Faculty

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.

Indigenous Confluence: The Role of Indigenous Peoples in River Stewardship & Sustainable Futures

Coleen Fox (along with Professors Nick Reo and Dale Turner) participated in a research project called 'Indigenous Confluence: The Role of Indigenous Peoples inRiver Stewardship & Sustainable Futures'. The research project brings together representatives from Walpole Island First Nation, Waikato-Tanui (a Maori tribe from New Zealand), and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians to investigate the role of traditional ecological knowledge in river restoration.  The projects being carried out by the indigenous communities range from dam removals and pollution abatement to fisheries restoration.  The three communities met in Northern Michigan and Ontario in early September, and they will all travel to New Zealand later this year.

The migration response to the Legal Arizona Workers Act

Richard Wright has a new paper in the journal Political Geography.  Working with Mark Ellis, Matt Townley and Kristi Copeland (U Washington), he is interested in the effects of state level legislation on internal migration in the US.  The effects of Jim Crow laws on the exodus of blacks form the US South are well known and well documented.  Wright and colleagues ask: are the immigrant hostile environments in certain US states producing outflows of targeted populations. They focus on The 2008 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA). LAWA requires all public and private employers to authenticate the legal status of their workers using the federal employment verification system known as E-Verify. With LAWA, Arizona became the first state to have a universal mandate for employment verification. While LAWA targets unauthorized workers, most of whom are Latino immigrants, other groups could experience LAWA's effects, such as those who share households with undocumented workers.

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.

Footprint technopolitics

Footprint technopolitics, a new article by Susanne Freidberg, appears in the August 2014 issue of Geoforum.  The journal Historical Research has also published Freidberg's Moral economies and the cold chain, an article based on a plenary lecture delivered last year in London at the 82nd Anglo-American Conference of Historians on the theme of "Food in history."

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes published a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. This research, conducted in collaboration with the Biometeorology Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, investigated the spatial drivers of methane emissions from a restored wetland in California. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is emitted from flooded soils, and this research helped to better understand how temperature, wind, and the spatial configuration of plants on the landscape all contribute to the production and emission of methane from wetlands. This paper also developed novel methods for analyzing the spatial patterns of methane flux from ecosystems by fusing remote sensing data from the WorldView-2 satellite with eddy flux tower and micrometeorological measurements.

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.”

Studying Places Where Climate Change and Society Overlap

When a farmer and a climate scientist talk about the weather, they’re not just passing time—it’s serious business.

Climate change, including shifts in average temperature and precipitation as well as the probability of extreme events such as drought, floods, and heat waves, are not abstract political questions to the farmer; they are matters of economic life and death.

This is a reality climate scientist Jonathan Winter knows well. He did his post-doctoral work in hydroclimatology at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University with agronomist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a pioneer in the study of climate change and agriculture. The Department of Geography hired Winter this month as an assistant professor.

“We’re thrilled that Jonathan Winter will be joining the geography department,” says department chair Susanne Freidberg. “Besides working at the cutting edge of one of the key areas of climate change modeling, he’ll be teaching courses related to agriculture, which are in high demand at Dartmouth.”

Pages