Mia Bennett

Assistant Professor
Mia Bennett

Contact Information

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By appointment


PhD, Geography, University of California, Los Angeles
MPhil, Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
BA, Political Science & European Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Mia Bennett is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography. As a political geographer with geospatial skills, she is interested in transportation infrastructure and natural resource development in northern frontiers, namely the Arctic, Russian Far East, and the more remote corridors of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Her work combines ethnographic fieldwork and remote sensing to consider issues such as how local and Indigenous actors leverage geopolitical transformations to attract development to their homelands. In recent years, Bennett's work has expanded to consider the geopolitics and epistemologies of satellites and remote sensing, leading her to collaborate with colleagues to develop the field of critical remote sensing. She is currently seeking graduate students (PhD and MA) interested in Arctic geopolitics, critical remote sensing, and related topics.

Bennett has conducted fieldwork on bridges both real and imagined in the Russian Far East, on a new highway to the Arctic Ocean in Canada’s Northwest Territories, atop the melting Greenland Ice Sheet, and inside air-conditioned offices in Singapore. Her research has been published in journals such as World Development, Political Geography, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, and Remote Sensing of Environment, and has been supported by generous grants from the Regional Studies Association, National Science Foundation, and International Council for Canadian Studies, among others. Bennett is passionate about making research about the Arctic accessible and meaningful to wider audiences, and is founder and editor of a long-running blog on the region, Cryopolitics. Her work in this area has been recognized by the Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award from the AAG’s Political Geography Specialty Group.

Bennett previously taught in the Department of Geography and School of Modern Languages & Cultures (China Studies Programme) at the University of Hong Kong.