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July 10, 2019

SDS major featured in Oregon Quarterly

The 100th-anniversary issue of the Oregon Quarterly featured an article about the Spatial Data Science major, launched in Fall fo 2016. This major has been a huge success and is getting attention! Read about some of the amazing things our students and alumni are doing here!

June 28, 2017

Congratulations Class of 2017!

Another Geography commencement ceremony has come and gone and as we settle in for the summer, the Department of Geography just wants to recognize the fabulousness of our students! Summer seemed to arrive on the day of graduation, making the ceremony fairly warm! However the spirit of the day, as usual, overcomes.




Our ceremony began with opening remarks from Dr. Dan Gavin, Geography department head, about his own personal reflections on the importance of perspective and places.

Newly minted PhD Dr. M. Jackson, fresh from her week being honored in Washington DC as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, gave arousing speech encouraging students to use their perspective, stand up, take notice of the world, make it better, and go further.

Alumni speaker Dr. Eric Sproles, who received his M. A. in Geography from UO in 2006, used a personal story of his grandmother, who attended UO, to encourage students to develop an appreciation of their places, their connections, and their world. And to keep going, making the world better along the way.

Dr. Alec Murphy then took the podium to announce the names of graduates with his usual gravitas.Afterwards we had a photo booth provided by Emerald Media, snacks, cake, and lots of hugs, congratulations and fun!

Congratulations to all students and families who attended!
Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing!

October 31, 2016

Tea Speaker Series Nov 3rd: Jarvis Kennedy of Burns-Paiute to speak about Malheur

jarvis-kennedyJoin us for a talk by Jarvis Kennedy, a Councilman of the Burns-Paiute Tribe, entitled “Malheur Occupation: A Native American Perspective.”

Mr. Kennedy will provide a Native American perspective on the events of the occupation last Winter. This will be especially poignant given the recent verdict handed down in Portland quitting the Bundy’s of charges relating to the occupation.

Jarvis Kennedy is a Burns Paiute Tribal Councilman of the Burns Paiute Tribe, born and raised in Burns, Oregon. Jarvis is a spokesperson for the Tribe. He spoke out against the occupation of the Malheur from the beginning and continues to do so. He is also a men’s traditional dancer who loves to sing Native American songs to keep his Paiute traditions alive.
Weekly snacks begin at 3:15 in Condon 108. We will allow 15 minutes to walk to the Many Nations Longhouse for the talk at 4pm.

July 29, 2016

Congratulation 2016 Graduates!


This year was a big send-off for many of our Masters and PhD students! During the department graduation party we got to send them off, officially. The following day may have been the commencement ceremony, but as per a timeless tradition, you can’t really graduate unless your name is on the lemon poppy seed cake the night before.

jun 13- grad cake











Here is the list of graduates, starting from the top left to right:

Swagata Goswami, PhD
Dissertation: Geomorphology, Hydrology and Human-Environment Interactions of the Megafans in the Gangetic Plains, India
Advisor: Andrew Marcus

Christina Appleby, MS
Thesis: Modeling Restoration of the Lower Long Tom River, Oregon
Advisor: Patricia McDowell

Geoffrey Johnson, MS
Thesis: A Sediment-Derived Environmental History of Water Quality, Coos Bay Estuary, Oregon Coast Range
Advisor: Daniel Gavin

Pollyanna Lind, PhD
Dissertation: Geomorphology and Sediment Transport in a Humid-Tropical Montane River— Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica
Advisor: Patricia McDowell

Thomas Ptak, PhD
Dissertation: Understanding Hydropower in China: Balancing Energy Security, Development and Environmental Sustainability in the Nu River Valley of Yunnan Province
Advisor: Xiaobo Su

Rudy Omri, MS
Thesis: Every Tweet Counts: Examining Spatial Variability of Twitter Data Representativeness
Advisor: Amy Lobben

And bottom row, left to right

Christina Shintani, MS
Thesis: Comparing Photogrammetric and Spectral Depth Techniques in Extracting Bathymetric Data from a Gravel-Bed River
Advisor: Mark Fonstad

Jewell Bohlinger, MA
Thesis: Greening the Gulag: Politics of Sustainability in Prison
Advisor: Shaul Cohen

Christine A. Grummon, MS
Thesis: Examining the Role of Collaborative Governance in Fostering Adaptive Capacity: A Case Study from Northwest Colorado
Advisor: Christopher Bone

Joseph Bard, MS
Thesis: Finding High Ground: Simulating an Evacuation in a Lahar Risk Zone
Advisor: Christopher Bone

Nicholas Perdue, PhD
Dissertation: Cognitive Agents and Pedestrian-Oriented Redevelopment
Advisor: Amy Lobben

Adam C. Morse, MA
Thesis: From Guantanamo Bay to Pelican Bay: Hunger Striking and the Biopolitical Geographies of Resistance
Advisor: Shaul Cohen

Graciela Mercedes Meche” Lu, PhD
Dissertation: Struggles over Governance of Oil and Gas Projects in the Peruvian Amazon
Advisor: Derrick Hindery

(Not pictured)

Sarah Proctor, MS
Thesis: Fluvial biogeomorphic evolution of the Upper South Fork Toutle River, WA after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens
Advisor: Mark Fonstad


jun 13- grads


May 27, 2015

Alumni visit Professional Development in Geography course


Oregon Geogrmay 20- mike jb and leslie alumni photoaphy alumni Mike Engelmann (BS 1998) and Jacob Blair (BS 2006, MA 2008) visited GEOG 399, Professional Development in Geography on May 20th with instructor (and alum, PhD 2012) Leslie McLees. Along with PhD candidate Anna Moore, they reflected on their experiences working in the government sector. Mike is a GIS Analyst for the City of Springfield in the Development and Public Works Department and Jacob Blair (formerly known as JB around the department) works as a GIS Analyst, Developer and System Administrator for the Lane Council of Governments in Eugene.

The Professional Development class got to hear about the various encounters, opportunities and interests that led these guest to their current positions. In this class the emphasis is less on ‘how to get a job,’ and more on how to figure out a student’s interests, skills, networks and ability to take advantage of opportunities to find a career path. This session focused on government work and the realities of working for more bureaucratic institutions.

May 15, 2015

AAG news roundup

At the business meeting of the Political Geography Specialty Group (PGSG), it was announced that the PGSG’s Dissertation Enhancement Award will heretofore be known as the Alexander Murphy Dissertation Enhancement Award.

Several graduate students won awards at this year’s AAG meeting in Chicago.

Olivia Molden won the AAG Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Group Field Study Award.

Seth Kenbeek won best paper award for the New Directions in Geospatial Simulation  student session.

Belen Norona won the Bernard Nietschmann PhD Support Award from the Central and Latin American Specialty grochristines mapup.


Christine Grummon received an honerable mention award from National Geographic for her map!



The Oregon party was a smash success this year, if only in part because the new UO President, Michael Schill dropped by to take photos with Jim Meacham and Andrew Marcus.

uo pres 2 uo pres

Geography grad students win awards at the Grad Research Forum

Geography graduate students Pollyana Lind, Matthew Goslin and Tom Ptak won awards at the annual Graduate Student Research forum on February 20th.

Polly and Tom, along with Andrew Dutterer from Environmental Studies, won an award for their panel called “Water, Our Planet’s Most Precious Resource” in the Science and the Social Good Category.

Matthew Goslin’s poster entitled “Carex nudata (torrent sedge): An ecosystem engineer facilitating river restoration”

April 22, 2015

Graduate students recognized at Dean’s Reception

4 Geography graduate students were recognized for recent national and university awards at a UO College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Reception on Monday, April 20.

These included: Matthew Goslin for a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award (National Science Foundation) and a Student Research Award (Geological Society of America); Olivia Molden for the Committee Award for Excellence in Area Studies, the Larry Ford Fieldwork Scholarship, the Margaret Trussel Scholarship (Association of Pacific Coast Geographers) a Fieldwork Grant (Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers) and a Small Professional Grant (UO Center for Asian and Pacific Studies); Kuan-Chi Wang for a Pre-dissertation Fieldwork Research Grant (Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies) and a China and Inner Asia Council Grant (Association for Asian Studies); and Tom Ptak for a UO Public Impact  Award (University of Oregon).

September 3, 2014

Geography GTU scholarship winners, Charlie Hockett and Ellen Heenan!

2014 gtu winnersCharlie and Ellen are two of the four national Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) national scholarship winners. According to Tom Winkle, the President of the GTU, it is unprecedented to have two winners from the same department!

Ellen is a fourth-year Geography and Environmental Studies major with a Spanish minor from Chicago. She is focusing on Geographic Education and Cultural Geography and hope to continue on in graduate school in either education or geography. Her career goal is to become an AP Human Geography Teacher and work on curriculum development for secondary school geography. She is also the Vice-President of the UO chapter of the GTU and has been very actively involved in departmental activities, including Geography Awareness Week and promoting geography on campus.

Charlie is in his final year as a Geography major and has focused on urban studies, urban planning and sustainable transport, and he is also working on his minor in history. He is very passionate about creating community and rethinking urban form. He is gaining skills in GIS and is currently interning at Digital Map Products in Irvine, California. Charlie is also the Event Planner for the UO chapter of the GTU and has been very actively involved in departmental activities He is also well known for his love of all things biking!

Congratulations again to both of our winners and we thank them for representing UO Geography on the national stage!

August 29, 2014

Katie Meehan named to Fulbright Nexus scholars list

Professor Meehan has been named a Fulbright Nexus Regional Scholar for 2014-1016. This program selects twenty distinguished scholars to conduct individual research and participate in group discussions on climate change. The group then ends the two-year collaboration with a meeting in Washington DC where they share the policy-relevant results of their research.

Professor Meehan will be using this award to continue her research on social and behavioral adaptation to climate change in Mexico. Her research has focused on rainwater harvesting in Mexico City and examining why and how people conduct rainwater harvesting, including some of the technologies that have been developed. But she also focuses on the factors that challenge wider-scale adoption of these practices, especially in the context of urban migration and the inability of the government to provide adequate water.

This work has implications closer to home, too, especially in the context of the drought that the Western United States is currently experiencing. Professor Meehan argues that even places that are plugged into large-scale water grids should have alternative supply capabilities in place. It is possible that the US could learn about the mix of large and small-scale water supply systems that people rely on in places like Mexico City.

Professor Meehan hopes to develop a system where water quality can be tracked through cell phone technologies. She travelled to Brasilia, Brazil, in August to meet with the nineteen other members of her program, and she will be making research trips to Mexico City throughout her Fellowship.

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