I received my Ph.D. in geography and urban and regional planning from the University of Vienna, where I taught in the geography and planning program until I came to the University of Minnesota in 1985. In my recent research projects I have continued to pursue long standing interests in international migration/immigration, urban development, and urban landscapes, but also have embarked on new areas, such as GIS and society. My regional interests are closely linked to regions I have lived in and thus have familiarity with; namely Europe, the US and Indonesia.
Throughout my career I have been attracted to interdisciplinary research at the conceptual and practical level. In my research I have drawn from theories in economics, political science, sociology and anthropology. However the major goal has always been to not just use theoretical concepts developed in other disciplines, but bring a geographic perspective to them. I have attempted to demonstrate to my colleagues in other disciplines the importance of space, place and scale in understanding and explaining the social, economic, cultural and political phenomena which they study. A major concern in all of my research endeavors has been to address socially relevant issues and explore them from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Theoretical and empirical work, in particular fieldwork, are inseparable facets of my research. Field research provides an important testing ground for theoretical concepts, and supplies insights that aid me in conceptualizing a phenomenon or process.