In the spring of 2016, a determined mule deer did something that, as far as anyone knows, no other mule deer had done before: She traveled a whopping 242 miles from southwest Wyoming to eastern Idaho in the greatest migration in recorded mule deer history.
A team of UO geographers has produced an innovative documentation of her feat so people actually do know about this impressive trek, which she’s repeated every subsequent spring, stunning the researchers tracking her journeys with a GPS collar. They hope their visualization will raise awareness about the critical migration corridor she followed and share the importance of preserving it for future generations of mule deer on the move.
Doctoral student Shiloh Dietz and professor Katie Meehan (now at King’s College in London) recently had an article published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers called “Plumbing Poverty: Mapping Hot Spots of Racial and Geographic Inequality in U.S. Household Water Insecurity.” This work has focused on mapping access (or lack of it) to running water, flushable toilets, and indoor baths or showers. The results have highlighted the racial, economic, and geographic disparities of what Dietz and Meehan term plumbing poverty.
This work is getting a lot of attention, not the least by Richard Florida over at CityLab, who recently published an article on this work. Read it here!
Geoffrey Johnson, doctoral student in Geography and Environmental Studies, is studying how climate change is affecting ocean upwelling and therefore oxygen levels in the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve near Charleston, Oregon. A recent article he co-published in the journal Estuaries and Coasts was featured in a recent issue of AroundtheO!
In recent summers, such as 2002 and 2006, areas along the Oregon coast have endured increasing upwelling in which cold, salty, nutrient-rich, low oxygen water rises from the deep ocean. While upwelling serves up nutrients that boost fishing conditions, as that water moves into the estuaries the contents can result in a condition known as hypoxia.
“Those differences are likely to become more intense as freshwater feeding the slough decreases amid hotter, longer summers and is replaced by a noted increase in upwelling,” said Johnson, a native of Eugene. “This upwelling does create an amazing fishery off the coast, which is good. But in strong upwelling events, that low-dissolved-oxygen water suffocates aquatic organisms. Fish can escape. Bottom dwellers cannot.”
This spring term, Nick Kohler offered a new course in our department called Geographies of Adventure and Active Leisure, which he received funding from the Oregon Humanities Center to develop. This course is online with self-guided field trips and looks at how adventure and outdoor activities shape landscapes. This class is featured in this week’s edition of AroundtheO. Read more here! And congratulations Nick!
When I came to the UO I initially began studying history with vague plans of attending law school. However, after the first Human Geography class, I took I knew I was hooked and completely pivoted my college experience. Through my studies and experiences within the Geography department, I was continually challenged to think in terms of scale and to put aside my initial assessment of a problem or situation to focus on the facts at hand. I found that studying Geography led me to take a closer look at the interface between my day to day experiences and the built environment around me. As an avid bike rider, I became increasingly invested in the idea that increasing access to bicycling for more people could the answer to many of the environmental and cultural issues facing all of us.
I finished my degree in the Fall of 2014 and took off on a bicycle trip from New York City to California. I used this opportunity to film a documentary called Westward Wheels, which is about us exploring how American cities can be more healthy, sustainable, and bike friendly. The inspiration I found from meeting bicycle advocates across the US led me to work at Cascade Bicycle Club, the nation’s largest state-wide bicycle advocacy non-profit. Through what was, at the time, an unexpected turn of events I now run our partnership portfolio which includes national companies like Kaiser Permanente, Boeing, Microsoft, Alaska Airlines and Kind Bar. While it took a little time to learn the finer points of budget forecasting and contract negotiation I have found time and time again that I lean skills developed by studying Geography. Whether it is making a presentation, writing, thinking from the perspective of a partner or understanding the connection between things like infrastructure improvements and youth health, the Geography program at the UO helped prepare me for a role that requires a wide range of skills.
The Oregon Quarterly is featuring a story about the InfoGraphic’s recently-released Atlas of Wildlife Migrations. This amazing and beautiful atlas captures until-now unknown migration routes of several ungulate species. Plus, see a picture of Jim Meacham releasing a mule deer! Here is a link to the story.
The department is excited to welcome two new faculty into our GIScience program and the Spatial State Science and Technology major. The CAS Dean’s blog recently featured [profiles of both Henry and Carolyn on their blog. You can read about Dr. Henry Luan here and about Dr. Carolyn Fish here. Both Carolyn and Henry will be teaching some of the introductory GIScience courses in addition to their specialties, which expands the offerings that our students in Spatial Science and Technology can take.
Welcome Henry and Carolyn!
If you haven’t heard, the United Nations Environmental Panel came out with a new report last week that the impacts of climate change could arrive sooner and be more serious than previously expected. The Bend Bulletin interviewed Dan Gavin as a part of an article on the impacts of climate change on fire activity in Oregon. Our very own Dr. Dan Gavin was interviews as a part of an article examining the impacts of climate change on fire activity in Oregon. Read it here!