Chelsea L. Cervantes de Blois has found success in her research by making real connections with the communities she works in. “When you speak to a person in your language, you speak to their minds. When you speak to a person in their language, you speak to their heart.”
The Gullah/Geechee Nation has a unique, centuries-old American culture that is under threat. Geography undergraduates Erin Jones and Karah VueBenson traveled to visit Gullah/Geechee people face-to-face to learn from them about their struggles and how collaborative scholarship can contribute to their efforts to protect their land.
Perceptions of the homeless are often incorrect. These misconceptions leave room for ineffective policy. Eric Goldfischer, a PhD candidate in geography, is working to change the way we see homelessness. Through his work, he hopes to realign public opinion to match the reality of homelessness in our society.
Racial covenants were hidden in tens of thousands of Minneapolis housing deeds. Graduate student Kevin Ehrman-Solberg is using GIS mapping to shed light on the hidden history and conventional narrative of the city.
Sophomore Kate Carlson has already job shadowed a county GIS specialist, mapped Shakespearean plays as part of her honors project, and worked in the dendrochronology lab. “The Department of Geography offers experiences that teach not only the concepts needed in the field of geography, but also the real-world applications of them,” she says.
New assistant professor Eric Shook’s research is interdisciplinary, allowing him to "bring social scientists into the computational landscape and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems; problems in health, crime, risks, and hazards all can be examined from a diverse lens by leveraging big spatial data,” he says.
Geography celebrated the fifty-third annual Ralph H. Brown Day this past April. The event aims to encourage conversation among geography students, faculty, and alumni from across the Department of Geography, Environment & Society. Professor Dan Brown from the University of Michigan presented the keynote lecture.
As temperature increases, precipitation decreases, and food availability is unstable. This is a major challenge for poor communities in third world countries such as Africa. Assistant Professor Kathryn Grace has most recently examined how this is affecting birthweight, and more specifically how it links to low birth weight babies.
Talia Anderson nurtured a deep interest in working on environmental issues in Central America during a study abroad experience in Venezuela spring semester of her sophomore year. After a field week in Guatemala her junior year, she was granted an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program scholarship for her research on tree rings in relation to climate in Guatemala. Anderson credits CLA’s curriculum in helping her find her path and prepare her for the future.
The ninth annual Borchert Lecture Series was held on campus on November 20. This year the featured speaker was Amy Kircher, who spoke on food safety. Held in conjunction with the campus-wide Spatial Forum, the series attracted students, faculty, staff and GIS professionals from across Minnesota.