COL [R] Steven D. Fleming Joins the University of Southern California Spatial Sciences Institute

COL [R] Steven D. Fleming has joined the faculty of the Spatial Sciences Institute in the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as a Professor of the Practice of Spatial Sciences and has begun teaching USC geospatial intelligence and other geographic information science and technology courses this fall.

COL [R] Fleming served as an Air Defense officer with command and staff experience in short-range air defense operations at the battalion, brigade and division levels. A highly decorated officer with 30 years of military service, he has operational combat experience with Joint and NATO staffs, twice deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He recently served as Academy Professor of Geospatial Information Science and Deputy Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. His academic specialties include: dynamic mapping of coastal regions; emerging terrestrial, airborne and space-based image collection systems; applications of geospatial technologies for national defense (military operations, homeland security, and disaster management); and online, blended education/training using mobile devices.

With a teaching background in physical geography, remote sensing, photogrammetry, surveying, geographic information systems, cartography, and military geospatial operations, COL [R] Fleming will teach the capstone course in geospatial intelligence tradecraft for the USC online Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence as well as courses in remote sensing for geographic information science and other geographic information science and technology courses. Additionally, he plans to assist in the expansion of USC Spatial Science Institute’s relationships with entities such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF).

“Colonel Fleming brings to USC Dornsife an extraordinary and rare combination of experience in higher educational leadership, institutional governance, organizational management, applied research and teaching in the spatial sciences at the highest levels,” said Steve Kay, dean of USC Dornsife.  “We anticipate he will have a tremendous impact starting with our Graduate Programs in Geographic Information Science and Technology and into other academic programs, as well, and we are thrilled to have him join our faculty.”

“Colonel Fleming will continue to serve on the USGIF Academic Advisory Board and brings significant depth to the role of the USC Spatial Sciences Institute as a newly designated Center for Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and U. S. Geological Survey,” said John P. Wilson, professor and founding director of the Spatial Sciences Institute.

Fleming said he is extremely honored and excited to join USC Dornsife and the Spatial Sciences Institute.  “I am very impressed with the vision and vibrancy of the leadership here at the University of Southern California and in the Spatial Sciences Institute,” said Fleming.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, he received his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, an M.A. in geography from the University of Georgia, and a B.S. with a concentration in computer science from the United States Military Academy.

Through its innovative academic programs and actionable research, the USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute uses the power of spatial thinking and literacy – the ability to connect place and space – to help address global challenges, including those connected with population growth, urbanization, environmental sustainability, and human well-being.  Visit or e-mail

Learn more about USC Spatial Sciences Institute programs:

Geographic Information Science and Technology, M.S.
Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science & Technology
Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence
Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Leadership