Faculty Research Interests

Martina A. Caretta PhD Assistant Professor of Geography

Martina Caretta Martina Angela Caretta is a feminist geographer investigating the human dimensions of water. Her research focuses on the social issues revolving around water resources in Appalachia. Dr Caretta holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Stockholm and her doctoral research investigated gender contracts in smallholder irrigation farming systems in Kenya and Tanzania. Dr Caretta has published on smallholder irrigation farming in the Global South, feminist participatory methodologies, emotional geography and gendered consequences of the neoliberal university.
Link to more detailed research interests

Jamison Conley PhD Associate Professor of Geography

Jamison Conley The overarching theme is an interest in the statistics, algorithms and techniques for the analysis of spatial data.  Dr Conley has worked in the past on methods for finding and analyzing disease clusters, but is venturing beyond that narrow focus.  He has open-source projects that are available for those interested.
Link to more detailed research interests

Karen Culcasi PhD Associate Professor of Geography

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Employing critical geopolitical and cartographic lenses, Dr. Culcasi’s research examines both Western and Arab geographical imaginings of the Middle East, the Arab World, and Palestine. Her research focuses on contested landscapes and the meanings derived from continuously changing notions of territory and identity. Recently, she has embarked upon a new project examining Palestinian Jordanian’s conceptualizations of home, homeland, and Palestine.
Link to more detailed research interests

Cynthia Gorman PhD     Assistant Professor of Geography

Cynthia Gorman Cynthia’s research focuses on gender, migration, legal regimes and international human rights campaigns. She teaches courses on world regional geography, global migration and women and international development.
Link to more detailed research interests

Gregory A. Elmes PhD     Professor Emeritus of Geography

elmes_sm Dr. Elmes focuses on geographic information science. Dr Elme’s research interests include the spatial analysis of crime, and geospatial data handling.
Link to more detailed research interests 

Trevor M. Harris PhD     Eberly Distinguished Professor of Geography

Trevor Harris 2 Dr Harris focuses on Geographic Information Science with research interests in Geo-Virtual GIS and Immersive Virtual Reality, Deep Mapping, Spatial Humanities, Qualitative GIS, Participatory GIS, Critical GIS, Spatializing Text Linguistics, Historical Geography, and Environmental Impact Assessment.
Link to more detailed research interests

Jonathan Hall PhD     Assistant Professor of Geography

Jonathan Hall 3 My research focuses on human impacts on species abundance and persistence. I am particularly interested in how local culture and subsistence practices impact endangered and threatened species. My dissertation research focused on the impact the Bishnoi people of Rajasthan, India have on Indian vultures (Gyps indicus), blackbuck antelope (Antilope cervicapra), and the Khejeri tree (Prosopis cineraria). The Bishnoi practice a unique “conservation centric” religion that is positively associated with the presence of key taxa in rural Rajasthan.
Link to more detailed research interests

Amy Hessl PhD     Professor of Geography and Benedum Scholar

ahessl_sm Dr. Hessl uses information stored in the annual rings of trees to understand historical relationships between people and their environment. Her reconstructions of climate and wildfire illuminate and contextualize modern interactions between climate, fire, people and forested landscapes. She is currently developing a new focus on the energetics and ecology of the Mongol Empire that will draw on a diverse set of collaborators from history, archeology, paleoecology, and ecosystem modeling.
Link to more detailed research interests

Insu Hong PhD    Assistant Professor of Geography

Insu Hong Insu’s research themes are Geographic Information Science (GISci) and spatial optimization. He focuses developing spatial analytical methods and tools for GIS, integrating GIS with spatial optimization models, and developing spatial solution approaches for spatial optimization.
Link to more detailed research interests

Randall W. Jackson PhD     Director of Regional Research Institute and Professor of Geography

Randy Jackson Dr. Jackson focuses on regional economic development. His research interests include technological change, regional innovation systems, regional economic models, industry clustering, industry dynamics, interregional trade, econometric/input-output modeling and energy and environmental systems simulation. He has been involved in a wide variety of funded research projects with support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy and Agriculture, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Arthur P. Sloan Foundation, among others.
Link to more detailed research interests

J. Steven Kite PhD     Associate Professor of Geology and Geography

Steven Kite Dr. Steve Kite research interests lie in the late Cenozoic history of the Appalachian Mountains and the terrestrial processes that dominate this ecologically-rich landscape. Surficial geology mapping is his favorite approach to understanding mountainous landscapes, relying on a balance between traditional field work techniques and manipulation of LiDAR and other digital data. Kite’s current research foci include the nature of cold-air traps that act as floral and faunal refugia, the geomorphic evolution of the Ohio and New river basins, and Holocene and Anthropocene geoarcheology.
Link to more detailed research interests

Rick Landenberger PhD     Research Assistant Professor of Geography

Rick Landenberger Rick’s research combines forest ecology with land use management and restoration, using mapping and spatial analysis as tools to address basic questions of ecosystem structure and function. Working closely with the land conversation community in West Virginia through the West Virginia Land Trust, his research applies primarily to properties managed through conservation easements or other land use protection strategies.
Link to more detailed research interests

Eungul Lee PhD    Assistant Professor of Geography

elee_sm Dr. Lee a climatologist. His research interests include the land-atmosphere-ocean interactions, monsoon climate, biogeophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks, climate modeling, and climate change and human health. Current his research projects are 1) The role of human-induced land cover change and oceanic forcing in changing monsoon climates, 2) Effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on hydrological processes, and 3) Climate change and malaria incidence in India.
Link to more detailed research interests

Aaron Maxwell PhD Teaching Assistant Professor of Geography

index Dr Maxwell’s research interests are in geospatial instruction, hands-on learning, and learning via travel. His primary research is in remote sensing image analysis, spatial modeling, GIS, object-based image analysis, terrain analysis, physical geography, geomorphology, and hydrology.
Link to more detailed research interests

Ken Martis PhD     Professor Emeritus of Geography

index Geography of Elections. The geographical aspects of American political culture. Spatial variables operating within legislative bodies, especially roll call voting behavior, elections, and districts especially for the United States Congress. Legislative redistricting. Natural resource, conservation and environmental history and policy. Historical Geography.Geographic Education.
Link to more detailed research interests

Brent McCusker PhD     Professor of Geography

bmccusker_sm Dr. McCusker studies the topics of development, rural livelihoods and land use change from the theoretical perspective of uneven development. He foregrounds the concepts of the production of nature and co-production in his work and draws heavily upon the works of David Harvey,Neil Smith and Phil O’Keefe. He conducts most of his research in southern and eastern Africa and is currently funded by the US Agency for International Development to examine climate change vulnerability in Malawi. He has just recently concluded an NSF grant on livelihoods and climate adaptation in Malawi. He has a forthcoming book on South African land reform and a second book on the science of solidarity with and for local communities.
Link to more detailed research interests

Brenden E. McNeil PhD     Associate Professor of Geography

bmcneil_sm My students and I use field, GIS, and remote sensing measurements to study how humans impact temperate forest ecosystems. Our work often uses an explicitly spatial approach, using “natural experiments” on the landscape to infer ecological process from spatial pattern.
Link to more detailed research interests

María Alejandra Pérez PhD     Assistant Professor of Geography

Maria Perez 3 My research interests are at the intersection of cultural anthropology (my formal training) and geography. They include anthropologies and geographies of science, critical cartography, landscape, embodiment, kinship, territoriality, identity politics, human-cave relations, and speleology (cave science). I did my dissertation work in Venezuela, but am interested in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean more broadly, as well as the United States.
Link to more detailed research interests

Jamie Shinn PhD Assistant Professor of Geography

Jamie Shinn Dr Shinn is interested in topics of environmental governance, political ecology, and adaptation to climate change, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Her current research investigates how existing social vulnerabilities lead to differential adaptive capacities for people living in changing environments. This project is based in the Okavango Delta of Botswana.
Link to more detailed research interests

Timothy A Warner PhD     Professor of Geography and Geology

warner_sm Dr. Warner focuses on remote sensing. His research interests include the spatial properties of images, image texture, high spatial resolution imagery, lidar, thermal imagery, and hyperspectral imagery. He has applied remote sensing to biogeographical applications, especially the remote sensing of individual trees and plants, landcover change, and both geological and geobotanical mapping.
Link to more detailed research interests

Bradley R. Wilson PhD     Associate Professor of Geography

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Dr. Wilson is a human geographer whose research and teaching interests focus on agro-food networks, agrarian conflicts, and transnational social movements with a focus on the United States and Central America.
Link to more detailed research interests