Research interests

Theory: Human-environment interaction, political ecology, GIS, sustainability, environmental monitoring
Topics: Campus sustainability, protected areas (terrestrial and marine), natural resources policy, land-use planning, smart water meters, water monitoring, drones/UAVs
Regions: American West, Wisconsin, Australia


Current projects

Director of Pangea Studios/GIS Center: Founder and director of student-driven, applied GIS lab. Supervise one full-time staff person and 4-12 students on applied GIS projects. The Center provides advanced real-world experience for students working with clients which include businesses, local and state government, and nonprofits. The Center employees students in geography, computer science, and graphic design and is currently working on a suite of on- and off- campus projects.

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Research Infrastructure Grant, $10,000: Investigating the use of low-cost drones for low-altitude, high-temporal resolution aerial photography for natural resource and disaster recovery purposes. Grant application and Interim report.

Creation and enhancements of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's Impact Map: With the State Cartographer's Office and UW-Madison Cartography Lab as partners, we were tasked with creating a map highlighting WEDC's grants and projects throughout the state. In a second round, the map was expanded to include all state agencies and their Act 125 reporting requirements. We are currently expanding the map to better show regional impacts of projects.

Creation of new, interactive campus map and mapping system for UW-Whitewater: New project to create a general-purpose campus map and virtual campus tour for UW-Whitewater.



Compas, E. A.P. Ciganek, L.S. Weinhardt, and J.R. Flad. In progress. No impact? Influence of intrinsic values on electricity “smart meter” utilization. Journal of Environmental Psychology.

Compas, E. 2012. The web and global citizenship: An online virtual exchange. Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences.

Compas, E. 2012. “Retooling” for the New West: environmental NGOs, planning, and governance regimes. Society & Natural Resources 25(9):883-899.

Compas, E. 2008. 'The next best place': Private land planning at Yellowstone's periphery, Geography Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Compas, E. 2007. Measuring exurban change in the American West: a case study in Gallatin County, Montana, 1973-2004. Landscape and Urban Planning 82(1-2):56-65.

Compas, E., B. Clarke, C. Cutler, and K. Daish. 2007. Murky waters: media reporting of marine protected areas in South Australia. Marine Policy 31(6):691-697.

Hay, I. and Compas, E. 2007. “Ecological imperialism” (entry) in Environment and society. Paul Robbins (ed.), SAGE: Thousand Oaks, CA. 511-513.

Clarke, B., E. Compas, A. Beer, and C. Cutler. 2005. Investigating the effectiveness of a proposed marine protected area in a region of rapid urban expansion: some preliminary observations. South Australian Geographer 104:64-76.

Compas, E.D., R. Sugumaran. 2004. Urban growth modeling on the web: a decision support tool for community planners. Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences.

Batek, M. J., A. J. Robertus, W. A. Schroeder, T. L. Haithcoat, E. Compas, R. P. Guyette. 1999. Reconstruction of early nineteenth century vegetation and fire regimes in the Missouri Ozarks. Journal of Biogeography 26(2): 397- 412.


Community involvement

Board member of the Rock River Coalition

Board member of the Friends of Glacial Heritage Area

Volunteer stream monitor for Whitewater and Bluff Creeks


Past projects

Supervision of Undergraduate Research Projects
2014: Alexander LaBonte, Seeing Past the Aisle: Community Views on Local and Alternative Food Networks
2012: Shannon Erb, Mineralogy of speleothems in Vidgelmir lava tube, Iceland

UWW campus crime mapping and visualization