Faculty Profile

Lisa Keys-Mathews, PhD, GISP




  • Ph.D.  University of Memphis
  • M.S.  University of South Carolina
  • B.A.  University of North Alabama

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental Hazards
  • Recovery from Disasters
  • Image Processing
  • GIS
  • Nature/Society Interaction
Dr. Keys-Mathews' research interests include environmental hazards, social vulnerability, disaster recovery, and the application of GIS modeling and remote sensing to analysis of spatial patterns in those topic areas.  In addition, she is interested in geography education including incorporating GIS into the K-12 classroom and use of mobile devices to teach geography in middle and high schools.  Her experience prior to arriving at UNA was in the private sector as a part of the defense industry (strategic missile defense, battlefield deployment of GIS, oil and gas, and business development).  She currently serves as Co-Coordinator of the Alabama Geographic Alliance with Dr. Bill Strong, and was elected to the Alliance Coordinator Advisory Council (Vice Chair 2011-2012; Chair 2013) which represents interests to National Geographic Society of alliance coordinators from across the country. 
Currently, Dr. Keys-Mathews is director of the University of North Alabama’s Quality Enhancement Plan “Building Success through Discovery:  Imagine, Investigate, Communicate” which involves incorporation of undergraduate research into degree programs at UNA.  She enjoys traveling, being outdoors on the river or in the woods, riding her wave-runner, being with family, and working through a bucket list of places to visit.  Through her research, she has traveled internationally to work in Peru, Costa Rica, Philippines, China, Marshall Islands, and Spain.  She has lived in Germany, South Carolina, Virginia, and Alabama.

Selected Publications and Research Contributions

  • Wallace, Z. C., Keys-Mathews, L., and Hill, A. A. (in progress).  Risk Perception to Tornado Hazards:  Case Study of Phil Campbell and Hackleburg, Alabama.
  • Walkington, H., Griffin, A. L., Keys-Mathews, L., Metoyer, S. K., Miller, W. E.,  Baker, R ., France, D. (2011). Embedding Research-Based Learning Early in the Undergraduate Geography Curriculum. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 35 (3), 1-16.
  • Keys-Mathews, L.   (2010).   Image Processing in Encyclopedia of Geography­.   Barney Warf, Editor.  Sage Publications.  ISBN:  9781412956970
  • Hill, A.A.; Keys-Mathews, L.D.; Adams, B.J., and Podolsky, D, (2006).  Remote Sensing and Recovery: A Case Study on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Remote Sensing for Disaster Response (Cambridge, United Kingdom).
  • Estaville, L., Brown, B. Keys-Mathews, L., and W. Strong. (2006). Educating Business Geographers.  GeoSpatial Solutions.


  • GE 321 - Economic Geography
  • GE 384 - Geographic Information Systems
  • GE 404 - Environmental Hazards
  • GE 454 - Remote Sensing
  • GE 484 - Projects in Geographic Information Science
  • GE 610 - Seminar in Geospatial Science

Graduate Students

  • Casey Vinson (Advisor)
  • Robert Nall '14 (Advisor)
  • Cayla Buttram '12 (Advisor)
  • Will Walker '12 (Advisor)
  • Zeb Wallace '12 (Advisor)