Dr. H.L. Seyler is recognized for over 30 year of dedicated service to
University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Department of Geography.
'Sy' is a
native Kansan who received his bachelors (1963) and masters degrees (1967) in
from Kansas State University. He earned a doctorate in Geography at Indiana
1971. Dr. Seyler joined the geography faculty in 1970 and was promoted to
Professor in 1980.
With academic specializations in economic geography, regional development, computer
cartography, and geographic information systems (GIS), Sy was especially active in
mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. He served as major professor for over 35
students earning the Master of Arts degree in Geography. In 1990, Dr. Seyler established
computer-based cartography and GIS courses at the campus. Courses in GIS, taught since
1990, have been increasingly important in student skill development and subsequent
employment; Sy was the first to teach a GIS course at K-State.
The Geographic Information System and Spatial Analysis Laboratory (GISSAL) was
established in 1990 and is housed in the Geography Department. Dr. Seyler served as the
Director of GISSAL from its inception until his retirement. Sy and his faculty colleagues
have received over $1 million in extramural support since the mid-1990s for GIS work being
done through GISSAL. This support includes grants from the US Department of Agriculture
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US
Biological Survey, Kansas Water Office, US Department of Defense, and others. Dr. Seyler
was a pioneer in the development of accurate and efficient approaches for converting soil
survey information into GIS databases. Under Sy's direction GISSAL completed the detailed
SSURGO digital soils coverage for Kansas; further work on soils GIS data development for
Kansas and other states continues. Through Dr. Seyler's leadership, NRCS has recognized
GISSAL as a 'center of excellence' for soils digitization.
Dr. Seyler's significant service to the Department of Geography and to the University include
his roles as College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program Coordinator and Director of the
University Summer Honors program for a number of years. He also was faculty sponsor of
the geography honors society, Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) Beta Psi Chapter, for a number
of years. Through the last decade, members of the Geography Department have come to
regard Sy as their 'computer guru,' and have relied on him extensively for advice and help
in selecting and maintaining computing equipment.
Dr. Seyler has served the state and profession, as well. He was advisor to the Secretary of
the Kansas Department of Economic Development, and was active in the Mid-Continent
Regional Science Association. He continues to serve on the Governor's GIS Policy Board.