faculty Research

Clare Mathias '18 Wins Class of ’61 Award

The Class of '61 Award (geography.dartmouth.edu/undergraduate/awards) 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.


Life After Dartmouth

Lindsay Allen will be working in the marketing department of Elite Hockey after graduation.

Jessica Avitabile is working for the New York County District Attorney's office as a trial preparation assistant.

Christopher Banks will be working as an analyst at the TMT strategy consulting firm, Altman Vilandrie and Company. 

Madeline Broas will be working for the Virginia Democratic Party in the 2016 Presidential Capaign.

Austin Boral will be moving to Washington, DC to work as a business analyst for McKinsey & Company.

Taylor Braun will be launching a tech startup in the publishing space that she has been developing over the past year.  She just received commitments for the first round of funding, so keep a lookout for new updates about Taylor and her business!

Adam N. Brown '97 Award

The Adam N. Brown '97 Memorial Award in Geography is presented each year to recognize the best written work in a Geography course. The student receives $500.00 and an engraved trophy. Additionally, their name will be listed on the Adam N. Brown '97 plaque in 021 Fairchild.

As in previous years, it was a challenge for us to decide on a winner because of the strength and topical breadth of the nominated papers. Ultimately, we selected Jasmine Xu ’16 who wrote the winning paper for Geography 29: Global Cities in Spring 2016,  “A Lost Generation: Exploring Social Consequences of Urbanization in China Through Jia Zhangke’s 24 City”, analyzes the film “24 City.” Set in Chengdu, China, the film weaves together the stories of factory workers who see their workplace redeveloped into a luxury real estate project.


Brooks Traveling Fellowship

Dalia McGill, double major in Geography and Studio Art, received the Brooks Traveling Fellowship to conduct a photography project about the Belo Monte Dam, which is currently being constructed on the Xingu River in the Amazon. When completed in 2019, it will be the third largest dam in the world. The project has been very controversial, since it is causing the displacement of thousands of people, including indigenous people, and the dam will have serious environmental consequences as well. Dalia hopes to conduct a photography project documenting the impact that the construction of Belo Monte dam has had on the region’s communities. 

New Urban Studies Minor

Today more than half the world’s population lives in cities, and projections suggest that almost all population growth in the next thirty years will occur in cities.  Both today and historically, cities occupy a key position in our symbolic imaginations and lived experience.  Seats of political power, cities are also crucibles for cultural and social change.  They are simultaneously centers of economic development, cultural energy, civic, intellectual and artistic achievement, and sites of social hostility, political chaos, economic inequities and cultural malaise. 

Most Dartmouth students grew up in and will increasingly encounter an urbanized world.  Geography’s new minor in Urban Studies is intended to guide students through a series of courses that will provide the intellectual training and critical thinking skills necessary to navigate that world, and to address some of its central socioeconomic, environmental and spatial challenges.   

The Urban Studies minor will consist of six courses:



GEOG 22 Urban Geography

GEOG 25 Social Justice and the City


Simone Wien '16 Winner Engaged Scholarship

Simone Wien ’16, a Geography modified with Economics major, was selected to present at the Annual Engaged Scholarship & Social Justice Undergraduate Research Conference at Harvard College, and was awarded First Prize for Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation.

Simone’s research project “After Brown: Desegregation, Schooling, and Property Values in New Rochelle, NY” examined the relationship between changes in property values and public school demographics within the New Rochelle City School District following two important events: Taylor vs. New Rochelle School District Board of Education (1961), the first northern school district court-ordered desegregation, and Latino migration to New Rochelle in the late 1990s.

Understanding Health Care Access in Rural South Africa

In November and December 2015, Abigail Neely, assistant professor of Geography and Arun Ponshumnugam ’17 spent three weeks in South Africa conducting an in-depth survey and gathering GPS data about health care access in rural South Africa.  Dr. Neely has been working in the Pholela region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa for close to a decade, but it was Arun’s first trip.  This research was funded by the Mellon Foundation through the Leslie Center for the Humanities and by the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, both at Dartmouth.  Below are some thoughts and reflections of Arun’s.


Leandra Pilar Barrett ’15 Studies Immigration Issues

After Leandra Pilar Barrett ’15 finished high school in Alice, Texas, she came to Dartmouth unsure of her long-term goals but knowing the College had many strong academic programs and focused on undergraduates.

Her major—Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies—is interdisciplinary, but Barrett is most interested in border studies, race, ethnicity, and the prison system

Adam N. Brown Prize '97 Winner Carly Schnitzler '16

The Adam N. Brown '97 Memorial Fund is an endowment established at Dartmouth College by the family and friends of Adam Brown, Class of 1997, to celebrate his life and perpetuate his energy, innovation, and enthusiasm.  Adam was a prospective major in Geography when he died of cancer in 1994.  The award is presented to recognize the best written work in Geography in an academic year.  In accordance with the wishes of the family and the faculty, the student need not be a major in Geography.  The names of the successive recipients of the award will be engraved on a plaque displayed in the Geography Department.

Student Spotlight Tianyang Wang '15

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Tianyang "Tracy" Wang came into Dartmouth knowing that she wanted to be a Geography major because of her passion for urban planning and traveling. She's fascinated by the inter-disciplinary nature of geography, especially urban geography, GIS, qualitative methods, and visual representations. She's currently working on her senior honors thesis, which explores the notions of home for international students at Dartmouth College. In this project, she adopts mainly qualitative and visual methods to examine how international students' notions of home have changed being away from home. Tracy holds this project dear to her heart, and hopes to give back to the international student community at Dartmouth through this thesis. After graduation, she hopes to stay connected to geography and urban planning and attend graduate school after trekking in the corporate life in Los Angeles for a couple of years.