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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Geography & the Environment


Geography & the Environment

News & Events

In the News


In Remembrance...

    • Mr. Reuben Miller, long-time adjunct faculty member in the department, passed away on Saturday March 8. Reuben worked at the U.S. Geological Survey for many years and was an expert in soil science and hydrology. After retirement, he joined the department as an adjunct faculty member, and served as an advisor, committee member, and independent study supervisor for many graduate and undergraduate students who specialized in the study of soils, hydrology, and physical geography in general. Reuben also helped the department in countless ways, including the establishment and maintenance of the department library, acquisition of teaching and research materials for student and faculty use, and other equipment that he was able to acquire for the department. Our Soils Lab is named in Reuben's honor. We recognize Reuben for his outstanding contributions to the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Denver during his many years of service here, and the help that he has provided to many of our faculty, students, and staff.

  • Ph.D. student Amir Siraj is co-author on a new article published in Science titled "Altitudinal changes in malaria incidence in highlands of Ethiopia and Colombia".  Additional authors include Santos-Vega M., Bouma M. J, Yadeta D., Ruiz Carrascal D., and Pascual M.
  • With contributions from Mrs. Patricia Lee Rudd, the Department of Geography & the Environment has established the Robert D. Rudd Memorial Endowed Fund.  The fund is in the memory of Dr. Robert D. Rudd, faculty emeritus for the Department.  The fund will continue to support awards to students on the basis of outstanding scholarship/research performance.
  • Two department faculty receive National Science Foundation grants!

Lecturer Russell Fielding received a NSF grant for his project titled "Bridging Early Career Researchers and Indigenous People in Nordic Countries". The funds will be used to send twelve US-based students (graduate and undergraduate), including two DU undergrads, to a workshop held in conjunction with the Arctic Science Summit Week conference in Helsinki, Finland, to discuss the adaptation to climate change of indigenous people from the Arctic. Russel is the principle investigator on the grant and the co-PIs include Laura Lukes form NC State University in Raleigh, Laura Sharp form the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, and Gerlis Fugmann from the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists in Norway.

Associate Professor Matthew Taylor also received a NSF grant for his project titled "Collaborative Research: Tree-ring drought reconstructions in Guatemala and Honduras". The project is in collaboration with Kevin Anchukaitis (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) and Edwin Castellanos (Universidad del Valle, Guateamala).  They will continue to expand the geographic range of dendrochronology in regions of Central America that may already be experiencing the early consequences of anthropogenic climate change.

  • Associate Professor Mike Daniels has received a US Fulbright Scholar Award to study in the Czech Republic next year as part of his planned sabbatical.  Mike will be conducting his research while based at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague on the topic of "Soils, sediments, and the legacy of medieval agriculture in Czech pluzina landscapes" Congratulations Mike! 
  • We are hiring a Post-Doctorate Fellow as part of the University's IRISE (Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality) initiative.  See the full details here
  • The 2013 Geography and the Environment Newsletter, The DU Geographer, is now available.  Click on the link to see what we've been up to this year.  

siraj scholarship

  • Ph.D. student Amir Siraj selected as recipient of the RM-URISA 2013 GIS Scholarship. The scholarship, to provide a financial award of $500 to students using GIS in their studies, received applications from students at six regional universities representing majors from six different disciplines and found Amir's application to be the most deserving. Congratulations Amir!


  • The 2012 Geography and the Environment Newsletter - The DU Geographer -is now published. Please click the link in the name it view it. Thanks to everyone who made this year great.

  • Ph.D. Student Gary Lavanchy wins Graduate Studies Dissertation Fellowship & GSAG Research Award

    Ph.D. Student Gary LaVanchy was recently awarded a Graduate Studies Dissertation Fellowship, Support for dissertation research from the Office of Graduate Studies, University of Denver. Merit-based on academic potential, highest caliber research and writing, and comprehensive exams passed with honors, and the GSAG Research Award, 1st place award from the Graduate Student Affinity Group (GSAG) of the Association of American Geographers for "Water Resources and Tourism Development along the Western Coast of Nicaragua: A Political Ecology Perspective."   Congratulations Gary.

  • Geography Student Lanna Giauque is awarded third place for Undergraduate Oral Presentation at the 2013 CSU Front Range Student Ecology Symposium. Congratulations Lanna!

  • DU North Atlantic Field Course 2012

    Dr. Russell Fielding has taken a group of students on a North Atlantic field course titled "In the Wake of Vikings." The group will visit Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. To learn more about their trip and see some of their fabulous photos, visit their travel blog.

  • MA student Nikolai Alvarado wins field study award

    MA student Nikolai Alvarado was recently awarded a William Denevan MA Field Study Award from the Conference for Latin Americanist Geographers which is an AAG specialty group.  Out of a large applicant pool, Nikolai was only one of three MA students to receive this award. This award will support Nikolai's research in Nicaragua into the political ecology of fisheries along the Pacific coast.  Congratulations Nikolai.

  • Ph.D. Student Gary Lavanchy wins EPA STAR fellowship

    Ph.D. Student Gary LaVanchy was recently awarded an EPA STAR fellowship.  This is a three year award with a value of $126,000 to support his research in Nicaragua into water conflicts and aquifer modeling along the Pacific coast.  This is a highly competitive award.  This year, 80 students across the USA received the fellowship.  This represents 5% of the application pool.    Gary joins Geography Ph.D. Student, Joe Hoover, who received the fellowship last year,  Congratulations Gary. 

  • Gary Lavanchy, Ph.D. student, received two awards to support field work in Latin America this summer.   He is the recipient of the Latin America Specialty Group and  the Gary Gaile Travel Award from the  Development Geographies Specialty Group  of the Association of American Geographers  for his proposal entitled "The Political Ecology of Water in Tourism Development in Nicaragua."  Congratulations Gary and make the most of your time in the field.

  • JD Davis,   Ph.D. student, is the receipt of a LASPAU grant (Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas: to fund a short-term graduate student exchange in Guatemala. This grant resulted from our (DU and Columbia University) accepting and hosting a graduate student from Guatemala in the fall of last year.   The money will permit JD to travel to Guatemala this spring to deepen academic contacts there and rekindle contacts he made during his MA field research. Congratulations JD and make the best of your time in the field.

  • Dr. Michael Keables was awarded a 2011 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Design
    Dr. Keables will receive this award on July 14 at the Blackboard World 2011 Annual User's Conference.  "The efforts made by Michael really do make a difference in enhancing the learning experience at your institution and for many other institutions across the globe", quoted from Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Lean, Blackboard Inc.
  • After a trip to Guatemala with Matthew Taylor and three engineering students; progress has been made on an improved wood burning stove. For a video snippet of what these engineering students have been up to on their senior design project click this link.

  • Espen Haugen (BA international studies and geography '08) now runs a non-governmental organization in rural Nicaragua. The DU Magazine wrote a story about Espen's experiences in Nicaragua.  Read more on DU Today.  At the World Geospatial Forum (Hyderabad, India), January 18-21, the poster  entitled  "Using the Nighttime Satellite Imagery to Create a Global Grid of Distributed Fossil Fuel CO 2 Emissions" by: Tilottama Ghosh, Chris Elvidge, Paul Sutton, Kim Baugh, Daniel Ziskin, and Ben Tuttle, won the best poster award.

  • PhD degree makes student Doctor Copter Brett Machovina earned his doctorate in geography while actively serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. Read more on DU Today

  • Faculty and students work to improve Kenyan slum

    Faculty from the Department of Geography are joining with several other DU departments on the interdisciplinary Kibera Project, which is working to bring clean water to one of the world's largest slums. Read more on DU Today.

  • We remember Dr. Laurence Herold

    Dr. Herold joined the department's faculty in 1956, chaired the department for seven years in the 1980s and retired in 1996.  Dr. Herold died March 30, 2010 after a long illness.  He was 78.  Read more on DU Today.

  • Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award
    Andrea Gelfuso
    , Adjunct Professor for the Geography Department has been named the recipient for the Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award, given every year to an adjunct professor for teaching excellence.  She will receive this award on October 26 at the 2010 Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon.

  • NSF and PINS research in Guatemala
    Dr. Matthew Taylor travels to Guatemala during the 2010 winter break to continue NSF-funded research on climate change and droughts.  A DU doctoral student and a team of DU undergraduate engineers will accompany Dr. Taylor.  As part of their final, year-long design project, the engineers are designing an improved wood burning stove for use in Central America.  However, to design a stove that is culturally acceptable, they must understand the culture and needs of users.  Thus, with funding from the DU Undergraduate Research Center (known as PINS), students will travel to Guatemala with Dr. Taylor to meet with stove users in rural areas.



Graduate Colloquium Series - Winter 2014- Boettcher Auditorium 101 - Thursdays - 4 to 6 p.m.