Environmental degradation and climate change have become core social and political issues. Subsequently, it is critical to educate environmental studies and sciences students with respect to the appropriate conceptual models and the relevant skill sets to become effective environmental problem solvers. Spatial analysis, often implemented through the use of geographic information systems, is a key tool for exploring unique combinations of place, space, and time. Spatial analysis uses quantitative, formal techniques to facilitate an in-depth look at how environmental phenomena manifest themselves in a particular geographic location, and is an ideal fit within environmental case study pedagogy. For one, environmental problems inherently have spatial boundaries. Further, case studies regularly accommodate multiple variables. Additionally, spatial analysis can be a teaching tool that challenges students to think outside their preconceived worldviews. For these reasons, we offer this special collection of Case Studies in the Environment, which featuredss manuscripts on case studies from faculty and students at the University of Southern California Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI). Academics, researchers, and students presented with the pieces in this special collection will come away with an understanding of a wide range of spatial analysis techniques, and how they can be applied to creating actionable information around a variety of environmental topics.

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