Geography and Environmental Studies Department

Naomi Lazarus

  • Biography

    Dr. Naomi Lazarus is an Assistant Professor of Geography and Planning at California State University, Chico. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Geography at Binghamton University, New York and has a PhD in Geography from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Lazarus’ research examines the social dimension of natural and anthropogenic hazards. She incorporates spatial statistics and geographical information systems to develop spatial models to assess vulnerability and risk associated with environmental disasters and hazard events. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with community resilience in counties affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Her other research interests include medical geography and natural resource management. Dr. Lazarus teaches courses on GIS, cartography, and quantitative methods at CSU Chico. Her approach to teaching is based on developing students’ understanding of geographical principals through case study examples, class activities, project work, and skills development. Dr. Lazarus has over eight years of work experience in her home country of Sri Lanka mainly in the private and not-for-profit sectors. She has also traveled widely and some favorite destinations include the Grand Canyon, Big Island in Hawaii, Lisbon (Portugal), and Luxor (Egypt). During her free time, she enjoys walking/hiking, yoga, and tai-chi.

  • Publications

    Peer Reviewed Publications:

    • Lazarus, N. W. 2019. Multivariate analysis of the dengue virus in Sri Lanka using the ordination method. GeoJournal, doi:
    • Lazarus, N.W. 2016. A county-level risk assessment of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Geographical Review 106 (3): 360 - 380. DOI: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12178.x
    • Lazarus, N. W. 2014. Re-specifying disaster risk: Concepts, methods, and models. Geojournal 79 (5): 635 - 648. DOI :10.1007/s10708-014-9521-6
    • Lazarus, N. W. 2011. Coping capacities and rural livelihoods: Challenges to community risk management in southern Sri Lanka. Applied Geography 31 (1): 20 – 34. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.03.012.

    Books, Book Chapters & Reports:

    • Margai, F. M. and N. W. Lazarus. 2014. Introduction to geography: Laboratory exercises and readings. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
  • Research Summary
    • Hazard vulnerability of places and communities impacted by California wildfires
    • Risk assessment of the dengue virus impacting urban and rural populations in South Asia
    • The social and economic impacts of oil spills – a case study of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
    • Application of geospatial methods in vulnerability and risk assessments – spatial statistics, GIS, and spatial modeling
  • Service Summary
    Service Summary


    Hazards, Risks, and Disasters Specialty Group, Association of American Geographer,Co-Director



    Geoplace Map Lab, Advisor


    College (BSS)

    Student Learning Fee Committee, Member



    Curriculum Committee, Member


    Geospatial Technology Certificate Coordinator


    Geography Club Advisor


    Gamma Theta Upsilon Geographical Society, Liaison


Naomi Lazarus

Office: Butte 525
Phone: 530-898-6871

Courses Taught

GEOG 102 - People, Places & Environments
GEOG 211 - Intro to Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 311 - GIS Concepts and Techniques
GEOG 315 - Applied Statistical Methods for Geography
GEOG 413 - Advanced Cartography