Jennifer Fluri

This fall, we welcomed Jessica Finlay to the Department. Dr. Finlay, featured in this newsletter, is an Assistant Professor examining health geographies, neighborhoods, aging, and well-being. We also welcomed Sean Dunn as the Department’s new program administrator. Sean has quickly become an integral and valuable member of the Geography Department.  

Sadly, our outstanding and dedicated Program Administrator, Darla Shatto, retired at the end of August. Many thanks to Darla for her fantastic work as a member of the Geography Department Staff for the past eighteen years. Darla was a joy to work with; her commitment and dedication to the Geography Department were exceptional and commendable. We miss you, Darla!

Our colloquium series this semester began with Dr. Lionel Lyles, who received his M.A. and PhD from the CU Boulder Geography. In addition to his presentation, Dr. Lyles met with several leaders across campus to share his ideas for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice work on campus. We look forward to collaborating with Dr. Lyles on implementing and improving DEI efforts in the Department and on campus. Jennifer Greenburg, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Sheffield, presented a dynamic and engaging talk about her new book At War with Women: Military Humanitarianism and Imperial Feminism in an Era of Permanent War, Cornell University Press. Our Colleague from the CU-Colorado Springs Geography Department, Rebecca Theobald, discussed the state of Geography Education in the United States and the steps necessary to improve Geography education in Colorado. Elsa Culler, Earth Data Science Instructor for Earthlab and ESIIL, two centers founded by Associate Professor Jennifer Balch within the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES), spoke about her work developing accessible Earth Science Data. 

We initiated the first “Geography Day” at CU-Boulder, which brought 30 high school students and their teachers to campus for a day of hands-on Geography activities. Students began their day in the Map Library, where our outstanding map librarians, Ilene Raynes, and Naomi Heiser, provided the students with an overview of the map collection and several engaging activities. We then walked with the students from the Map Library to Guggenheim while plotting GPS coordinates along the way, allowing the students to produce a map using GIS technology with the assistance of Teaching Associate Professor Sarah Schlosser. Assistant Professor Katherine Lininger taught a hands-on lesson about rivers, streams, and fluvial geomorphology with a stream table. I facilitated experiential activities for the students about the experiences of refugees forced from their homes due to climate-related devastation, environmental disasters, or political conflict. Due to the success of this program, we look forward to working with high school teachers and students across the front range to promote Geography teaching and learning in Colorado. 

In November, we participated in the intercampus GIS Day and hosted the 2nd Annual Geography Buff Trivia Night: Space, Place & Justice. The GIS Day included planned events in Boulder and at the CU-Denver and Colorado Springs campuses, with a keynote address, Generating Historical Data to Map and Archive the Suppression of the Slave Trade, by Henry Lovejoy, Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Geography Buff Trivia night was co-sponsored by the Center for African and African American Studies, the Center for Asian Studies, the Latin American and Latinx Studies Center, and the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies and featured questions focused on geographies of social, political, economic, and environmental justice.  

Many thanks to our department research assistant and graduate student, Gabriela Subia-Smith, who led the organization of the Geography Day and Geography Buff Trivia night. She has also worked diligently on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEI/J) efforts in the Department. Gabriela will step down as the Department RA this spring semester because she received the Gilbert White Award from the Geography Department. This award provides senior Ph.D. students with a semester of funding to focus on completing their dissertation.

We are able to provide funding to support independent research for our graduate and undergraduate students due to the generous donations of our alums and friends of the Geography Department. Many thanks to you for your continued support.

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays, 

Jennifer Fluri