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Geography

  • Aaron Maxwell

    ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    Dr Maxwell’s research interests are in geospatial instruction, hands-on learning, and learning via travel. His primary research is in remote sensing image analysis, spatial modeling, GIS, object-based image analysis, terrain analysis, physical geography, geomorphology, and hydrology.

  • Amy Hessl

    Director of Undergraduate Research, Honors College, and Professor of Geography

    Dr. Hessl uses the environmental information stored in the growth rings of trees to study climate variability, ecosystem processes, and human activities over the last 2000 years.

  • Bradley Wilson

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY and Director, WVU Center for Resilient Communities

    I am a broadly trained human geographer. My research is rooted in fields such as community economies, agrarian studies, political ecology, post-colonial theory, and rural development. For 20 years I have focused on the response of communities to regional economic crises - in coffee and coal country - and the central role of solidarity, mutual aid, grassroots initiatives and social movements in forging alternative rural development pathways in those regions. Methodologically I practice critical ethnography but in recent years have more fully embraced my identity as a participatory action researcher - working in teams to accompany community partners as they work for social change. With my students I have established a robust action research program and experiments focused on cooperative economics, food justice, food system development, community health and environmental justice in West Virginia and Appalachia which is now housed in the WVU Center for Resilient Communities. In recent years I have been thinking about pragmatist pedagogies and how to practice community geographies.

  • Brenden McNeil

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    Brenden uses fieldwork, remote sensing, and GIS to examine human impacts on the spatial patterns of forest ecosystem services, particularly in the eastern USA. In addition to the geography senior capstone course, he teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in physical geography, resource sustainability, environmental GIS, and spatial ecosystem ecology.

  • Brent McCusker

    PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY; DEPARTMENT CHAIR

    304-293-4025

    Brent is concerned with how the environment is produced, reproduced, and commodified to promote development in historically lesser developed areas, specifically sub-Saharan Africa. His research is focused around two themes (environment and development) with an interest in interaction between academia and policy makers, specifically the international development donor community.

  • Cynthia Gorman

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    Dr. Gorman’s research examines the legal geographies of political asylum in the U.S. and advocacy to expand human rights protections outlined in UN Refugee Conventions and Protocols. Using feminist legal archeology, her work traces how gendered and racialized logics of border control shape immigration categories and refugee status in the United States with a particular focus on those displaced from Central America. More recently, her work explores how immigration raids shape the politics of community life for immigrants who live in rural towns due to employment in meatpacking industries.

  • Eungul Lee

    ADJUNCT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    304-293-8485

    Eungul is a geographer-climatologist that studies the biosphere and atmosphere interactions in the monsoon climate regions over South and East Asia and West Africa. He is teaching introductory climatology (fall) and climatological analysis (spring) courses on a regular basis.

  • Jamie Shinn

    ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    Jamie is interested in topics of environmental governance, political ecology, and adaptation to climate change, especially in relation to water and flooding. Her work investigates sources of vulnerability to climate change and seeks to identify possibilities for transformation that can lead to more just climate futures. She has research projects in Southern Africa and Southern West Virginia.

  • Jamison Conley

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    jamison.conley@mail.wvu.edu

    The overarching theme is an interest in the statistics, algorithms and techniques for the analysis of spatial data. Jamison has worked in the past on methods for finding and analyzing disease clusters, but is venturing beyond that narrow focus. He has open-source projects that are available for those interested.

  • Karen Culcasi

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    Karen’s research and teaching uses critical and feminist geopolitical frames to examine contested places and identities. Her work focuses on the Middle East and the Arab world.

  • Maria Perez

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    I am an Associate Professor here in the Geography Program at West Virginia University’s Department of Geology and Geography. A cultural anthropologist by training, I investigate the cultural and historical context of scientific practice. More specifically, I approach science as a cultural activity. Speleology (cave science and exploration) serves as a case study with which I examine a range of topics such as identity (Who are we? What brings us together?), place and emotion (How do places become meaningful? Why is it that we come to love some places more than others?), value (How do we come to value, beyond economic considerations, places that are hidden or not part of our everyday livelihoods?). Really, these questions are relevant well beyond caves, karst, and even bunkers, another site of research!

  • Mehmet Öztan

    Adjunct Service Assistant Professor

    Dr. Öztan holds a B.S. and M.S. in hydrogeology, and he did his Ph.D. work on GIS-enabled groundwater modeling of Michigan’s watersheds. In 2013, he transitioned from his engineering career into becoming a full-time seed grower, steward, and heirloom seed advocate.

  • Randall W. Jackson

    PROFESSOR OF GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY; DIRECTOR, REGIONAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE

    Research Interests: Regional economic development; technological change; innovation; industry clustering; interregional trade; regional econometric, input-output, and conjoined models; energy and environmental systems and simulation; energy policy analysis.

  • Rick Landenberger

    SERVICE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

    Rick’s research combines forest ecology with land use management and restoration, using mapping and spatial analysis as tools to address basic questions of ecosystem structure and function. Working closely with the land conservation community in West Virginia through the West Virginia Land Trust, his research applies primarily to properties managed through conservation easements or other land use protection strategies.