Building with Tel-Hai logo

faculty member

  • Dr. Gad Schaffer
  • Lecturer
  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Galilee Studies - M.A.
  • +972(0)552236800
  • [email protected]
    • Landscapes
    • Cultural Landscapes
    • Land Use / Land Cover Changes
    • Sustainable development and conservation
    • Historical GIS
    • Political geography
    • International relations
  • Education

    Ph.D. in Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS), Department of Geography, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem

    M.A. in International Relations and Environmental Planning, Management and Policy, Department of International Relations, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem

    B.Sc. (with Honours) in International Relations and Environmental Policy, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford (UK)

    Academic Activities

    2019: Academic Director - Historical Cartography Research Institute, Tel Hai College

    Since 2016: Lecturer - BA courses in the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies and MA course in the Department of Galilee Studies, School of Social Sciences, Tel Hai College

  • I am a multi-disciplinary historical geographer. My specific area of interest is cultural landscapes - the cross-talk between landscapes and humans. I research this area in a multi-disciplinary way spanning from geographic, historic, political, environmental and sociological aspects. In my research, I use a combination of historical maps, aerial photos, satellite imagery and GIS tools and methods. I am always eager to collaborate with other scholars from different fields of knowledge. Feel free to contact me.

    • GIS applications in regional studies of the Galilee (MA)
    • Maps and mapping (MA)
    • Introduction to GIS (BA)
    • Policy in the international arena (BA)
    • Twentieth-Century World Politics (BA)
    • International relations and global politics from the Cold War to the present (BA)
    • Globalisation and its impact on the men and the environment (BA)
  • 2008 - MA thesis research fellowship, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung foundation

    2011 - PhD dissertation research fellowship, Levi Eshkol foundation

    2012 - PhD dissertation research fellowship, Yad Yitzhak Ben Zvi foundation

    2019 - Environmental values and conflicts – Tel-Hai Academic College internal grant – NIS 10,000 – Collaboration with Dr. Tamar Arieli

    2020 - Building online English courses - Tel-Hai Academic College internal grant – 1,000$

    2021 - Mapping and assessment of the effect of old water channels on the soil characteristics in the present agricultural areas in the Hula Valley - Tel Hai College internal grant - NIS 16,600 - in collaboration with Dr. Oren Reichman

    2021 - Support for the establishment of the Cartographic Historical Research Institute, Tel Hai College internal grant - NIS 36,000

    2021 - Certificate of Excellence in Teaching in the academic year 2021, the Department of Galilee Studies, Tel-Hai Academic College

  • Articles in refereed journals

    Schaffer, G., Levin, N. (2014) "Mapping human induced landscape changes in Israel between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 21st century". Journal of Landscape Ecology, 7:1, pp.109-144.

    Schaffer, G., Levin, N. (2015) "Challenges and possible approaches for using GIS as a tool in historical geography landscape research: a meta-analysis review". e-Perimetron, 10:3.

    Schaffer, G., Levin, N. (2015) "Reconstructing 19th century landscapes from historical maps – the Survey of Western Palestine as a case study". Landscape Research, DOI:10.1080/01426397.2015.1078454.

    Salit K., William J. S., Shanas, U., Klass, K., Achisar, H., Dayan, T., Gavrieli, Y., Justo-Hanani, R., Mandelik, Y., Orion, N., Pargament, N., Portman, M., Reisman-Berman, O., Safriel, U.N., Schaffer, G., Steiner, N., Tauber, I., Levin, N. (2016) " Priority Questions and Horizon Scanning for Conservation: A Comparative Study". PLoS ONE, 11:1.

    Schaffer, G., Peer. M., Levin, N. (2016) "Quantifying the completeness of and correspondence between two historical maps: a case study from 19th century Palestine". Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 43:2, pp. 154-175.

    Schaffer, G. (2020) “The Historical Changes of Open Spaces in the Old City of Jerusalem Over the Last 180 Years”. e-Perimetron, 15:2, pp.82-97.

    Schaffer, G. (2020) “The Driving Forces Inducing Land Cover Changes in Israel’s Northern Sharon Plain from the End of the Nineteenth Century to the Present Time”. Historical Geography, 48, pp. 102-132. DOI: 10.1353/hgo.2020.0003

    Schaffer, G. (2021) “Agricultural Land-Use Changes in the Judean Region from the End of the Ottoman Empire to the End of the British Mandate: A Spatial Analysis”. International Journal of Geo-Information, 10:319, pp.1-16.

    Schaffer, G. (2021) “The hidden messages concealed in the 1970s stamp series ‘Landscapes of Israel’”. Visual Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2021.1962733.


    Refereed conference proceedings

    Schaffer, G. (2021) “The transformation of a Jerusalem urban brownfield site into an urban park”. Commission on Cartographic Heritage into the Digital 15th ICA, Conference Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage, International Cartographic Association. ISSN 2459-3893.


    Other articles (in collections or non-refereed journals) 

    Schaffer, G. (2009) "Are security concerns taking over the International Sustainable Development discourse". Journal of the European Forum, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

     Schaffer, G. (2018) “Mirroring Reality”. Yad Vashem Jerusalem, 87, pp. 18-19.

  • CV download
  • Latest Active Participation in Conferences (*invited lectures)

    2019 Jun - Kineret College, Association for Israeli Studies, “An urban transformation – from a dividing railway to a unified park”, Tzemah, Israel

    2019 Jun - Tallinn University, International Society for Cultural History, “From a dividing railway to a unified park in a divided city”, Tallinn, Estonia

    2019 Sep - University College Dublin Humanities Institute, Exploring the Transnational Neighbourhood: Integration, Community, and Co-Habitation, “The transformation of space in a divided city: the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway track”, Dublin, Ireland

    2019 Nov - Tel-Hai Academic College, The Historical Cartography Research Institute, “Land changes in Sharon Plain - a historical-geographic perspective”, Tel-Hai, Israel

    *2019 Nov - Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, On the Map - The History of Mapping the Land of Israel, "A quantitative research on landscape reconstruction of the land of Israel: A case study – the Palestine Exploration Fund map", Jerusalem, Israel (lecture was invited by Prof. Emeritus Rehav (Buni) Rubin)

    *2019 Dec - The Open University, 60th Annual Conference of the Israeli Geographical Association, “Landscape change in the rural area of the Jezreel Valley from the beginning of the 20th century to the present”, Haifa, Israel (lecture was invited by Dr. Zeevik Greenberg)

    *2019 Dec - The Open University, 60th Annual Conference of the Israeli Geographical Association, “Forest and urban changes in West Jerusalem in the last 150 years - a historical GIS analysis”, Haifa, Israel (lecture was invited by Mr. Roy Marom)

    2020 Mar - Tel-Hai Academic College, 22nd Tel-Hai Galilee Studies Annual Conference, Chairman of the session, “The Story of the Settlement Through Maps”, Tel-Hai, Israel

    2020 Sep - Lancaster University, Mapping space, mapping time, mapping texts, “Mapping the landscape of Palestine at the end of the 19th century”, London (virtual conference)

    2021 May - International Cartographic Association, “15th Conference Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage”, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (virtual conference)

    2021 Aug - 19th International Conference on Spatial Data Handling and Geographic Intelligence, Sakarya University, Turkey (virtual conference)

    2021 Nov - Tel-Hai Academic College, The 2nd Historical Cartography Research Institute conference, “The changes in the open spaces in the Old City of Jerusalem in the last 180 years”, Tel-Hai, Israel

    2021 Dec - Kinneret College, Software for the Past 2021 - 2nd Workshop on Digital Technologies to Study the Past and Present, Kinneret College, Israel (virtual conference)

    2021 Dec - International Cartographic Conference, 30th International Cartographic Conference, Florence, Italy (virtual conference)


    Historical Cartography Research Institute – Tel-Hai College (