From the Chair, Summer 2015

Lucy Jarosz Headshot
Lucy Jarosz

We inaugurate the electronic version of Geograph, Geography’s electronic newsletter, with this issue. We hope to publish this newsletter in the fall and spring as a way to connect with our alumni and share news within the department and among our wider communities on and off campus. This issue highlights faculty, staff, alumni and recent PhD students in their research, teaching, professional activities and in their everyday lives. Thanks to Rick Roth, Sharon Frucci, Ryan Burns, Ashley Walls and Wendy Kramer for your help in creating this newsletter.

What a year of changes this has been! We are welcoming two new faculty members to the department, Christine Biermann and Megan Ybarra. Christine Biermann specializes in nature-society relations, political ecology, race, science studies, and the Anthropocene. Her classes concern the global environment, conservation, and energy development. Megan Ybarra’s research interests include nature-society relations, political ecology, postcolonial and critical race theories and transnational migrations with a regional focus upon Mexico and Central America. Her classes examine questions of race, nature and power, migration and the borderlands between the US and Mexico. Three new staff members also joined us this past year. We are happy to welcome Sharon Frucci, who returns as Department Administrator, Wendy Kramer, Senior Computer Specialist, and James Baginski, Director of Academic Services. Sharon is a highly experienced Administrator and returns to Geography from the Art Department. Wendy has a degree in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Arizona and has wide ranging interests, which include her volunteer activities with wildlife rehabilitation. James received his PhD in Geography from Ohio State in economic geography and has recently relocated to Seattle.

This has also been a time to celebrate the long-standing contributions of faculty and staff, as well.  We stop to recognize Rick Roth’s 28 years of service to the department and Bill Beyers, having taught his well-regarded undergraduate class on the Pacific Northwest for the last time during winter quarter. Two of our faculty members are either continuing or beginning their administrative responsibilities to the University in other programs. Steve Herbert will continue on as Director of the Law Society and Justice Program and Vicky Lawson was named as the Director of UW Honors Program.

Please feel free to reach out to with any story ideas and news items.

Wishing you a most wonderful summer,

Lucy Jarosz