Wenjie Sun

  • Professor of Geospatial Science, Computer Science, and Asian Studies
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    Straz Center 290

    Professor Wenjie Sun joined Carthage in 2006. She is originally from Harbin City in northeastern China. She earned her B.S. in geography with a minor in economics from Beijing (Peking) University. Prior to Carthage, she went to graduate school at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she received her M.A. in geography, M.S. in computer science, and Ph.D. in geographic information science (GIS). Prof. Sun teaches courses in geographic information science (GIS), satellite image and air photo analysis (remote sensing), human geography, and geography of East Asia. She has also led multiple interdisciplinary themed J-Term study tours to various parts of China and Japan.

    Prof. Sun has been conducting research projects using GIS and remote sensing (RS) techniques to examine land use and land cover change (LUCC) from the perspective of human-environment interaction. She has published in the International Journal of Geographical Information Science and given a number of talks at national and international conferences. Her recent collaborative medical and health geography research on Individual and Contextual Correlates of Cardiovascular Diseases in the United States was published in GeoJournal.

    Prof. Sun is passionate about integrating teaching, scholarship, and service through high-impact practices, such as service-learning and undergraduate research, and applying GIS and RS to a wider range of economic, social, environmental, and most recently public health studies. She has developed collaborative applied research opportunities with the Kenosha County Health Department on using GIS and spatial analysis to identify high-risk neighborhoods for the Kenosha-Racine Lead-Free Communities Partnership Program. She has worked with students on Assessing the Effect of Brownfield Redevelopment on Surrounding Residential Property Values in Milwaukee using GIS, which resulted in a publication in Moravian Geographical Reports. Between 2012 and 2022, 79 such service-learning projects have been completed, through collaboration with a wide array of community partners, from local to national, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and small businesses.

    Some of her recent projects (United Way initiatives, Shalom Center meal distribution site selection, opioids crisis, Foxconn) have received extensive media attention and coverages on regional and local TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Her student researchers have presented at Posters on the Hill, National Council for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) annual conferences, Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual conferences, and Celebration of Scholars at Carthage College.

    In her spare time, Prof. Sun enjoys traveling, landscape photography, cooking, and badminton.

    • Ph.D. — Geographic Information Science, Indiana University-Bloomington
    • M.A. — Geography, Indiana University-Bloomington
    • M.S. — Computer Science, Indiana University-Bloomington
    • B.S. — Geography, minor in Economics, Beijing University
    • GEO 1500: Human Geography: An Introduction
    • GEO 1610: Introduction to Geographic Information Science: Mapping Your World
    • GEO 2610: Advanced Geographic Information Science and Analytical Cartography
    • GEO 2700: Satellite Image and Air Photo Analysis
    • GEO 2800: Geography of East Asia
    • GEO 3610: Applied Projects in Geographic Information Science
    • GEO 4000: Senior Seminar in Geospatial Science
    • GEO 4500: Independent Study in Geospatial Science
    • GEO 4900: Geospatial Science Research
    • Geographic Information Science; Remote Sensing, Spatial Data Science
    • Environmental Health, Health and Medical Geography, Public Health
    • China, Japan, East Asia, Regional Economic Development
    • Land use and land cover change analysis and modeling; Spatially explicit decision-making lab experiments and experimental economics
    • Human-environment interactions; Landscape Ecology
    • Carthage College Natural Science Division Summer Undergraduate Research Experience grant: An investigation of the spatiotemporal patterns, trends, dynamics, and potential explanations of COVID-19 in the U.S. at the county level through GIS and spatial statistics (2021).
    • Carthage College Faculty Research, Scholarship, & Creativity Grant (together with Joy Mast and Matt Zorn): Integrating GIS (Geographic Information Science) and Geoscience for Teaching and Research, $2300 (2020-2021).
    • Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Higher Education Incentives Grant titled “Integrating Geoscience, Remote Sensing, and GIS for Undergraduate Teaching and Research”, $24,016.57 (PI: Matthew Zorn, Geospatial Science/GIS Lead: Wenjie Sun) (2020-2021).
    •  Faculty mentor of Geography and Earth Science major John Warnock’s presentation titled “Is Cycling as an Active Transportation More than Environmentally Friendly? – Impacts of Bicycle Networks on Property Values in Madison, WI” at the 20th annual Posters on the Hill event, a highly selective poster session sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), based in Washington D.C. (2016) .
    • Carthage College Faculty Research and Development Grant: Bridging Global Learning, Civic Engagement, and Undergraduate Research- Exploring Sites and Projects in Northeastern China, $1450 (2011-2012).
    • Carthage College Natural Science Division Summer Undergraduate Research Experience grant: Assessing the Effect of Brownfield Redevelopment Projects on Surrounding Property Values in Milwaukee Using GIS and Spatial Analysis (2011).
    • Carthage College Natural Science Division Summer Undergraduate Research Experience grant: Using GIS and Spatial Analyses to Identify High-Risk Neighborhoods for the Kenosha-Racine Lead Free Communities Partnership Program (2008).
    • Sun, W., Gong, G., and Xu J., 2019: Individual and Contextual Correlates of Cardiovascular Diseases among Adults in the United States: A Geospatial and Multilevel Analysis. GeoJournal. DOI 10.1007/s10708-019-10049-7
    • Sun, W. and Jones, B., 2013: Using multi-scale spatial and statistical analysis to assess the effects of brownfield redevelopment on surrounding residential property values in Milwaukee County, USA. Moravian Geographical Reports 21 (2): 56-64.
    • W. Sun, 2010: To Dominate or to Engage: Developing the Right Relationship with a non-Asianist Colleague. ASIANetwork Exchange XVIII (1): 61-67.
    • Evans, T. P., W. Sun, and H. Kelley, 2006: Spatially explicit experiments for the exploration of land-use decision-making dynamics. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 20 (9): 1013-1037.
    • Wenjie Sun, 2022: Engaging applied GIS project combining field data collection with high precision GPS and web app creation. Presented at AAG annual conference 2022, Virtual, February 25, 2022.
    • Wenjie Sun, 2021: Seeing Asia in 3D and 4D. Presented at the 28th Annual ASIANetwork Conference, Virtual, April 18, 2021. 
    • Wenjie Sun, Matt Zorn, and Joy Mast, 2021: Bridging GIS, RS, and Geoscience teaching and research at a liberal arts college. Presented at AAG annual conference 2021, Virtual, April 9, 2021. 
    • Invited talk to Prof. Tsen’s Intro to Asian Studies class, Virtual, April 24, 2020. 
    • Wenjie Sun, Cal McCormick, Julia Karpinski, Kathleen Cochran, Tristan Ottenfeld, and Adam Curtis, 2020: Who were the most impacted by prescription opioids in Wisconsin 2006-2012: A spatiotemporal GIS analysis. Presented at AAG annual conference 2020, Virtual, April 6-10, 2020. 
    • Invited talk to Carthage College Data Science Club, Kenosha, WI, September 30, 2019.
    • Panelist in the session “Diverse, Innovative, Creative Study of the World’s Most Dynamic Region” at the Carthage College 1st Aspire Conference, Kenosha, WI, September 27, 2019. 
    • Panelist representing Carthage College in the session “Leveraging Big Data for Better Analysis and Decision-making” at the Racine Smart Cities Conference, Racine, WI, September 12, 2019. 
    • Panelist in the session “Do I Make Myself Clear? Media Training Workshop for Carthage College Faculty” at the 2019 Carthage College Fall Conference on Teaching & Learning, Kenosha, WI, August 22, 2019. 
    • Sun, W., 2019: Conducting virtual field trips and spatially explicit field/survey data collection: Google VR and GPS-enabled mobile apps. Presented at the 27th Annual ASIANetwork Conference, San Diego, CA, April 13, 2019.
    • Wonsil, J. and Sun, W., 2019: A Spatio-Temporal Visualization and Clustering Analysis of Leukemia and Lymphoma in the United States. Presented at AAG annual conference 2019, Washington D.C., April 4, 2019.
    • Invited speaker in the Chinese New Year Celebration series hosted by the Chinese Club, gave a talk titled “Chinese Regional Cuisine”, Kenosha, WI, Feb. 13, 2019. 
    • Wonsil, J. and Sun, W., 2018: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Leukemia and Lymphoma in the United States. Presented at AAG annual conference 2018, New Orleans, LA, April 13, 2018.
    • Invited speaker and panelist in a public session organized by Carthage College titled “FoxConn in Wisconsin: Impacts on Local Government, Geography, and Policy”, Kenosha, WI, March 14, 2018. 
    • Invited speaker in the Chinese New Year Celebration series by the Chinese Club, gave a talk titled “Chinese Cuisine – one name, many flavors”, Kenosha, WI, Feb. 12, 2018. 
    • Sun, W., 2017: Google Earth Virtual Tours and ESRI Story Maps: making your short-term study abroad tours alive and shareable. Presented at the 25th Annual ASIANetwork Conference, Oak Brook, IL, April 8, 2017. 
    • Sun, W., 2017: Applications of Web and Mobile GIS in Service Learning Projects, Study Tours and Field Methods Class. Presented at AAG annual conference 2017, Boston, MA, April 6, 2017. 
    • Sun, W., 2017: Chinese Cuisine and Geographical Variations. An invited talk to the Carthage College Chinese Club, March 3, 2017.
    • Sun, W., Xu J. and Gong F., 2016: Contextual risk factors of heart disease in U.S. counties- a spatial and statistical analysis. Presented at AAG annual conference 2016, San Francisco, CA, March 30, 2016.
    • Sun, W., Xu J. and Gong F., 2015: Racial Differences in Individual and Contextual Predictors of Physical and Mental Health. Presented at the 143rd APHA (American Public Health Association) Annual Meeting and Exposition, Chicago, IL, November 2, 2015. 
    • Invited speaker in a session titled “Incorporating Service Learning into Your Courses” by Karen Howell at the 2015 Carthage College Fall Conference on Teaching & Learning, Kenosha, WI, August 27, 2015.
    • Sun, W., 2015: Who needs our help? –challenges to set up service-learning projects. Presented at ESRI Education GIS Conference, San Diego, CA, July 18, 2015. 
    • Sun, W., 2015: Exploring the spatial patterns of heart disease and its social and environmental risk factors in U.S. counties. Presented at AAG annual conference 2015, Chicago, IL, April 21, 2015.