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January 5, 2018

Alum Dr. M Jackson Selected as a 2018 TED Fellow

University of Oregon graduate to take the stage at TED2018, joining newest class of 20 young innovators from four continents.

NEW YORK, NY, JANUARY 9, 2018—Geographer and glaciologist Dr. M Jackson of Eugene, Oregon has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 20 change-makers from around the world who will deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver. Members of the new Fellows class include a journalist who fights fake news in her native Ukraine; a Thai architect designing buildings and spaces with climate change in mind in order to protect vulnerable communities; and a pediatrician who helps families file their taxes in the doctor’s waiting room. A full list of the new TED Fellows and Senior Fellows is available at

Dr. M Jackson is a geographer, glaciologist, environmental educator, and an Explorer for the National Geographic Society who researches and writes about glaciers and climate change worldwide. M earned a doctorate from the Geography Department at the University of Oregon, where she examined how climate change transformed people and ice communities in Iceland. A veteran three time U.S. Fulbright Scholar in both Turkey and Iceland, M currently serves as a U.S. Fulbright Ambassador. M works as an Arctic Expert for the National Geographic Society, holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. She’s worked for over a decade in the Arctic chronicling climate change and communities, guiding backcountry trips and exploring glacial systems. Her 2015 book While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change weaves together the parallel stories of what happens when the climates of a family and a planet change. Her 2018 book, The Secret Lives of Icelandic Glaciers, explores the stories of Icelandic people and glaciers through the lens of climatic changes. She is currently working on In Tangible Ice, a multi-year Arctic project examining the socio-physical dimensions of glacier retreat in near-glacier communities across all eight circumpolar nations.

Contact Dr. M Jackson: |


About the TED Fellows program

Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program has 453 Fellows from 96 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 178 million times. In its nine-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network – made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond — leading to many meaningful and unexpected collaborations. Such collaborations include BRCK, the self-powered, mobile WiFi router that can work anywhere, even in the harshest conditions; Fine Acts, the international collective bringing together artists and activists to instigate social change; and Brick x Brick, a public art performance inspired by the 2016 election that builds human “walls” against misogyny.

“We are proud that our 2018 Fellows comprise a truly global, cross-disciplinary group of individuals, each of whom has already had extraordinary impact in their fields. They are boldly using technology, the arts, science, advocacy and beyond to address some the most pressing topics of our day – including campus sexual assault, refugee health, a free and independent press, and climate change,” said TED Fellows Deputy Director Shoham Arad. “We believe deeply in the power of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration to surface original solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and we look forward to seeing what this remarkable group is able to build as a result of joining the Fellows program.”

The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities, a Fellows Retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring, dedicated PR coaching and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network. Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now includes 453 Fellows from 96 countries, and was named one of the top 10 Fellowships of 2016 and 2017 by

Learn more:
Complete list of all new 2018 TED Fellows and TED Senior
Playlist: Top 10 talks by TED Fellows

Twitter: @tedfellow

November 29, 2017

Dr. Katie Meehan featured for researching researchers!

Dr. Katie Meehan’s research on international research collaborations is featured in the latest edition of AroundtheO. Her goal is to understand how “different people stitch knowledge together across cultures, backgrounds, borders, disciplines and between people who work on different scales of analysis, from microbiomes to ecosystems.” This work has received funding from the National Science Foundation and is a project of the Knowledge Integration Project, which focuses on the question, how do we know what we know? Dr Meehan developed the website for this project, which just launched this fall.

Read the entire story in the latest edition of AroundtheO! 

October 10, 2017

Mapathon for Puerto Rico a success!

This past Friday, mappers, new and old, gathered in the the Knight Library for a Mapathon through the University of Oregon Youth Mappers chapter in the Department of Geography. Despite a last minute organization in response to the devastation of Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico, about fifty-five people turned out to map critical infrastructure for disaster relief. Keene Corbin, Kyle Hendricks, Josie Imrie and Greg Fitzgerald organized this session along with the Knight Library (who provided the amazing computer lab and the pizza!). The organizers gave a brief lesson on how to map and the volunteers took off.

If you are interested in in joining the Youth Mappers/ Geography Club, please drop by their weekly meeting on Mondays at 5pm in Condon 108. They are planning more mapping activities, as well as field trips! Contact Keene Corbin for more info!


October 6, 2017

Grilled Cheese Success!







Thanks to all of you who came to our first Grilled Cheese Fest! A good group of people showed up and interacted and ate some Texas Toast-n-Cheese. Much merriment was had and we were able to welcome a few new majors and minors to the community!





September 19, 2017

InfoGraphics is hiring student workers!

The UO InfoGraphics is hiring student worker positions for a variety of tasks, including data visualizations, coding web pages, and production of graphics. Recent student employees have graduated to great jobs at Esri, The New York Times, National Geographic, National Park Service, Apple, Google, as well as a variety of federal, state, and local government agencies and private companies. Apply today!

July 19, 2017

UO Geography welcomes Joanna Merson to the InfoGraphics Lab

The InfoGraphics Lab and the Department of Geography are excited to welcome our newest member, Joanna Merson. Joanna joined the InfoGraphics Lab as a Cartographic Web/ Mobile Applications Developer. Her primary duties are to design and build web/mobile mapping and other spatial data applications to support academic activities, both for InfoGraphics projects and in collaboration with UO faculty. She will also be teaching in the Geography and Spatial Data Science and Technology curricula.

Joanna is currently completing her dissertation Mapping Movement: Exploring Animated Representations of Dynamic Data in Cartography” Her research focuses using animation techniques to engage users. Joanna believes that engaging maps can be communicative, memorable, and thus powerful visualization tools. She enjoys the collaborative design process, helping domain experts identify new ways to communicate their data, and is eager to explore data and mapping possibilities within the UO community.

Her skills include a foundation in geographic principles, spatial thinking, and user-driven visualization techniques, web cartography, and GIScience instruction. We look forward to her contributions to the Geography and new Spatial Data Science and Technology curricula.

Joanna comes to Eugene from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. She is looking forward to all the outdoor activities available in the Eugene-Springfield area. She is an avid rock climber and hiker and is excited about our community’s bicycle infrastructure.

June 12, 2017

Dr. Laura Pulido’s research on environmental justice featured in CAScade Magazine

The Department of Geography is excited to welcome Dr. Laura Pulido as she begins teaching on campus in the fall of 2017.

Dr. Pulido came to Oregon from University of Southern California and will be teaching GEOG 410: Race, Nature & Power in Winter 2018, along with several Ethnic Studies courses throughout the year. Dr Pulido will have a joint appointment with Ethnic Studies and we are excited for the energy and attention she will bring to issues of Environmental Justice, Race, and Chicana/o Studies.

Read more about her work in the recent issue of CAScade Magazine!

April 19, 2017

Patrick Bartlein receives AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors

At the 2017 AAG meeting in Boston, our very own Dr. Pat Bartlien was presented with one of the highest awards that the AAG presents: The Distinguished Scholarship Honors. The following in an excerpt from the AG website:

Patrick Bartlein – The Distinguished Scholarship Honors is presented to Patrick Bartlein for his fundamental contributions to fields across and beyond physical geography, including paleo-climate, biogeography, geomorphology, meteorology, water resources, hydrology, statistics, spatial analysis, geology, ecology and archaeology. He has been integral to major international and interdisciplinary collaborations, such as the Cooperative Holocene Mapping Project (COHMAP), the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Projects (PMJP) and national and international climate change assessments. Bart (as he prefers to be called) has 200-plus publications that have been cited some I8,000 times, touching on topics ranging from water balance modeling to Holocene vegetation and wildfire interactions to the potential effects of future climate change on species distributions. A visionary scholar with a rare ability to think across multiple temporal and spatial scales, Bart bas illuminated climatological phenomena from decades to billions of years in time and from meters to continents in space. The AAG is proud to honor him with its Distinguished Scholarship Honors.

Congratulations, Bart!

January 13, 2017

Rachel Anderson’s path to and through Geography!

Rachel at National Geographic Headquarters in DC

I have always been internationally-minded, plagued with wanderlust, adventurous- whatever you want to call it. But coming to University of Oregon and finding the Carnegie Global Oregon (CGO), one of the best cohorts of influential and inspiring students at UO, showed me that I was also connected. Shaul Cohen, CGO leader and Geography Professor, and so many famous and influential guest speakers showed me that my actions, my thoughts, my choices and my life path, mattered. Not just is a feel-good sort of way, but in a way that opened my eyes to my own citizenship in an increasingly global community.

Geography examines this connectivity. It is one of the most interdisciplinary, complicated, wholistic fields that exists. Once I realized that Geography was not “Geology” and that it certainly was not just about maps, quite literally, the entire world seemed to open up to me.

By studying Geography, I knew I wouldn’t have to decide on one topic of study for 4 years. I could be inspired by and passionate about EVERY class I took and I could embrace technology, culture, history, and politics simultaneously. It turned out that Geography also challenged me the most of any discipline; I’ve never had to so carefully examine so many different historical, spacial, and cultural factors of a single issue before.

Once you begin looking at the world that way, you wonder how you ever formed opinions without examining all those factors…

One of my most memorable Geography classed at the University of Oregon was “Geography of Inequality” with Professor Cohen. I was only a freshman and the youngest of twelve UO students in the class. Each week, we drove to the Maximum Security Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon to learn alongside twelve OSP inmates.  I’m convinced, this “Inside-Out” class is one of the flagship classes we offer at the University of Oregon. I can say wholeheartedly this class changed my life. I walked out of OSP on that last day understanding our Criminal Justice System and the human spirit in a way that would have otherwise taken me a lifetime. I declared Geography as a major a month later.

Since then, I’ve backpacked Western and Central Europe, taught English in Slovakia and here at home in Oregon, studied in South Africa (Mozambique and Swaziland too), conducted my own research on Islamic Feminism, and interned with the Digital Team at National Geographic for 15 weeks in the summer of 2016.

Skyline of Durban, South Africa

Personal relationships have even further illuminated my understanding of identity and interconnectivity. Tutoring a Saudi Arabian mother over dinners of kabsah has given me a counter-narrative to Western media’s portrayal of Islamic women. Hessah taught me that identity is not defined by other’s misunderstanding. Living with a Zulu-speaking Mama and family in a township outside of Durban, South Africa has given me one of the most meaningful relationships of my life. Mourning with Mama the death of her son to police brutality has taught me that identity can sometimes be used against us.

Rachel’s Zulu host family

Living for 4 months in a township just outside of Durban, identity was strikingly at the forefront of my everyday experience. I learned from South African political leaders who encouraged me in my own research surrounding feminine identity and Islamic feminism in South Africa. Interviewing such influential women in the Muslim community here provided me with new insight into the power of place, culture and identity.

In Dokodweni , South Africa

It still amazes me that all of these experiences led me to interning with National Geographic. Working on the Digital Team at National Geographic gave me the opportunity to live out my passions, to surround myself with talent, to obtain geographic mentoring, and to live my childhood dream. In short, I was be honored and ecstatic to receive that position. It still feels surreal that I was able to live out one of my biggest dreams at only 21 years old.

Official NatGeo Interns!

I will never forget my time at National Geographic, the people I was able to meet and the inspiration that I obtained that profoundly changed my research and personal aspirations. If my time at University of Oregon has taught me anything, it’s that dreams are not just for extraordinary people, we all have within us an ability to contribute to the global community. As Ducks, we are lucky to be in of one of the most inspiring and influential communities I’ve ever experienced- a model we will certainly carry with us into the real world and beyond.

The field of Geography is for the student who is okay with the complicated answers. If you are willing to listen, to understand opinions different than your own, to take into account language barriers and historical context than this is the major for you. Being a geographer has made me a global citizen, not a savior, just an observer and an ally who feels comfortable with people from all walks of life. Because of Geography, I feel at home all around the world.

Read some more of her reflections here!

November 28, 2016

Leigh Johnson’s research featured in a whiteboard video on Climate change and insurance markets

risikogeschaefte_grauDr. Leigh Johnson, who joined the UO Geography faculty in Spring 2016, has had her research on risk transfer in markets in the context of climate change featured in a video released by the University of Zurich, where she completed her post-doc. It’s one of those cool whiteboard drawing videos! It looks at a product called index insurance, which was offered to farmers in rural Kenya to help them cope with losses of crops and other disasters potentially associated with climate change. This development project failed, however, and Dr Johnson’s research examines how various actors in the process acted, their motivations, and the future potential of this type of insurance. Watch it! It’s a fantastic five minute overview of an important issue!

And if you want to read an article in German on the research, click here. 

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