Our Colloquia Series presents engaging research from around the world. Guest presenters cover varied topics from all aspects of Geography. This page lists abstracts from past and future colloquia.

Aerial photo of African village

Matthew Turner: Alternatives to sustainability science: A political ecology of soil nutrient depletion in the fields of African farmers

Dec. 15, 2017

Assessments of the sustainability of smallholder agriculture in Africa have focused on soil fertility decline. The forms in which these scientific assessments take are shaped by disciplinary traditions, development prerogatives, and assumptions about the social “drivers” of environmental change. The dominant approach in Africa today creates nutrient budgets for land... Read more »
Mountain scenery

Stephanie Kampf: Mountain hydrogeography: Streamflow patterns and processes across the Rockies

Dec. 1, 2017

The Colorado Rockies span an elevation range of more than 2000 m, extending from the foothills with limited winter snow up to high mountain slopes, where snow lasts most of the year. This talk will cover catchment to regional-scale research that addresses questions about where, when, and how tributary streams... Read more »
clumped isotope paleothermometer

Sierra Petersen: Unveiling the mysteries of past climate, oceans, and life using novel isotopic techniques

Nov. 17, 2017

Stable isotopes of carbonate have long been used to reconstruct past climate and environmental conditions. The recent development of the clumped isotope paleothermometer has expanded the range of possible applications of these isotopic techniques to cover more environments and time periods. My research uses these isotopic tools to reconstruct past... Read more »
Graphic of Critical Zone Observatory network

Dr. Adam N. Wlostowski: Mutually intelligible variations in hydrologic function across the Critical Zone Observatory network: A step towards understanding the hydrologic coevolution of the critical zone

Nov. 10, 2017

The physical and biological architecture of the Earth’s Critical Zone controls hydrologic partitioning, storage, and chemical evolution of precipitated water. The Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) network is a consortium of field sites that provides an ideal platform to research linkages between catchment structure and hydrologic function across a gradient of... Read more »
Woman stooped next to fire scarred pine tree

Wildfire 2017: A look into the future if we do not adapt

Nov. 3, 2017

British Columbia: 2017 Wildfire Index* Total number of fires: 1217 Ignitions by lightning on July 7: 138 Days in a provincial state of emergency: 69 Number of temperature records 'shattered' this summer: 85 Percent of province in moderate to extreme fire danger on August 10 and 11: >99 Size in... Read more »
Earth from space

Waleed Abdalati: Earth from Space: The Power of Perspective

Oct. 27, 2017

Throughout history, humans have always valued the view from above, seeking high ground to survey the land, find food, assess threats, and understand their immediate environment. The advent of aircraft early in the 20th century took this capability literally to new levels, as aerial photos of farm lands, hazards, military... Read more »
Sierra Nevada mountains

Cliff Riebe: How bedrock composition controls ecosystem productivity and drought resilience in the Sierra Nevada, California

Oct. 20, 2017

The availability of water and nutrients in soil and weathered rock influences the distribution of vegetation and its vulnerability to land use and climate change. We explored these relationships by combining geochemical and geophysical measurements at three mid-elevation sites in the Sierra Nevada, California, where a recent historic drought killed... Read more »
cartoon of people crossing a crumbling bridge labeled "American Dream"

Dylan Connor: Change and stability in the land of opportunity over the twentieth century.

Oct. 6, 2017

Over the twentieth century, it became more difficult for children born to poorer parents to climb the socioeconomic ladder. Declining upward mobility in the United States is now understood as a local problem, which could be addressed through place-based policy. Relatively little is known, however, of the malleability or historical... Read more »
Skiff boat on a river parked along a shore with woman standing on sand

Colleen Strawhacker: Building Capacity for the Social Sciences and Indigenous Communities in the Arctic

Sept. 29, 2017

In this talk, Strawhacker discusses her work with social scientists and Indigenous communities in the Arctic to build digital tools to ensure data and information are ethnically shared and managed for the future. As a result of the ‘open data’ movement, an increased focus on how data should be attributed... Read more »
Sperm whale statue

Bradley Tatar: Place-making, Landscape and Materialities: Whales and Social Practices in Ulsan, Korea

Sept. 22, 2017

In the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan in Korea, people continue to defy the global taboo on eating whale meat, which they believe is an important social practice for local identity. The Nam-gu District in the City of Ulsan has created the Special Zone for Whale Culture as a spatial... Read more »