Stephanie Spera, Neukom Postdoctoral Fellow

Stephanie is interested in how and to what extent humans are modifying the landscape, what is driving these changes in land cover, and how are these changes affecting the environment. Back on earth, she completed an interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation at Brown University through the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society where she focused on how and why land cover had changed across the Cerrado of Brazil since 2000.

"The Land Beneath Our Feet" Screening with Filmmaker

The Land Beneath Our Feet weaves together rare archival footage from a 1926 Harvard expedition to Liberia with the journey of a young Liberian man, uprooted by war, seeking to understand how the past has shaped land conflicts in his country today. This film is an explosive reminder of how large-scale land grabs are transforming livelihoods across the planet.

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker, Gregg Mitman
5:30 on Monday, April 10
First floor of House Center B

Dinner will be provided.

Statement Concerning the US Executive Order on Immigration

We, the members of the Geography Department at Dartmouth College condemn the US Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” issued on January 27, 2017.  This Order bars all refugees and visa holders from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States and signals that additional countries may be added to the list. We are concerned about what this means for individual members of the Dartmouth community – students, faculty, and staff – who are citizens of those countries as well as about the possible chilling effect this kind of Order will have for the intellectual life of Dartmouth’s campus and universities across the country.


Garrett Nelson Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows

Garrett is a historical geographer who became interested in studying the connection between social life and landscape transformation after taking courses on the history of landscape architecture as a Social Studies major at Harvard College. Garrett spent a year studying transitional urban planning in post-socialist Albania before completing a master’s degree in Landscape and Culture at the University of Nottingham as a UK Fulbright Scholar. He then completed a doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin–Madison which focused on debates about what kinds of “unit” areas are best suited for the political and technical work of planning.

How My Geography Major Prepared Me to be a Product Designer

I am a Geographer-come-Product Designer. In interviews and otherwise, many people ask me how this came about. I happen to think that the transition is a rather natural one. After all, Geography examines how humans shape environments and vice versa. I am sharing my story to encourage and motivate Geographers to consider a design career (or at least not to disqualify themselves from it). I also want to encourage those hiring to consider candidates with a Geography background. To read more:

Study: 4 Million Commutes Reveal New U.S. ‘Megaregions’

Postdoctoral fellow Garrett Nelson, a member of Dartmouth’s Society of Fellows, and a co-author have studied over 4 million commuter paths to identify “megaregions in the contiguous United States,” reports National Geographic. To see full article:


Julie L. Commerford Visiting Professor

Julie Commerford is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography.

Julie’s research focuses on disentangling the drivers of ecosystem change in North America throughout the last 10,000 years. She uses a variety of field, laboratory, and geospatial techniques in her work, including analyzing pollen and other proxy data in lake sediments. She is currently working on a multi-year pollen monitoring project that aims to quantitatively evaluate modern-day drivers of grassland vegetation change (such as human disturbance, fire, and climate). With that knowledge, we can achieve better-informed interpretations of how grassland ecosystems responded to past changes.

Clare Mathias '18 Wins Class of ’61 Award

The Class of '61 Award ( supports honors-level research by a member of the incoming junior class.  

Gentrification: the buzzword immediately conjures contrasting images of community growth and displacement, economic development and segregation, urban restoration and demolition. Public space development projects often cause gentrification by bringing new populations and capital into “failing” neighborhoods. While researchers credit well-designed public spaces with fostering social capital and thus strong communities, they can potentially benefit communities of newcomers more than the preexisting local population.