Tora Johnson

Associate Professor of Geographic Information

Associate Professor of Geographic Information Systems
Director of the GIS Service Center
Chair of the Environmental and Biological Sciences Division


M.Phil., College of the Atlantic
B.S., University of Oregon
PhD, University of Maine

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1214
Location: Torrey 223

Areas of Expertise

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 petroglyphs. In 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).

Click Here to View Professor Johnson’s Fall 2019 Schedule (pdf)