Geography & Atmospheric Science Spotlights
What is your biggest challenge right now?
My biggest challenge is balancing my Tribal community responsibilities, academic needs, and nurturing relationships with family, friends and communities. Somewhere in this I try to find time for myself to keep healthy spiritually, mentally and physically.
What is the greatest opportunity you have had in the department so far?
"The greatest opportunity I have had in the department so far is the chance to present my work at academic and professional conferences. While I have only studied at KU for one semester, I have already attended the 2015 Great Plains/Rocky Mountain AAG Conference, as well as the 2015 Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas. It was very exciting to share my work with other scholars and learn about current research from experts in my field. Due to changing natural resource availability and advancing technology, municipal utility policy is a fast-moving area of study. My advisor, Dr. Barney Warf, has helped me place my studies in geographic context. Additionally, my colleagues in the department have helped me learn how to create a vivid and engaging poster to display my results. I am fortunate for the opportunities provided by the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science!" - Martin Koch, Graduate Student (20 Jan 2016)
If you could study local geography in any location, where would you go and why?
"As an aspiring political geographer, I'm not sure I could pick just one locality to study. I research wildfire management policy in the American West, so it is hard to select a single area when you consider that fires burn all over the Western United States. That said, the policy responses to wildfire management at federal or state levels are carried out at localized scales, often sharing many political and economic connections with other places in the U.S. One of the reasons I like political geography so much is that I don't have to select one specific location to study. Instead, I look at the way different places are associated with each other, particularly in the context of wildfire management. In other words, if the study site is in the American West and it is on fire, that would be my ideal location to do geographic research!" - Sam Lobby, Graduate Student (18 Dec 2015)
Why did you pick KU Geography?
"So Geography has been instrumental to me as it has been the perfect place to develop my educational, career, and personal goals. The first time I was exposed to Geography was while taking a class with Dr. Christopher Brown. During the introduction to the class he shared his educational trajectory and to my surprise it was the same as mine! We both have biology degrees and a masters in Latin American Studies! During the class we used the Geographic framework by Sack and Tuan and everything fell into place. This framework is based on three spheres intersecting in a specific place. There is the social relations sphere, the nature/biological sphere, and the cultural/meaning sphere. I was able to place my specialties in each sphere, in addition to including my cultural background. Through Geography I have been able to look at different environmental issues in Latin America and midwestern USA using an interdisciplinary lens, which I think is vital to approaching the many environmental issues that plague our world today." - Diana Restrepo, Graduate Student (16 Dec 2015)