Professional photo of Kate Grala, wearing a white shirt and brown sweater against a blue background.
Kate Grala: Research Associate II, GIS

Kate Grala

Research Associate II, GIS

109-A Hilbun Hall
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Kate Grala is a Research Associate II in the Geosciences Department and Geosystems Research Institute at Mississippi State University. She is a landscape architect with a strong background in natural and cultural resources management. She has over 10 years of experience in remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) research. Kate has worked on numerous research projects focusing on landscape risk assessment and statistical evaluation of geospatial patterns. Her research interests include site suitability modeling, raster-based multicriteria decision analysis, GIS programing, and graphic display of geospatial data. She has published on various GIS modeling efforts including wildfires potential and historical forest patterns, sampling schemes and spatial analysis of vector-borne diseases, identification of seasonal tornado incidence, and delineation of hurricane damage. Since 2011 Kate is also working as a distance learning instructor teaching variety of geospatial technology courses. 


  • Iowa State University, Major: Landscape Architecture, BLA, MLA, 2004
  • Iowa State University: Graduate Certificate of Geographic Information Systems, 2004
  • Warsaw University of Life Sciences WULS – SGGW, Major: Landscape Architecture, M.S. & Engineer in Landscape Architecture, 1998


  • 2009-Present Research Associate II, Department of Geosciences and Geosystems Research Institute, Mississippi State University.
  • 2005-2008 Research Associate I, Department of Geosciences and Geosystems Research Institute, Mississippi State University.
  • 2004-2005 Research Associate, Landscape Architecture Extension, Iowa State University.
  • 2001-2004 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University.
  • 1998-1999 Assistant Designer, Jakub Zemła and Tomasz Zwiech Landscape Architecture Design Studio, Warsaw, Poland.

Research Interests

  • Geographic Information Systems, Cartography, Spatial Modeling, Wildfire.

Teaching Areas

  • Principles of GIS (GR 4303/6303)
  • Geodatabase Design (GR 6353/6353)
  • Advanced GIS (GR 4313/6313)
  • GIS Programming (GR 4363/6363)
  • Remote Sensing of the Physical Environment (GR 4333/6333)

Honors/Professional Activities

  • Graduate Research Excellence Award – December, 2004, Iowa State University
  • 1st Place Award for GIS-related student research, 2004 GIS in Landscape Architecture Conference held at Hochschule Anhalt (FH) in Berburg, Germany.
  • The Certificate of Honor for Excellence in the Study of Landscape Architecture awarded by American Society of Landscape Architects, 2002-2003.
  • College of Design Award for Extraordinary Performance for Landscape Architecture Graduate Research Assistant, 2003, Iowa State University.

Recent Publications

  • Grala, K., R.K. Grala, A. Hussain, W.H. Cooke, J.M. Varner. (2017). Impact of human factors on wildfire occurrence in Mississippi, United States. Forest Policy and Economics 81: 38-47
  • Dixon, P. G., Mercer A. E., Grala K., and Cooke W. H., (2014) Objective Identification of Tornado Seasons and Ideal Spatial Smoothing Radii. Earth Interactions, 18, 1–15.
  • Cooke III W.H., Grala K., Brooks C.P., Pote L.M.W. (2013) Development of a Sampling Scheme for West Nile Virus Testing in Urban and Rural Environments. Air Water Borne Diseases 2:111.
  • Schauwecker, T., Brzuszek, R., Cooke, W. H., & Grala, K. (2011). Historical Forest Patterns and the Analysis of Site-scale Forest Gradients for Natural Area Management. Natural Areas Journal. 31, 43-50.
  • Cooke, W. H., Rodgers, J. C., & Grala, K. (2011). Geospatial Technique for Rapid Delineation of Potential Hurricane Damage. Recent Hurricane Research - Climate, Dynamics, and Societal Impacts. New York: Intech. DOI: 10.5772/15297.
  • Grala, K., & Cooke, W. H. (2010). Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Wildfires in Mississippi, USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 19(1), 14-28.

Kate Grala 's C.V.

A copy of Kate Grala 's C.V. is available to download.

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