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October 11, 2018

Dan Gavin’s research on climate change and fire in Oregon

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!

August 27, 2018

Geography’s first SAIL program is a success!

In the last week of July, Geography hosted its first Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) program. The SAIL program serves middle and high school students from the southern Willamette Valley who come from under-represented backgrounds such as lower-income and/or first generation students. The program encourages students to enroll and succeed in college by exposing them to fun and innovative programming through different units on campus.

Our Undergraduate Coordinator, Leslie McLees, organized a week-long series of interactive activities for students entering their junior and senior years of high school. Students reflected how we tell stories about places and how that in turn impacts how we treat the people who live there. The made maps in Carto with Joanna Merson and participated in a humanitarian mapathon, digitizing infrastructure in Sri Lanka for a project about adaptation to climate change, with the MapxNorthwest president, Greg Fitzgerald. They used the GPS apps on their phones to do some orienteering and explore human-environment dynamics on our campus. They spent time near Austen footbridge with lecturer Johnny Webb to measure on stream flow and understand the water cycle. The week ended with a discussion with Leslie McLees on the purpose of college, how to understand the purpose of college, and ways to think about how to make it successful for individuals. Several students helped throughout the week, including Bernard Cowen, Zane Eddy, Annabelle Lind, Kate Shields, and Chris Tello. Thanks to all of them for making the week possible!

Despite temperatures above 90 degrees the entire week, it was an amazing success. Students were highly engaged and active throughout all of the activities, and appreciate that they got to see and experience some of the variety of what geography can do. And of course, all were surprised at the breadth of the discipline. Several students remarked that they were so happy they had discovered geography, and hoped to study it in college. We look forward to having some of them in a our classes in a couple of years!

May 9, 2018

Lucas Silva’s study of Watershed shifts and climate change featured in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

One of the newest faculty in Geography, Dr. Lucas Silva, has recently had a study published in the National Academy of Science that examine shifts in watersheds in response to climate change. This study, in collaboration with Toby Maxwell of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution and Will Horwath of the University of California, Davis, focused on looking at the relationships between tree species and soil properties to understand how water is moving through forest systems, in this case the Californian montane forests during the drought.

For more on this fascinating study, see the article in Around the O.

April 17, 2018

Dr. McDowell received Melvin G. Marcus Distinguished Career Award at AAG

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, University of Oregon Geography professor Patricia McDowell was awarded the Melvin G. Marcus Distinguished Career Award by the American Association of Geographer’s Geomorphology Specialty Group. This award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to geomorphology over his/her career. In the nomination letter for this award, Dartmouth College professor Frank Magilligan states: “Pat has been a leader in the field of fluvial geomorphology for decades and is especially deserving of this

recognition: she has earned it through her important scholarly publications, her mentoring of over 30 graduate students, her tireless devotion to the Geomorphology Specialty Group, and her important visibility as a role model for other women geoscientists.” Professor McDowell earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1980, and she has been at the University of Oregon since 1982.

March 20, 2018

Geography faculty help community member find out what makes Eugene home

Community member and guest contributor to the Eugene Weekly calls out Dr. Shaul Cohen and Dr. Pat McDowell specifically in helping him understand what makes Eugene home. This brief article in the Weekly pays homage to the power of geography in helping students understand not only a sense of place, but why that is an important question.

Read the article here!

February 25, 2018

InfoGraphics map in the New York Times

On Febuary 23rd, Dr. Arthur Middleton, National Geographic Society Fellow and Assistant Professor at Berkeley, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to direct his department to work with states and landowners to facilitate migration corridors for large ungulates.
The article contains a simplified version of a map that appeared in the Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates, which is a forthcoming collaboration between our very own InfoGraphics Lab and the University of Wyoming. The research that has gone into this atlas and the maps that have come out have already been influencing policy!
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!





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