Stained glass from the Geography building at Clark

Doctoral Student News


Elisa Arond received an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellowship for her dissertation research titled, "Beyond the Resource Curse? Prospects for Inclusive Regional Development through Science, Technology and Innovation in Colombia."  The award is for the Academic year 2015-16.

Teresa Bornschlegl received an NSF DDRI for her dissertaton research.  The award is for the academic year 2015-16.

Alida Cantor recently published an article in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education on HERO research titled, "Training interdisciplinary “wicked problem” solvers: applying lessons from HERO in community based research experiences for undergraduates."

Juan Luis Dammert was featured in the Fall 2015 edition of ReVista, The Harvard Review Journal of Latin America, Forests for Energy? Biofuels and Palm Oil in the Peruvian Amazon

Juan Luis Dammert received an NSF DDRI for his dissertation research on "Resource Booms and the Geography of Oil Palm Expansion." The award is for the academic year 2015-16.

Juan Luis Dammert received an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellowship for his dissertation research title, “Grassroots and coalitions: the politics of oil palm expansion in the Peruvian Amazon.” This award is for the Academic Year 2015-16.

Juan Luis Dammert – book review featured in the journal, Americas Quarterly, for his review of “Resource Extraction and Protest in Peru” written by Moises Arce. The review comes with a monetary award.

Nathan Gill received an NSF GRFP beginning September 1, 2015 for his research proposal titled, "Drivers and consequences of regeneration following beetle outbreak under climate change." This is a 3-year fellowship.

Adrienne Johnson has been awarded a 2015-2017 postdoctoral fellowship by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. She will hold the award at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.

Kelly Kay received an NSF DDRI in December 2014 for her dissertation research entitled, “In Trusts We Trust: Land Trusts, Conservation Easements, and the Growth of Private Land Protection in the United States.” Funding will be for 2015.

Dexter Locke is first author with J Morgan Grove on a recently published paper in Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy. This paper shows where urban forestry programs are working in Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD, who they reach and who they are failing to reach.

Padini Nirmal received an American Institute for Indian Studies Fellowship for her dissertaton research. The grant will be used for field work in Spring 2017.

Padini Nirmal received an NSF DDRI in April 2015 for her dissertation research entitled: "Indigenous Ontologies of Land and Land Politics: A Critical Analysis of Forest Rights Legislation." Funding will be from May 2015-October 2016.

Kevin Surprise received an NSF DDRI in December 2014 for his dissertation research entitled: "To govern the earth: the making of geoengineering policy in the United States, and the changing meaning of the 'geo' in geopolitics." Funding will be for 2015.


Nathan Gill came in 1st place ($350) in the graduate student paper competition at NESTVAL 2014 held at University of New Hampshire for his oral presentation entitled "Modeling Africanized honeybee distribution in the southwestern US with PRISM climate data."

Nathan Gill led the Clark University Geography Bowl Team at NESTVAL 2014 to a 3rd place finish out of 11 teams.  The Clark Team only had 3 members total while other teams had 4 members and 2 alternates.  Good job, in the past 4 years Clark has finished in the top 3 taking first place in 2011 and 12 and last year taking 2nd place.

Mireya Bravo received the DGSG (Development Geographies Specialty Group) Gary Gaile Travel award to support conference attendance for the 2014 AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa. Mireya also received a 2014 InterAmerican Foundation Fellowship. Mireya will also attend the STEPS Summer School sponsored by IDS at the University of Sussex, UK in May 2014.

Teresa Bornschlegl received a pre-dissertation SSRC research grant for proposal writing for summer 2014.

Alida Cantor received an NSF DDRI to support her dissertation research field work and writing, "Dust storms and dying lakes: Wastefulness, beneficial use, and water transfers in California."  Alida also received a Horowitz Foundation for Social Change Fellowship to further support this research.

Adrienne Johnson received the LASG (Latin American Specialty Group) best PhD student paper award for her dissertation research proposal at the 2014 AAG Annual meeting in Tampa. Adrienne also received a Skills Award for 2013-14 from the Clark University, Graduate Student's Council.

Miles Kenney-Lazar received a small grant from the BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies to write a working paper on peasant resistance to Chinese and Vietnamese plantation investments in central-southern Laos.

Chris Knudson received a 2014 AAG travel award from the HDSC (Human Dimensions of Social Change) specialty group.  Chris also recieved an NSF DDRI for his dissertaton reserach field work and writing, "Modeling risk, modifying behavior: The introduction of novel weather insurance in St. Lucia."

Padini Nirmal received a Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) travel grant at the annual NAISA conference held in Austin Texas May 28-31. For organizing a panel and presenting a paper.

Pheakkdey Nguon received a grant from Stockholm Environmental Institute as, Principal Investigator for a research project that compares national REDD+ strategy development processes in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand (2015-2017)

Pheakkdey Nguon was renewed a grant from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)/ Cuomo Foundation, for Doctoral dissertation writing fellowship at Clark University (2014-2015)

Pheakkdey Nguon received a grant from International Tropical Timber Organization, (ITTO), for Doctoral dissertation fieldwork and writing fellowship at Clark University (2014-2015)

Pheakkdey Nguon presented at the Third UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy, Yale University (September 5-7, 2014): Invited by Yale University and sponsored by UNITAR to present a paper on "Full and effective participation in REDD+ implementation in Cambodia".

Pheakkdey Nguon received a grant from the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) to present his dissertation research at the Sustainability Science Congress, organized by the International Alliance of Research Universities, that will take place from October 22-24th, 2014 at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The grant will cover expenses for his participation.

Pheakkdey Nguon while in Cambodia for his dissertation research field work, also recently completed coordination and teaching a series of workshops (10 workshops total) on climate change, forest governance and REDD+ for students at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and Royal University of Agriculture from February 15 to June 21, 2014. Read more

Nick Cuba received a 2014 AAG International Geographic Information Fund Travel Grant to support conference attendance.

Luke Trusel received a 2014 WHOI (Woods Hole Research Institute) Fellowship.

Yueming Zhang received a 2014 FURS (Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies) grant from the Oxford University Centre for the Environment to support her dissertation proposal research field work.

Elisa Arond attended a workshop on 'Grassroots Innovation Movements' and the 'Exploring Pathways to Sustainability' Symposium jointly organized by the STEPS Centre, University of Sussex, UK and the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, from Feb 8-11, related to her collaboration on the STEPS project "Grassroots Innovation: Historical and Comparative Perspectives". Here's her reflection on the workshop, also inspired in conversations with fellow CUGS, which was posted on the STEPS Centre blog.


John Lauermann was invited to participate in an early career workshop at The Flexible City Symposium, hosted by the University of Oxford's Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society (award included conference expenses)

Luke Trusel is first author with his advisor, Karen Frey, on a recently published paper in Geophysical Research Letters. This paper provides novel satellite-based estimates of melting across the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Miles Kenney-Lazar received a Young Explorer's Grant from the National Geographic Society for his research on "Governing Transnational Land Acquisitions for Plantation Development in Laos"

2012 YSSP participant Pheakkdey Nguon has won a fellowship from the IPCC to fund his research on REDD+ in Cambodia. He accepted the award yesterday (September 30, 2013) from Prince Albert II of Monaco.  read more. For more on the project Pheakkdey was interviewed by IIASA for their science blog.

Doctoral Candidate Jim Thatcher was interviewed by Brooke Gladstone of NPR's On the Media in an article called "Tracking your Steps" which explores the use of GPS tracking on mobile apps by large corporations like Google Maps and others and what that means to consumers. Listen here. Jim was also quoted prominently in a similar article on GPS tracking in the September 6, 2013 issue of The Atlantic on the broader social context and implications of new mobile apps. Read more.

Congratulations to Geography Ph.D. student Alida Cantor for receiving the University’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for 2012/13.

Miles Kenney-Lazar was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship for his project titled "Land and Livelihoods: Governing Multinational Plantation Investments in Laos"

Jim Thatcher is quoted prominently in the September 6, 2013 issue of The Atlantic on the broader social context and implications of new mobile apps. read more . Jim was also interviewed by Brooke Gladstone of NPR's On the Media in a similar article called "Tracking your Steps" which further explored the use of GPS tracking on mobile apps by large coprorations like Google Maps and others and what that means to consumers. listen here

Elisa Arond received an NSF GRF Honorable Mention. Applicants receiving Honorable Mention are provided enhanced access to cyberinfrastructure resources, including supercomputing time, in support of research toward completion of the graduate program of study.

Teresa Bornschlegl won the Robert B. West award (CLAG field study award) from the Latin American Specialty Group. "Environmental law enforcement and the possibilities for socio-ecological justice in the hydrocarbon sector in Ecuador.” Anthony Bebbington Advisor.

Mireya Bravo won a travel grant from the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for the International Congress LASA 2013 taking place in May 29-June 1 in Washington, DC. Her presentation is titled: Multi-Stakeholder Action, Sustainability Development and Biodiversity Conservation: The Case of Oxapampa-Ashaninka-Yanesha Biosphere Reserve in Peru. She also won a photo compettiona at AAG for her photo entitled "Let's Make a Map."

Rory Horner won the 2013 A.K. Dutt Best Graduate Student Paper Award of the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group (RDPSG) of the Association of American Geographers. Yuko Aoyama Advisor

Rory Horner won the 2013 Peter Gould Student Paper Competition of the Association of American Geographers’ Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, on a paper entitled “Rising powers as harbingers of public-health oriented patent law? The Indian pharmaceutical industry and economic geographies underlying health.” Yuko Aoyama Advisor.

Incoming Graduate Student, Catherine Jampel, received an NSF 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship.

Kelly Kay won Best Graduate Student Paper from the AAG European Geography Specialty Group, which came with a cash prize, for her paper “Europeanization through Biodiversity Conservation: Croatia’s Bid for EU Accession and the Natura 2000 Designation Process.” James McCarthy Advisor.

Kelly Kay was also selected as a finalist for the AAG Graduate Student Affinity Group Research Award, which came with $250. James McCarthy Advisor.

Chris Knudson received the AAG Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group Field Study Award, $600 for his expenses for field work this summer in St. Lucia. James McCarthy Advisor.

Miles Kenney-Lazar received a NSF DDRI for his field work in Laos.

John Lauermann was awarded an Olympic Studies Centre 2013 research grant based on his proposal “The impact of Olympic Games bidding on sustainable development projects in candidate cities”.

John Lauermann was awarded an NSF-DDRI “Competing for development: sporting megaevents and urban-based development governance" co-PI with Mark Davidson, $15,967.

Pheakkdey Nguon was recently interviewed by his alma mater Monash University in Cambodia.  Pheakkdey is doing is field work in Cambodia on his dissertation research with REDD. read more

Pheakkdey Nguon is selected as one of the recipients of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scholarship Programme. The award will support Pheakkdey's dissertation fieldwork and dissertation writing on the science and policy of REDD+ projects in Cambodia. The scholarship is worth Euro 15,000 a year and is renewable once. The IPCC Scholarship Programme was established with the funds received from the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize award to the IPCC. The Programme also benefits from the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The first funding partner of the Programme was Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change. Dr Brundtland made her donation from the Tallberg Leadership Award, which she received in June 2009.

Pheakkdey Nguon received the AAG Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group Competition with a $1,000 award for his field work. Anthony Bebbington Advisor

Pheakkdey Nguon received a fellowship to STEPS Summer school, Sussex University, UK.

Padini Nirmal is awarded the Gender, Place and Culture Journal-New and Emerging Scholar in Feminist Geography for a proposed paper titled 'Inhabiting the space of queerness: indigeneity and indigenous politics in contemporary Kerala (India)'. This is an annual award for young feminist geographers that enables participation in an upcoming conference.

Elisabeth (Lisa) Stoddard was awarded the Switzer Environmental Fellowship in the amount of $15,000. The goal of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program is to support highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies are directed toward improving environmental quality and who demonstrate the potential for leadership in their field.

James Thatcher was awarded two travel awards. NACIS Travel Award to attend their annual meeting and the USNC Travel Award to attend the 2013 International Cartographic Conference

Jill Williams won the PhD student paper award from the Political Geography specialty group of the AAG for her paper “Border Enforcement, the Humanitarian State, and the Scalar Politics of Care.” Deb Martin Advisor

Yueming (Amy) Zhang Second prize in "Essay Competition on Urban and Regional Themes by Young Authors" granted by Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies, "China's displaced peasants under urban expansion" and a Graduate Student travel award from Clark University Graduate Student Council.

Yueming (Amy) Zhang won second prize in student paper competition of AAG China Geography Specialty Group, "Remapping the city, reproduction of space, and local state reterritorialization: A district merger case". Deb Martin Advisor

In the spring, the George Perkins Marsh Institute announced the winners of their Albert, Norma and Howard GELLER family awards. Four of the six winners for summer 2013 are PhD students from the GSG: Alida Cantor, Pheakkdey Nguon, Jim Thatcher and Masters in GIS student, Andrew Shatz.  These awards are for travel and field work for dissertation research or masters thesis research.  Congratulations to all!


Nicholas Cuba received an NASA-NESSF 3-year research grant beginning in September 2012 for his dissertation, “Interannual Variability in Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Deciduousness and Implications for Soil Carbon Storage and Aerosol Emissions in the Mexican Southern Yucatán”

Dan Haberly was selected to participate in the Economic Geography Summer Institute (July 2012) in Zurich, Switzerland

Adrienne Johnson has been awarded a 2-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Doctoral fellowship, beginning in 2012-2013. The SSHRC fellowship will support her proposed dissertation research entitled, "Governing Palm Oil, Governing Knowledges: Examining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Ecuador". Adrienne was also awarded a grant by the Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI) in the amount of $2000 for her summer research in Ecuador entitled, "Green governance or green grab?"

Connie Johnston received a Harvard Science and Technology Studies Fellowship for 2012-2013. The Science and Technology Studies Program is through the Kennedy School of Government and its mission is to foster the interdisciplinary study of the role of science and technology in present-day democratic societies

Miles Kenney-Lazar received a Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) which provides support for summer pre-dissertation fieldwork as well as for travel and participation in two proposal development workshops.

Mireya Bravo received the AAG-LASG award which comes with $600 stipend for her dissertation field research expenses.

Mireya Bravo received a grant to participate in a summer research program in Colombia

Katherine Foo was awarded a Summer Doctoral Public Policy Fellowship from the Rappaport Institute at the Harvard Kennedy School in the amount of $7,000. The fellowship provides doctoral students with the opportunity to develop projects that are of immediate value to practitioners while also furthering their own research. The fellowship program is a component of The Rappaport Institute, which aims to improve the governance of Greater Boston by promoting emerging leaders, stimulating informed discussion, and producing new ideas.

Danielle Fontaine (October 2011 PhD graduate) was given the AAG Transportation Specialty Group 2012 PhD Thesis award which comes with a monetary award of $250

Emily Gallagher (with Dianne Rocheleau as PI) has been awarded an NSF-DDRI grant of $11,404 for her Doctoral Dissertation research, entitled "On the roles of agricultural and conservation extension in producing landscapes: Visioning alternative scenarios for the Ghanaian cocoa belt". Emily will be in the field (Ghana) from January-November 2012.

Ed Harris was given AAG Dissertation Research Grant

Rory Horner received the AAG-EGSG award for his work on the role of state policies in the development of domestic pharmaceutical industry in India. Rory will receive a $750 contribution towards research expenses.

William Kutz has been invited to give a spring 2012 lecture for the Renaissance Society, a premier contemporary art venue at the University of Chicago. The talk, entitled, "Globalization at the Margins: Current Transformations of Tangier, Morocco’s Socio-Political Fabric" will be given in conjunction with a survey of work by Yto Barrada, a Moroccan photographer based in Tangier and Paris.

William Kutz was awarded $4,200 by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies for proposed research in North Africa, entitled : Spanish-led urban development in Tangier, Morocco: A sustainable practice?" His study will take place Summer 2012.

Pheakkdey Nguon received the 2012 Fulbright South East Asia Grant. This award is intended to enhance Fulbright student's educational and professional goals, and was created and is funded by an anonymous donor to the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Pheakkdey Nguon has been invited to be one of the guest presenters at the Climate Adaptation Futures: Second International Climate Change Adaptation Conference, May 29-31, 2012 at the University of Arizona. The conference is co-hosted and convened by the University of Arizona and by UNEP’s Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation. His presentation is on "Sustainable governance and conservation of Cambodian forests through carbon financing projects."

Pheakkdey Nguon received the AAG-CAPE Field Study Award which comes with a $600 stipend towards his research field work travel expenses.

Pheakkdey Nguon contributed an essay to the recently published book by Davis, D. and Mackintosh, B. "Making A Difference: The Impact of Australian International Education." Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, Australian Studies.

Pheakkdey Nguon received an offer to participate in the IIASA’s 2012 Young Scientists Summer Program.

Kangping Si was awarded 2nd Prize SAM student paper presented at AAG in New York City in February 2012

Kangping Si received a $500 Student Travel Award sponsored by US-IALE and University of Rhode Island's Coastal Institute to attend the US-IALE conference in Newport, Rhode Island. in April 2012.

Oona Morrow has received an NSF-DDRI grant of 11,634 for her Doctoral Dissertation Research: Urban Homesteading: "Changing Social and Economic Relations and the Practice of Self-Provisioning in the City."

Alex Sphar has received an NSF-DDRI grant of $16,000 for his Doctoral Dissertation Research: "National Integration or Regional Competition? Industrial Policy Debates in a Rising Power."

Alex Sphar received a CLAG Field Study Awards for 2012, this monetary award of $2000 will cover traveling expenses for his field work.

Elisabeth (Lisa) Stoddard was awarded the Society for Women Geographer's Pruitt Dissertation Fellowship Program in the amount of $11,727. The fellowship will provide support for her doctoral dissertation research entitled, "Livestock and Global Change Vulnerability: Hog Production in Eastern North Carolina". The Society of Woman Geographers is a non-profit association designed to enable intellectual exchange among women in geography and related fields, to further geographical research, to spread knowledge, and to financially support fellowship programs that provide aid to outstanding women graduate students in geography and related fields (

Luke Trusel received a NASA-NESSF 3-year grant research grant beginning September 1, 2012 for his dissertation research, “Antarctic Surface Melting: Intensity, Climatology, and Driving Mechanisms”

Melanie Vanderhoof was awarded "Best Student Presentation: at the AMS 30th Agricultural and Forrest Meteorology/First Atmospheric Biogeosciences Conference Student Presentation Competition, Boston, MA, June 2012, “Surface energy flux consequences of bark beetle outbreaks in the south-central Rockies using MODIS data.”

The George Perkins Marsh Research Institute has granted four Geller awards to Lisa Stoddard, Seth Schindler, Mireya Bravo and Kelly Kay. More information on these individual awards will be available soon.


Emily Gallagher has been awarded an IIE Graduate Fellowship for International Study in the amount of $28,050 to support her proposed Doctoral Dissertation research, entitled "Rights in land, trees, and cocoa: Sustainable landscape planning in the Ghanaian cocoa belt". Emily will be in the field (Ghana) from January-November 2012.

Prajjwal Panday findings in his research on the timing of snowmelt in the Himalayas was featured in the May issue of Environmental Research. read more

Pheakkdey Nguon was featured in a recent Fulbright Foreign Student Newsletter where he blogged on his experiences as a first year PhD student. read more

Bardan Ghimire's submitted paper to Remote Sensing Letters titled "Contextual land-cover classification: incorporating spatial dependence in land-cover classification models using random forests and the Getis statistic," is the number one downloaded and cited article in the journal.

Melanie Vanderhoof (with Prof. Chris Williams PI) has been awarded a NASA Earth and Space Sciences fellowship to support her dissertation research for the coming year(2011-12), renewable for three. Melanie's proposal is titled "Albedo and Evapotranspiration Consequences of Bark Beetle Outbreaks as Detected by Remote Sensing in Coniferous Forests, Rocky Mountains, USA".

Rory Horner (with Yuko Aoyama as PI) has been awarded an NSF-DDRI grant of $12,000 for his Doctoral Dissertation research, entitled "The State, Intellectual Property Rights, and the Rise of India's Pharmaceutical Industry".

Seth Schindler (with Yuko Aoyama as PI) has been awarded an NSF-DDRI grant of $11,985 for his Doctoral Dissertation research, entitled "Producing Urban Space and the Transformation of Informal Retailing in Delhi, India".

Ed Harris (with Deb Martin as PI) has been awarded an NSF-DDRI grant of $12,000 for his Doctoral Dissertation research, entitled "Alternative Agrifood Politics in Massachusetts: Social Movements and Policy Change".

Connie Johnston (with Jody Emel as PI) has been awarded an NSF-DDRI grant of $11,975 for her Doctoral Dissertation research, entitled "Thinking (about) Animals: How US and EU Science Is Producing Both Meat and Animal Welfare".

Lauren Bonilla received a fellowship for her field research in Mongolia from the American Center for Mongolian Studies/Henry Luce Foundation. The award totals $27,000.

Jill Williams received the Susan Hansen Dissertation Proposal Award for: Border Enforcement and the Gendered Politics of Humanitarianism at the 2011 AAGs in Seattle, WA

Dan Haberly received the EGSG (Economic Geography) 2011 Best Student Paper Award at the AAGs in Seattle, WA

Neeti Neeti and Benoit Parmentier were awarded Clark University Graduate Student Research Colloquium awards (travel grants of $450)

Adrienne Johnson won the 2011 Conference of Latin American (CLAG) Ph.D field award. She has also been awarded a 2011 Geller Student research from the Marsh Institute. Both these awards will assist her in conducting research on the politics of the palm oil sector of Ecuador this summer. Adrienne also received a Graduate Student Affinity Group of the 2011 AAG honourable mention

Jill Williams (with Deborah Martin as PI) has been awarded an NSF-DDRI grant of $11,965 for her Doctoral Dissertation research, entitled "A Feminist Geographic Analysis of U.S. Border Patrol Humanitarian Initiatives". Jill will be in the field from April-August 2011.

Dan Haberly's forthcoming article in Environment and Planning A, entitled "Strategic Sovereign Wealth Fund Investment and the New Alliance Capitalism: A Network Mapping Investigation", was ranked No.1 in downloads in Social Science Research Network (SSRN), under the category of journal of INTL: Policy Environment (December 13, 2010 to February 11, 2011).

Luke Trusel back from the Antarctic where he visited the Clark Mts. and did research on NASA grant funded by Dr. Karen Frey. See pictures and full article here