Celebrating Black Geographers
The Third Cohort: 2011-2020
Conceived, compiled, and edited by Dr. Dee Jordan, with special thanks to James Mallinson – Manager, Operations & Events and Nicole Oveisi – Special Projects and Initiatives Coordinator
Preferred citation: Demetrice Jordan, et.al, “Celebrating Black Geographers: The Third Cohort 2011-2020,” American Geographical Society, last modified February 2, 2023, https://americangeo.org/black-geographers-2011-2020.
Click HERE to submit a profile
- Killing of Osama bin Laden (May 2, 2011)
- Occupy Wall Street (September 17, 2011)
PhD, Oregon State University, 2011
Research Interest:Transboundary Water Conflict, GIScience, Agricultural Development
Dr. Iyob is a Manager and Program Analyst for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Food Security, advising on water and irrigation projects. He is also the activity manager for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation and the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia. Dr. Iyob taught geography courses at the University of New Hampshire and helped assess irrigation and harvesting methods at a sugar cane farm in Mauritius. An Eritrean native, Dr. Iyob served as a soil and water conservationist with Eritrea’s Ministry of Agriculture. Additionally, he was an assistant hydrogeologist for a consulting firm and a technical and manual laborer in irrigated farms run by the Eritrean Army. He holds a doctorate in geography, focusing on the Nile Basin, a master’s degree in remote sensing from Oregon State University, focusing on vegetation change, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mauritius, and a bachelor’s degree in soil and water conservation from the University of Asmara, Eritrea. Read more.
PhD, University of Georgia, 2011
Research Interest: Alternative Food Movements, Sustainable Agriculture, Black geographies
Dr. McCutcheon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Her scholarship in Black food geographies and land politics weaves together geographies of religious organizations, environmental justice, land/food access, and Black geographies to interrogate the structural inequalities and racial disparities in land ownership, particularly in the U.S. South. She has served on the editorial boards of Progress in Environmental Geography, Environment and Planning E, and Agricultural and Human Values, as well as serving as Chair of the Black Geographies Specialty Group and committee member on the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Finance Committee, Awards Committee, and Diversity Committee. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the inaugural Rickie Sanders Junior Faculty Award from the Feminist Geography Specialty Group, Emerging Diversity Scholar Citation from the National Center for Institutional Diversity, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow from the University of Kentucky, and Transdisciplinary Research Award from the University of Louisville. Dr. McCutcheon is also a 2023 AAG Fellow. Read more.
- Kony 2012 released (March 5, 2012)
- Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT (December 14, 2012)
- Bombing of the Boston Marathon by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (April 15, 2013)
- Acquittal of George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin (July 13, 2013)
- Death of Nelson Mandela (December 5, 2013)
PhD, Goethe University Frankfurt, 2013
Research Interest: Economic Geographies, Globalization, Development
Dr. Ouma is Professor and Chair of Economic Geography in the Department of Geography at Universität Bayreuth. Previously, he worked as postdoctoral scholar at Goethe-University, Frankfurt. He is a member of the Editorial Collective of Antipode and also part of the Advisory Board of Critical African Studies and Environment and Planning A. Dr. Ouma’s research centers on the political economy and ecology of global supply chains, the financialization of land and agriculture, the digital transformation of labor, and on “African Futures.” His research experience is in both the Global South (West and East Africa) and the Global North (Germany, New Zealand), and cultivates a global-relational perspective on geographically uneven development processes. Dr. Ouma holds a Bachelor of Art in Human Geography from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and a Master of Art in African Development Studies from Bayreuth University, as well as a PhD in Economic Geography from the University of Frankfurt. Read more.
- World Health Organization releases report on Ebola outbreak in West Africa (March 23, 2014)
PhD, Rutgers University, 2014
Research Interest: Weather and climate hazards & disasters, global environmental change, urban economic development, and sports geographies
Dr. Mark Barnes is an Associate Professor in History, Geography, & Museum Studies at Morgan State University and directs Environmental Studies. He is a co-founder of the Geospatial Collaborative, which is a consortium of faculty and staff at Morgan State University whose primary aim is to enable its transition into a geospatial campus through geospatial-related course offerings, research initiatives, and community service engagements in Baltimore City and beyond. Dr. Barnes became a National Councilor for the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in 2023. He was named a National Science Foundation Next Generation of Hazards and Disaster Fellow in 2014 and participated in the Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success Professional Development Program in Earth System Science in 2012. He was an AAG Jeanne X. Kasperson Hazards Student Paper Award Recipient, Rutgers University Eagleton Institute of Politics Fellow, and West Chester University Legacy of Leadership Class Inductee. Dr. Barnes is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
PhD, Florida International University, 2014
Research Interest:Black Geographies, Feminist Geographies, American South, Critical Geographies, Black Feminism, Sexuality Studies, Qualitative Methods
Dr. Eaves is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She serves as Principal Investigator (PI) on a National Science Foundation funded multi-institution collaboration project. As an Assistant Professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), Dr. Eaves was the founding faculty member in the Department of Global Studies & Human Geography. She co-led an education abroad program to Senegal for Africana Studies and Global Studies students. Dr. Eaves served as Co-Chair of the National Women’s Studies Association’s (NWSA) Women of Color Leadership Caucus from 2015-2017. She is a member of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Governing Council, member of the Harassment-Free Task Force, and recipient of several AAG awards, including the Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors by the AAG, the AAG’s 2019 Enhancing Geography Award, and was named a 2023 AAG Fellow. Dr. Eaves was the lead Co-Founder of the AAG Black Geographies Specialty Group (BGSG) and served as the inaugural Chair from 2017-2020. Read more.
Lorena Francisco de Souza
PhD, Universidade de São Paulo, 2014
Research Interest: Human Geography, Teaching of Geography, Race and Gender in Geography
Dr. Francisco de Souza is a Professor of Geography at the Itapuranga University Unit of the State University of Goiás (UEG). She is the coordinator of the Nucleus of African and Afrodiasporic Studies (NEAAD) at UEG, and the Editorial chief of UEG’s Temporis (Action) Magazine. She is a member of the Ibero-Latin American Geography, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Network (REGGSILA) and the Center for Studies and Research in Geographic Education (NEPEG/UFG). She is also a collaborating researcher at the Laboratory of Ethnic-Racial, Gender, and Spatial Studies (LaGENTE/UFG). Dr. Francisco de Souza holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of São Paulo, and a Master’s and bachelor’s degree in Geography from the Federal University of Goiás. She is also a collaborator of the Graduate Program in Geography at the State University of Ponta Grossa (UEPG). Read more.
PhD, London School of Economics, 2014
Research Interest: Black Geographies, Economic Geography, Caribbean Thought, Constructions and Infrastructures of Poverty, Decoloniality, Inequality, Race, Economy, and the Market; the Caribbean (Jamaica), and African American communities (Tulsa, OK)
Dr. Lewis is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of California Berkeley. He is the Co-Chair of the Economic Disparities Research Cluster at Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (HIFIS). His current book project provisionally titled, Reparative Circuits: Crime, Capital and Postcolonial Connection in Jamaica, examines how disadvantaged black youth in Jamaica engaged in the practice of international “lottery scamming,” mobilize a reparative logic of seizure in utilizing the development apparatuses of internet communication technology, customer service procedures, and money transfer services to secure economic and social mobility, from the thematic perspective of how race frames the experiences of those challenges and how a lack of resources is reconciled through attempts to rectify or simply cope with its absence. He founded the Berkeley Black Geographies Project in 2016 where he serves as director. In 2021, Dr. Lewis was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the state’s Reparations Taskforce. Read more.
- Shooting kills 12 at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris (January 7, 2015)
- Apple releases the first emojis with diverse skin colors in its Mac and iOS operating systems (April 8, 2015)
- United States Supreme Court establishes a right to same-sex marriage in its decision on Obergefell v. Hodges (June 26, 2015)
- The drafting of the Paris Agreement on climate change is finalized. (December 12, 2015)
Ashanté M. Reese
PhD, American University, 2015
Research Interest: Black geographies space, place, and anti-Black sentiment; Black food geographies; community and vulnerability
Dr. Reese is an Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies in the African & African Diaspora Studies Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Her work is at the intersection of critical food studies and Black geographies, examining the ways Black people produce and navigate food-related spaces. Prior to starting here PhD, Dr. Reese taught middle school at Coretta Scott King Leadership Academy. Her first book, Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C., takes up these themes through an ethnographic exploration of antiblackness and food access. The book won the 2020 Best Monograph Award from the Association for the Study of Food and Society and 2020 Margaret Mead Award jointly awarded by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. Her second book, Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice, is a collection co-edited with Hanna Garth that explores the geographic, social, and cultural dimensions of food in Black life across the U.S. Dr. Reese was the recipient of the 2020-21 Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship. Read more.
- Omar Mateen guns down 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida (June 12, 2016)
- The citizens of the United Kingdom vote in favor of leaving the European Union (June 23, 2016)
- Donald Trump is elected the 45th President of the United States (November 9, 2016)
PhD, Michigan State University, 2016
Research Interest: Human Geography; Environmental Policy; Water
Dr. Adams is an Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Policy at Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, affiliated faculty with the Environmental Change Initiative and the Eck Institute for Global Health, and Faculty Fellow for Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, Dr. Adams was an Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Geosciences at Georgia State University. His areas of expertise are environmental policy; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); water policy and governance; gender, water, and development; cities; political ecology; and sub-Saharan Africa. He is a consultant for the World Bank working to develop a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) and Health Index for Africa. Dr. Adams is the co-recipient of the Nabuo Maeda International Research Award from the American Public Health Association. In 2020, he received the Distinguished Emerging Scholar Award from the American Association of Geographers. Read more.
PhD, Oregon State University, 2016
Research Interest: GIScience, Geography of Gentrification, and Environmental Justice
Dr. Landry is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Geography Department at The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona. She is a scholar activist, GIS analyst, and cartographer, and has used her skills in support of the Missouri River Water Security Threats from the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. Dr. Landry has also worked as a geospatial analyst, mapping soil viability for the Prairie Soils for Sustainable Restoration Project for the Benton Soil Water and Conservation District. While at Oregon State University, Dr. Landry taught Sustainability and GIS courses in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Her research interests are in gentrification and environmental justice, with a focus on understanding the spatial-temporal patterns of the differing trajectories of gentrification and the competing theories of causation related to urban park access. Dr. Landry is a black belt in Taekwondo and has competed in regional and national tournaments. Read more.
- The United States is struck by three major hurricanes: Harvey, Irma, and Maria
- Actress Alyssa Milano urges women to tweet #MeToo to highlight the problems of sexual harrassment and assault (October 16, 2017)
PhD, University of Sheffield, 2017
Research Interest: Cultural Geography, Urban planning, Development Sociology, Geography, Leisure, and Recreation
Dr. Adu-Ampong is an Assistant Professor in the Cultural Geography group at Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. He is the Co-Editor of the Tourism Planning and Development journal. Dr. Adu-Ampong is currently developing a primary research programme on the geographies of slavery heritage tourism. The project is being funded by a generous award from the Dutch National Research Council’s Veni Grant. Dr. Adu-Ampong was awarded a Bachelor of Art degree in Sociology and Social Work. He received a Master of Science in Tourism, Environment, and Development from the Geography Department at King’s College in London. Additionally, he received a Master of Art in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and a Master of Art in International Relations from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals in Barcelona, Spain. As a doctoral student, Dr. Adu-Ampong founded the Tourism Research Network (TourRNet) and the yearly TourNet Phd/ECR symposium series. Read more.
PhD, University of Reading, 2017
Research Interest: Digital Geographies, Human/Cultural Geographies, and Critical Theory
Dr. Dornelles is an Independent Researcher. She was awarded a PhD in Human Geography by the University of Reading, UK. Her research addresses the dynamics of social exclusion, inclusion, and agency, with a special focus on gendered relations and their role in the production of digital spaces and spaces of the digital. Dr. Dornelles holds a Master’s in Human Geography, and a bachelor’s and licensed teacher degree in Geography from the University of Brasilia – UnB. Read more.
Azeetat Johnson (deceased, 2022)
PhD, University of Sheffield, 2017
Research Interest: Black feminism, Critical Race Studies, Experiences of Muslims, and Islamophobia
Dr. Johnson joined the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London upon the completion of her doctorate. She received an Economic and Social Research Council-LISS DTP Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2018 and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship in 2019 to complete her training. The research for the Leverhulme Fellowship focused on home-making for Black women in contemporary Britain. Her work challenged the deep-rooted and enduring white structures of power in academia, including through her landmark co-edited book, The Fire Now: anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence (with Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Beth Kamunge, Zed Books, 2018) and her paper, ‘Throwing our bodies against the white background of academia’ (Area, 2019). Dr. Johnson Co-Organized conferences, seminar series and, ultimately, an essay collection (‘The Fire Now’). She was a founding member of Sheffield’s Critical Race and Ethnicity Black Feminist network and the Geography and Embodiment (GEM) Collective. Dr. Johnson passed away on March 7, 2022. Read more.
MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017
Research Interest: Energy Geography; JEDI & engineering education
Ms. Marshall is the Inaugural Extension Assistant Professor & Director of Outreach, Retention & Engagement in NC State Nuclear Engineering and is responsible for pre-college through graduate level initiatives. Her research work is in the areas of energy geography, (nuclear) engineering education, (inter)national co-curricular scholarship, geographic information systems (GIS), as well as STEM education for women and under-served populations. She is a former board member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the recipient of the 2022 ANS Social Responsibility in the Nuclear Community, 2022 ANS Presidential Citation (Education, Scholarship & Diversity), 2020 ANS Young Members Advancement Award, 2020 NC State Engineering Champion for Women Award, 2019 NC State Outstanding Engagement Award, 2009 ANS Landis Public Communications & Education Award, and was inducted into Sigma Xi, a scientific research society. She currently holds executive positions in the American Nuclear Society (ANS), the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) & the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Ms. Marshall is currently completing her PhD. Read more.
PhD, University of Maryland, 2017
Research Interest: Geographical Sciences, Food Agriculture
Dr. Nakalembe is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Geographical Sciences. She is the Africa Program Director under NASA Harvest, and a member of the NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team, where she serves as the Agriculture and Food Security Thematic Lead. For her dedication to improving food security in Africa through the enhanced use of earth observations, Dr. Nakalembe received the 2019 Individual Excellence Award from the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Geneva, Switzerland, the 2020 Africa Food Prize from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and Uganda’s highest civilian award, and the Presidential Golden Jubilee Medal presented by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda in 2022. Her research focuses on developing remote sensing and machine learning applications for smallholder agriculture, early warning of food insecurity, and disaster assessment in Africa. She holds a Ph.D. in Geographical Science from the University of Maryland, Master’s in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Makerere University, Uganda. Read more.
PhD, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2017
Research Interest: Urban Geography, Social Movements, Places, Networks, and Flows
Dr. Wright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Florida. He studies the intersections of (anti)blackness and urban spatial change, particularly how black residents create and sustain a sense of place in working class communities. In 2019, Dr. Wright and colleagues won the Antipode Scholar-Activist Project Award from the Antipode Foundation. He has served as the Corresponding Editor for the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Publications Committee Member for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, and an Advisory Board Member for the Nature-Society-Violence Book Series from the West Virginia University Press. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, a Master of Art in Pan-African Studies from the University of Louisville, and a Bachelor of Art in Communication Disorders from the University of Houston. Read more.
- Royal wedding of British Prince Harry and American actress Megan Markle (May 19, 2018)
Saul Daniel Ddumba
PhD, Michigan State University, 2018
Research Interest: Geography, Climate Change Science, Environmental Science and Policy
Dr. Ddumba is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography, Geo-Informatics, and Climatic Sciences at Makerere University in Uganda, with courses in climate change, climate change mitigation, environmental and social impact assessment, remote sensing, GIS, and natural resource planning. His areas of expertise are climate change modeling, environmental science and policy, disaster risk assessments and management for both mainland and coastal communities. He has contributed to development of crop-climate modeling systems, climate change policy formulation and implementation of various projects in several countries in the Horn of Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. Dr. Ddumba serves as a Climate Scientist and Energy Resource Expert for Deutsche Gesellschaft fϋr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), developing a climate change strategy and action plan (CCSAP) for the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development, and is a member of the Ministry of Water and Environment’s National Adaptation Technical Writing Group. Read more.
PhD, University of California-Berkeley, 2018
Research Interest: Sociology, African Diaspora, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, African American / Black Studies, Immigration, Activism, Discrimination and Inequality, Labor and Social Movements
Dr. Hawthorne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). Her teaching focuses on race, immigration, and citizenship; political economy; Black geographies; subjectivity and identity; and social theory. She is a principal faculty member in UCSC’s Critical Race and Ethnic Studies program. Additionally, she co-directs the Black Geographies Lab at UCSC and is co-editor of the edited volumes The Black Mediterranean (2021) and The Black Geographic (2023). She is the Past Chair of the American Association of Geographer’s Black Geographies Specialty Group and serves on the editorial boards of Environmental Planning D: Society & Space and California Italian Studies. Dr. Hawthorne is project manager and faculty member of the Black Europe Summer School, a two-week intensive course on citizenship, race, and the Black diaspora in Europe that is held each summer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her monograph in 2022 titled Contesting Race and Citizenship: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean explores the politics of Blackness and citizenship in Italy. Read more.
- The 116th United States Congress, the most diverse class of U.S. lawmakers in history, is sworn in (January 3, 2019)
- NASA releases the first ever photo of a black hole, taken by the Event Horizon Telescope (April 10, 2019)
- The first impeachment of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress (December 12, 2019)
PhD, Michigan State University, 2019
Research Interest: Healthcare and Medical Geography
Dr. Kelepile is a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana. She is a health and medical geographer who uses GIS and spatial epidemiological techniques to examine the complex interplay between disease, population and the environment. Her research areas are HIV/AIDS, Antiretroviral therapies adherence, Spatial Epidemiology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Health Services Research, PMTCT, and COVID-19. She uses new theoretical perspectives to investigate how environmental change and uncertainties are understood and experienced by individuals and communities, across scales from the household to the nation. In 2022, Dr. Kelepile became an Associate Editor (Geospatial Science) for African Geographical Review, an American Association of Geographers’ journal. Read more.
PhD, City University of New York Graduate Center, 2019
Research Interest: Policing, Abolition, Urbanism
Dr. Dozier is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at California State University – Long Beach. Her research expertise is in the fields of critical race and gender studies, Black studies, carceral geographies, urban planning and policy, cultural geography, and social movement studies. Her upcoming book titled, “Contested Development: A Poor People’s Movement for a Better Los Angeles, 1960-2020”, explores the possibility and foreclosure of freedom dreams. The book narrates how poor people abolish the penal organization of their lives by reducing policing and creating livable communities in Downtown Los Angeles. A portion of this work is published in the International Journal for Urban and Regional Research. Dr. Dozier’s next project examines how Black women artists produce collective and imaginative praxis of land and space. Read more.
- Governments across the world enact lockdown measures in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic (March, 2020)
- George Floyd is killed by police officer Derek Chauvin, setting off nationwide protests by Black Lives Matter. (May 25, 2020)
demetrice "dee" Jordan
PhD, Michigan State University, 2020
Research Interest: Health Geography, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Health Equity, Global Health, Spatial Risk Reduction, Representation in Education
Dr. Jordan is a Dean’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has a dual-doctorate in Geography and Environmental Science and Policy from Michigan State University, becoming the first student in the department to receive a dual-PhD. Dee’s research focuses on the ecological and environmental determinants of disease risk for vector-borne parasitic illnesses, infectious diseases, and Neglected Tropical Diseases of sub-Saharan Africa. She is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant and has developed innovative programs and curricula to promote the principles of DEI in academic and non-profit settings. Dr. Jordan is the Founder of the Advancing Geography Through Diversity Program (AGTDP) at Michigan State University, which seeks to address the persistent underrepresentation of African American, Latinx American, and Native American graduate students in the discipline of Geography, the program has already graduated several master’s and Doctoral recipients. She Co-Created and Co-Facilitated the first DEI Responsible Conduct for Research (RCR) curriculum for Harvard Medical School’s Postdoctoral trainees titled, Resiliency and Inclusion in Academic Research. Dr. Jordan has received a number of awards for her scholarship and activism including the American Association of Geographers Enhancing Diversity Award in 2020, becoming the first graduate student to receive the honor. She received an NIH Loan Repayment award from the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program Fellow. She is an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Fellow at Harvard Chan School of Public Health, where she is a candidate for a Master of Public Health in Global Health. She is a proud member of the National Council of Negro Women and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Jordan is a Councilmember of the American Geographical Society (AGS) and the Creator of the Celebrating Black Geographers Anthology hosted online by AGS. Read more.
PhD, University of Western Ontario, 2020
Research Interest: Sustainability and Geographies of Food
Dr. Kansanga is an Assistant Professor of Geography and International Affairs in the Department of Geography at George Washington University. His research explores questions at the intersection of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, using community-based and participatory approaches. In the past decade, Dr. Kansanga’s research has focused on integrating traditional knowledge systems and modern science to generate contextually appropriate solutions to complex socioecological issues such as food insecurity and climate change. Dr. Kansanga spoke at the American Geographical Society’s (AGS) Geography 2050 Symposium: The Future of Food, in November 2022. Read more.
MS, Michigan State University, 2020
Research Interest: Periglacial Geomorphology, Arctic Geography, Physical Geography
Ms. Mitchell is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Science at Michigan State University (MSU). She was a member of the 2018, history-making first cohort of the Advancing Geography Through Diversity Program (AGTDP) at MSU. Her focus is on periglacial (cold but unglaciated) geomorphology. Specifically, she is interested in the relationship between patterned ground, hillslope hydrology, and landscape evolution. Ms. Mitchell has extensive fieldwork experience in periglacial regions across Alaska and northwestern British Columbia, Canada. In 2020, she won the Innovation Award for Cryospheric Sciences, which is granted once a year to students within the Cryosphere Section showing great potential and innovative work within the field, and a University Rasmussen Fellowship recipient for doctoral studies. Ms. Mitchell serves on the board of the American Association of Geographer’s Polar Geography Specialty Group. Read more.
PhD, Michigan State University, 2020
Research Interest: Geography, Human-Environment Interactions, Sustainable Agriculture for Smallholder Farming Systems and Agricultural Extension Services, Land Cover and Land Use Change, Sub-Sahara Africa
Dr. Mungai is a Dean’s Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Geography at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Her research focuses on human-environment interactions using an interdisciplinary lens of geography and agroecology at multiple geographic scales for African smallholder farming systems. She uses geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing to examine spatial-temporal patterns of sustainable intensification of agriculture. She links these to land use, climate, and social-economic drivers using mixed-methods that integrate context-specific information from researchers, farming communities, and extension services to develop appropriate solutions towards sustainable agricultural systems. Dr. Mungai is the primary organizer of The future of food security: Geospatial solutions to agricultural challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa paper session at the American Association of Geographers 2023 Annual Meeting. Read more.
PhD, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, 2020
Research Interest: Medical Geography, Healthcare Access, GIS & Spatial Analysis, Social Epidemiology, Health, and Healthcare Equity
Dr. Planey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Gilling School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is a Fellow in the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Her research includes collaborative studies of birth outcomes (preterm birth and low birth weight) among Black immigrants in segregated neighborhoods, spatial mismatch by race and gender among workers in US metro areas, and the disparate effects of rural hospital closures on acute care access. She holds a Master’s from the University of Chicago and bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Planey is an avid blogger. Read more.
PhD, The Ohio State University, 2020
Research Interest: Indigenous geographies/epistemologies, Science and Technology studies, and Tribal Cultural Resource Preservation/Protection
Dr. Smiles is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada. He is an Indigenous geographer whose research intersects critical Indigenous geographies, human-environment interactions, political ecology, tribal cultural resource preservation, and science and technology studies. His current projects investigate the political ecologies and political economies of Indigenous death and Indigenous relationships to space in general. He is a member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), and the Canadian Association of Geographers. Dr. Smiles received a PhD in Geography from The Ohio State University, a Master’s degree in Global Indigenous Studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Saint Cloud State University. He serves as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Geographic Indigenous Futures Collaboratory, or GIF Lab, which focuses on Indigenous geographic methods and collaborations with Indigenous communities. Dr. Smiles serves as a member of the editorial board of the journal Native American and Indigenous Studies, and on the Board of Trustees of Leech Lake Tribal College. Read more.
MS, Michigan State University, 2020
Research Interest:Cartography/GIS, Data Visualization, Graphic/Information Design, Visual Communication
Ms. Wilcox is a Data Assistant at Queens Public Library and Senior Fellow with New York Amsterdam News’ Blacklight Investigative Unit and Graphic Design and Production Team. She recently graduated from the Digital Graphic Design program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Murfreesboro. She was a member of the 2018 history-making first cohort of the Advancing Geography Through Diversity Program (AGTDP) at Michigan State University in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Science. In 2022, she won the Skills USA Statewide Graphic Design Contest in Tennessee. Her winning pin design included geographic and cartographic elements. Read more.