Marcos Luna

Professional Details

Title Professor
Department Geography and Sustainability
Office Meier Hall 326F
Phone 978.542.6487
Resume Marcos Luna
Photo of Marcos Luna

Recent and Upcoming Courses

GPH 115 Global Climate Change: Causes and Consequences
GPH 301 Introduction to Quantitative Geography
GPH 379 Environmental Justice
GPH 402 Study-travel Seminar
GPH 446 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GPH 875 Directed Study in Geography
GPH 876 Thesis
GPH 903 Geographic Information Systems
GPH 904 Geographic Information Systems for Research and Analysis
GPH 942 Advanced Geographic Quantitative Methods
GPH 965 Seminar in Geographic Information Systems

Professional Biography

I received my Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy with a concentration in Technology, Environment and Society from the University of Delaware in 2007. I received my M.A. in Geography from California State University, Los Angeles in 2000. Before coming to Salem State University, I worked as an Environmental Analyst for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and before that, as a GIS consultant for Native American tribes in the Southwest and Northwest. In addition, I have held research assistantships in grant-funded remote sensing and spatial analysis projects and have participated in various health and environmental public service projects in Massachusetts, Delaware and California.

Professional Interests

My areas of expertise and interest include GIS analysis, Environmental Justice, Energy, Environmental History, and Social Justice and Inequality.

I am particularly interested in applications of geospatial technology to environmental sustainability and environmental justice challenges.

I am also interested in histories of landscape, environmental change, and perception. I am currently working on a project to document and understand how seasonality was represented and understood in early America, and how those representations or perceptions did, and did not, correspond with local geographic realities.


I am a Professor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability and the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Geo-Information Sciences program at Salem State University. I teach undergraduate courses on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), map interpretation and cartography, Energy and the Environment, and Environmental Justice, as well as graduate courses on GIS and its applications to analysis and research.

I serve on the University Graduate Education Council, the Earth Days Planning Committee, and I am the Geography Department's liaison for the Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) International Geographical Honor Society.

Selected Publications

Luna, Marcos, and Dominic Nicholas. 2022. “An environmental justice analysis of distribution-level natural gas leaks in Massachusetts, USA.” Energy Policy 162.

Lee, Nina F., Jonathan I. Levy, Marcos Luna, Erica D. Walker. 2022. “Spatial and sociodemographic determinants of community loudness perception.” Applied Acoustics 186.

Luna, Marcos. 2019. “Evaluation of Massachusetts Environmental Justice Criteria.” A report to the Environmental Justice Legislative Table of Massachusetts.

Jones, Mark J., and Marcos Luna. 2019. “Geography Deserts: State and Regional Variation in the Formal Opportunity to Learn Geography in the United States, 2005-2015." Journal of Geography 118(2):88-100.

Luna, Marcos. 2018. “MBTA Bus Equity Analysis.” A report to GreenRoots, Inc. and the community of Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Flannery, Wesley, Noel Healy, and Marcos Luna. 2018. “Exclusion and non-participation in Marine Spatial Planning.” Marine Policy 88:32-40.

Luna, Marcos. 2018. “Column: The Blizzard of '78 and lessons learned.” The Salem News. February 6, 2018.

Walker, Erica, Jaime E Hart; Petros Koutrakis, Jennifer M Cavallari, Trang VoPHam, Marcos Luna, and Francine Laden. 2017. "Spatial and temporal determinants of A-weighted and frequency specific sound levels—An elastic net approach." Environmental Research 159:491-499.

Luna, Marcos. 2017. “Column: Environmental regulations protect our most vulnerable communities.” The Salem News. May 5, 2017.

Walker, Erica, Julio Cesar Roman, and Marcos Luna. 2016. “2016 Greater Boston Noise Report.” A report on sound levels and survey responses of the experience of noise in the Greater Boston region.

Luna, Marcos. 2016. Analysis of Equity Impacts of Cancellation of MBTA Late-Night Service. A report to the Conservation Law Foundation, Alternatives for Community & Environment, and the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition.

Luna, Marcos, Tyler Abegg, and Fatou Mandiang. 2015. Analysis of the Salem State University Transit Network: An Assessment of Commuter Travel Timeliness and Efficiency. A Report to the North Shore Transportation Management Association (TMA) and the Salem State University Transportation Committee. 

Luna, Marcos. 2014. "Equity in Transportation Planning: An Analysis of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization." The Professional Geographer 67(2):282-291.

Luna, Marcos. 2012. The Environment since 1945. New York: Facts on File.

Luna, Marcos. 2011. Equity Analysis of Boston MPO: An Analysis of Representation and Voting Structure. A Report to Alternatives for Community and Environment.

Luna, Marcos. 2010.  Review of Capitalizing on Environmental Injustice: The Polluter-Industrial Complex in the Age of Globalization. The Northeastern Geographer 2: 82.

Luna, et al. 2010. Voter Participation and Demographics in Lowell, MA: A GIS Study. A Report to ONE Lowell and the City of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Luna, Marcos. 2008. “Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Distancing and theGeographic Relationship Between Electricity Consumption and Production in Massachusetts.” Social Science Quarterly 89(5): 578.

Luna, et al. 2008. Estimate of Limited English Speaking Eligible Voters in Select Communities of the Boston Metropolitan Area. A Report to Greater Boston Legal Services.

Luna, Marcos. 2008. “1984 Bhopal Tragedy”,  “1978 Love Canal Crisis,” and “1948 Donora Smog Tragedy” in Disasters, Accidents, and Crises in American History: A Reference Guide to the Nation’s Most Catastrophic Events ed. Ballard C. Campbell (New York: Facts on File).

Selected Presentations

“Will COP26 Make a Difference? What to Expect from Key Actors on Climate Action” invited panelist to discuss US climate politics and policy. Co-panelists included: Dr. Abhijit Banerjee, Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities, Dr. Annika Styczynski, Jindal School of Government & Public Policy, Dr. Avinash Godbole, Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities, and Dr. Gopal Sarangi, TERI School of Advanced Studies. Centre for Environment, Sustainability and Human Development, O. P. Jindal Global University (October 29, 2021). Event recording at

“Environmental Toxins and Public Health” keynote Earth Week panel at the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. Invited panelist to discuss environmental justice. Co-panelists included: Dr. Karletta Chief, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona, and Dr. Jonathan Levy, Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University and Chair of the Environmental Health Department at the Boston University School of Public Health. (April 21, 2021). Online at

“Climate & Equity” panel by the Environmental League of Massachusetts. Invited panelist to discuss recent state environmental justice legislation and equity dimensions of state climate change policy. Co-panelists included: Massachusetts state Representative Adrian Madaro, and Co-Director of the Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy at Cambridge Health Alliance, Dr. Gaurab Basu. (April 15, 2021). Online at

Luna, Marcos. “The Geography of Environmental (In)Justice in New England.” Contemporary Issues Faculty Lectures at Salem State University (April 15, 2021). Online at

“A Climate Conversation” at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Invited panelist to discuss equity dimensions of the City of Boston’s Climate Ready Boston plan. ICA Watershed, Boston, MA (September 12, 2019).

Luna, Marcos. “The Geography of Separate and Unequal: Mapping Modern-Day Segregation in the Boston Area.” Explorers Lifelong Learning Institute Friday Coffee event, Salem, MA (April 6, 2018).

Gozemba, Pat, Marcos Luna, Nathan Phillips, Bob Ackley, and Kim Driscoll. “The Hidden Costs of Salem’s Gas Leaks: Why should we care?” Community presentation on research into natural gas leaks in Salem, Massachusetts in collaboration with Salem Alliance for the Environment (SAFE), Gas Safety Inc. and Boston University. Presented at the Enterprise Center, Salem State University (Nov 28, 2017). See the story map presentation. Presentation filmed and broadcast by Salem Access TV (SATV) (Dec 21, 2017)

Luna, Marcos. “How to Increase Community Vulnerability, Lose Credibility, and Generally #$@&%*! Things Up: Lessons from the frontlines of community-based research.” Invited workshop for the 11th Graduate Climate Conference in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (Nov 10, 2017). Sponsored by the MIT Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Harvard University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Luna, Marcos. Panelist. “Transportation Justice: The work and role of scholars and practitioners in creating transit equity.” American Association of Geographers conference, Boston, MA (April 5, 2017).

Luna, Marcos. The Geography of Separate and Unequal: Modern-day Segregation in Boston. A Presentation to the City of Boston Mayor's Office of Resilience and Racial Equity at Boston City Hall (November 14, 2016).

Luna, M. The Environmental Justice Benefits of Increasing Solar Energy. Presentation at MassPIRG Kick-Off Event at Salem State University (September 17, 2015). 

Luna, M. A Season for all of America: Understanding the American seasonal imaginary. Presented to the International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015 (ICHG) at the Royal Geographical Society in London, England (July 6, 2015).

Luna, M. Geography of Segregation. Presented at The Ferguson Forum: Panel and discussion on systemic racism, the law and its relevance for communities of color. Hosted by Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts (October 21, 2014).

Luna, M. Climate Change Impacts in Boston. Presented at the first Climate Justice workshop hosted by Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) in Roxbury, Massachusetts (June 11, 2014).

Luna, M. The Geography of Seasonal Symbols in America. Presented at the Boston Athenaeum in Boston, MA (July 29, 2013).

Luna, M. The Geography of Seasonal Symbols in America. Presented at the annual Association of American Geographers conference in Los Angeles, California (April 11, 2013).