George Perkins Marsh Institute


Seminar Series 2018-19 Academic Year

The George Perkins Marsh Institute and Jeanne X. Kasperson Research Library announce the 2018-19 Academic Year Seminar Series. Seminars will present cutting-edge research on human/environment interactions taking place at Clark University and are designed to catalyze discussions regarding future research possibilities. Please note that all lectures will take place from 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm. Seminar dates and speakers are as follows:


Jim Wescoat (GSG), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning *** CANCELLED ***
Co-sponsored with the Graduate School of Geography
"Geographies of Rurban Drinking Water Planning in Pune District, Maharashtra"
University Center Grace Conference Room
Thursday, September 20, 2018


David Newburn, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland
Debra I. and Jeffrey A. Geller Endowed Lecture
"Water Quality Trading in the Presence of Existing Cost Share Programs: Implications for Water Quality Management in the Chesapeake Bay"
University Center Lurie Conference Room
Thursday, October 18, 2018


William Burns, Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, School of International Service, American University
"Into the Great Wide Open: The Potential Promise and Perils of Climate Geoengineering"
University Center Lurie Conference Room
Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Lisa Wainger, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Debra I. and Jeffrey A. Geller Endowed Lecture
"Practical Application of Economics in Evaluating the Benefits of Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem"
University Center Lurie Conference Room
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Geller Research Fellowships

Albert, Norma and Howard Geller '77 Endowed Research Awards for Student Projects Relating to Sustainability

The Albert, Norma and Howard Geller '77 Endowed Research Awards support student-initiated research projects that advance our understanding of natural resource and environmental sustainability and develop practical improvements that can move society towards more sustainable outcomes. Clark University undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, and are reviewed in separate competitions. Given the intent of the Geller Awards, proposals are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • relevance to practical approaches of advancing sustainability
  • originality and innovation
  • clarity and feasibility of research plan
  • ways in which the project will contribute to linking knowledge to action
  • potential for the award to enable a project that may not be possible without it
  • evidence of meaningful interactions with a faculty mentor for the project and/or linkages to ongoing research (but not at the expense of originality and independence)
  • cost-effectiveness (i.e., whether the budget is reasonable)
  • a scope of work commensurate with the academic standing of the student (i.e., we expect that applications from graduate students will reflect a greater degree of academic experience and professionalism, compared to applications from undergraduate students).

An interdepartmental faculty committee that shares Howard Geller's interests in student research and activism for sustainability will select successful proposals. Subject to the number and quality of applications received, it is the intention of the committee to award one-half of both regular and small awards to undergraduate projects. We anticipate making approximately 3-4 regular awards in amounts ranging from $1,001 to $2,500, and several smaller grants, up to $1,000, each year. Requests for more than $2,500 will not be considered.

2019 Award Competition

The 2019 award competition is now open. Click here for more details. Application Deadline: Friday, October 26, 2018 (4:30 pm).

Questions should be directed to Dana Bauer, Assistant Director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute.

10 Years after Asian Longhorned Beetle Infestation, Worcester's Urban Forest Blooms with Diversity

"… 'It was this catalyst to improve the quality, the quantity and condition of the urban forest in the city and in the quarantine zone as well,' said John Rogan, a geography professor at Clark University who has studied the impact of development and Asian longhorned beetles on the urban forest. 'We've got this large cohort of growing trees of multiple different species. That's better for wildlife, it's better for look, it's better for community, it's better for runoff retention...' 'And it's better for resilience to unexpected pests, blight, climate change, whatever is coming,' interjected Deborah G. Martin, a fellow geography professor at Clark who has studied the impact of the beetle." More »

Stakeholders Applaud Students' 'Valuable Work' on Greening the Gateway Cities


As a budding biologist in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Lohr '19 surveyed and mapped all the trees on her high school campus. Now an undergraduate at Clark University, she is pursuing her passion for trees on a much larger scale, through the Graduate School of Geography's HERO (Human-Environment Regional Observatory) program. More »

Clark Students Receive Summer NOAA Fellowships


This summer marks the seventh year Clark University students will put their education into practice through fellowships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Through a collaboration with the University's Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and George Perkins Marsh Institute, NOAA has invited three Clark undergraduates to conduct research at sites in Florida, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

This year, for the first time, all of Clark's NOAA fellows will be mentored by the same professor. Karen Frey, associate professor of geography, will work with the students to ensure they are getting the most out of their NOAA experiences. The three were introduced at a May 1 luncheon held at the Mosakowski Institute.

“This program places [our students] in NOAA facilities all around the country,” explained James Gomes, director of the Mosakowski Institute. Previous NOAA fellows attended the reception as guests and advised the students to take advantage of the agency’s resources, including seminars and mentoring opportunities.

Robert Johnston, director of the Marsh Institute, stressed that the students would be gaining valuable experience in work that’s critically important. “Take it all in,” Johnston advised.

This year’s Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows are:

  • Anthony Himmelberger '19, an environmental science major, who will assess loggerhead sea turtle nesting activity along the Cape Romano Complex Beaches in Naples, Florida.
  • Sophie Spiliotopoulos '20, a geography major, who will work in Silver Spring, Maryland, on the project titled “Identifying and Summarizing Research: Marine Mammal Life History Traits."
  • Jess Strzempko '20, an environmental science major, who will work in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to conduct age and growth studies of endangered Atlantic salmon.

Pictured above, from left: Sophie Spiliotopoulos, Jess Strzempko, and Anthony Himmelberger.

For more information about Clark's NOAA Internship Program, contact Robert J. Johnston, Director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute at 508.751.4619 or Jim Gomes, Director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at 508.421.3872.

Why Thousands of Barred Owls are Being Shot by U.S. Conservationists: Is it Fair to Kill One Species to Save Another?


William Lynn, research scientist for Clark's George Perkins Marsh Institute, recently joined CBC Radio: The Current to share his thoughts on the ethics of humans' intervening between barred and spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest. More »

Clark HERO Fellows Work to Green Massachusetts' Gateway Cities

Lyndon Estes standing next to tree on Clark University campus

Massachusetts' Gateway Cities sport architectural reminders of their once-bustling industrial past: factories, warehouses, and ubiquitous triple-deckers, all built close to the street. What's often missing from this picture? Trees. More »

Clark experts to serve as lead authors on report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Corn dying in a field because of parched earth from drought

Professor Ed Carr and Professor Elizabeth Gilmore will serve as lead authors for the next major report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports are widely considered the most important scientific foundation for international politics on climate change. IPCC Assessment Reports provide all levels of governments with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies, and are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change. More »

Lyndon Estes' Nature article examines ecologists' methods, scales for collecting data

Lyndon Estes standing next to tree on Clark University campus

A study led by Clark University geographer Lyndon Estes and published this week in Nature Ecology and Evolution suggests how ecologists might employ better methods and scales for collecting data on ecological phenomena. More »

Director Rob Johnston Presents Research at National Academies Meeting on Forest Health

NOAA Fellows

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington recently invited Robert Johnston, professor of economics, director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University and editor of the journal Resource and Energy Economics, to present research to inform a study on "The Potential for Biotechnology to Address Forest Health." More »

Geller Student Fellowships Awarded to Eleven Students

The Albert, Norma and Howard '77 Geller Endowed Research Awards support student-initiated research projects that advance our understanding of natural resource and environmental sustainability and develop practical improvements that move society towards more sustainable outcomes. Remembering his own experience as an activist student researcher at Clark, Dr. Howard Geller (Science, Technology, and Society '77) hopes to support other Clark undergraduate and graduate students through these annual awards.

Eight student projects were funded for 2018:

  • Bezawit Ayalew (BA Computer Science/Economics '19), Tiffany Kayo (BA Computer Science/Economics '19), and Christina Zymaris (BA Computer Science/Geography '19), "Reducing Rood Wastage at Clark University via Food Sharing Application (ClarkEats)" Faculty Mentor: John Magee
  • Kayleigh McHugh (BA Biology '19) and Olivia Barksdale (BA Environmental Science '19), "Recruitment Failure, Habitat Suitability, or Host Limitation: What Limits Margaritifera margaritifera in North-Central Massachusetts Streams?" Faculty Mentor: John Baker
  • Paige Myatt (MA International Development and Social Change '19), "Studying the Social and Environmental Impacts of Electric Pedicabs in Worcester, MA" Faculty Mentors: Chuck Agosta and Mary-Ellen Boyle
  • Roopa Krithivasan (PhD Geography '20), "Farmer-Wildlife Conflict as Consequences and Drivers of Land System Change in the Indian Himalayas" Faculty Mentors: Rinku Roy Chowdhury and John Rogan
  • Mario Machado (PhD Geography '20), "The Revolution within the Revolution: Understanding the Landscape and Livelihood Dynamics of the Cuban Agroecological Transition" Faculty Mentor: Rinku Roy Chowdhury
  • Helen Rosko (PhD Geography '21), "Climate Information Services for Development and Livelihoods: Investigating Adaptation Subjects in Mali" Faculty Mentor: Ed Carr
  • Dan Santos (PhD Geography '21), "Genome Engineering and Human-Environment Interactions: Implications for Sustainability?" Faculty Mentor: James Murphy
  • Laura Sauls (PhD Geography '19), "Constructing Territory: Regional Coalitions, International Environmental Governance, and the Quest for Development Alternatives in Mesoamerica" Faculty Mentor: Tony Bebbington

For full project descriptions, see the Geller Award web page. more >>