Click here to see this online
Week of October 9th, 2017

Each Wednesday, Geography & GIS will distribute an e-newsletter to our faculty, students, postdocs/visiting scholars, and staff. Please send any news, announcements, and citations to by noon on Monday for publication in the same week’s newsletter.

Alumni Newsletter

Our 2017 Alumni Newsletter is out now! Print copies were placed in GGIS faculty and graduate student NHB mailboxes, and are also available in Room 2042 NHB. You can read a PDF version on our website: (Weekly e-newsletters are also archived on this page.)


Friday, October 13th, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Natural History Building
Faculty and staff from the SESE departments will be on hand to give NHB tours, as part of the Illinois Fundraising Campaign Launch and Alumni Celebration.

October 19-21 at Missouri State University-West Plains

West Lakes Regional Division meeting of the American Association of Geographers


Professor Jim Best will receive the 2018 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal from the European Geosciences Union (EGU) Division on Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Paleontology. Best and 49 other Earth, planetary and space scientists will be honored at the EGU 2018 General Assembly in Vienna.

Professor Mei-Po Kwan received the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS). This award recognizes CPGIS members for outstanding and significant research contributions to geographic information science and/or systems and related fields, including remote sensing.

Professor David Wilson has been found to be the 9th most productive urban geographer in the world, based on an analysis of all papers in this area published between 1990 and 2010. He shares this rank with two other urbanists, both from the UK. 
(Source: Lily Kong and Junxi Qian. 2017. Knowledge circulation in urban geography/urban studies, 1990–2010. Urban Studies, July 24, pp. 1–37.)

Graduate Students

PhD Student Rebecca Shakespeare passed her preliminary doctoral examination. Her dissertation, Understanding the causal factors influencing residential mobility and perceived housing affordability for middle income renters, will identify the perceived causes of residential mobility and immobility considering individuals’ situations, in addition to their spatial and temporal context.

American Geographical Society (AGS) Council Fellowship - Now accepting applications for 2018
Deadline: November 1
The AGS Council Fellowship program supports graduate students in pursuit of geographic research, especially research that includes a field component. The fellowship is open to all graduate students who are members of the Society. Each fellowship is worth $1,500 and four will be awarded in the Spring.

Our department, in conjunction with the Unit for Criticism, has established a graduate student exchange program with the Heidelberg Center for American Studies, at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
It is a beautiful university nestled along the Neckar River and the mountains in Central Germany. It also has a superb American Studies program (complemented by great Geography, Urban Studies, Cinema, and Literature departments). As we begin the exchange, there is an opportunity for you to visit and study at Heidelberg this upcoming Spring semester. We can help you make all the arrangements, should you be interested. You would not have to pay any money to the University of Heidelberg, your registration would take place at UIUC, and you can go there to study (and play). All classes are taught in English and the University of Heidelberg welcomes US an other international students.

The Spring 2018 semester at the University of Heidelberg begins a bit later than ours, so please note the dates:

  • March 1st: Recommended arrival (for students participating in the pre-semester language course)
  • March 5th–29th: Preparatory German language course (80 hours of Instruction)
  • April 10–12: Orientation for all new international students
  • April 16–July 28: Lecture period

Please contact David Wilson ( if you are interested in this exchange program.

Visiting Scholars

Yingcheng Liu is a visiting doctoral student from the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences at the China Agricultural University in Beijing. His dissertation research examines the links between land-use intensity and sustainable natural resource management, with a focus on smallholders in the fragile ecological areas of Inner Mongolia in China. Yingcheng has a Master’s degree in human geography. He will be with SDEP through February 2019, in Room 1044 NHB.


Tang Wei and Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, (2017) “Does City-county Merger in China Promote Local Economic Development?” Economics of Transition, (forthcoming)Zengkai Zhang,

Kunfu Zhu, and Geoffrey J. D. Hewings. (2017). “The Effects of Border-Crossing Frequencies Associated with Carbon Footprints on Border Carbon Adjustments,” Energy Economics 65, 105-114.

Ribot, J. 2017. ‘Choose Democracy: Guidance for Democratizing through Natural Resource Management Interventions,’ a Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) policy brief of the Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD) with CODESRIA, IUCN and University of Illinois.

Melis Ece, James Murombedzi and Jesse Ribot (eds.). 2018 forthcoming. “Disempowering Democracy: Local Representation in Community and Carbon Forestry in Africa,” Conservation and Society. Special Issue on Rights, Representation and REDD+. This is a collection of seven articles from seven researchers in the five-year thirteen-country thirty-five case study comparative research program the Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI).

Faye, Papa, Tobias Haller and Jesse Ribot. 2017. “Shaping Rules and Practice for More Justice. Local Conventions and Local Resistance in Eastern Senegal” Human Ecology. Online publication 25 July.