George Perkins Marsh Institute


Davidson Receives Grant to Study Olympic-host Cities


Mark Davidson, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, has been awarded $20,730 from the International Olympic Committee for his year-long project titled "Governing to maintain legacies: urban governance, policies and the long-term impacts of the Olympics."

Davidson's research will examine ways in which recent Olympic-host cities have developed institutional and policy innovations to satisfy Olympic-related legacy commitments--the pledges and promises related to the outcomes of hosting the Games. Examples of such pledges include the urban renewal projects, institutional reforms and infrastructural improvements associated with Olympic-related development.

"My project will investigate the ways in which cities have to innovate and reform their governance practices in order to achieve the goals set out in their Olympic bids," explains Davidson, "the premise being that cities are constantly reacting to changing circumstances that require them to develop legacies on an ongoing basis."

Davidson is an urban geographer with research interests in gentrification, urban politics, policy making, comparative urbanism and critical socio-spatial theory. His most recent work focuses on large-scale urban redevelopment projects and theories of urban politics. Davidson's research often combines qualitative and quantitative methods and is international in scope, including work in Europe, North America and Australasia.

Marsh Director Visits China


Rob Johnston recently visited the Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in Yangling, China, to instruct a PhD short course on natural resource economics and valuation, and also to develop international research collaborations related to ecosystem service valuation. He also visited Ansai County in northern Shaanxi Province to conduct preliminary research on some of China's soil and water conservation initiatives.

As a result of these collaborations, the Marsh Institute will soon host a visiting PhD student, Liuyang Yao, supported by a China Scholarship Council award. These awards pay travel and living expenses to support collaborations between top Chinese graduate students and recognized international scholars. Luiyang will be visiting the Institute for approximately 12-18 months to work as a collaborative research assistant to Rob Johnston and to further his studies in ecosystem service valuation. These exchanges will lead to broader research collaborations and funding opportunities involving Clark and Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University.

Drought vs. Legislatures: Drought is Winning

No Wake 6/5/2014

"Scattered thunderstorms in the Rockies and parts of the Southwest are doing little to ease the hardships caused by the severe drought, now going on almost three years in some states. ... Towns and cities in New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Oklahoma and California have taken strong measures to restrict local water use over the past months--and the number doing so has increased. However, there's a chance of diminishing returns when people cut back watering their lawns or flush the toilet less often, said Colin Polsky, a professor of geography at Clark University in Massachusetts. 'At some point, you've squeezed out all the non-essential use for water, and you have no place to go. And if the drought is the new normal, you have fewer tools to work with to deter the impact,' he said." More »

Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows to Embark on Summer Research

The Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and the George Perkins Marsh Institute, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have announced their NOAA Fellows for 2014. Scientists and managers with NOAA are partnering for a third year with Clark University to offer qualified undergraduate students paid summer field internships in NOAA labs and offices nationwide, working in fields such as applied ocean and atmospheric science, policy, and science communication. Each student's summer activities are overseen by a NOAA scientist or manager, and advised by a Clark faculty mentor.

Receiving fellowships for the summer are:

MurphyJulianne Murphy '17 is an intended Biology or Biochemistry major who will work in New Jersey on the project, Diet Effects on Growth and Survival of Deep Sea Red Crab Larvae. Her Clark faculty mentor is Professor Luis Smith from the Carlson School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

HisabayashiMichino Hisabayashi '15 is a Geography major, Economics minor whose NOAA Project will be in Hawaii working on NOAA's Sentinel Site Program and Habitat Blueprint - From Observation to Stewardship. Professor Deborah Martin of the Graduate School of Geography will serve as Michino's faculty mentor.

CarrascoSilvana "Vanessa" Carrasco '15 is majoring in Biology and will spend the summer in Seattle studying Impacts of Storage on Bacterial Levels and Product Quality of Farm-raised Macroalgae. Her faculty mentor is Professor David Hibbett of Clark's Biology Department.

The Fellows were feted at a luncheon at the Mosakowski Institute on April 29th. This is the third year that the Marsh and Mosakowski Institutes have partnered with NOAA to offer fellowships to Clark University students. Three of four 2013 Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows shared their experiences with the students and guests at the luncheon. Faye Harwell '15 a biology major whose NOAA project involved coastal ecology in Maine, talked about the deep sense of community she felt: "I was invited into a real research family." Lucas Earl '14, a geography major who worked in Puget Sound said he'd "gained a lot by participating in research at a high academic level." Economics major Desiree Jerome '14 shared her reflections on working at NOAA headquarters in Washington, DC, on socio-economic policy and analysis projects. Johnston noted her success in a rigorous and demanding internship.