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    Monmonier weighs in on where Upstate NY begins in Westchester Magazine

    While many believe Westchester to be part of Upstate New York, the truth is a bit more complex. Mark Monmonier, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography and the Environment, weighs in on the upstate-downstate breakdown—mentioning late-night host Stephen Colbert, who invented the concept of "truthiness," suggesting different levels of being factual. "Stephen might say something like 'upstatedness,'" says Monmonier. "Westchester County has a relatively low degree of upstatedness. Dutchess has more upstatedness. Albany has a considerably high level of upstatedness." Monmonier was quoted in the Westchester Magazine article, "So Where Does “Upstate” New York Really Begin?"



    Hammond, Reeher op-ed on redistricting NY published on

    "Redistricting NY: It’s more than drawing lines on a map," authored by Timur Hammond, assistant professor of geography and the environment, and Grant Reeher, professor of political science, was published on The piece describes the Campbell Institute-sponsored and Hammond-led effort by a team of SU students to redraw the state's congressional and state senate districts, as part of a statewide competition.



    Sultana quoted in BBC article on international climate justice

    Some of the world’s poorest and lowest carbon-emitting countries are suffering the most from climate change yet tend not to be the most responsible for causing it. 'Climate justice,' which acknowledges that climate change can have differing social, economic, public health and other adverse impacts on underprivileged populations, will no doubt be a focal point at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26 . "You cannot keep having your luxury emissions, and then point fingers at the person who's having emissions just to survive," says Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment. Read more in the BBC article, "The world's fight for 'climate justice'."



    Winders served on NAPA report panel advising FAA policy on small UAS

    Professor Jamie Winders was one of five panelists on a Congressionally mandated report exploring the policies and procedures related to the registration of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The report, released in August 2021, was conducted by the National Academy of Public Administration as an independent audit of the FAA’s registration policies for small (under 55 pounds) unmanned aircraft. The report is intended to guide policy decisions regarding the registration and regulation of UAS.



    Public housing violence research earns top honor for PhD candidate

    Madeleine ‘Maddy’ Hamlin, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in geography at the Maxwell School, was one of 8 doctoral students to have been named an H.F. Guggenheim Emerging Scholar. The $25,000 award supports and recognizes promising graduate-student researchers in their final year of writing a doctoral dissertation.



    Sultana featured in Carbon Brief piece on diversity, climate research

    A recent analysis entitled "The Reuters Hot List" ranked the 1,000 "most influential" climate scientists—largely based on their publication record and social media engagement. Scientists from the global south are vastly under-represented in the list as are women. "Knowledge production and circulation are skewed and incomplete, and this distorts and impoverishes public discourse on important topics. Ultimately, this has deleterious consequences in policies and practice," says Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment. Read more in the Carbon Brief article, "Analysis: The lack of diversity in climate-science research."



    Wilson op-ed on fossil fuels, skiing published in Colorado Sun

    In his co-authored op-ed, "Fossil fuels are threatening Colorado skiing," Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment Robert Wilson discusses what's needed in a truly robust climate-funding agenda, including electricity-grid improvements supporting wind and solar farms, green energy development that leverages fossil fuel industry workers’ technical skills, and a Civilian Climate Corps. The piece was published in the Colorado Sun.



    Monmonier quoted in New York Times article on digital maps

    The most commonly used maps are those on smartphones and they don’t always accurately represent the world as it is. Instead of being drawn up by drafters, maps today are produced by diplomats, policymakers, marketers and tech executives, who decide what data goes into maps. "It is very easy to change digital maps and to do it without anyone really noticing," says Mark Monmonier, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography and the Environment. "That means, in little ways or even larger ones, our view of the world can change overnight." Read more in the New York Times article, "The Maps That Steer Us Wrong."



    Students help build food system rooted in social justice, equity

    The next big step for the newly formed Syracuse-Onondaga Food Systems Alliance (SOFSA) started, naturally, with Evan Weissman’s kindness and vision for food justice in the Syracuse community. Jonnell Robinson, Weissman’s close friend and an associate professor of geography and the environment in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, was selected by the Lender Center to replace Weissman as the 2020-22 Lender Center Faculty Fellow (Weissman died unexpectedly in April 2020). “This is what Evan had laid out and was really interested to see happen,” Robinson says. “His major vision was that we didn’t just develop a food policy council, but that we developed a food policy council that was rooted in social justice and equality.”



    Maxwell School announces 2021 faculty promotions

    The Syracuse University Board of Trustees has approved promotions for six faculty members at the Maxwell School. They are: Alan Allport, who was promoted to professor of history; Shana Kushner Gadarian, who was promoted to professor of political science; Dimitar Gueorguiev, who was promoted to associate professor of political science; Matt Huber, who was promoted to professor of geography and the environment; Guido Pezzarossi, who was promoted to associate professor of anthropology; and Junko Takeda, who was promoted to professor of history.



    Bendix interviewed by NBCLX on climate change, wildfires

    Jacob Bendix, professor of geography and the environment, was interviewed on NBCLX's LX News about the impact of climate change on wildfires. "I think that both last year and this year we are seeing impact of climate change on fire behavior and the size of the fires we're having because, quite simply, we have higher temperatures and in many cases, more extensive drought as well than in the past," says Bendix. "High temperatures and dry conditions favor fire. The more heat we have and the longer we have heat—that is, higher temperatures earlier in the summer so we have less snow pack—the worse fires we're going to see." His interview begins at approximately 20:00.



    Sultana reports on political ecology in Progress in Human Geography

    "Progress report in Political ecology II: Conjunctures, crises, and critical publics," authored by Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment Farhana Sultana, was published in Progress in Human Geography. Sultana critically engages with the conjunctural capitalist crises that led to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses alternative pathways to address growing socio-ecological crises.



    Bendix quoted in LA Times article CA wildfires, climate change

    California is off to another record-breaking year of wildfires as the state enters its most dangerous months, with extreme heat and dry terrain creating the conditions for rapid spread. More than twice as many acres burned in the first six months of this year than during the same period last year—and hundreds more fires, officials say. "The exceptional fire weather this year and in recent years does not represent random bad luck," says Jacob Bendix, professor of geography and the environment. "It is among the results of our adding carbon to the atmosphere—results that were predictable, and indeed that have been predicted for decades." Read more in the Los Angeles Times article, "California hit by record-breaking fire destruction: 'Climate change is real, it’s bad'."



    Bendix talks to LA Times about CA wildfires, fireworks threat

    Last month, more than 100 fire scientists signed a letter urging the Western U.S. to forgo fireworks this Fourth of July. Jacob Bendix, professor of geography and the environment who specializes in the study of wildfire distribution, was one of the scientists who signed the letter. Given the increasingly flammable landscape, "pleas to skip the fireworks make perfect sense," says Bendix. "This is particularly true in Southern California, where the vast majority of wildfires are started by people rather than lightning," he says, "so that it is largely in our hands as to whether our behavior causes catastrophe." Read more in the Los Angeles Times article, "No such thing as ‘safe and sane’ fireworks in a bone-dry California primed to burn."



    Sultana explains why climate, COVID crises need feminism in The Hill

    Instead of analyzing the climate change and COVID-19 crises separately, Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, suggests we learn more by looking at how they intersect. "Both climate change and the coronavirus pandemic have uneven, unequal and long-lasting impacts that depend on where you live, who you are, and what you have," says Sultana. "Approaching these crises by centering feminism can help formulate fairer policies and projects that help improve life for everyone." Read more in Sultana's article, "Climate and COVID-19 crises both need feminism – here's why," published in The Hill.



    Monmonier receives Chancellor's Lifetime Achievement award

    As he wraps up a nearly 50-year career with the Maxwell School, Mark Monmonier, Distinguished Professor of Geography and the Environment, has received the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor recognizes those at Syracuse University who have made extraordinary contributions to the undergraduate experience and research excellence, have fostered innovation and have supported student veterans. It was announced during the virtual One University Awards ceremony on May 7, 2021.



    Maxwell faculty, staff and students honored with 2021 One University awards

    Syracuse University announced its 2021 One University Awards, honoring members of the University community for their scholarship, teaching, academic achievement, leadership and service. The ceremony was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 precautions.



    Sultana participates in Race, Space and the Environment project

    Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, participated in the first phase of a collaborative project between Syracuse University and Rhodes University (South Africa) titled "Race, Space, and the Environment." The project was launched with an international webinar to celebrate Earth Day on April 23, 2021. The video of the webinar and more information on the project is available via the Newhouse School Center for Global Engagement website.



    A Climate for Change - Ethan Coffel

    Ethan Coffel, assistant professor of geography and the environment, is principal investigator on a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant project exploring the link between climate and agricultural change—a process known as the crop-climate feedback cycle. By observing different crop-climate feedback cycles, he can assess the future risk of climate-driven food insecurity as well as the potential for economic losses in agricultural regions. “I want to develop adaptation strategies to increase the climate resilience of food production,” says Coffel.



    Katie MacDonald selected as an Outstanding TA for 2021

    Katie MacDonald has been selected as an Outstanding TA Award recipient for 2021. These awards are reserved for teaching assistants in good academic standing who have made truly distinguished contributions to teaching at Syracuse University. Congratulations Katie!



    Koch talks to Middle East Institute about UAE's citizenship initiative

    On Jan. 30, 2021, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, announced an amendment to the law that is designed to entice and retain foreigners by permitting a select group of expatriates to become Emirati citizens without giving up their original nationality. Natalie Koch, associate professor of geography and the environment, says the move should not be seen as a surprise but "as a logical extension of the Emirati government’s effort to encourage high-net-worth individuals to invest and reside in the UAE." Koch was quoted in the Middle East Institute's article, "Breaking the citizenship taboo in the UAE."



    Sultana study examines overlapping crises of climate change, COVID-19

    "Climate change, COVID-19, and the co-production of injustices: a feminist reading of overlapping crises," authored by Farhana Sultana, was published in Social & Cultural Geography. Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, argues that an intersectional analysis of the overlapping but uneven global crises produced by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of investigating and addressing them simultaneously through a feminist lens. This allows for a more nuanced understanding of the co-production of injustices structurally, materially and discursively.



    Madeleine Hamlin awarded Graduate Dean's Award

    Madeleine Hamlin has been awarded a Graduate Dean's Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work. Madeleine submitted a research proposal on “Policing the Projects: Crime, Carcerality, and Chicago Public Housing.”



    Anne Mosher named Provost Faculty Fellow

    Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu has named Anne E. Mosher, associate professor of geography and the environment in the Maxwell School, a Provost’s Faculty Fellow. Her fellowship will focus on advancing the University’s work in implementing the Shared Competencies and evaluating the use of high-impact practices in undergraduate education.



    Bob Wilson Awarded Humanities Center Maxwell Faculty Fellowship

    Congratulations to Geography and the Environment Associate Professor, Bob Wilson, who has been awarded a Humanities Center Maxwell Faculty Fellowship for Spring 2022!



    Sultana reviews Global Gobeshona Conference in Dhaka Tribune

    The Global Gobeshona Conference was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in January 2021. "Given that climate change impacts the most vulnerable across the world, yet the voices of the vulnerable are always not heard or heeded sufficiently in high-level planning and decision-making, conferences like the Global Gobeshona Conference enhance opportunities to have different voices and positionalities to be present in spaces of global knowledge sharing," writes Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment. Her full review, "The importance of learning about climate change from the Global South," was published in the Dhaka Tribune.



    Ethan Coffel Awarded NSF Grant

    Congratulations to Geography and the Environment Assistant Professor, Ethan Coffel, who learned that he has been awarded an NSF grant for his project “The Crop-Climate Feedback Cycle and its Implications for Global Food Production!



    Coffel discusses his thermal power and climate research in ESA journal

    With electricity demand set to soar—thanks to the transition to an all‐electric future and the rising use of air conditioning globally—the climate vulnerability of thermal plants is a major risk that needs to be accounted for, says Ethan Coffel, assistant professor of geography and the environment. He discusses his recent study on thermal power and climate change in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a journal of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).



    Sultana talks to MIT Technology Review about what progress means

    Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, was interviewed for the MIT Technology Review article, "What does progress mean to you?" "Progress is often measured as economic growth only. But real progress would involve growth that doesn't externalize social or environmental costs," says Sultana. "Progress must be measured by how well those at the bottom are doing, not only those at the top," she says.



    Hammond provides planning tips for grad students in Inside Higher Ed

    Timur Hammond, assistant professor of geography and the environment, outlines some small changes graduate students can make in how they relate to their work that might create a little more space for joy, happiness and mental health. His article, "8 Tips for Grad Students for Planning in 2021," was published in Inside Higher Ed.



    Coffel piece on climate change, thermal power plants published in CB

    "How global warming is making power plants produce less electricity," co-authored by Assistant Professor of Geography and the Environment Ethan Coffel, was published in Carbon Brief. The coal, gas and nuclear power plants that generate most of the world’s electricity have to be kept cool in order to function properly, Coffel and co-author Dr. Justin Mankin write. However, this will be increasingly challenging as the world gets warmer. Instead, Coffel and Mankin say nations should focus on technologies such as solar and wind, which produce fewer emissions and are less impacted by hot weather, so the electricity sector will be both less of a contributor to—and victim of—climate change.



    Robinson weighs in on Price Chopper, Tops merger in LocalSYR interview

    Upstate New York-based grocery chains Price Chopper/Market 12 and Tops Friendly Market announced a merger deal on last week. What's uncertain is how this deal will impact individual stores and whether any of the combined chain’s outlets will close. "My biggest concern is food access in rural communities and urban communities alike," says Jonnell Robinson, associate professor of geography and the environment and director of the Community Geography program, adding, "and making sure that folks don't have to travel too far to get to a grocery store." Watch the full segment, "Supermarket merger gets the attention of food researcher," on LocalSYR.



    Coffel explores power and climate struggle in new research paper

    Ethan Coffel, assistant professor of geography and the environment, discusses his latest findings on thermal power and how warming temperatures will impact every part of our power infrastructure in the SU News story, "It’s Getting Hot In Here: Warming World Will Fry Power Plant Production in Coming Years."



    Monmonier's How to Lie with Maps named essential book for geographers

    Geographical Magazine, the National Geographic of the UK, named "How to Lie with Maps" by Mark Monmonier, Distinguished Professor of Geography and the Environment, as one of the eight essential books for geographers. "A classic in the world of mapping books, 'How to Lie with Maps' was first published in 1991. Mark Monmonier reveals the ways in which maps tell only one side of any story, reflecting the views and biases of their makers."



    Sultana weighs in on NY State fossil fuel divestment in City & State

    New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced a plan on Wednesday to get New York’s $226 billion pension fund to review and divest from many fossil fuel companies and reduce carbon emissions in its portfolio. Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, says the plan could push other states to consider divestment seriously. "This divestment of the pension fund is one of the components of the multi-pronged approach that is absolutely critically essential in moving toward more climate just futures," she says. Read more in the City & State article, "DiNapoli opens up fossil fuel divestment."



    Sultana quoted in Truthout article on students' travel during pandemic

    It’s a common practice for people throughout the world to observe holidays far from their loved ones, says Farhana Sultana, suggesting that observing Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States should be no different. She points out that the largest pilgrimage in the world, the Hajj, was canceled earlier this year. "This pandemic needs to be reined in, so both individual choices matter alongside formal policy advice and institutional mechanisms that promote pandemic response," she says. Read more in the Truthout article, "Hundreds of Thousands of Students Traveled Home This Week Amid COVID Spike."



    Monmonier presents at 2020 annual meeting of the NACIS

    Mark Monmonier, Distinguished Professor of Geography, presented "The Quest of the Missing Maps: Copyright, Deposit Copies, and the Pamphlet Curse,” at the 2020 annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). In his presentation, Monmonier criticizes the destruction of copyright "deposit copies" by the Library of Congress.



    Sultana talks to Scientific American about Biden, climate justice

    "The most important action the Biden administration can do is to undertake all its policies and actions through a climate justice lens—which would enable seeing the interconnections across sectors and policies—and approach action with equity, accountability and justice in mind," says Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment. Read more from Sultana in the Scientific American article, "Here’s How Scientists Want Biden to Take on Climate Change."



    Sultana comments on Joe Biden's victory in Carbon Brief article

    "This was a climate election since a large majority of voters noted that they were concerned with climate breakdown," says Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment. "Biden has a climate plan and a mandate and he has promised to listen to scientists…which is vastly different from the last four years of war on science." Sultana was quoted in the Carbon Brief article, "US election: Climate experts react to Joe Biden’s victory."



    Purser looks at teaching thrift in job readiness programs in new study

    "Both sides of the Paycheck: Recommending Thrift to the Poor in Job Readiness Programs," co-authored by Gretchen Purser and Brian Hennigan, PhD student in geography, was published in Critical Sociology. The article documents how job readiness programs—as anchors of the devolved organizational landscape of neoliberal poverty governance in the United States—endeavor to instill within the poor not simply the virtue of work, but the virtue of thrift, and thus orient them to "both sides of the paycheck." Using a comparative ethnographic study of two community-based, government-funded nonprofit job readiness programs, Purser and Hennigan show that this pedagogic focus on budgeting is central to the overall goal of conditioning clients to embrace and endure a degraded labor market.



    Bendix explores solutions to the western wildfire crisis in The Hill

    "Recognition of the multiple contributors to the wildfire crisis should enable us to move past the focus on simple solutions — one size does not fit all, and reducing fire impacts will require a mix of approaches that match the geographic and ecological complexity of fire regimes," writes Jacob Bendix, professor of geography and the environment. His article, "Western wildfires — there is no 'silver bullet,' but there are things to be done," was published in The Hill.



    Sultana participates in international event on climate research

    On September 30, 2020, Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, participated in "Intersectionality and Climate justice: Towards an Emancipatory Climate Research Agenda," an event organized by the Centre for Climate Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University. The international webinar brought together critical scholars interested in climate justice and intersectionality with the aim of exploring common threads between the two concepts, developing key research needs and directions, exchanging learning and teaching experiences, and creating research collaboration capacity. Watch the video here.



    New study by Hammond examines the politics of commemoration in Turkey

    "Making Memorial Publics: Media, Monuments, and the Politics of Commemoration Following Turkey’s July 2016 Coup Attempt," written by Assistant Professor of Geography and the Environment Timur Hammond, was published in Geographical Review. Hammond examines two distinct but interrelated forms of commemoration: websites that have been set up to tell the story of the resistance to the coup attempt and a new monument that commemorates the victim-heroes of that night’s fighting. He argues that these commemorative projects work together to create a memorial public in which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s position is both naturalized and justified.



    Sultana talks to Media Sanctuary about divesting from fossil fuels

    Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, recently spoke with Media Sanctuary about divesting from fossil fuels. Sultana says "a divestment from fossil fuels signals a commitment to ending climate breakdown, to have climate justice, and to think about equitable and just transitions toward regenerative economies and societies that move away from fossil fuels."



    Bendix speaks to AP, Bloomberg about the California wildfires

    "Climate change makes everything worse," Jacob Bendix, professor of geography and the environment, tells Bloomberg. Efforts to manage fire risks "will be of limited use as long as the climate is getting warmer and in many cases getting drier." Bendix was interviewed by the Associated Press and Bloomberg about the extreme fire behavior driven by drought and warming temperatures. Experts, including Bendix, attribute these conditions to climate change.



    Scholars join faculty for 2020-21; new chairs announced

    Five tenure-track faculty members have joined the Maxwell School for the 2020-21 academic year. In addition, three current faculty members have been named chairs of their academic departments.



    Maxwell School remembers renowned geographer Donald Meinig

    Donald Meinig, a renowned figure in the field of cultural and historical geography, died on June 13 in Syracuse, at the age of 95. Among his signature accomplishments, Meinig was the author of the four volumes of The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, published by Yale University Press. He joined the Maxwell School faculty in 1959 and was named a full professor in 1962. Meinig chaired the department from 1968 to 1973, and finished out his career as Maxwell Professor of Geography.



    Sultana discusses digital learning during the pandemic in Corona Times

    In her co-authored article titled "Digitising critical pedagogies in higher education during Covid-19," Associate Professor Farhana Sultana examines the experiences in digital classrooms from the perspectives of teachers, including the ways in which educators create critical space within hierarchical and digitising institutions. The article was published in Corona Times.



    John Western to Give Vautrin Lud Prize Nominations

    The Vautrin Lud prize, French in conception, is taken to be “geography’s Nobel.” For the third time in the last decade or so John Western has been asked to provide nominations, quite an honor.
    Two of the 30 laureates so far have Syracuse connections: Ed Soja (2015), whose Ph.D. was from here in the later 1960s; and John Agnew (2019), who taught here for 20 years until 1995.



    Maxwell faculty and students honored with 2020 One University awards

    Syracuse University announced its 2020 One University Awards, honoring members of the University community for their scholarship, teaching, academic achievement, leadership and service. The annual ceremony was scheduled to take place on April 17 in Hendricks Chapel, but was canceled due to COVID-19 guidelines.


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Department of Geography and the Environment
144 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
Phone: +1.315.443.2605