Robert Rhatigan

Robert Rhatigan

Associate Director, Geospatial and Population Studies

Areas of Expertise


  • Robert Rhatigan joined the UNM Geospatial and Population Studies group in 2013 and currently serves as director and head of UNM Geospatial and Population Studies. 
  • His background in GIS, data analysis and technical communication has been a valuable addition to the department’s population estimates and projections program.
  • Rhatigan has helped develop and enhance the demographic geodatabase used to track and analyze births, deaths, migration, building permits and other demographic indicators for the state of New Mexico. 
  • He represents New Mexico in the Federal-State Cooperative Program on Population Estimates (FSCPE) and participates in the New Mexico Geospatial Advisory Committee.
  • He previously served as an environmental specialist for Texas’s largest rural development grant administration firm. He has served as a private consultant conducting baseline environmental studies for small municipalities in the state of Colorado, and he worked as s GIS analyst for US Trail Maps Inc. where he developed digital recreational trail maps for handheld GPS devices.
  • Rhatigan’s written publications include "Working and Living USA," a guide for foreigners immigrating to the United States. His master’s thesis was a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the effects of legalized limited gambling in the historic mining towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek, Colorado.
  • As a graduate student, he was lead author on a study funded by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which interviewed emergency managers in Southern Appalachia to assess the societal effects and procedural changes that resulted from the 1993 Storm of the Century.
  • Rhatigan earned his M.A. (Applied Geography), University of Colorado, 2008 and his B.A. (Environmental Science), State University of New York, 1998.

Additional areas of interest
Rhatigan has a vast IT background, having served as a systems administrator for a successful tech start-up and an international Fortune 100 company. He is also spearheading the development of a web and print monograph that will detail 100 years of demographic shifts in the state of New Mexico.

If you would like to contact this expert for a story, call Rachel Whitt at (505) 277.5627 or University Communication and Marketing (UCAM) at (505) 277.5813.