Geography & Environmental Studies

MSC 01 1110
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Bandelier West & East

Phone: (505)277-5041
Fax: (505)277-3614

Past Events 2013-2014

Fall 2015

October 23-25, 2014
Breaking Boundaries Joint Regional Meeting of the Southwest and Great Plains / Rocky Mountain Divisions of the AAG
Join us for scholarly presentations, keynote speakers, and social events at Hotel Andaluz, the Albuquerque Convention Center, and the historical Albuquerque Railyards. To view the conference program and register, see our conference website:
October 23, 2014
Chris Duvall featured in the new UNM Lightning Lounge series
Our own Chris Duvall will be presenting on the topic of "Drugs and Work: The Origins of Marijuana in the Atlantic World" for the inaugural event in the Provost's new "Lightning Lounge" series. Presentations will be held from 5:30-7pm in the Faculty Staff Club. 
October 8, 12:00: Students are invited to a meeting to discuss proposed changes to our undergraduate curriculum and to our undergraduate course fees. We will meet in Bandelier West 104. Refreshments will be provided. We look forward to your feedback!
Friday, August 15, 11am-4pm
Orientation for New Grad Students: Meet in Bandelier 106, bring money for lunch
Friday, August 15, 5:30-8pm
Welcome Party & Alumni Reunion: refer to email for details

Spring 2014

May 2nd

Dr. Steve Sesnie of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will present: "Airborne LiDAR and multispectral image-based density models for the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, TX”

As usual, the presentation will be held at 12 PM in Mitchell Hall 101 ( May 2nd ).

About the Speaker: Dr. Steve Sesnie specializes in ecology, remote sensing and geographic information systems with the US Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Biological Sciences and Southwest Region Inventory and Monitoring program. His doctoral research focused on remote sensing of lowland rain forest types in northern Costa Rica and determining niche and biogeographical factors associated with tropical tree species distributions. He received a joint Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho and Center for Tropical Agricultural Higher Education and Research Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica (2006). He received a Master of Science in Forestry from Northern Arizona University (2001) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Biology from Colorado State University (1986). Steven’s research interests cover a broad range of topics including remote sensing applications for determining vegetation structure and wildlife habitat parameters, land cover change detection and linkages to land use policy, tropical forest ecology and management and forest fragmentation effects on plant and animal communities. Other research interests include detection, spectroscopy and hyperspectral remote sensing of non-native invasive plants and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) applications for vegetation inventory, monitoring and habitat characterization. Steven has also worked extensively for the US Forest Service and as a forestry extensionist and technical trainer for the US Peace Corps in South America.


April 2014

April 30th

Cody Wiley, an online instructor for the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, has been selected as the 2013-14 Online Teacher of the Year. The Faculty Senate Teaching Enhancement Committee gives this award every year to "acknowledge excellence in the challenging teaching and learning arena of online distance education." Cody will be honored at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 7 in Ballroom C of the Student Union Building, beginning at 2 p.m. Congratulations, Cody, for your outstanding teaching service to the department and to UNM!

April 22nd

Congratulations to Veronica Chavez, who was published in the most recent issue of Conceptions Southwest, the fine arts and literary magazine of the University of New Mexico. Her piece "Leetso," which appears on page 56, explores the environmental and cultural impacts of uranium mining in the Southwest. Congratulations to Maureen Meyer and Tiana Baca-Bosiljevac, both of whom presented their thesis research results at the recent national meeting of the Association of American Geographers, held in Tampa, Florida from April 8-12.  

April 18th

Dr. Mark Stone of UNM Civil Engineering will present: "Eco-hydrologic and Eco-hydraulic Models for Improved River Management”

As usual, the presentation will be held at 12 PM in Mitchell Hall 101 (April 18th).

About the Speaker: Dr. Mark Stone’s research is focused on the interfaces between hydraulic engineering, aquatic ecology, and fluvial geomorphology. He is a recent recipient of an NSF Career award focused on the use of use “river forensics” to reconstruct historical river conditions dating back over 100 years using computer models. The models will be used to describe flood waves as various river engineering projects were implemented throughout the middle Rio Grande valley. He is also a Co-PI in the newly funded Center for Water and the Environment at UNM. For more information, see Dr. Stone’s website:


April 4th

Title: "Applying Spatial Modeling to Wildfire Evacuation Modeling"
As usual, the presentation will be held at 12 PM in Mitchell Hall 101 (April 4th).
About the Speaker: Phil Dennison is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Utah. He is director of the Utah Remote Sensing Applications Lab, and his research includes remote sensing of vegetation species and phenology, vegetation disturbance, imaging spectroscopy, and fire and fire danger modeling. Dr. Dennison received his Bachelor's from the Department of Geography at Penn State, and his Master's and Ph.D. from the Department of Geography at University of California Santa Barbara. He is currently involved in research to support NASA's proposed HyspIRI hyperspectral satellite mission, and is an author on approximately 50 peer-reviewed publications on remote sensing and/or wildfire.


March 2014

March 7th

As part of the UNM Geography and Environmental Sciences Colloquium Series, Dr. Chris Holden of University of New Mexico will present:
Local Games in ABQ: connecting place and people through mobile

When: 12 pm Friday Mar 7th Where: Mitchell Hall 101


February 2014

February 28th

"The Department of Geography & Environmental Studies is proud to report that it will host the October 2014 meeting of the AAG's Southwest Division, jointly with the Great Plains / Rocky Mountain Division. This first-ever joint meeting between the two divisions is expected to draw an enthusiastic group of 300-325 active geographers from New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Louisiana. For more information, check the conference website:

February 21st

As part of the UNM Geography and Environmental Sciences Colloquium Series,Dr. Justin Stoler, MPH of The University of Miami will present: Urban Health Disparities in the Developing World: A Geographic Perspective 

When: 1 pm Friday February 21st (Note change from the typical Noon start time)

Where: Mitchell Hall 101


July 2013

The Department says goodbye:After 33 years of service for Professor Cullen and 18 years of service for Professor Matthews, both have retired from UNM. They now enjoy the distinction of Professor Emeritus, and have taken up residence in the Emeritus office on the second floor of Bandelier West.

December 2012

William Maxwell, M.S. candidate in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, recently completed international fieldwork in Brazil with support from the Tinker Foundation, a grant administered by UNM’s Latin American and Iberian Institute. During his month-long stay in Brazil, William conducted research on the Frei Gondim agricultural settlement, where formerly landless peasants have established a diversified farming operation to produce a variety of subsistence and market crops. William, a federal Foreign Language and Area Studies fellow, relied on his study of Portuguese and drew from past journalism work in Brazil to employ ethnographic and ethnobotanical methods in his field research. He evaluated the economic and environmental sustainability of settlers' agricultural efforts in a region dominated by sugarcane plantations. After completing the field component of his thesis research in summer 2012, William has been busy presenting his findings in several venues this fall, including at the Applied Geography Conference in Minneapolis, and at the Latin American and Iberian Institute, as part of the "Students of Latin American Studies" lecture series. William is supervised by Dr. Chris Duvall, who specializes in the cultural and historical ecology of foods and other plants in the Atlantic Basin.