Stained glass from the Geography building at Clark

Doctoral Student News


Alireza Farahani – Received a FURS (Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies) 2017-18, for his work titled, “Learning in development policy and practice: Inequality reduction and regional development in Iran.”

Wenjing Jiang – Received a FURS (Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies) 2017-18, for her work titled, "Rights to Land, Rights to the City and Rights (Not) to Farm: Politics and Practices in the Transfer of Rural Land Use Rights in China."

David Lukens - Received a 2017-18 Fulbright U.S. Student Award (South Korea), grant period Aug '17 - Jun '18 for is work titled, “Emerging Forms of Urban Renewal and the Limits of State-Led Gentrification in Seoul.”

Alex A. Moulton - Received a Geller Student Research Award for his dissertation fieldwork.

Alex. A. Moulton and Janae Davis - were invited to attend Antipode 6th Institute for the Geographies of Justice (IGJ) in June 2017.

C. Renee Tapp – Received an NSF DDRI for AY2017-18 for her work on "Concrete in Vogue: The Redevelopment of Late-Modernist Architecture."

Kaner Atakan Turker – Received an NSF DDRI for AY2017-18 for his work on "Assembling Community Economies in East and Southeast Turkey."


Jacob Chamberlain published a book review of Wilmer & Žukauskaitė’s Resisting Biopolitics: Philosophical, Political and Performative Strategies in Theory Culture & Society

Azadeh Hadizadeh Esfahani received a Pruitt fellowship for AY 2016-17. “Neighborhood as a site of policy and activism: Exploring citizenship, belonging, and identity building in Tehran’s neighborhoods”

Azadeh Hadizadeh Esfahani received a FURS dissertation research grant for AY 2016-17 "Neighbourhood as a site of policy and activism: exploring citizenship, belonging, and identity building in Tehran’s neighbourhoods".

Ben Fash received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) for 3-years beginning 9/1/2016 for his dissertation research development and field work.

Wenjing Jiang – Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) for summer research in 2016.

Wenjing Jiang –Graduate Student Association (GSA) Travel award for 2016.

Nathan Mietkiewicz
- Graduate Student Association (GSA) Travel award for 2016.

Melishia Santiago
received an Edna Baily Sussman Foundation 2016 science summer research Merit scholar award.

Melishia Santiago received a fully funded Remote Sensing of Sea Ice 2-week intensive course at Cornell during the summer 2016.

Laura Sauls - Summer 2016 US Department of Education (USEd) Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship: (through the University of Georgia, to study the Miskitu language in Nicaragua with the University of Kansas).

Laura Sauls
– Latin America Specialty Group (LASG) PhD Student Field Study Award: (received at AAG) for pre-dissertation fieldwork in Nicaragua and Honduras.

Laura Sauls
– LASG Student Co-Authored Paper Award: (received at AAG) for a paper written with Andrew Davis and Susan Kandel (of the Salvadoran NGO PRISMA) entitled "Communal property rights, territorial governance, and mitigation: examining emerging institutional frameworks and REDD+ in Central America"

Laura Sauls
– Selected as a Fellow for the Inter-American Foundation 2016-2017 Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship Program. Project title, “Constructing Territory: regional coalitions, natural resource governance, and the quest for grassroots development alternatives in Central America.”

Kristen Shake received a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (NSF DDRI) grant to fund her dissertation field work in Alaska for AY 2016-17.

Leslie Gross Wyrtzen received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) for 3-years beginning 9/1/2016 for her dissertation research development and field work.

Su Ye received an Edna Baily Sussman Foundation 2016 science summer funding award for his research proposal field work.

Zhiwen Zhu received an Edna Baily Sussman Foundation 2016 science summer funding award for his research proposal field work.


Elisa Arond received an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellowship for her dissertation research titled, "Beyond the Resource Curse? Prospects for Inclusive Regional Development through Science, Technology and Innovation in Colombia."  The award is for the Academic year 2015-16.

Teresa Bornschlegl received an NSF DDRI for her dissertaton research entitled, "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Environmental Agencies and their Effective Monitoring of the Hydrocarbon Sector." The award is for the academic year 2015-16.

Alida Cantor recently published an article in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education on HERO research titled, "Training interdisciplinary “wicked problem” solvers: applying lessons from HERO in community based research experiences for undergraduates."

Juan Luis Dammert was featured in the Fall 2015 edition of ReVista, The Harvard Review Journal of Latin America, Forests for Energy? Biofuels and Palm Oil in the Peruvian Amazon

Juan Luis Dammert received an NSF DDRI for his dissertation research on "Resource Booms and the Geography of Oil Palm Expansion." The award is for the academic year 2015-16.

Juan Luis Dammert received an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellowship for his dissertation research title, “Grassroots and coalitions: the politics of oil palm expansion in the Peruvian Amazon.” This award is for the Academic Year 2015-16.

Juan Luis Dammert – book review featured in the journal, Americas Quarterly, for his review of “Resource Extraction and Protest in Peru” written by Moises Arce. The review comes with a monetary award.

Nathan Gill received an NSF GRFP beginning September 1, 2015 for his research proposal titled, "Drivers and consequences of regeneration following beetle outbreak under climate change." This is a 3-year fellowship.

Adrienne Johnson has been awarded a 2015-2017 postdoctoral fellowship by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. She will hold the award at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.

Kelly Kay received an NSF DDRI in December 2014 for her dissertation research entitled, “In Trusts We Trust: Land Trusts, Conservation Easements, and the Growth of Private Land Protection in the United States.” Funding will be for 2015.

Dexter Locke is first author with J Morgan Grove on a recently published paper in Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy. This paper shows where urban forestry programs are working in Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD, who they reach and who they are failing to reach.

Padini Nirmal received an American Institute for Indian Studies Fellowship for her dissertaton research. The grant will be used for field work in Spring 2017.

Padini Nirmal received an NSF DDRI in April 2015 for her dissertation research entitled: "Indigenous Ontologies of Land and Land Politics: A Critical Analysis of Forest Rights Legislation." Funding will be from May 2015-October 2016.

Kevin Surprise received an NSF DDRI in December 2014 for his dissertation research entitled: "To govern the earth: the making of geoengineering policy in the United States, and the changing meaning of the 'geo' in geopolitics." Funding will be for 2015.


Nathan Gill came in 1st place ($350) in the graduate student paper competition at NESTVAL 2014 held at University of New Hampshire for his oral presentation entitled "Modeling Africanized honeybee distribution in the southwestern US with PRISM climate data."

Nathan Gill led the Clark University Geography Bowl Team at NESTVAL 2014 to a 3rd place finish out of 11 teams.  The Clark Team only had 3 members total while other teams had 4 members and 2 alternates.  Good job, in the past 4 years Clark has finished in the top 3 taking first place in 2011 and 12 and last year taking 2nd place.

Mireya Bravo received the DGSG (Development Geographies Specialty Group) Gary Gaile Travel award to support conference attendance for the 2014 AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa. Mireya also received a 2014 InterAmerican Foundation Fellowship. Mireya will also attend the STEPS Summer School sponsored by IDS at the University of Sussex, UK in May 2014.

Teresa Bornschlegl received a pre-dissertation SSRC research grant for proposal writing for summer 2014.

Alida Cantor received an NSF DDRI to support her dissertation research field work and writing, "Dust storms and dying lakes: Wastefulness, beneficial use, and water transfers in California."  Alida also received a Horowitz Foundation for Social Change Fellowship to further support this research.

Adrienne Johnson received the LASG (Latin American Specialty Group) best PhD student paper award for her dissertation research proposal at the 2014 AAG Annual meeting in Tampa. Adrienne also received a Skills Award for 2013-14 from the Clark University, Graduate Student's Council.

Miles Kenney-Lazar received a small grant from the BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies to write a working paper on peasant resistance to Chinese and Vietnamese plantation investments in central-southern Laos.

Chris Knudson received a 2014 AAG travel award from the HDSC (Human Dimensions of Social Change) specialty group.  Chris also recieved an NSF DDRI for his dissertaton reserach field work and writing, "Modeling risk, modifying behavior: The introduction of novel weather insurance in St. Lucia."

Padini Nirmal received a Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) travel grant at the annual NAISA conference held in Austin Texas May 28-31. For organizing a panel and presenting a paper.

Pheakkdey Nguon received a grant from Stockholm Environmental Institute as, Principal Investigator for a research project that compares national REDD+ strategy development processes in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand (2015-2017)

Pheakkdey Nguon was renewed a grant from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)/ Cuomo Foundation, for Doctoral dissertation writing fellowship at Clark University (2014-2015)

Pheakkdey Nguon received a grant from International Tropical Timber Organization, (ITTO), for Doctoral dissertation fieldwork and writing fellowship at Clark University (2014-2015)

Pheakkdey Nguon presented at the Third UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy, Yale University (September 5-7, 2014): Invited by Yale University and sponsored by UNITAR to present a paper on "Full and effective participation in REDD+ implementation in Cambodia".

Pheakkdey Nguon received a grant from the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) to present his dissertation research at the Sustainability Science Congress, organized by the International Alliance of Research Universities, that will take place from October 22-24th, 2014 at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The grant will cover expenses for his participation.

Pheakkdey Nguon while in Cambodia for his dissertation research field work, also recently completed coordination and teaching a series of workshops (10 workshops total) on climate change, forest governance and REDD+ for students at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and Royal University of Agriculture from February 15 to June 21, 2014. 

Nick Cuba received a 2014 AAG International Geographic Information Fund Travel Grant to support conference attendance.

Luke Trusel received a 2014 WHOI (Woods Hole Research Institute) Fellowship.

Yueming Zhang received a 2014 FURS (Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies) grant from the Oxford University Centre for the Environment to support her dissertation proposal research field work.

Elisa Arond attended a workshop on 'Grassroots Innovation Movements' and the 'Exploring Pathways to Sustainability' Symposium jointly organized by the STEPS Centre, University of Sussex, UK and the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, from Feb 8-11, related to her collaboration on the STEPS project "Grassroots Innovation: Historical and Comparative Perspectives". Here's her reflection on the workshop, also inspired in conversations with fellow CUGS, which was posted on the STEPS Centre blog.


John Lauermann was invited to participate in an early career workshop at The Flexible City Symposium, hosted by the University of Oxford's Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society (award included conference expenses)

Luke Trusel is first author with his advisor, Karen Frey, on a recently published paper in Geophysical Research Letters. This paper provides novel satellite-based estimates of melting across the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Miles Kenney-Lazar received a Young Explorer's Grant from the National Geographic Society for his research on "Governing Transnational Land Acquisitions for Plantation Development in Laos"

2012 YSSP participant Pheakkdey Nguon has won a fellowship from the IPCC to fund his research on REDD+ in Cambodia. He accepted the award yesterday (September 30, 2013) from Prince Albert II of Monaco.  read more. For more on the project Pheakkdey was interviewed by IIASA for their science blog.

Doctoral Candidate Jim Thatcher was interviewed by Brooke Gladstone of NPR's On the Media in an article called "Tracking your Steps" which explores the use of GPS tracking on mobile apps by large corporations like Google Maps and others and what that means to consumers. Listen here. Jim was also quoted prominently in a similar article on GPS tracking in the September 6, 2013 issue of The Atlantic on the broader social context and implications of new mobile apps. Read more.

Congratulations to Geography Ph.D. student Alida Cantor for receiving the University’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for 2012/13.

Miles Kenney-Lazar was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship for his project titled "Land and Livelihoods: Governing Multinational Plantation Investments in Laos"

Jim Thatcher is quoted prominently in the September 6, 2013 issue of The Atlantic on the broader social context and implications of new mobile apps. read more . Jim was also interviewed by Brooke Gladstone of NPR's On the Media in a similar article called "Tracking your Steps" which further explored the use of GPS tracking on mobile apps by large coprorations like Google Maps and others and what that means to consumers. listen here

Elisa Arond received an NSF GRF Honorable Mention. Applicants receiving Honorable Mention are provided enhanced access to cyberinfrastructure resources, including supercomputing time, in support of research toward completion of the graduate program of study.

Teresa Bornschlegl won the Robert B. West award (CLAG field study award) from the Latin American Specialty Group. "Environmental law enforcement and the possibilities for socio-ecological justice in the hydrocarbon sector in Ecuador.” Anthony Bebbington Advisor.

Mireya Bravo won a travel grant from the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for the International Congress LASA 2013 taking place in May 29-June 1 in Washington, DC. Her presentation is titled: Multi-Stakeholder Action, Sustainability Development and Biodiversity Conservation: The Case of Oxapampa-Ashaninka-Yanesha Biosphere Reserve in Peru. She also won a photo compettiona at AAG for her photo entitled "Let's Make a Map."

Rory Horner won the 2013 A.K. Dutt Best Graduate Student Paper Award of the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group (RDPSG) of the Association of American Geographers. Yuko Aoyama Advisor

Rory Horner won the 2013 Peter Gould Student Paper Competition of the Association of American Geographers’ Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, on a paper entitled “Rising powers as harbingers of public-health oriented patent law? The Indian pharmaceutical industry and economic geographies underlying health.” Yuko Aoyama Advisor.

Incoming Graduate Student, Catherine Jampel, received an NSF 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship.

Kelly Kay won Best Graduate Student Paper from the AAG European Geography Specialty Group, which came with a cash prize, for her paper “Europeanization through Biodiversity Conservation: Croatia’s Bid for EU Accession and the Natura 2000 Designation Process.” James McCarthy Advisor.

Kelly Kay was also selected as a finalist for the AAG Graduate Student Affinity Group Research Award, which came with $250. James McCarthy Advisor.

Chris Knudson received the AAG Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group Field Study Award, $600 for his expenses for field work this summer in St. Lucia. James McCarthy Advisor.

Miles Kenney-Lazar received a NSF DDRI for his field work in Laos.

John Lauermann was awarded an Olympic Studies Centre 2013 research grant based on his proposal “The impact of Olympic Games bidding on sustainable development projects in candidate cities”.

John Lauermann was awarded an NSF-DDRI “Competing for development: sporting megaevents and urban-based development governance" co-PI with Mark Davidson, $15,967.

Pheakkdey Nguon was recently interviewed by his alma mater Monash University in Cambodia.  Pheakkdey is doing is field work in Cambodia on his dissertation research with REDD. read more

Pheakkdey Nguon is selected as one of the recipients of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scholarship Programme. The award will support Pheakkdey's dissertation fieldwork and dissertation writing on the science and policy of REDD+ projects in Cambodia. The scholarship is worth Euro 15,000 a year and is renewable once. The IPCC Scholarship Programme was established with the funds received from the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize award to the IPCC. The Programme also benefits from the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The first funding partner of the Programme was Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change. Dr Brundtland made her donation from the Tallberg Leadership Award, which she received in June 2009.

Pheakkdey Nguon received the AAG Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group Competition with a $1,000 award for his field work. Anthony Bebbington Advisor

Pheakkdey Nguon received a fellowship to STEPS Summer school, Sussex University, UK.

Padini Nirmal is awarded the Gender, Place and Culture Journal-New and Emerging Scholar in Feminist Geography for a proposed paper titled 'Inhabiting the space of queerness: indigeneity and indigenous politics in contemporary Kerala (India)'. This is an annual award for young feminist geographers that enables participation in an upcoming conference.

Elisabeth (Lisa) Stoddard was awarded the Switzer Environmental Fellowship in the amount of $15,000. The goal of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program is to support highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies are directed toward improving environmental quality and who demonstrate the potential for leadership in their field.

James Thatcher was awarded two travel awards. NACIS Travel Award to attend their annual meeting and the USNC Travel Award to attend the 2013 International Cartographic Conference

Jill Williams won the PhD student paper award from the Political Geography specialty group of the AAG for her paper “Border Enforcement, the Humanitarian State, and the Scalar Politics of Care.” Deb Martin Advisor

Yueming (Amy) Zhang Second prize in "Essay Competition on Urban and Regional Themes by Young Authors" granted by Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies, "China's displaced peasants under urban expansion" and a Graduate Student travel award from Clark University Graduate Student Council.

Yueming (Amy) Zhang won second prize in student paper competition of AAG China Geography Specialty Group, "Remapping the city, reproduction of space, and local state reterritorialization: A district merger case". Deb Martin Advisor

In the spring, the George Perkins Marsh Institute announced the winners of their Albert, Norma and Howard GELLER family awards. Four of the six winners for summer 2013 are PhD students from the GSG: Alida Cantor, Pheakkdey Nguon, Jim Thatcher and Masters in GIS student, Andrew Shatz.  These awards are for travel and field work for dissertation research or masters thesis research.  Congratulations to all!