Professor and Associate Head
Department of Geography
Urbanization and human demographic processes are deeply implicated in environmental change, both in the Global North and the Global South. I have been studying North American urbanization and spatial demography across a range of scales from the neighborhood to the urban system for over 20 years. Several new research efforts allow me to now focus my attention on the complex inter-relationships between urbanization processes and environmental change. These efforts focus on two major themes. (1) Human movement (immigration, long-distance migration within the nation-state, retirement and other forms of second homeownership, and complex new commuting and work-related movements) is playing an increasingly important role in the functioning of socio-natural relations in locales. These effects include very local changes in land ownership, land use and land management practices, as well as large-scale migratory responses to environmental changes including increased risk from extreme weather events and sea level rise due to climate change. (2) Urbanization processes (suburban expansion, exurbanization, megapolitanization, centralized densification, gentrification, increased spatial restructuring of poverty & inequality) are increasingly interrelated as both driver of and response to environmental processes, including hydroclimate systems that operate within, between and beyond urbanized areas. Better understanding of these complex interactions will empower a more critical engagement with pressing contemporary and future issues.
My expertise includes advanced geospatial analysis of large data, GIS, and a variety of qualitative data collection and data analysis approaches. My graduate advisees have investigated and are investigating a variety of topics related to my current and future research interests.