Dartmouth to Offer a New Course: “#BlackLivesMatter”

In a new spring-term course, Dartmouth students will investigate questions of race, inequality, and violence that arose last summer following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

The class, called “10 Weeks, 10+ Professors: #BlackLivesMatter,” will be taught by close to 20 faculty from about a dozen departments and could be a model for future cross-disciplinary courses.

“The benefit of this course is that we will be able to offer a comprehensive look at one topic across a wide range of disciplines,” says Denise Anthony, a sociology professor and the vice provost for academic initiatives, who will be among the course faculty. “This course could be a template for future multidisciplinary classes on subjects such as terrorism, the brain, the Arctic, and the financial crisis.”

To read full article: http://now.dartmouth.edu/2015/02/dartmouth-to-offer-a-new-course-blackli...

New #BlackLivesMatter Class

The school will offer a course this spring titled “10 Weeks, 10+ Professors: #BlackLivesMatter,” examining structural violence against communities of color. The lessons in the pilot course will be split into 15 sections that span more than 10 academic departments, including — but not limited to —  anthropology, history, women’s and gender studies, mathematics and English, according to The Dartmouth.

To read entire article:


Student Spotlight Carly Carlin '15

When Carley Carlin '15 first began taking dance lessons at five years old, she refused to take ballet classes because she "hated the color pink." Now, the 21-yearold co-president of Fusion Dance Ensemble has 14 years of clasical ballet training under her belt.



Student Spotlight Gianna Guarino

Geography's student spotlight is Gianna Guarino '15. Gianna became interested in geography her sophomore year when she took Professor Fox's geography 13 class. She doesn't recall much about the class, or even what it was called for that matter, but what she remembered thinking it was really cool. So she started taking more geography classes and each one got her more excited about geography at Dartmouth. Each class allowed her to meet a new professor with a unique vantage point into geography. 

Gianna's personal interests are mostly in the intersection of human health and geography, and in particular communicable diseases. The spatial component of geography gives her a unique lens with which to see and interpret the world. She also been very excited by her opportunities to work with GIS and use it to answer questions to problems such as where one should locate a nuclear power plant in New Hampshire or Vermont, based on 5-6 factors.



Wetlands Restoration: A Give and Take Proposition

Wetlands giveth and wetlands taketh away. On one hand, wetlands are a sink, locking up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. On the other, wetlands release methane, another greenhouse gas. Jaclyn Hatala Matthes studies this duality, its causes, effects, and potential solutions.

“We are trying to measure the tradeoffs between CO2 (carbon dioxide) uptake and methane release when you are restoring wetlands,” says Matthes, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program.

Matthes, who joined Dartmouth on July 1, came to Hanover after a year as a postdoc at Boston University following her PhD work at the University of California, Berkeley. Her enthusiasm for Dartmouth is scarcely contained. “This is my dream job—a fantastic institution, well supported, and the students are motivated and interested in environmental issues.

Faculty Spotlight: Jaclyn Hatala Matthes

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes is a new assistant professor in the Department of Geography and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Biology.

Professor Matthes works at the intersection of ecosystem ecology and atmospheric science to investigate physical and biological feedbacks between global climate change, land-use change, and ecosystem processes. She is particularly interested in understanding how ecosystems control greenhouse gas fluxes between the biosphere and atmosphere, and the role that ecosystem management plays in the global carbon cycle. Her research also explores the impacts of disturbance processes, such as insect and pathogen outbreaks, floods, land-use changes, and fires, on the carbon cycle of ecosystems.

In Winter 2015, Professor Matthes will teach a new course, GEOG 8: Life in the Anthropocene, which will investigate the physical and ecological consequences of our current era of unprecedented human impacts on the Earth and its ecosystems. Because her research is interdisciplinary, Professor Matthes looks forward to collaborating with a broad range of students with diverse interests.

Celeste Winston ’14: Researching Urban Racial Dynamics

Research, says Celeste Winston ’14, is a freeing form of scholarship. “Undergraduate research has given me the ability to explore my interests with the assistance of Dartmouth faculty and with the inspiration of some of my fellow Dartmouth students.”

In the video below, Winston and Wright talk about undergraduate research in general and Winston’s senior thesis project.

Having come to Dartmouth from Washington, D.C., the geography major set her thesis sights on Atlanta—a city, she says, that is “profoundly shaped by race, particularly whether one is a recent black immigrant or a black American.”

Winston met with representatives of Atlanta’s chapter of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) in August 2013. “My research was shaped by BAJI’s goals of forging alliances between black immigrants and black Americans,” she says. “I hope my research findings ultimately help BAJI advance its mission.”

Faculty Spotlight: Paul Jackson, Postdoctoral Fellow

Paul Jackson is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geography.  He investigates how scientists and experts grapple with the interaction between humans and the urban environment, focusing on those experts who presume that this interaction produces populations that are deficient, disadvantaged, and/or diseased.

He interrogates these relationships in a variety of time periods: 

  • how cholera and marshland was thought to make cities inherently unhealthy (1870s-1890s);
  • how religious pilgrims were blamed global pandemics (1890s-1920s);
  • how inner-city environments were feared to lower children's IQ (1950s-1960s); and
  • how environmental toxins are suspected to be the cause of the autism epidemic (1990s-present). 

Paul's work has been published in Antipode and Cultural Geographies. He has taught courses on Toxic Geographies and Urbanization & the Environment. He also shares his office with an old codger named Alphie who barks at students and shamelessly begs for treats.

Senior Studies the Changing Nature of Agriculture

If you can’t find the Gambia on a map, you’re in good company. Even Daniel Bornstein ’14, who has spent months doing research in the African country, has trouble locating it.

“Even if you know where to look, you still almost can’t see it,” he says with a laugh.

But what Bornstein does see clearly is a tiny country that is a major example of the changing nature of agriculture throughout the world. A geography major, Bornstein is writing a senior thesis on the relationship between the West African country and the European countries that consume Gambian exports.

Bornstein’s research focuses on a recent measure passed by the European Union (EU) that has created strict regulations on the amount of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring fungus, allowed in peanuts exported to the continent. Aflatoxin has been shown to contribute to liver disease. While the measure is well intentioned, Bornstein says, it has had a tremendously negative impact on the Gambia, whose chief export is peanuts.