Sarah Elwood is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington, and a faculty affiliate of the UW’s West Coast Poverty Center, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, and Certificate in Public Scholarship. With Vicky Lawson, she co-directs the Relational Poverty Network (RPN), a transnational interdisciplinary community of scholars collaborating to develop conceptual frameworks, research methodologies, and pedagogies for the study of relational poverty.
Elwood received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Minnesota and previously held faculty positions at DePaul University and the University of Arizona. Her research program has multiple strands, contributing to urban geography, relational poverty, visual politics, critical GIS & geoweb studies, and mixed methods. Her current research examines middle class poverty politics in the U.S. and Argentina, collaboration with Vicky Lawson, Nícolas Viotti, and Santiago Canevaro. Two recently completed initiatives examined the role of the geoweb in transforming privacy, activism and visual epistemologies; and the potential of interactive mapping technologies in fostering young teens’ collaborative learning and critical politics. Her work has appeared in Progress in Human Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, among others. She is co-editor of 2 books, Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge: Volunteered Geographic Information in Theory and Practice (with Daniel Sui & Michael Goodchild), and Qualitative GIS: A Mixed Methods Approach (with Meghan Cope).
Elwood's work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation, National Geographic Education Foundation, and others. Her research, teaching and community collaborations have been recognized by the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award, the Department of Geography’s Student Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Sustainable Seattle’s Sustainable Community Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award from the AAG’s Political Geography Specialty Group.