Jessie Braden is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia GSAPP. She has been working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) since 1999, applying spatial analysis to environmental management and conservation in urban areas. She is the co-founder and Director of the Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative at Pratt Institute. She also developed and runs the GIS and Design certificate program at Pratt.
From 2010-2013 Jessie Braden was a part of the Community Planning unit at the Pratt Center for Community Development. Her work focused on using geospatial techniques for sustainability and participatory planning. Prior to joining Pratt Center she was the GIS Manager for the Forestry & Horticulture Division of the New York City Parks Department where she used GIS to track and analyze tree canopy, tree health and vegetation change. She began her career in the private sector as a GIS/remote sensing analyst for a Chicago conservation planning firm focusing on open space preservation and watershed management. Braden has a B.A. and M.A. in Geography and Planning from the University of Toledo.
At Columbia GSAPP, Braden teaches Introduction to GIS and is responsible for introducing spatial concepts and GIS technical skills to graduate students. The class combines lecture and lab to educate future planners in spatial data visualization and analysis techniques as well as data acquisition and management strategies.