Dr. Ruddell's Graduate Courses at NAU

INF622: Informatics for Smart and Sustainable Cities

This course offers a problem-oriented and project-based curriculum, focused on analytics and data that inform the sustainability, policies, planning, and management of a modern city. Students will learn to use data and analysis tools to quantitatively study city resource use, footprints, productivity, safety, demographics, and development, including GIS applications and use of databases, sensor data, and the synthesis and fusion of diverse local, state, and federal datasets. Students will engage with staff from the City of Flagstaff and NAU’s Facilities and Sustainability offices to learn about problems and solutions, and to complete projects to help solve current campus and city problems. This course is relevant to quantitatively-oriented students of engineering, planning, sustainability, and policy.

INF599: Informatics for Community Food, Energy, and Water Systems

This course deploys a process originally developed by NAU researchers under NSF funding (PLACE4FEWS) and later translated into a curriculum meant for broad use in university classrooms and communities, offering that curriculum to NAU students for credit. This course engages students in collecting data on the physical structure and stakeholder networks of their local critical infrastructure Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) systems in Flagstaff. Students will network with community leaders and stakeholders, NGO’s, private sector FEW businesses, utilities, infrastructure planners and engineers, emergency managers, and volunteers who contribute to the successful operation of the system. Students will employ field work to construct a detailed map of the system and contribute to an ongoing annual effort to quantify Flagstaff’s FEW systems. Training on software and data systems specialized for FEW supply chains will be delivered. The sustainability, equity, and security of the system will be studied and measured. Student projects will employ these relationships and data to study how policy and action can improve the local FEW system. Graduate students with interests in sustainability, public policy and leadership, planning, electrical/environmental/civil engineering, geography, infrastructure, logistics, business continuity, military science, or emergency management will benefit the most from this class.

Recommended Master Class

CUAHSI ( is offering a Master Class on Food Energy and Water Systems in a Global Economy on May 13-16, 2019 in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona ( The class is encouraged for graduate students and researchers interested in the FEWSION™ project’s methods and data. The class is taught by Megan Konar (UIUC) and Ben Ruddell (NAU), along with other participating FEWSION™ scientists. The course charges a modest fee and requires that students cover travel costs, but some discounts and scholarships may be available for early registrants. The course has been offered since 2017, and will probably be offered biannually on an ongoing basis; contact the lead instructor or CUAHSI to be placed on the waiting list for the next offering if you miss the registration deadline.


Recommended Courses

  • The Flux Course
  • New Advances in Land Carbon Cycle Modeling
  • NAU GLG451: Hydrogeology
  • NAU EES680: Earth & Environmental Data Analysis
  • NAU EES521: Remote Sensing
  • NAU ENV599: Water Resource Policy & Management
  • NAU INF622: Informatics for Smart & Sustainable Cities (typically offered in Fall)
  • NAU INF599: Informatics for FEWS (typically offered in Fall)
  • NAU STA 578: Statistical Computing
  • NAU INF511: Modern Regression
  • NAU INF599: Writing Scientific Papers
  • NAU INF620: Topics in Remote Sensing (Earth Observation Research and Applications for the Next Decade)
  • NAU Bruce Hungate's Science Communication Course


Contact the Complex Systems Informatics Laboratory at the NAU School of Informatics, Computing & Cyber Systems if your passion lies in making a difference in the field of Informatics.