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updated 2006.6.15. kef

The Geography Faculty Development Alliance

2006 Workshop Participant Bios

Heike Alberts is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where she teaches a wide range of human geography classes. Her research interests focus on migration and urban issues in the United States and Europe.

Li An has recently moved from University of Michigan to San Diego State University, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of  Geography. His teaching responsibilities include courses in spatial data analysis and quantitative methods in geography. He is interested in complexity theory and its applications in human-environment interactions, Landscape ecology, methodology of quantitative modeling in land-use/cover, and integration of social science concepts and methods with GIS/remote sensing and spatial analysis.

Marty Arford is completing his first year at SVSU as an assistant professor while finishing edits on his dissertation (University of Tennessee).  He is teaching introductory courses in Physical and World Cultural geography.  Marty’s primary area of research is reconstructing environmental history, using pollen and charcoal contained in lake sediments, to understand past climate change and prehistoric agricultural patterns.

Sharon Ashley is currently finishing her PhD in Geography from The University of Georgia.  Her research interests lie in applied climatology and hydrology.  In addition to finishing her degree, she is teaching a water resources class in the Geography department of Northern Illinois University.

Chris Badurek, is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University in the mountains of western North Carolina. He teaches Intro to GIS, GIS for the Social and Environmental Sciences, Physical Geography, and World Regional Geography. His interests are in the development of geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial databases, particularly for social science applications. His current work focuses on developing analytical tools for examining patterns of change in crime in São Paulo, Brazil. He is formerly an IGERT Fellow in GI Science at the University at Buffalo with an emphasis on GIS and Society.

Alec Brownlow completed his Ph.D. in Geography at Clark University in 2003; he has a Master's in Conservation Biology from Yale University. Alec recently relocated to DePaul University in Chicago from Temple University in Philadelphia where he was on faculty in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. At Temple, he also served as Acting Director of the Environmental Studies Program.

Alec is a Human Geographer with an ecological background whose research interests span the urban - environmental interface. To this end, his work has explored such issues as urban environmentalism, environmental racism, environments of urban renewal, and social and cultural constructions of urban environments. He has also written on geographies of fear and is currently exploring risk and the neoliberal city. Theoretically, Alec's work is informed by political and cultural ecology, social and feminist geography, and urban political economy. His publications have appeared in both social and natural science journals.

Joni Bugden-Storie is an Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Management at the Western Carolina University in North Carolina. I obtained my Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My research interests include polarimetric radar remote sensing, and remote sensing applications to natural resources (e.g., forestry, watershed management, river cane for the Cherokee of NC).

Julie Cidell is an Assistant Professor at California State University,  Sacramento.  She teaches introductory GIS, human, and physical  geography, as well as upper-division courses in transportation and  GIS.  Her research is in two main areas: air transportation, and  the cultural geography of food.

Amanda Coleman is pursuing a doctorate in geography at the University of Oregon.  Amanda’s research interests lie in political geography and critical race theory, and her dissertation work examines constructions of poverty in the US South in narratives of US national identity.  Amanda is also interested in geostatistics and geotechniques, and has previously taught spatial statistics.  Amanda has also taught world regional geography, urban geography, and upper division cultural geography courses.

Heather K. Conley is an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.  Her research interests focus on climate variability, environmental change, and public health.  She currently teaches courses on human-environment interactions, natural disasters, medical geography, and geographic information systems.  In addition, Heather serves as the Geography Honors Program Coordinator, and co-advisor for GTU and the Geography Club at ISU.

Jason Dittmer is a political geographer from Georgia Southern University.  His interests lie in the intersection of popular culture and geopolitics, especially the representation of place and place identity.

Chris Duvall: I study biodiversity conservation and indigenous knowledge in Mali, where I have worked periodically since 1995.  My teaching interests span the range of topics that contribute to our knowledge of human-environment interactions, from biogeography and ecology to environmental history and cultural ecology.  

Kathryn (Kay) Ebel is an Assistant Professor of Geography, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH.  Kay is a cultural geographer specializing in the historical geography and cartographic history of the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean.  She is currently at work on a book titled, "City Views, Imperial Visions:  Cartography and the Visual Culture of Urban Space in the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1603."  At Ohio Wesleyan she teaches courses in World Regional Geography, Urban Geography, and Cultural Geography of the Middle East.  In 2005 she was Visiting Resident Director of Georgetown University's McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya, Turkey.

Jamey Essex is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Windsor, with teaching and other responsibilities in the Environmental Studies Program as well.  His teaching and research interests focus on international political economy, globalization and the state, and geographies of agriculture, food, and the environment.  His most recent research examines the US Department of Agriculture's role in advancing globalization and instituing neoliberalism, both in the US state and internatioanlly.  At Windsor, he has taught classes on Issues in World Politics, the Political Economy of Agriculture and Food, and Theories of International Political Economy, and is helping develop new geography and environmental studies courses.  As a graduate student at Syracuse University, he taught or assisted with courses on cultural geography, environmental geography, and European cities.

Maria Fadiman earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. I am currently an assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University, teaching World Geography, Geography of Latin America and Cultural Ecology. I research ethnobotany, looking at how people use plants. My emphasis is on traditional plant use in the rainforests of Latin America.  Additionally, over the last two summers, I have been expanding my study area to include Sub Saharan Africa, looking at local's use of bush plants in Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Monica Fleming is a Ph.D. candidate in Geography at WVU. Her research focuses on Emergency Preparedness and Response in a rural setting and incorporating
GIS technology. The research will also include an element of qualitative research to include her own experience in preparedness and response. Monica also is a volunteer firefighter and provides assistance on a volunteer basis to her county office of emergency services as Deputy Director. She has taught as an adjunct in the past and will be looking for another teaching position as she ends the Ph. D. process. Her teaching experience includes both Introductory and Advanced courses in GIS, Physical Geography and Appalachian Studies courses.

Chris Hagerman is a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota is writing a dissertation on the public planning and redevelopment of industrial waterfronts in Portland, Oregon’s central city.  His research interests lie at the intersection of cultural geography, planning and public policy.  Currently an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University, he teaches undergraduate courses in Environment & Society, US & Canada, Urban and Economic Geography while also working as a part-time practitioner in Land Division Planning for the City of Portland.

Tim Hawkins is a hydroclimatologist whose research has recently focused on water resource issues in the Colorado River Basin.  His current work involves modeling snow melt and soil moisture for use in water supply forecasts.  He anticipates shifting his focus to the national scale shortly.

Jason P. Holcomb is an assistant professor of geography at Morehead State University, with academic interests in population change, migration, cultural geography, and human impact on the environment.  My regional interest is primarily the western United States, the Great Plains, and other grassland environments of the world.  Three summers ago I did field work in Mexico and Kentucky examining recent Latin American migration to eastern Kentucky. My goal for the future is to one day do research about land use, land tenure, and cultural change in Mongolia since the early 1990s.  I have also spent many summers working for a custom wheat harvesting crew that traveled from Texas to Montana, and this is another research interest of mine.  I think these session offer a wonderful opportunity to find other ways to improve my classes at Morehead State and motivate students to be more interested in the world around them. I received my doctorate at Kansas State University and my B.A. at the University of Kansas.

Jeff Hamerlinck is a research scientist in the Department of Geography at the University of Wyoming, where he also directs the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center. He is working toward becoming a "mid-career PhD" as a doctoral candidate in Geography at the University of Colorado-Boulder. His dissertation research is focused on the relationship between spatial data infrastructures and planning support system adoption and diffusion in rural planning environments.

Stephen Healy is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an instructor in the Department of  Geography at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  His dissertation is entitled "Care in the Community: Towards the Non-capitalist Development of Health Care."  He is currently teaching an undergraduate introduction to human geography and an advanced graduate/undergraduate seminar in economic geography. His research interests include health care, marxian and social theory.

Jacqueline Housel:   Jacquie is interested in issues of social justice particularly in the struggles over urban space, integrated qualitative/quantitative research methods, social impacts of geographic information technologies, and the construction of place/identity. She currently is a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Her dissertation explores the relationship between the social/institutional regulation of urban space and how individuals give racialized meanings to space.

Dr. Zhiyong Hu got his Ph.D. from University of Georgia in 2004. He is Assistant Professor with Departmment of Environmental Studies, University of West Florida. His dissertation focused on GIS, remote sensing and land use/cover change (particualy urban growth) modeling. He has broad research interests. Currently he is working on GIS, remote sensing, spatial statisics, and their applications in environmental, ecological and public health  studies. He teaches cartographic skills, lower and upper level GIS, and remote sensing courses.

Mark C. Jones is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Iowa with specialties in geography education and political geography. He is currently an adjunct instructor of geography at the University of Connecticut's Hartford branch campus. He is very active with the National Council for Geographic Education, Connecticut Geographic Alliance, and the College Board's Advanced Placement Human Geography course.

Jason Kennedy:  My background includes Geographic Information Systems particularly focusing on land use change in college towns.  I developed the GIS program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and 6 core geospatial courses and teach those as well as general education geography courses.  Some of the Geography courses are taught face to face and online. I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Geography and am pursuing a Ph.D. in Education currently.  Additionally, I serve as the GIS program advisor at the college.

Eric Keys is a human-environment geographer who studies how human systems interact with biophysical processes. This research is necessarily integrative and transdisciplinary. These interests reflect personal passions and meld with wider university and academy-wide goals, namely addressing the question, "what is and what ought to be our relationship with nature?" Four related foci drive my research: tropical deforestation and environmental change; global environmental change; land-use and land-cover change in Phoenix; and U.S.-Mexico border environmental change.

Maria Lane is a cultural and historical geographer whose teaching and research interests include the history of cartography, history of science, history of geography, geographical knowledge production, imaginative geographies, landscape narratives, and frontiers.  To date, her research has investigated the production and representation of geographical knowledge about both the planet Mars and the American West in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Jean Lavigne was born in Minnesota and has lived and traveled all over  the US.  She majored in geography as an undergraduate at Macalester College, then went on for a masters at Penn State (working with Peter Gould) and a PhD at the University of Kentucky (with John Paul Jones).  Her research centers on environmental politics in the greater Yellowstone region, and her teaching responsibilities include physical, world regional, human/environment, environmental history, and tourism.  She has taught travel courses in Thailand, and is thinking about new research on environmental politics/political ecology in Asia.  She has recently accepted a new position in Environmental Studies at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University.

Jon Lepofsky is interested in how community is used by people and institutions to solve perceived social and environmental problems.  His most recent research has used participatory action research to learn about the ways in which community operates within a complementary currency in central North Carolina.  His work has appeared in Community Development Journal, disClosure, Health & Place, International Journal of Community Currency Research, Urban Affairs Review, and Urban Studies.  He tries to be as transdisciplinary and student-centered as possible when teaching.

Nancy Lowery is currently a student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Geography from San Diego State University and the University of California at Santa Barbara.   Her dissertation is entitled “Water Scarcity and Transboundary Water Management in the United States – Mexico Borderlands” with an expected degree date of  Spring 2006.   Her research interests are in environmental policy, hydrology, and watershed management in transboundary settings.   While at San Diego State University Ms. Lowery was responsible for teaching a map investigation course, and conducting research in watershed management and water policy.

Prior to perusing the PhD Ms. Lowery worked for the Center for Environmental Resource Management at the University of Texas El Paso as Assistant Director for Policy and Outreach.  While there she developed and managed grant funded projects related to cross border resource and environmental issues, including water, air and hazardous materials.   She served as Principal Investigator, Co-PI, and/or Project Manager on research projects totaling 2.8 million, and has extensive experience interacting with governmental funding agencies at the local, state, national and international levels, and with for-profit and foundation donors.  Nancy Lowery received a B.A. from St. Lawrence University in Political Science and English Literature, and an M.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso in Political Science

Jia Lu is currently a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  As a trained city planner and architect, Ms. Lu's interests include a variety of topics related to geography, architecture, and planning.  Her specialties include urban planning, architectural history, geographic information systems, quantitative analysis, housing, and urban economics.  She currently teaches World Regional Geography, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, and Community Planning Practices. 

Besides extensive academic training, Ms. Lu has over ten years’ working experience in government planning and architectural design agencies and her design work contributed to the construction of a variety of buildings now standing in her home country of China. Ms. Lu’s book “The Geography of China” and chapter in the book Cellular Automata Model and Its Application in Planning have been published recently. In her spare time Ms. Lu enjoys watercolor painting and her art works have been published in the 1994 edition of Selection of Fine Art Works in Architecture.

Bill McBrayer is an adjunct instructor of geography at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega, Georgia.  Bill's educational background includes a B.A. from Cedarville College and an M.A. from Ohio University.  He also studied history and geography at Shawnee State University and Calvin College.  Before teaching, Mr. McBrayer's career experience has included:  an internship at the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, work as a map technician and GIS database developer at Geotrac, Inc., utility line mapping using GIS and GPS technology for a county public utility department, GIS and historic preservation work in a county planning office, GIS land parcel mapping in a county property evaluation office, and resource surveying using GIS in potential overhead powerline right of ways for Photoscience, Inc.  Bill's academic interest is currently focused on human, cultural, and historical geography.  He is hoping to enter the PhD program in Geography at the University of Tennessee next Fall.

Scott Markwith is a biogeographer that studies the interaction of plant species with their physical environments and with natural and anthropogenic disturbances.  He examines the influences of these effects on community species diversity, and on individual species genetic diversity, genetic structure, and gene movement.

Sarah Moore is an assistant professor in Latin American Studies and Geography. Her research examines urban development in Latin America, particularly in Southern Mexico.
She focuses on issues of environmental justice and how they intersect with the local politics of citizenship and urban growth. She is currently extending her work to the US-Mexico Border region where she plans to use geographic methods to analyze the extent and consequences of waste dumping in cities along the border. She teaches an undergraduate class on Modern Latin America and looks forward to developing classes on Urban Latin America, Urban Geography, and Development at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger is a Lecturer in Geographic Information Science/Systems (GIS) at Tufts  University, where she teaches Intro and Advanced GIS courses to undergraduate and graduate students. She received a Ph.D. in Geography from Clark University. Her doctoral studies focused on linking field interviews and
survey data with satellite imagery data to explain land use decisions in rural southern Mexico. At Tufts, she is also a GIS Research Specialist in Academic Technology.

Mark H. Palmer is a father, as husband, an instructor, and member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Oklahoma (1991), Masters of Arts in Geography from Northern Arizona University (1998) and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Geography at the University of Oklahoma.  His current research interests include GIS and indigenous people, actor-network theory, and the history of GIS development in North America.  The title of his dissertation is, “Indigital Knowledge: The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Geographic Information Systems, and the Automation of Indian Country.”  One publication entitled, “Cut from the Same Cloth: The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Geographic Information Systmes, and Cultural Assimilation” (in press) arose from his dissertation research and will be published in the book Information Technology and Indigenous People.  Palmer hopes to secure an assistant professorship at a research institution and place high emphasis upon teaching.

Harold Perkins is a Ph.D. candidate in the Geography Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  I study urban political ecology, particularly the relationship between urban political economy and urban ecologies. I have written about the social production of urban forests, lakes, and the nature of nonhuman agency within the structures of capitalist economies. My dissertation addresses the impact of neoliberal urban policies upon urban green infrastructures.

Rhea Presiado  teaches physical, ocean, and biogeography. She is an undergraduate advisor, and oversees students in the Pioneer Geomorphology and Biogeography Lab. Research interests include Ophiuroid (brittle star) biogeography along the Pacific Coast of North America, human impacts in the coastal zone, and coral reef biogeography.  Her current research examines the marine biogeography of brittle stars in Baja California.

Mika Roinila’s teaching and research interests involve cultural-historical geography,and especially ethnic geography and popular culture in North America. His interests include the Finnish immigrant experience in Canada and the United States, popularization of amenities in the hospitality and health industries, and church hopping and shopping in America.

Bob Ross is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of geography at Syracuse University and an adjunct professor in the department of geography and planning at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently working on a dissertation that explores the economic geography of the late 19th century American culture industry.  This work has enabled him to focus on relationships between the urban landscape, processes of accumulation, and labor struggles therein.  He has taught undergraduate and graduate classes on urban geography, world geography, and cultural geography.

Chie Sakakibara is a Ph.D. candidate in Geography at the University of Oklahoma (OU), and is currently completing her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Robert Rundstrom.  Chie's research focuses on global warming and its influence on traditional whale-Iñupiat relationships in Arctic Alaska. As a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, Chie has recently spent 6 months in Barrow and Point Hope, Alaska, for ethnographic fieldwork for her dissertation. In March 2005, the OU Department of Geography recognized Chie's teaching by presenting her with the John Caldwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching. Upon completion of her Ph.D., Chie plans to teach at the university level in the United States.

Christopher D Storie is an instructor of Geography and is in charge of the geography minor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  As the sole geographer on campus he is responsible for the provision of all geography courses. In addition he is a PhD candidate in geography at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada his research
interests include commercial/retail development, GIS, and urban systems.

Amy Trauger graduated in 2005 from Penn State University with a PhD in Geography and  Women's Studies. I am currently a post-doctoral researcher with the  Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network, an organization I helped found  during my PhD research on women farmers. My dissertation research focused on sustainable agriculture in general and on specific organizations with the sustainable agriculture movement in Pennsylvania in particular. I have taught in a variety of  settings throughout my graduate career, and currently teach a large lecture course on Cultural Geography. I am looking to end up in a tenure-track faculty position eventually, but am currently  enjoying post-doc life very much!

Wei Tu, Georgia Southern University
Wei Tu is an Assistant Professor of Geography in the Department of Geology and Geography.  He regularly teaches a rotation that includes both introductory and advanced level GIS courses (Intro. to GIS, Intermediate GIS, Advanced GIS, Applied GIS, Thematic Cartography, Economic Geography, Urban Geography, and World Regional Geography.  His current research project investigates the information sectors in the
U.S. economy and its environmental consequences during the 1990s using
Input-Output Analysis and GIS.

Anneliese Vance is a geographer with experience teaching courses in  human and cultural geography.  Her interests include economic geography, border regions, and globalization.  Anneliese's dissertation topic examines the effects of post-9/11 border regulations on Canadian and U.S. based businesses.

Michael Vergeer teaches both human and physical geography courses part-time at various community colleges.  His graduate studies, professional experiences, and teaching objectives all include the common themes of natural resource management and sustainable development.  He would like to teach as many different lower  division courses as possible, and get a permanent position teaching at a community college or abroad in the near future.

Maggie Walker is a doctoral candidate interested in critical theoy, borders, political geography, cultural production and Latin America. I have two years teaching experience leading my own class for World Regional Geography. I have just finished my fieldwork and will spend the next semester writing my dissertation.

Tamara Wall is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Montana and expects to complete her degree in May 2006. Her dissertation research focused on the affects of place attachment and place identity in homeowner's responses to wildfire risks and hazards in western Montana. Her research interests also include health/medical geography and regional population trends. She will begin teaching introductory human geography this coming summer for the Geography Department at the University of Montana.

Eric West is currently in his second year as an assistant professor at Southern Connecticut State University, where I teach courses in GIS, map interpretation, and cartography as well as introductory courses that fulfill general education requirements. My research interests include Post-Soviet media and spatial factors that influence student retention at universities.  I graduated from the joint doctoral program in geography at San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara in May 2004.

Bob Wilson is an environmental and historical geographer with research interests in American and Canadian environmental history, environmental thought and policy, historical geographies of science and technology, and historical geographies of the North American West. Currently, he is completing a book titled Seeking Refuge: An Environmental History of the Pacific Flyway. He is also examining the relationship between federal irrigation projects and Japanese American internment camps during the Second World War and the links between landscape and the body in Rachel Carson's writings, particularly Silent Spring, one of the founding texts of American environmentalism.

Li Yin is an assistant professor and the director of GIS and Planning Technology specialization in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at State University of New York at Buffalo. She is interested in the application of GIS technology in social science. She teaches two introductory and one advanced GIS courses.

Ethan Yorgason is a cultural/political/historical geographer who teaches at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. His interests are in concepts of place, region, and geographical identity. He has explored these interests through work on the Mountain West (particularly the "Mormon culture region"), journalism, and East Asia (particularly Taiwan).

Naijun Zhou is an Assistant Professor of GIScience in the Department of Geography, University of Maryland College Park. He teaches introductory and advanced courses of GIS, spatial modeling, and statistics. His research foci include geospatial data integration, web services, database, semantics and ontology.