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ABOUT DR. SETO:
Karen Seto is the Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. An urban and land change scientist, she is an expert on contemporary urbanization. Her central research focus is how urbanization will affect the planet. She has pioneered methods to reconstruct urban land use with satellite imagery and has developed novel methods to forecast the expansion of urban areas. She has conducted urbanization research in China for twenty years and in India for more than ten. Her research has generated new insights on the links between urbanization and climate change, food systems, biodiversity, and energy use.
Professor Seto has served on numerous national and international scientific bodies. She co-lead the chapter on urban mitigation for the 2014 United Nations IPCC climate change report and will co-lead the same chapter for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (publication date: 2021). She is co-editor-in-chief of the journal, Global Environmental Change. She co-founded and for ten years co-chaired an international science program that framed, enabled, and coordinated urban environmental research with more than 1,000 affiliates across over 50 countries. She has authored over 100 scientific articles and book chapters. Her recent book, City Unseen, uses satellite imagery to enhance our understanding of how the world shapes urban landscapes and how urban landscapes shape the world. She is executive producer of “10,000 Shovels: Rapid Urban Growth in China,” a documentary film that examines urban changes in China. From 2000 to 2008, she was on the faculty at Stanford University, where she held joint appointments in the Woods Institute for the Environment and the School of Earth Sciences.
Professor Seto is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She earned a PhD in Geography from Boston University.