Neil Debbage, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Political Science and Geography

Neil Debbage


Dr. Neil Debbage is an Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. His research focuses on urban climatology, natural hazards, and sustainability. Specifically, Dr. Debbage utilizes GIS, statistical modeling, and numerical weather modeling to better understand how cities and their residents can become more resilient to heat and flood threats. His past research projects have studied the urban heat island effect while his ongoing work analyzes both the physical and social factors that influence urban flooding vulnerability. Dr. Debbage’s research has been published in Water Resources Research, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, and the International Journal of Climatology and appeared in a number of news outlets including NPR.

Dr. Debbage regularly offers courses that focus on weather and climate, physical geography, and GIS. He also serves as the faculty advisor for the UTSA chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), which is an international geographical honor society. Please contact him if you have any questions about GTU at UTSA.

Dr. Debbage received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.A. in Geography from the University of Georgia.


  • GES 3314 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • GES 3323 – Spatial Analysis
  • GES 3713 – Weather and Climate
  • GES 3753 – Climate Change

Research Interests

  • Urban Climatology
  • GIS
  • Sustainable Development

Honors and Awards

  • 2022 – University of Texas San Antonio College of Liberal and Fine Arts Stumberg Assistant Professor Researcher of the Year


  • 2022 – Debbage, N. Summer heat and health in cities. Texas Public Radio Think Science. San Antonio, Texas.

Grants, Patents and Clinical Trials

  • 2022 - 2027 – CO-I, An air quality monitoring station to expand NASA’s Pandora Network to South Texas, NASA Increasing Participation of Minority Serving Institutions in Earth Science Division Surface-Based Measurement Network’s, $590,000.
  • 2020 - 2023 – CO-I, Toward conceptualization and predictability: A multi-scalar analysis of urban-influenced hydrometeorological processes. NASA ROSES IDS, $1.75 million (UTSA $84,285).
  • 2020 – Debbage, N., Spatiotemporal assessment of San Antonio’s surface urban heat island. UTSA INTRA Seed Grant, $5,000.
  • 2020 – *Guerra, J., and Debbage, N. Visualizing UTSA campus energy usage via GIS. UTSA Office of Sustainability, $3,200.
  • 2019 – *Guerra, J., and Debbage, N. Changes in urban land use throughout the Edwards Aquifer: A comparative analysis of Austin, San Antonio, and the I-35 Corridor. UTSA Office of Sustainability, $1,245.
  • 2017 – Debbage, N., and Shepherd, J. M. Quantifying the relative contributions of the physical mechanisms responsible for the Atlanta 2009 flood. Georgia Water Resources Institute, $18,000.


  • 2021 – *Guerra, J., and Debbage, N. Changes in urban land use throughout the Edwards Aquifer: A comparative analysis of Austin, San Antonio, and the Interstate–35 corridor. Applied Geography, 133: 102480, doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2021.102480.
  • 2019 – Debbage, N. Multiscalar spatial analysis of urban flood risk and environmental justice in the Charlanta megaregion, USA. Anthropocene, 28: 100226, doi: 10.1016/j.ancene.2019.100226.
  • 2019 – Debbage, K., and Debbage, N. Aviation carbon emissions, route choice and tourist destinations: Is flying non-stop a remedy? Annals of Tourism Research, 78: 1027652, doi: 10.1016/j.annals.2019.102765.
  • 2019 – Debbage, N., and Shepherd, J. M. Urban influences on the spatiotemporal characteristics of runoff and precipitation during the 2009 Atlanta flood. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 20: 3–21, doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-18-0010.1.
  • 2018 – Debbage, N., and Shepherd, J. M. The influence of urban development patterns on streamflow characteristics in the Charlanta Megaregion. Water Resources Research, 54(5): 3728–3747, doi: 10.1029/2017WR021594.