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About Croberts

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    Dr. Charles Roberts
  • Birthday 04/03/1953

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    Palm Beach County, Florida
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    Born in Heights Hospital, delivered by Dr. Mylie Durham (Durham Drive) named for his son, Dr. Charles Durham Grew up in Lamar Terrace, Willowbend and Westbury. Graduated in 1971. Moved to the Montrose area after high school, and lived intermittantly in Houston and Austin till 1979. Worked at Hobbit Hole and Rainbow Lodge in the mid and late 1970s.
    In 1979, I got a scholarship to Vassar College, where I earned a BA in Geography-Anthropology, I then went to Penn State and got an MA and a PhD in Geography. In 1990, I took a position at Florida Atlantic University, from which I retired in 2017.

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About Me

 Former Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, College of Science
 Former Associate Professor of Geography and Interim Chair, Dept. of Geosciences
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Florida

I currently teach Urban Geography and American Cultural Landscapes, which is how I found HAIF. I was looking for photographs of houston skyscrapers. In cultural landscapes I focus on vernacular (Common) architecture, tracing middle class housing styles to their original sources. This was inspired by growing up in westbury and wondering about all the snap on details on ranch style houses. In this course, inspired by my contact with Pierce Lewis at Penn State, I teach students to interpret landscape history at the street level, based on cultural artifacts in common landscapes. Thus I have an interest in the developement of automobile oriented landscapes, such as motels and fast food venues. I also focus on cultural history, and one of my specialty areas is reconstructing past environments, such as old road networks, past ecosystems, etc. Growing up in Houston gave me a keen interest in urban planning and environmental preservation.

My other area of interst is GIScience, particularly digital image analysis and aerial photograph interpretation. I teach 5 courses in GIScience, including Remote Sensing of the Environment. Computer Cartography for GIS, Digital Image Analysis, Geovisualization, and Advanced Remote Sensing. Most of these courses I developed but no longer teach. I work with satellite imagery, historical aerial photographs, lidar data and color infrared photographs, mostly DOQQs. I would like to someday make a time series of maps of the spread of houston from 1973 (first satellite image) to present. Many of my GIS applications have to do with vegetation mapping, environmental mapping of various types.

Recently I have taught Human-Environmental Interactions, focusing on human impacts on global climate change. I am the director of the graduate program at FAU, and also the director of the Center for Geo-Information science. See FAU, college of science, geoscience website. I am on Facebook as well. I have added comments to the wikipedia section on Westbury Square.

I teach  a graduate seminar in Historic Presentation. We are documenting a building as a group project, and for the individual project, each student is given a section of Savanna to lead a tour. The students are being trained in architectural history, landscape interpretation, getting buildings on the national register and in the HABS survey. Over spring break we are doing a 5 day trip to St. Augustine, Savannah and Charleston.
Every other summer I teach a study abroad course on art, architecture and environment in Venice, Italy.

I am now retired, living in Georgetown with a house in Galveston and I am beginning to revive Houston research projects. Currently I am working on one about the Convict Lease system, which grew up around the plantation that became Imperial Sugar, and eventually Sugarland.


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