Geography

Stained glass from the Geography building at Clark

What's New Among Faculty

2014

Professor Yuko Ayoama has been awarded an Academic Writing Residency at Bellagio Center, Rockefeller Foundation.

Assistant Professor Mark Davidson has been awarded 18,600CHF from the International Olympic Committee for his research on Governing to maintain legacies: Urban governance, policies and the long-term impacts of the Olympics. Read more

Associate Professor Chris Williams was recently awarded funds from NASA's Carbon Cycle Science competition to study the carbon balance of southeastern US forests. The project, being led by Professor Ken Davis of Penn State University, will use advanced, inverse modeling techniques to infer sinks and sources of carbon dioxide from measured concentrations in the atmosphere combined with measurements and modeling of forest carbon on the ground. Forests of the southeastern US are important for the North American carbon balance because the region is highly productive, is vigorously managed with intensive timber harvest, is sensitive to climate change, and is periodically inundated by severe storms that kill trees.

Director of the Graduate School of Geography, Anthony Bebbington, Milton P. and Alice C. Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, has received a prestigeous 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his work: Natural resource extraction in Latin America: transforming the human-environment, challenging social science.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams recently conducted a study which was released in Global Change Biology. This study is the first detailed account of how carbon, water, and energy balances shift in the three years  following the clearcut of a deciduous forest. Please see the Clark News Hub or the Harvard Forest website for more on this story.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams
was recently quoted in an article titled "California drought: Scientists puzzled by persistence of blocking 'ridge'" in the Christian Science Monitor, which addressed the persistent drought conditions in California due to a high pressure ridge parked offshore that is blocking winter storms.

Associate Professor Jim Murphy was recently appointed to the Editorial Board of Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy; a research-driven, fully refereed international journal which seeks to advance scholarly debates on a wide range of contemporary policy issues which sit at the interface between the economy, society, and the environment.

2013 and earlier

A new study led by Assistant Professor Christopher Williams was released last week in Global Change Biology.  The results of this study are the first detailed account of how carbon, water, and energy balances shift in the three years following the clearcut of a deciduous forest. For more information, please see here and here.

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Christopher Williams and Adjunct Assistant Professor Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger for both receiving the 2013 Hodgkins Junior Faculty Award from Clark University. The award is given to un-tenured junior faculty members to promote and recognize their outstanding research successes.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Karen Frey for receiving the 2013 Oliver and Dorothy Hayden Junior Faculty Fellowship award. The award is given to an assistant professor or recently tenured associate professor to promote and recognize their outstanding excellence in teaching and in scholarship, research or creative work.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams was involved in a live radio broadcast of Locus Focus (KBOO-FM out of Portland, OR) where he discussed the current severe drought conditions being experienced throughout many parts of North America in the context of historic droughts, and the role that climate change is playing in the intensification of extreme weather events.

Assistant Professor Alex Gardner led an international team of scientists that determined the global contribution of glaciers to sea level rise. The team used satellite data from the NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) missions and field observations to show that glacier wastage accounted for 30% of the observed sea level rise between 2003 and 2009, an amount comparable the sea level contribution from the much larger ice sheets.

Assistant Professor Alex Gardner was interviewed by Al Jazeera's Tarek Bazely and explains the findings of his recent research on global glacier contributions to sea level rise which was published in the prestigious journal Science on May 17th, 2013.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams was interviewed by CNBC on the stress put on many areas of the U.S. important watersheds that may cause them to fail.

Associate Professor Jim Murphy was recently appointed to the Editorial Board of the journal Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers and in February 2013 he held a one-month Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at Queen Mary University, London (UK). In April 2013 he gave an invited presentation at Cornell University’s Institute for African Development as part of a Symposium titled: Growth, Poverty, and Inequality: Confronting the Challenges of a Better Life for all in Africa.

Assistant Professor Kulakowski testified about his and his students’ research before a subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation of the Committee on Natural Resources of the United States House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

Assistant Professor Kulakowski has been awarded $170,000 from the National Science Foundation for a project titled "Spruce Beetle and Wildfire Interactions Under Varying Climate in the Rockies"

Professor Yuko Aoyama has been invited as one of nine social scientists nationwide to serve on the NSF panel on Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS). It is a competition conducted by the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to promote and support interdisciplinary research by teams of investigators in the social and behavioral sciences.

Director of GSG, Professor Anthony Bebbington was invited by the School of Advancement at the University of London to speak about Mining and Development in the Andes: Alternative Strategies for Mining-Based Economies.

Director of GSG, Professor Anthony Bebbington has recently published a book with Instituto de Estudios Peruanos/Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociale (Lima, 2013), titled Industrias Extractivas, Conflicto Social y Dinamicas Institutionales en la Region Andina.
Publicity:
Entrevista en RPP TV: “The relationship between extractive industries and social conflict” - Interview on national news channel RPP

Entrevista con Javier Torres en La Mula: “Social conflicts can change the rules of the game” – Interview with La Mula

La Prensa:“The ‘Dog in the Manger syndrome’ and the lessons of social conflicts” – Interview with La Prensa

Director of the GSG, Professor Anthony Bebbington has been chosen as 2014 recipient of CLAG (Conference of Latin Americanists Geographers) Carl O. Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award. This award is given in recognition for a corpus of important published work or other significant contribution towards Latin American geography. Professor Bebbington has been invited to CLAG's 2014 meeting in Panama City, Panama, in January to receive the award.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams communicated elements of the recent paper on droughts in the American West as an Opinion piece in the NYTimes, during an interview with Tom Ashbrook on NPR’s On-Point, and in the NYTime’s Dot Earth Blog maintained by Andrew Revkin. This work also initiated a local TV news spotlight with New England Cable News.

NECN visits Clark University for the announcement of $329K National Science Foundation grant for the HERO program. Geography Associate Professors John Rogan and Deborah Martin, (co-PI's) as well as Geography student A.J. Shatz (BA '12, MA GIS '13) are interviewed for upcoming work in helping to solve the Asian Longhorn beetle infestation in Worcester. News link

Nuria Benach (University of Barcelona) who visited Clark in the autumn of 2010 has published a book on Professor Richard Peet (the third of the series “Espacios Críticos” aimed to make geographical radical thought more available for a spanish-speaking audience).
The book includes an anthology of texts written by Professor Peet as well as an interview and a couple of essays on his intellectual trajectory and the scientific debates, in which he has been involved along his career. The book was launched last October with public lectures given by Professor Peet in a crowded Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona and at the Catalan Geographical Society.

The following two proposals submitted by Assistant Professor Karen Frey have been recommended for funding: NSF Office of Polar Programs, Arctic Observing Network Program (2012 – 2017): $2,304,973- "Collaborative Research: The Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) – A Change Detection Array in the Pacific Arctic Region" with J. Grebmeier (Lead PI, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory), K. Frey (PI, Clark University), R. Pickart (PI, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), L. Cooper (Chesapeake Biological Laboratory), and S. Moore (PI, NMML/NOAA), and NSF Office of Polar Programs, Arctic Natural Sciences Program (2012 – 2015): $943,326- "Collaborative Research: Investigating the Influence of Sea-Surface Variability on Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Outlet Glacier Behavior using Records from Disko Bugt, West Greenland" with S. Das (Lead PI, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), K. Frey (PI, Clark University), M. Evans (PI, Wheaton College), and B. Smith (PI, University of Washington).

Assistant Professor Dominik Kulakowski was featured in an article titled "Fighting Western wildfires: Does Forest Service have enough air power?" in the Christian Science Monitor, which addressed the issues related to the recent wildfires across the West Coast.

Associate Professor Deborah Martin has agreed to take on the newly established position of Special Features Editor for the publication Urban Geography. Her work in this role will include the evaluation of proposals and manuscripts for Special Features, and she will be pro-active in identifying themes for potential Special Features.

Associate Professor John Rogan (lead PI) and Associate Professor Deborah Martin (co-PI) were awarded a three-year, $329,992 "REU Site" grant from the US National Science Foundation entitled "Mapping Beetles, Trees, Neighborhoods, and Policies: A Multi-Scaled, Urban Ecological Assessment of the Asian Longhorned Beetle Invasion in New England (HERO), May 2012 – April 2015." The purpose of this research is to examine multiple dimensions of the Asian longhorn beetle infestation in Central Massachusetts, from mapping impacts to future projections and multi-scalar policy responses. It will help to unite diverse efforts and establish Clark as a principal player in addressing the ALB crisis in New England.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams co-authored a study which was recently featured in the high-profile journal Nature Geoscience. The study looked at the ways in which the major drought that struck in Western North America from 2000-2004 impacted the
area's carbon uptake and water resources.

Associate Professor Colin Polsky has been appointed co-Convening Lead Author for the Land-Use and Land-Cover Change chapter of the National Climate Assessment (NCA). The NCA, commissioned by the Office of Science & Technology Policy in the White House, is the official U.S. statement about impacts and vulnerabilities associated with climate variability and change.

Professor Yuko Aoyama (PI) has been awarded a $269,999 National Science Foundation grant for support of the project entitled "The Global Shift in R&D Alliances: Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) and the Quest for the Base-of-the-Pyramid (BOP) Markets." This award is effective August 1,2011 through November 30, 2013. Co-PI on this project is Prof. Balaji Parthasarathy, International Institute of Information Technology in Banglore, India. read more

Director of GSG, Professor Anthony Bebbington has recently been awarded a fellowship on "Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America" from Free University of Berlin/Lateinamerika-Institut, for 2011-12.

Director of GSG, Professor Anthony Bebbington, Susan Hanson, Roger Kasperson, Robert Kates, and Billie Lee Turner II were honored by The National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. on March 15th, 2011. Read more.

Professor Gil Pontius co-authored "Comparison of Three Maps at Multiple Resolutions: A Case Study of Land Change Simulation in Cho Don District, Vietnam," an article published in the first 2011 edition of The Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Director of GSG, Professor Anthony Bebbington has been appointed by the Minister of Economy of El Salvador to Chair a blue ribbon committee that will monitor a strategic environmental assessment metal mining in the country. The assessment will serve as the basis for determining national mining policy and the conditions under which the country will permit hard-rock mining in the future

Professor Jody Emel has been awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) in Kyoto, Japan. The institute is part of the Japanese National Institutes for the Humanities. Winning this competitive Fellowship is wonderful recognition of her work in resource geography, and when based at the RIHN she will be cooperating with their Resources Program. Jody will take up the Fellowship during the Fall 2011 Semester.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams has been funded by NASA The Science of Terra and Aqua as a Co-I on a 3-year, $866,082 project examining remotely sensed albedo trends related to land cover change and disturbances.

As of September 2010 Associate Professor Deborah Martin has been appointed Book Review Editor of Urban Affairs Review. She was also appointed to the Editorial Boards of the Urban Affairs Review and Journal of Geography in Higher Education last year.

Assistant Professor Karen Frey has been funded by the NASA Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Science Program for a proposal entitled "An interdisciplinary study of recent ice sheet melt, sea ice decline & enhanced ocean biological productivity along the Amundsen Coast, West Antarctica." Frey is a co-PI on the 3-year $707,112 grant, collaborating with Dr. Sarah Das at the Woods Hole Oceanograhic Institution and Dr. Matthew Evans at Wheaton College. This research is an interdisciplinary effort to understand the relationships between ocean and ice sheet conditions in the climatically sensitive region surrounding the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. This sector is one of the most rapidly changing and least understood of all the polar regions, and alone is experiencing a mass loss of ice at rates comparable to the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. Frey's Ph.D. student Luke Trusel will travel to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in December 2010 for a six-week field mission in support of this NASA project.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams is co-author of a recent report in Nature, 13 October 2010, "Recent decline in the global land evapotranspiration trend due to limited moisture supply". The study reveals that global water evaporation from land and plants has been weakening over the last decade, as the soil dries up in many southern regions. More information

Director of GSG, Professor Anthony Bebbington has received $200,000 from the Ford Foundation for two linked projects on extractive industries and social conflict in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Conducted in conjunction with the Peruvian Center for Social Studies, the Center for Regional Studies and Development of Tarija and other partner centers, the projects ask whether socio-environmental conflict can induce institutional changes for improved governance of the mining, oil and gas sectors. The projects combine field research and a program of seminars to subject findings to public debate.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams has been funded by the NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program for a proposal entitled "Impacts of Disturbance History and Climate on Carbon Fluxes from North American Forests". Williams is a Co-PI on the 3-year, $655,000 project, working with Dr. G. James Collatz and Dr. Jeffrey Masek of NASA's Biospheric Sciences Branch at the Goddard Space Flight Center. The research seeks to quantify carbon sequestration and release from forests across North America using a combination of remote sensing, field inventory data, and computer modeling.

Report co-authored by Assistant Professor Karen Frey stuns scientists with remarkable findings: phytoplankton mega-blooms beneath Arctic sea ice. Read more

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams co-authored a report in Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the "world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.": "Terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) is the largest global CO2 flux driving several ecosystem functions. We provide an observation-based estimate of this flux …" Science (AAAS) 7/5/2010 Terrestrial Gross Carbon Dioxide Uptake: Global Distribution and Covariation with Climate

Assistant Professor Karen Frey has been funded by the NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program for a proposal entitled "Impacts of Sea Ice Decline and River Discharge Shifts on Biological Productivity in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas." Learn more.

Professor Dominik Kulakowski is featured in The Durango Herald for testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests. Learn more.

Professor Ron Eastman was presented with the Distinguished Career Award from the Association of American Geographers Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group (GISSG), during the 2010 Annual AAG Meeting (April 14-18) in Washington, D.C. Learn more.

Congratulations to Professor Susan Hanson and Associate Professor Colin Polsky on their recent publication in the highly anticipated Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences from the National Research Council of the National Academies. Please go here for more information and here for a special offer.

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Karen Frey as the lead PI she is being funded by the NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program for a proposal entitled "Impacts of Sea Ice Decline and River Discharge Shifts on Biological Productivity in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas." Frey is the lead PI on the grant, which totals $735,192 over the next four years. Co-investigators are Lee Cooper and Jackie Grebmeier from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. This research is part of a multi-year NASA shipborne project called ICESCAPE (Impacts of Climate change on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment), which will take place on the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy icebreaker during June-July of 2010 and September 2011, as well as on the RV Xuelong Chinese icebreaker during summer 2012. Frey’s Ph.D. students Christie Wood and Luke Trusel will accompany her on the first six-week long cruise in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas this coming summer 2010. This research will help us understand how continued climate warming and sea ice decline will impact the biogeochemistry and ecology of the Pacific Arctic marine environment, integrating field-based observations, satellite remote sensing, and modeling. Tentative cruise track for the ship this summer

Congratulations to Professor Ron Eastman who has won the 2010 AAG GISS-SG Robert T. Aangeenbrug Distinguished Career Award.

Assistant Professor John Rogan was featured in Ice Havoc, an article in the Telegram & Gazette on last year's ice storm. He is also featured in The Landmark's article, Clark students study ice storm's effects on local forest.

Assistant Professor Christopher Williams has been invited to serve as an Associate Editor of "Biogeochemistry", a highly-ranked international journal publishing original papers on ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycles. With his new position, Prof. Williams has been asked to help raise the journal's profile with regards to plant and ecosystem carbon cycle science.

Professor Dianne Rocheleau presented a keynote address at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Columbia in October 2009 as part of a conference to inaugurate the new master's program in Geography

As co-PI in a multi-institutional team, Associate Professor Colin Polsky was recently awarded a two-year, $298k grant from the US National Science Foundation's "ULTRA-ex" competition, for the proposal "Boston Metropolitan Area ULTRA: Exploring past, current and future socio-ecological dynamics in a founding city." The PI is Prof. Paige Warren, U. Mass.-Amherst.

Associate Professor Jim Murphy awarded a $230,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation's Geography and Spatial Sciences and Science, Technology, and Society programs. The project: The Role of Information-Communication Technologies in Enterprise Development and Industrial Change in Africa: Evidence from South Africa and Tanzania, (co PI Padraig Carmody of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) National Science Foundation

Associate Professor Colin Polsky, awarded $300,000 from NOAA for the project: Integrated Water and Land Planning as Climate Adaptation Strategy: comparisons of Portland, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona (PI: Heejun Change (Portland State U.); co-PI’s: Pat Gober (ASU) and Colin Polsky).

Clark Labs is pleased to announce the creation of a blog devoted to the exploration of trends in the earth system as seen through the lens of the Earth Trends Modeler software, a new vertical application integrated with the IDRISI Taiga software, released in February. Dr. J.Ronald Eastman, Director of Clark Labs, will be the author of this blog. You can visit the System Trends blog at www.earthsystemtrends.org

Assistant Professor Karen Frey is featured in a four-part NOVA special talking about her climate-change research. Watch the series.

Associate Professors Colin Polsky and John Rogan received a 440K REU undergraduate training award.

Associate Professor Colin Polsky awarded an LTER grant ($20,000) to train students to use fine-scaled imagery of lawns for his work on suburbanization and water.

Associate Professor Colin Polsky awarded, in collaboration with colleagues at the US Forest Service, Arizona State Univ., Florida International Univ., and Indiana Univ., $20k from NSF's LTER program to host two conferences (one at Clark U.) on the topic of methods for integrating social and ecological science analyses of lawn management and associated consequences.

Associate Professor Colin Polsky & Professor Gil Pontius
receive $11,991 from the National Science Foundation for additional support for their project entitled CNH: Suburbanization, Water Use, Nitrogen Cycling, and Eutrophication in the 21st Century.

Associate Professor Jim Murphy has been appointed to the Editorial Board of The Professional Geographer.

Associate Professor Colin Polsky and Professor Emerita Susan Hanson have been selected to serve on the NRC's new initiative, Directions for the Geographical Sciences in the Next Decade, a guiding influence in geography throughout Washington D.C. and the National Science Foundation.

Associate Karen Frey, 2007, NSF/Arctic Natural Sciences Program grant on Impacts of Sea Ice Variability and Polynya Formation on Biological Productivity in the Northern Bering Sea.

Professor Ron Eastman has been appointed as the Landry University Professor.

Associate Professor Karen Frey (CoPI) has been awarded an NSF grant ($59,411) for Collaborative Research. IPY: The Polaris Project: Rising Stars in the Arctic.

Associate Professor Jim Murphy has been awarded the 2007 Hodgkins Junior Faculty Award

Associate Professor Deborah Martin, Geog. & Reg. Sci. and Law & Soc. Sci.-NSF grant for Legalizing Community: Lawyers and Citizen Activism in Neighborhood Disputes.

Associate Professor Colin Polsky and Professor Gil Pontius have been awarded a $20,000 supplement to their NSF LTER linked activities; these funds will supplement their new NSF award.

Professor Ron Eastman has been awarded the 2007 UCGIS Research Award for the research contribution to GIScience embodied within the IDRISI software.

Associate Professor John Rogan has been named the 2007-08 Hayden Junior Faculty Fellow for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Associate Professor Colin Polsky (PI) and Professor Gil Pontius (Co-PI) have been awarded a CNH-NSF grant (54 months and $1,442,930) on Suburbanization, Water-Use, Nitrogen Cycling and Eutrophication in the 21st Century: Interactions, Feedbacks and Uncertainties in a Massachusetts Coastal Zone. The Clark project will work with the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole) and the University of New Hampshire. The project will fund both undergraduate and graduate students through the HERO program.

Professor Yuko Aoyama has been appointed editor of Economic Geography, and to the editorial board of GeoJournal.