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Conversation with a Geographer

Conversation with a Geographer Filmed Interviews

Produced by GRCC TV

With the passing of Wes Dow in 2011, Geography lost the architect of Geographers on Film, one of the most significant oral history resources in academia. Wes was honored by the Association of American Geographers for his contributions. He was gifted in his knowledge of the field and capable of talking with geographers of all genres, genders, and eras, creating a record of the discipline’s course throughout the twentieth century, which was marked by rich substance and impartiality. Inspired by Wes, and in the tradition of Geographers on Film, is the Conversation with a Geographer oral history series, which began with the Diversity Conversation interview of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in 2011. Mike DeVivo hosts this series, which is filmed in the GRCC TV studio at Grand Rapids Community College. In an effort to contribute to a fuller understanding of the history of the geographic discipline, he seeks to explore the role of various mentors, leaders, and leadership behaviors with those interviewed.
Questions about the series can be made via email to Dr. M.S. DeVivo, Professor of Geography.

Jennifer Devine, Associate Professor of Geography, Texas State University, 21 February 2022.

Growing up in central Washington and studies in Geography at the University of Washington and University of California. Influence of mentors. Fieldwork in Guatemala. Advice for prospective  geographers.,

Lindsay Naylor, Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Delaware, 19 March 2019.

Studies in Geography at the University of Oregon. Research and fieldwork in Chiapas. Advice for prospective geographers.

Cadey Korson, Lecturer in Human Geography, Massey University, 7 December 2018.

Studies in geography at Grand Rapids Community College, Aquinas College, University of Missouri, and Kent State University. Research in geopolitics and fieldwork in New Caledonia. Advice to students interested in academic careers in geography.

Jonnell Robinson, Assistant Professor of Geography and Director of Community Geography, Syracuse University, 27 March 2018.

Graduate study in public health and Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The influence of Don Mitchell at Syracuse University. The origin and nature of community geography.

Karen Culcasi, Associate Professor of Geography, West Virginia University, 28 March 2017.

Influence of Daniel Gade at the University of Vermont and Mark Monmonier at Syracuse University, as well as the scholarship of Kim England and Alison Mountz. Research in cartography of the Middle East and fieldwork devoted to Syrian women refugees. Comments on the value of mentoring.

Maria Fadiman, Associate Professor of Geography, Florida Atlantic University, 11 April 2016.

Childhood education in an alternative school focused on the environment. Pursuit of Latin American Studies at Vassar and Tulane. Mentorship of William Doolittle at the University of Texas. Fieldwork devoted to ethnobotany in tropical rainforests.

Jessie Clark, Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Nevada, Reno, 29 February 2016.

Growing up in the American West. Influence of Alec Murphy at the University of Oregon and Sallie Marston at the University of Arizona. Ethnographic research in southeastern Turkey with special reference to Kurdish women.  Experiences in fieldwork.  Suggestions for aspiring geographers.

Anne Bonds, Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 26 March, 2015.

Influence of Janice Monk and Victoria Lawson. Research on race and incarceration. Suggestions on balancing family obligations and academic obligations.

Courtney Gallaher, Assistant Professor of Geography and Women’s Studies, Northern Illinois University. 25 March 2015.

Influence of Antoinette Winkler-Prins as a mentor. Research in Kenya on urban agriculture. Suggestions on raising a family while a young assistant professor.

Marie Price, Professor of Geography and International Affairs, George Washington University, 23 March 2015.

Influence of James Parsons and David Robinson. Research in immigration. Collaboration with geographers in the authorship of the world regional geography textbook, Diversity Amid Globalization.

Amanda Colegrove, Coalition Organizer, Coalition Against Trafficking & Exploitation, 24 February, 2015. 

Crime Victim Advocacy Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Interest in Geography sparked after returning to school following several years in the work force. Research in Geography devoted to mapping human trafficking in Missouri. Addressing human trafficking issues.

Alicia Decker, Assistant Professor of African and Women’s Studies, Purdue University, 18 March 2014.

Interest in Africa sparked by a Geography professor at the University of Minnesota. Research in Africa. Reflections on the role of Idi Amin in Uganda.

Caroline Faria, Assistant Professor of Geography, Florida International University, 18 March 2014.

Interest in Geography developed in the UK. Travel abroad. Graduate study and research at the University of Washington. Fieldwork in Africa.

Yael Aronoff, Associate Professor of International Relations and Michael and Elaine Serling and Friends Chair of Israel Studies, James Madison College, Michigan State University, 21 October 2013.

Growing up in Israel. Research on Israeli leaders. The role of Benjamin Netanyahu’s father and brother in his decision-making.

Leon Yacher, Professor of Geography, Southern Connecticut State University, 21 October 2013.

Growing up in South America and the United States. Introduced to Geography by Richard Murphy at the University of New Mexico. Research in the history of cartography, the history of geography in Latin America and Central Asia.

Rebecca Sheehan, Associate Professor of Geography, Oklahoma State University, 25 March, 2013.

Early childhood in southern Indiana. Following the study of landscape architecture, captivated by the geographic discipline in Texas. Influence of Craig Colten and Dydia DeLyser as mentors. Research on New Orleans.

Jerry Redfern and Karen Coates, Senior Fellows, Brandeis University, 11 March, 2013.

Pursuit of journalism studies at University of Montana. Challenges of practicing journalism and photojournalism in Southeast Asia.

Kate Swanson, Assistant Professor of Geography, San Diego State University, 29 March 2012.

Captivated by Geography as an undergraduate in Canada. Fieldwork in South America. Research on children in the Andes.

*Nicholas Kristof, Columnist, New York Times, 26 September 2011.

Growing up in Oregon. Influence of father, the political geographer, Ladis Kristof. Importance of writing and traveling abroad. Reporting on human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

*Diversity Conversation Interview