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... Read more
Dr. William (“Bill”) Beyers has the unusual privilege and distinction of serving his entire academic career at a single institution. In 1958 he finished his undergraduate work at University of Washington, and his mentor Morgan Thomas, encouraged Bill to continue with graduate work (“demanded it”, as Bill recounted). Thomas was an economic geographer and former chair of the Geography department. When Bill received his PhD in 1967, the university was undergoing rapid expansion, and he suspects... Read more
Dr. Rick Roth joined UW Geography in March 1988, as the first person to fill the department’s new role of academic advising. He’s seen many changes in the nearly 30 years that have passed. He was expected to wear a jacket and tie, and the faculty was very “male” with Vicky Lawson being the only female faculty member. The emphasis was primarily on graduate students and research. Rick says that over the years the department has become more interested in social and environmental justice,... Read more
Prior to coming to the University of Washington, Megan Ybarra spent four years as Assistant Professor of Politics and contributing faculty member in Latin American Studies and American Ethnic Studies at Willamette University. For Ybarra, her passion for research was sparked by a footnote.
“I took a world history class my senior year of high school that waxed poetic about the importance of the French Revolution for the world, but then only acknowledged the slaves who freed themselves and... Read more
Christine Biermann is originally from Upstate New York, but was drawn to the University of Washington after earning an undergraduate, Master’s and PhD in Geography at three different universities – Geneseo, the University of Tennessee and Ohio State University.
Biermann is one of the newest faculty members to join the Geography department this year, and her dissertation research examined the movement to restore the American chestnut. The chestnut tree was driven nearly to extinction by an... Read more
For Dr. Delia Heck, students have always come first. Currently serving in three positions at Ferrum College–Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Chair of the Faculty Council, and as Coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan – balancing so many roles hasn’t lessened her dedication to her students.
Ferrum College is located in rural Appalachian Virginia, where Delia nurtures her students’ intellectual and technical growth by offering hands-on approaches to learning. She also partners... Read more
Upon first moving to Seattle before beginning her doctoral work at UW Geography, Meredith Reitman was surprised at the similarities between Seattle and her hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Like Ann Arbor, Seattle was home to an outstanding public university and saw itself as a liberal, progressive city. Both cities faced significant issues of racial discrimination that were largely unacknowledged. Soon after beginning her studies in 1997, a fellow geography graduate student shared Peggy... Read more
International organizations such as the United Nations and national governments are making very slow progress in addressing the social and environmental impacts of climate change. But Brandon Derman’s dissertation research shows that citizen-activists around the world are addressing these challenges in a variety of ways and in ever growing numbers. Activists are mobilizing the public to participate in social forums, grassroots organizing, and innovative demonstrations, in order to pressure... Read more
Srinivas Chokkakula – Understanding water disparities in India
Srinivas Chokkakula completed his PhD in the Geography earlier this academic year, focusing on research relating to water disputes in India.
“The most exciting part of the research project is the sense of having been able to advance the frontiers of existing understanding about the problem of interstate water disputes in India,” Chokkakula said. “And transboundary water conflicts generally, and contributing to possible ways of... Read more