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!
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.
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.
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
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
Oregon Geography 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.
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.
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.
Geography graduate students Pollyana Lind, Matthew Goslin and Tom Ptak won awards at the annual Graduate Student Research forum on February 20th. https://gradschool.uoregon.edu/node/2018
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”
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).
Charlie 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!
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.
Professor Chris Bone leads a team of researchers in a National Science Foundation-supported project examining the effects of climate change on the mountain pine beetle
Professors Chris Bone, Patrick Bartlein and Dan Gavin study impacts of climate change on forest insects
Professor Chris Bone is leading a team of researchers from the Department of Geography, Computer and Information Science, the Institute for Sustainable Development, The University of Chicago and the University College London in a National Science Foundation-supported project. The $1.3 million grant will examine the effects of climate change on the mountain pine beetle. This insect is responsible for the killing of tens of millions of acres of trees just in the past twenty years.
“Responses to these outbreaks have largely existed as federal or state-level initiatives aimed at mitigating ongoing damage caused by beetle infestations,” Bone said. “Minimal attention has been paid to how multiple levels of governance, from local stakeholders to federal agencies can interact to produce novel, flexible and timely responses that can potentially alter both current and future beetle impacts under the uncertainty of climate change.”
The team will use computer modeling to identify patterns of forest change under different scenarios to increase the understanding of pine beetle infestations. The hope is that providing more information about possible responses by the beetles to climate change scenarios, agencies charged with dealing with these infestations can be more proactive that reactive, and able to use the information to prevent or reduce future outbreaks of this destructive insect.