George Perkins Marsh Institute


Seminar Series 2019-20 Academic Year

The George Perkins Marsh Institute and Jeanne X. Kasperson Research Library announce the 2019-20 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:


Youjin Chung, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University
Co-sponsored with the Graduate School of Geography
"Feminist Political Ecology of Land-Water Enclosures in Coastal Tanzania"
University Center, Lurie Conference Room
Thursday, September 12, 2019


Michael Mann, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, George Washington University
Debra I. and Jeffrey A. Geller Endowed Lecture
"Predicting High-Magnitude, Low-Frequency Crop Losses Using Machine Learning: An Application to Cereal Crops in Ethiopia"
University Center, Lurie Conference Room
Thursday, October 3, 2019


Adrian Treves, Professor, Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Debra I. and Jeffrey A. Geller Endowed Lecture
"Scientific Integrity and Just Preservation"
University Center, Lurie Conference Room
Thursday, November 14, 2019


Jenn Baka, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Penn State
Co-sponsored with the Graduate School of Geography
"Cracking Appalachia: A Political-Industrial Ecology Perspective"
University Center, Grace Conference Room
Thursday, November 21, 2019


Chi Ho Sham, VP & Chief Scientist, Eastern Research Group, Inc.
"Protection of Drinking Water Supply Sources: Challenges, Successes, and Lessons Learned"
University Center, Lurie Conference Room
Thursday, January 30, 2020


Theo Eisenman, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, UMass Amherst
"Architecture and Regional Planning - Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Greening Theory and Practice"
University Center, Lurie Conference Room
Thursday, March 26, 2020


Martín Abregú, Vice President for International Programs, Ford Foundation
"Natural Resource Extraction as a Problem of Social Justice: What Role for Civil Society?"
University Center, Tilton Hall
Thursday, April 2, 2020
4:30 - 6:00 PM

Five Institute Researchers Receive New Grants

Marsh Institute Assistant Director Dana Bauer recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the project “Informing Conservation Program Targeting for Cost-Effective Integrated Pollinator-Pest Management” which will provide information to local, state, and federal conservation program managers facilitating spatial targeting of pollinator habitat and pesticide use best management practices in counties across the continental U.S.

Marsh Institute Director Robert Johnston and colleagues at University of Stirling, University of Glasgow, and Plymouth Marine Laboratory recently received a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) for the project “The Economics of Marine Plastic Pollution: What are the Benefits of International Cooperation?” which will assess the economic damages associated with marine plastic, the costs of reducing this pollution problem, and the potential net benefits of international coordination over reductions in marine plastic across the North Atlantic Ocean.

Marsh Institute Researchers Laurie Ross (IDCE) and Jennifer Safford-Farquharson (IDCE) recently received funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and The Community Builders for the project “Trauma and Housing Stability” which seeks to understand the connection between stable and healthy housing and trauma and gaps in mental health services within Worcester, Massachusetts.

Marsh Institute Researcher Christopher Williams (Geography) recently received funding from The Nature Conservancy for the project “Albedo Impacts of Avoided Forest Conversion, Afforestation, Increased Deciduousness” which will assess the climate change mitigation potential of Natural Climate Solutions (NCS), a portfolio of conservation, restoration, and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions within forests across Canada.

New Team of HERO Fellows Works to Re-leaf Tree-deprived Neighborhoods

A team of HERO (Human-Environment Regional Observatory) fellows is hard at work to help determine strategies for preserving trees in urban neighborhoods. The students join dozens of former fellows who have supported environmental projects across the state since the program's launch in 1999. More »

GPMI Researchers Receive Article of the Year Award

Former graduate student Christos Makriyannis (now on the faculty at Suffolk University) just received the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review (ARER) 2018 Article of the Year Award for a paper co-authored with Marsh Institute Director Robert Johnston. The paper "Are Choice Experiment Treatments of Outcome Uncertainty Sufficient? An Application to Climate Risk Reductions" evaluates the validity of willingness-to-pay estimates for a case study of coastal flood adaptation in Connecticut.

GPMI Research Scientist Collaborates on NASA DEVELOP Program


George Perkins Marsh Institute (GPMI) Research Scientist Deborah Woodcock is collaborating with researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center (LaRC) on a DEVELOP internship program project "Assessing Water Resources to Better Understand Peru's Coastal Forests" that builds on Dr. Woodcock's research. DEVELOP, part of NASA's Applied Sciences Program, trains students, recent graduates, and early career professionals by addressing environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply the lens of NASA Earth observations to community concerns around the globe.

Marsh researchers partner with local community to investigate water quality issues

Professors Timothy Downs, Marianne Sarkis, and Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger and nine students in IDCE's Environmental Science and Policy Program collaborated with residents of Holliston, MA and colleagues at other research institutions to explore the link between the town's water, manganese, and children's health. More »

GPMI Research Scientist Cautions Against a Moral Panic over Cats

GPMI Research Scientist William Lynn and collaborators across the globe are leading a discussion on the complex issues surrounding free-ranging cats, biodiversity, and public health. Based on a synthesis of empirical evidence, the group advocates for a precautionary approach to mitigation measures that is not harmful to cats and a rejection of framing the debate as "a matter of us versus them." Their work was recently published in the journal Conservation Biology. More »

Geller Student Fellowships Awarded to Five 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.

Five student projects were funded for 2019:

  • Benjamin Fash (PhD Geography '21), Networked Community Economies as Alternatives to Extractivism in Honduras, Faculty Mentor: Anthony Bebbington.
  • Jaclyn Guz (PhD Geography '21), Feedbacks Among Climatically-driven Disturbance Regimes in the Swiss Alps, Faculty Mentor: Dominik Kulakowski.
  • Sarah SanGiovanni (PhD Geography '21), Experimenting with Urban Sustainability Governance: EcoDistrict Planning in the Pittsburgh Metro Region, Faculty Mentors: Deborah Martin and James Murphy.
  • Mara van den Bold (PhD Geography '21), Greening Energy: The Politics of Solar Power in Senegal, Faculty Mentor: James McCarthy.
  • Su Ye (PhD Geography '20), Characterizing Bark Beetle Early Attack Using Multi-Sensor Time Series in the Pine-Spruce Forest of Northern Colorado, USA, Faculty Mentor: John Rogan.

For full project descriptions, see the Geller Award web page. More »