction to the Global Positioning System (GIS 204)
  • Municipal Applications in GIS (GIS 312)
  • Introduction to Geography (GEO 101)
  • Advanced Projects in Geographic Information Systems (GIS 424)
  • Community Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS 426)
  • Remote Sensing and Image Analysis (GIS 420)
  • Geostatistics (GIS 431)
  • Community and Place (ELA 112)
  • Humans and Nature (ELA 342)
  • Grant and Proposal Writing (WRI/ REM 414)
  • Political Ecology (ANT 313)
  • Group Facilitation and Collaborative Leadership (in development)
  • First Year Seminar (FYS 101)

Related links:

UMM GIS Laboratory & Service Center

Entanglements Book Website

Also, look for Tora on Facebook!

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