PREVIOUS AGS COUNCIL FELLOWSHIP WINNERS
For Ms. Saburna Chatterjee, the fellowship funded her Ph.D dissertation “Reducing Climate Change Vulnerability Through Adaptation with Particular Reference to Migration: A Study in the Indian Subdarbans.” In a recent interview with AGS, Ms. Chatterjee noted, “…a great honor for me. This Fellowship will certainly go a long way towards shaping my vision as a Geographer and will serve as a strong stepping stone for fulfilling my commitment to serve mankind through my work.”
Mr. Jordan Cissell’s fellowship award funded his Ph.D dissertation “Mangrove Change Detection and Habitat Mapping in Zapata Swamp, Cuba, Using Remote Sensing and Local Knowledge.” He stated, “I am incredibly honored and humbled to be selected as a recipient of the 2017 AGS Council Fellowship, and thoroughly appreciative of the opportunity it provides to travel to Zapata Swamp, Cuba, and conduct field work later this spring. Throughout the course of my graduate study, I have developed a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for both the beauty and importance of coastal wetland ecosystems, and this project presents the exciting opportunity to examine a critical ecosystem on the cusp of a period of potentially explosive economic and infrastructural development. I cannot wait to get down there and explore a topic that so thoroughly meshes human and environmental change dynamics! Thank you very much to the AGS for their generous support.”
Mr. Jedd Sankar-Gorton used the funds to support his Ph.D dissertation “The Impacts on Amenity Migration in and Around Slovenia’s Triglav National Parks.” Sankar-Gorton has told AGS that his research will focus on the implications of increasing use by traditional and new user groups for protected area planning and governance. Mr. Sankar-Gorton added, “I will look to build a better understanding of these issues to improve the efficacy of future planning and governance in mountainous areas. This study is also an opportunity to continue the seemingly fading tradition of geographers doing real fieldwork. This is a worthy cause as we move deeper into the era of remote sensing and funding cuts and I look forward to the chance to get out into the field.”
Ms. Dara Seidl used her funding to continue her study, “Personal Geomasking Behavior of Internet Users.” Based on a recent interview with Ms. Seidl, her research examines personal location masking behavior through an online survey, focusing on both the precision and accuracy of location information Internet users opt to provide when asked. Ms. Seidl noted, “The study contributes to geo-privacy research by addressing geomasking from the perspectives of individual Internet users, as well as explores potential drivers for concealing location. In particular, the funds will support a pilot study targeting individual-level attempts to protect location privacy online.”
For Ms. Debangana Bose the fellowship funded her interests in the dynamics of displacement and resettlement in India and the implications for the rest of the world as well as for urban theory. Her dissertation research focused on “Forced Resettlement, Illegality and Everyday Life in Peri-urban Delhi in India”. Through ethnographic field research in Delhi’s resettlement colonies, she is interested in understanding how illegality and precarity are understood and experienced by multiple actors such as the residents, land mafias, local leaders, NGO workers and actors of Delhi’s growth coalition. Her research aimed to explain a regime of planning and poverty, connecting governmental rationalities of eviction, displacement, and resettlement and the associated effects with rounds of urban expansion and illegal land markets.
Ms. Rakhee Kewada used the funds to support preliminary research in Tanzania during the summer of 2016. Her research revolved around the question of how different institutional forms of Chinese capital impact outcomes and struggles over uneven development at the local and global scales. The central goal of the preliminary research was to explore how ‘to empirically’ investigate this question. At the global scale, Rakhee analyzed the terms and conditions of the port construction projects, and their articulation with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Maritime Silk Road Project and will conduct interviews with business and government officials. At the local scale, she examined the level of investment on the part of Chinese capital in the social reproduction of the labor force. This exploratory research is vital in assessing whether or not the lens of social reproduction will enable the answering of the research question, as well as the feasibility of such a study.
For Ms. Sophia Albov, the fellowship supported her Masters’ research into the “Socio-geographic Components of the Alternative Agricultural Sector in Finland”. This research addressed the question of agricultural sustainability with a focus on three aspects of the alternative agricultural sector, including: urban agriculture, organic farming, and community supported agriculture (CSA). The project had three objectives: 1) to identify the geographic factors that influence the uptake and spatial diffusion of alternative agriculture; 2) to examine the specific European Union (EU) and Finnish state policy mechanisms driving the alternative agricultural sector and changes in Finland’s agricultural geography; and 3) to investigate farmers’ responses and adaptations to these policy mechanisms as well as other complex social and environmental challenges related to food production in the 21st century.
Ms. Nora Sylvander used the money towards the first phase of her dissertation fieldwork this summer in Nicaragua, which she expects to complete by 2018. Her research in Nicaragua examined the dynamics by which non-indigenous “mestizo” migrants are blamed for undermining conservation goals in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua. Drawing on political ecology, she will explore the relationship between the “Socio-political Marginalization of Mestizos and Conservation Outcomes in Nicaragua”.
Ms. Sara Hughes used the money towards three months of dissertation fieldwork in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. The project explores why Israelis, many of them recent immigrants from the United States, would choose to live in a military-occupied area because of a sense of community and security. She hopes to address how residents are constructing these concepts, how security infrastructure facilitates a certain lifestyle, and how residents are defining danger, safety, and community.
Mr. Oliver H. Wigmore’s research combines field hydrology, satellite remote sensing, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to identify drivers and quantify spatial and temporal variability in soil moisture storage in the pro-glacial valleys and wetlands of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Funds from the AGS Fellowship were used to purchase components for the development of a multi-rotor UAV capable of operating at 4,000 to 5,500 meters above sea level in the Andes and collect high-resolution multispectral imagery. This platform will be used to map surface soil moisture, land cover, and glacier surfaces and to generate digital elevation models at centimeter resolution across the study sites.