faculty Research

Student Spotlight Lily Michelson '15

Lily Michelson ’15 spent her junior summer and senior fall traveling to the rural corners of Northern France and New England, interviewing dairy farmers and dairy industry representatives alike on their views of sustainability. This exciting global adventure, which spanned from standing atop a methane digester in Normandy, France to visiting the first organic dairy farm in the United States, is part of Lily’s senior honors thesis research, which examines understandings of sustainability along the supply chain of dairy and challenges how certain ideas of sustainability are either privileged or rejected along the supply chain. This research stems from the dairy industry’s recent global initiative to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of its products through the adoption of new tools and technologies that are supported by a scientific agenda. Drawing from theories of knowledge production, science, and technology, Lily’s thesis interrogates how different actors across the dairy supply chain—from multinational corporations to small family farmers—internalize sustainability vis-à-vis the growing industry pressure to reduce the overall carbon footprint of dairy.

Student Spotlight Rachel Gray '15

Rachel Gray is a Geography Major from Cabin John, MD (a suburb of Washington, D.C.) In addition to studying Geography, she is getting a minor in Hispanic Studies. Rachel decided to major in Geography after taking Introduction to International Development (Geog 6) with Professor Fox her freshman Spring. While Rachel was initially drawn to the Geography department by its thoughtful and critical engagement with development studies, she has grown to appreciate and understand the importance of incorporating the notion of space into everyday and academic thought. Next year she will be working with City Year as a Corps member in Little Rock, Arkansas. She will be mentoring and tutoring elementary school students. She is very excited to work closely with youth and other passionate Corps members as well as exploring both the city of Little Rock and the surrounding nature of Arkansas.

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.



Student Spotlight: Yaritza Gonzalez '15

Yaritza A. González participated in the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) at the University of California, Berkeley. Interested in the racialized construction of Proposition 227, Yaritza conducted a project, "Raising Third Space Consciousness in our Barrios: A Case Study on the Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation," that discusses how Spanish speaking immigrants in East Oakland have been discriminated based on language. Yaritza hopes to continue her research in the Geography Department this year with Professor Richard Wright to explore how indigenous Guatemalan women in East Oakland are being isolated based on language.

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.”

Student Spotlight: Cooper Thomas '14

Geography major Cooper Thomas '14 will spend the 2014–2015 academic year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as a Fulbright Fellow. There, he will conduct independent research on post-socialist urbanization and cultural transformation. Inspired by his coursework in urban geography and GIS, as well as a personal interest in Central Asia's social and political history, Cooper will explore the ways in which Bishkek's urban design, land use patterns, architecture, and iconography reflect the reconstitution of Kyrgyz national identity. As an avid cartographer, Cooper will also use advanced spatial analysis techniques to quantify and visualize trends in urban development. His research will culminate in a multimedia report comprised of text analysis, photography and video, and graphical data visualizations.

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.

‘Among the Best’: Winston ’14 Honored As Beinecke Scholar

Celeste Winston ’14 has been named one of 20 Beinecke Scholars for 2013.

While that is high praise, it is no higher than the praise bestowed by her mentor, Richard Wright, the Orvil Dryfoos Professor of Geography and Public Affairs.

“She’s among the best students I’ve worked with in 28 years of teaching at Dartmouth,” says Wright.

Winston, a geography major, will receive support from the Beinecke Foundation to pursue a PhD in the subject. The Beinecke Foundation provides $34,000 of support to exceptional students for graduate studies in the fields of the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

“Celeste is an extraordinary young scholar,” says Kristin O’Rourke, assistant dean for scholarship advising. “We are delighted to see her work and her potential in geography recognized by winning a prestigious Beinecke Scholarship.”