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Summer 2024

Mandy Truman, PhD student, was selected for the Evelyn Pruitt Fellowship from the Society of Women Geographers. This fellowship provides $8,000 to support Mandy’s field work and research. Mandy’s advisor is Dr. Sarmiento. Congratulations Mandy!

Eight of our doctoral students were selected to receive a Doctoral Retention Scholarship from the Graduate College. This scholarship pays for the cost of tuition for up to 9 credit hours in the long semesters and up to 3 credit hours in the summer. Congratulations to Md Tousif Tanzir, Michael Boyles, Chris Anderson, Arup Acharjee, Grayson Wylie, Nirvana HeidarianBeei, Alain Elegbe, and Christopher Pierce.

Dr. Soe Myint was awarded $250,000 from NASA through a subaward from Tufts University for the project “Decoding Land Transitions across the Urban-Rural Continuums (URC): A Synthesis Study of Patterns, Drivers, and Socio-environmental Impacts in Southeast Asia. Congratulations Soe!

Spring 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the 2024 joint meeting of The Southwest Division of the American Association of Geographers (SWAAG) and the Applied Geography Conference (AGX), hosted by the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Texas State University!
It will be held October 6th-8th, 2024, in San Marcos, Texas at the Texas State University LBJ Student Center.

Awards and Accomplishments

Nirvana Heidarian, Ph.D. Student, was also awarded the P.E.O International Peace Scholarship worth $12,000! Nirvana is advised by Dr. Devine.

Tighearnan Juarez Murphy, Ph.D. Student, won the Best Graduate Student Paper award from the Geomorphology Specialty Group (GSG) and was elected as Student representative for the GSG! Tighearnan is advised by Dr. Meitzen.

The SWAAG GeoBowl Team (Bren Vander Weil, Andrew Adams, and Tighearnan Juarez Murphy placed 3rd out of 7 teams at the 2024 annual AAG meeting! They were one question away from making the finals at the end of a thrilling back-to-back-to-back sudden death situation.  Tighearnan tied for 3rd place in overall individual scoring!

Alisa Hartsell was awarded the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding PhD Student award as well as the Outstanding Geography and Environmental Studies student! Alisa’s advisor is Dr. Blue.

Garret Pugh was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student in Geography and Environmental Studies. Garrett’s advisor is Dr. Jensen.

Amory Baudoux was awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Geography and Environmental Studies

Mikael Lopez won First Place Research Poster for the College of Liberal Arts Research Expo. He was awarded $1,000 for his research presentation! Mikael works with Dr. Myles’s research group.

Dustin Sanchez (advisor Dr. Tiefenbacher) was awarded a highly competitive Critical Language Scholarship Program from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Dustin will study Turkish.

Xiu Wu (advisor Dr. Zhan) passed her proposal defense and advanced to PhD candidacy.

Dr. Soe Myint was selected as the 2024 award recipient of the AAG E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award. This annual award recognizes members of the Association who have made truly outstanding contributions to the geographic field due to their special competence in teaching or research.

Dr. Sarah Blue has been selected for a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award! Dr. Blue will split her time between Guadalajara, Mexico and Halifax, Canada (January-August 2025) researching North American immigration policy. Congratulations to Sarah for this awesome accomplishment and recognition of her impactful scholarship!

Dr. Colleen Myles was awarded the Environmental Educator Award from the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance during their annual meeting! She received this award for the variety of service-learning projects she has contributed to the greenspaces with her Geographic Interpretation courses.

Dr. Yihong Yuan (PI) was awarded $6,000 from the Center for Analytics and Data Science (CADS) for an Innovation Seed Award. Dr. Yuan was also awarded an additional $1,000 for a CADS Collaborative Growth Award as a Co-PI (Lucia Summers, PI).

Dr. Yongmei Lu (Co-PI) was awarded $1,488,160 by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the project, “Community-Driven Geospatial Approach to Improving Public Health Data Systems in Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas”. The PI is our own alum and one of Dr. Lu’s doctoral students, Dr. Ayodeji Iyanda (Prairie View A&M University).

Past Spring Events

PANGEA (Promoting Advancement in Nature, Geography, and Environmental Analysys) is having its conference on Friday, April 5, 2024 in the Evans Liberal Arts Building
Our 30th Alumni Reunion and Student Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2024 at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. 

  • The TXST Wildrice GeoBowl Team won 1st place in SWAAG GeoBoal Team Competition, and PhD student Tigheranan Juarez Murphy placed first in the Individual Competition. We got the trophy back! Kudos to Wildrice Team!

    Wildrice GeoBowl team members are geography students Andrew Adams (Captain) , Tighearnan Juarez Murphy, Binay Thapa, Lauren Thompson (Undergraduate), Bren Vander Weil, and Delorean Wiley

    Masters student Chad Ramos won 1st place in the highly competitive Graduate Student Paper Competition. Chad’s advisor is Dr. Yihong Yuan. Congratulations to Chad and to Dr. Yuan!

    Congratulations to Hilary Ansah, Ph.D. student, for receiving a $1,000 Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award

    Congratulations to Mina Ojha, Ph.D. Student & Alicia Miranda, Undergraduate Student, on receiving the Alamo Area GIS Scholarships




    Congratulations to Ekeanyanwu (Nakky) Chikodinaka, Ph.D. student, for receiving a $10,000 P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year.  Nakky's advisor is Dr. Yongmei Lu.

    Congratulations to Grayson Wylie, Ph.D. student, for receiving two awards.
    2023 Freeman Fellows Award & 2023 SCAUG Collaborative Scholarship
    Grayson's advisor is Dr. Jennifer Jensen.

    Congratulations to alumna, Teri Edwards, for being awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award for AY2023-24!  Teri graduated from our MS program in 2022 under the supervision of Dr. John Tiefenbacher.

    Graduate Student Forum students produce cookbook to promote diversity and inclusion through cultural dishes.
    Food is a cultural agent that binds people together. In this regard, the Geograd Cookbook is part of the diversity and inclusion initiative of the Geography and Environmental Studies Graduate Student Forum.

    Dr. Christina Lopez featured faculty for article titled, " Tubing destination, sacred natural resource — or both?"

    Congratulations Sojung Hu, Ph.D. Student 
    2023 Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship Award Recipient
    College Of Liberal Arts Outstanding Doctoral Student

    Anh Adams named College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Undergraduate Student. Anh is a double-major in history and geography.

    Manny  Hernandez, geography undergraduate student has been awarded an URF scholarship in the amount of $500.00, to support his research project: Latino Perceptions of Outdoor Recreation Areas in San Marcos, Texas

    TXST Meadows Center awarded $2.5 million for climate change research to protect Texas water.


  • keenon lindsey

      Two graduate students were recognized at the Southwest Division of the American Association of Geographers
      Annual Meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas

      Keenon Lindsey, Masters Student, won 3rd place for graduate student poster competition with his poster project
      titled, “Spatial Unit for Gentrification Vulnerability Analysis of Austin, Texas”. Kennon’s advisor is Dr. Yongmei Lu

    andrew adams photo

    Andrew Adams earned 3rd place as an individual in GeoBowl. Andrew will be on the SWAAG GeoBowl Team to compete at AAG GeoBowl during the Denver Conference in March 2023. Andrew’s advisor is Dr. Robert Mace.




    hilary ansah photo

      Hilary Ama Ansah, Ph.D. Student, is awarded Best Paper for Communication/Storytelling. Hilary presented her
      paper, “Recognizing Texas Woman in Time and Space – A Qualitative GIS Inquiry into Historical Markers”.    
      Hilary’s advisor is Dr.Yongmei Lu.




    Chikodinaka (Nakki) Ekeanyanwu, Ph.D. Student, is awarded Best Paper for Map Use/Information Graphics. Nakkinakky photo
    presented her paper, “Modelling and Mapping Flood Hazard with a Flood Risk Assessment Tool: A Case Study of
    Austin, Texas”. Coauthors on this paper include Priyanjali Bose, Matthew Beavers, Dr. Yihong Yuan, and Inioluwa
    Obisakin. Nakki’s advisor is Dr. Yongmei Lu.



    brian cooper photo  Dr. Brian Cooper is selected by the National Council for Geographic Education to receive the Higher Education
      Distinguished Teacher Award 2022. NCGE will acknowledge Dr. Cooper and present him this award at the banquet
      in Minneapolis during the NCGE 2022 Annual Conference in mid-October. Dr. Cooper’s recognition brings the
      number of our faculty recipients of this prestigious teaching award to fifteen, counting from “the very beginning of
      the records” since 1982.



    Dr. Colleen C. Myles’ book , Fermented Landscapes: Lively Processes of Socio-environmental Transformation, as well as her latest research project, are featured in episode #28 of Ferment Radio, “Macro consequences of micro processes,” whichbrian cooper photo was published on Sept 21, 2022. In the episode, she outlines how fermentation drives cultural and environmental change and introduces her ongoing ethnography of tastemakers, a key component of her latest research project on how taste makes place.




    evan photo  Geography undergraduate student, Evan Wilson, was selected by the Central Texas Section of the American
      Planning Association to receive Central Texas APA Section Student Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship was
      presented to Evan during the 2022 Central Texas APA Section Award and Ethics CM Credit event on Friday,
      September 16, 2022. Wilson follows Chayanika Sigh, a previous doctoral student who was recognized by this
      scholarship a few years ago.

  • Allison Glass-Smith, Staff Advisor for the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies is one of two recipients for the Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award for 2022.These awards are given annually to one faculty member and one staff member who provide exceptional support of and show exceptional commitment to assisting less experienced individuals in becoming more proficient in their professional activities.  The award is named for the former dean of the College of Science and Engineering, Dr. Mariel M. Muir, because of her passion for ensuring the success of students, faculty, and staff through mentoring.

    sojung huh

    Sojung Huh, a doctoral student in geographic education from the Republic of Korea, was awarded an AAUW International Fellowship, which supports women who are not U.S. citizens and who are pursuing graduate study in the United States. The International Fellowship provides $20,000 in funding at the doctoral level, and only 33 of these fellowships were awarded to PhD students in the 2021-22 award year (the last year for which data is currently available). Sojung is both the first student from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and the first South Korean student from Texas State to receive this award. Institutionally, she is Texas State's fourth AAUW International Fellowship recipient. 

    Additionally, Sojung was awarded a $12,500 2022 - 2023 P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship to support doctoral study

    Dustin Sanchez, Ph.D. student, awarded a 2022-23 Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in collaboration with the University of Pristina, Kosovo.

    Congratulations to Michelle Zelenka and Delorean Wiley for being awarded by the Southwest Division of American Associate Of Geographers Student Summer Field Scholarships!

    Michelle is a master’s student, and her project is titled “New Urbanism, Gentrification, and Displacement”. Michelle’s advisor is Dr. Eric Sarmiento.

    Delorean is a doctoral student, and her project is titled “Save Water, Drink Beer: The hybridity of Texas craft breweries and impacting water stewardship through participatory action research”. Delorean’s advisor is Dr. Colleen Myles.

    andy pinon photo

    Andy Pinon, Ph.D. student, receives $20,000 2022-2023 P.E.O. Scholar Award. She is recognized for scholarly excellence, academic achievement, and worthwhile career goals.

    molly miranker photo

    Molly Miranker, Ph.D. student, named 2021-2022 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Student

    Our SWAAG (Southwest Division of American Association of Geographers) team won this year's AAG (American Association of Geographers) Geobowl (held virtually), topping teams from four other regions: East Lakes, NESTVAL, APCG, and SEDAAG.
    The team was led by Walter Furness (TxState Geography doctoral student) and included Andrew Adams (TxState master’s student), Elise Thompson (TxState master’s student), Blair Mirka (University of New Mexico student), and Daniel Beene (UNM student).

    Walter Furness finished second among all participants in individual points scored

    Dr. Jennifer Devine named the College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean of Promotion. She will lead the promotion of the college faculty, students, and activities.

    Congratulations to our GESSRS 2022 winners

    Graduate Paper Winners

    1st Binay Thapa
    Climate change perception and adaptation among Indigenous farmers: A study on Thamis of Dolkha district, Nepal

    2nd Madeline Wade 
    Blue Index San Marcos: Assessing Emotional Experiences, Values, and Use of Waterscapes in San Marcos, TX

    3rd Sojung Huh
    Assessing Quality of TPACK-based GST Integration of K-12 Teachers

    Graduate Poster Winners

    1st Danielle Smilovsky
    Olive & 71st Avenue – Peoria Subsidence Feature Investigation
    2nd Molly Miranker
    Myriad Maps and Applied Anthropology: Needs and Limitations
    3rd Haley Johnson
    Macro- to Micro- Litter Accumulation in the San Marcos River, San Marcos, Texas, USA

    Undergraduate Paper Winners

    1st Anh Adams
    Making “Little Saigon”: A Geographic History, 1970-2020
    2nd Hailey Richardson
    Fire and Flood Hazards on the Big Island of Hawaii
    3rd Morgan Cantu
    Lake Nyos Disaster

  • Drs. Jennifer Devine, Tom Ptak, and Colleen Myles publish in The Conversation journal

    Congratulations to student award winners at the annual SWAAG Meeting

    • Madeline Wade, 1st place in Graduate Student Poster Competition – Madeline is a Master’s student. Her advisor is Jason Julian.
    • Chayanika Singh, 2nd place in Graduate Student Poster Competition – Chayanika is a PhD student. Her advisor is Yongmei Lu.
    • Joanna Weathersby, 1st place in Individual Award category for the GeoBowl Competition – Joanna is a Master’s student. Her advisor is Jason Julian

  • veronika teiler wins scholarship




    brian cooper  Dr. Brian Cooper receives 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching

  • Student Spotlights:

    Christina Lopez, PhD student, 2020 - 2021 Outstanding PhD student in College of Liberal Arts
    Andy Pinon, Ph.D. student, 2021-2022 Fulbright Scholar Program Semifinalist
    Ekeanyanwu Chikodinaka, Master's student, SCUAG (South Central Arc User Group) scholarship recipient
    Jeremy Walker-Lee, Undergraduate student, recipient of the Austin Geological Society Minorities in Geosciences Textbook Scholarship Award

    Congratulations to Dr. Injeong Jo for receiving the Award for Excellence in Online injeong jo photoTeaching. Dr. Jo has been leading the developing and teaching of online courses for MAG in Geography with a Concentration in Geographic Education.


  • Congratulations Geography Faculty Award and Honors Recipients

    Dr. Brian Cooper  College Achievement Award, Teaching
    Dr. Jennifer Devine College Achievement Award, Teaching
    Dr. Suzon Jammes  Colliege Achievement Award, Scholarly/Creative
    Dr. Michael Solem, Excellence in Research Funding and Sponsored Programs
    Dr. Alberto Giordano, Honorary Professor, International Studies

    Dr. Kimberly Meitzen and former PhD student Dr. Erin Dascher '17, making (flood) waves in Texas water policy and research. The Texas Water Journal articled is titled, "Dams Are Coming Down, but Not Always by Choice: The Geography of Texas Dams, Dam Failures, and Dam Removals".

  • Congratulations Geography Students

    PhD student, Chayanika Singh has been awarded a $1,000 Central Texas APA Section Student Scholarship.

    PhD student, Mael LeNoc, received a five month fellowship from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies for his research project, "Towards a Geography of Persecution: The Case of the Arts-et-Métiers and the Enfants-Rouges Quarters of the Third Arrondissement of Paris, 1940-1946." The fellowship award is $4,000 per month for a five-month consecutive residency period at the Mandel Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, from September 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021. LeNoc’s advisor is Dr. Alberto Giordano.

    PhD student, Mael LeNoc, received a Dissertation Fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi (the first for a Texas State student!). He is one of only 10 recipients nationally of this prestigious award in the amount of $10,000. LeNoc’s advisor is Dr. Alberto Giordano.

    PhD student, Christina Lopez, is one of the three recipients from Texas State University for the 2020-21 P.E.O. Scholar Award. This $15,000 merit-based award recognizes and encourages academic excellence and achievement by women in doctoral-level programs and provides partial support for study and research. Only 100 students are selected annually from among almost 1,000 applicants, and the students went through a lengthy selection process, including on-campus interviews and nomination by local P.E.O. chapters. Lopez’s advisor is Dr. Rusty Weaver.

    PhD student, Mei Yang, is awarded a P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship for the 2020-21 year in the amount of $12,500. Although, this scholarship is need-based, the recipients were selected from many outstanding candidates. The funds will be used to offset Mei’s expenses for tuition and registration fees, books, supplies, equipment, and fees associated with course of instruction, and other school or living expenses. Yang’s advisor is Dr. Ben Zhan.

    PhD student, Joshua Hodge, has been awarded Honorable Mention and $125 by the Coastal and Marine Specialty Group (COMA) of the AAG for the research talk he gave as part of the Norbert Psuty Student Paper Competition. This competition is held yearly at the AAG Meeting, but this April it was held as a Virtual Competition via Zoom (April 7, 2020). Hodge’s advisor is Dr. Richard Dixon.

    PhD student, Raihan Jamil, has been awarded a Research Fellowship by San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance in the amount of $2,000 to support his research project title “Urban Greenspace Distribution and Connectivity: A Case Study of San Marcos, Texas, USA”. Jamil’s advisor is Dr. Jason Julian.

    Undergraduate student, Haley Tacker, has been awarded a Research Fellowship by San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance in the amount of $2,000 to support her research project title “Trail-Side Inventories of Ligustrum lucidum and Nandina Domestica Throughout Prospect Park and Spring Lake Natural Areas”. Tracker’s advisor is Dr. Kimberly Meitzen.

    denise blanchard agc  Congratulations to Dr. Denise Blanchard for being elected to the Board of Directors for the Applied
      Geography Conferences.  Join us for the 43rd Annual Applied Geography Conference Baltimore,
      Maryland October 18-20, 2020 at The Hotel Indigo.


  • Congratulations to the following students for research fellowships:

    Ph.D., student, Mael Le Noc (advisor: Alberto Giordano), for being selected to receive a Doctoral Research Support Fellowship in the amount of $5000.00
    Ph.D., student, Shadi Maleki (advisor: Ron Hagelman), for being selected to receive a Doctoral Research Support Fellowship in the amount of $4978.27
    Congratulations to their advisors as well!

    molly miranker photo Ph.D. student Molly Miranker received a $1500 travel grant from the Forensic Science Foundation to attend the
      American Academy of Forensic Sciences 2020 conference in Anaheim, California.



    Congratulations to Geography Undergraduate student, Theresa Clifford for being selected to received the URF Scholarship! Theresa is conducting her thesis research under the supervision of Drs Eric Sarmiento, Colleen Myles, John Tiefenbacher, and faculty members from other departments. She has also been volunteering on Dr. Sarmiento’s Dunbar research Project.

    A BIG Congratulations PhD student, Joshua Hodge, for being selected to receive a Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award! This award is a great testament to Joshua’s academic performance and potentials. Joshua plan to use the funding from this award to support his attendance and presentation at the AGU (American Geophysical Union) Meeting in San Francisco in December 2019. Joshua’s advisor is Dr. Richard Dixon.

    geography student winners photo   Texas State geography students capture 4th consecutive Wild Rice Geobowl 1st place prize during
       the Southwest Division of the American Association of Geographers Conference in Ft.Worth.
       Pictured from left right are Eric Wilson (Master's student), Walter Furness (PhD student), Joshua
       Hodge (Team Captain), Nina Garcia (undergraduate student), Mael Le Noc (PhD student) and Sean
       Companion (undergraduate student).

    jennifer devine photo

     Dr. Jennifer Devine part of discussions hosted by the Costa Rican government in The Verge article titled, “Cocaine is driving deforestation, climate change, and migration”


    allison glass-smith president trauthAllison Glass-Smith receives the Texas State University Staff Council Award for Employee Excellence -
    Dr. Lawrence Estaville Employee Excellence Award.


    brian brettschneider photo  Ph.D. alumnus Brian Brettschneider '06, is featured in this CNN story on Alaska’s record temps



    Dr. Michael Solem has been awarded a NSF grant of $293,369 to support michael solemn photohis research “Building Capacity for Educational Assessment Research in Geography”. The grant will fund professional development activities related to a multi-level statistical analysis of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Geography Assessment datasets, in collaboration with Dr. Russell Weaver (Geography) and Dr. Larry Price (Director, Methodology, Measurement and Statistical Analysis). This research will explore factors associated with varying levels of student achievement in geography as measured by NAEP since 1994. This award will support Dr. Solem and the team’s research through summer salary and funding for a doctoral research assistant. As a culminating activity, the National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE) will sponsor a research conference to apply the findings of the NAEP analysis in future research proposals and programs to improve geographic learning in schools.

    The Department of Geography was ranked 13 out of 160 programs of its department logokind in the U.S. and 1 out of 6 programs in Texas as a “Best Value for the Money” in the annual nationwide ranking of U.S. colleges and universities by College Factual.

     edwin chow photo

    Dr, Edwin Chow featured in New York Times article titled, "How A.I. Helped Improve Crowd Counting in Hong Kong Protest".


    KXAN Austin reports on Dr. Tom Ballinger's research connecting Arctic temperature with U.S. heat waves. tom ballinger KXAN


  • edwin chow photo  Dr. Edwin Chow featured in NY Times article titled, “How A.I. Helped Improve Crowd Counting in Hong Kong Protests” Read more in the New York Times.


    KXAN Austin reports on Dr. Tom Ballinger’s research connecting Arctic temperature with U.S. heat waves..Read more at the KXAN Austin website.tom ballinger kxan flier



  • Faculty in the News

    Drs. Rebecca Davio and Andrea Dennison, creators of the Happy+Healthy Toolkit, participated in Texas State Innovation Lab at SXSW.  The Happy+Healthy Toolkit is a set of activities listed on cards targets seven wellness areas to focus on the whole person, improving the social and emotional learning in children and adults.  

     Dr. Jennifer Devine’s research, titled “Modeling cocaine traffickers and counterdrug interdiction forces as a complex adaptive system” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  Read more at the PNAS website.


    Mark Deka was selected as the Outstanding Doctoral Student in the College of Liberal Arts for 2018-2019. 

    David Mills, Niaz Morshed, and Shadi Maleki participated in Texas State Innovation Lab at SXSW, showcasing their Bobcat Clean Air Project. This community outreach project educates Bobcats, Texas State visitors and citizen scientists with a mobile application that provides real-time air quality monitoring. The team constructed the sensor entirely out of recycled materials and is currently monitoring the air quality at the Child Development Center on campus. Dr. Guixing Wei (alum), is the team’s mentor.  

    andy pinon photo

    Andrea (Andy) Pinon, doctoral student in geography, was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). CLS is a fully-funded, intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Andy will be studying  Swahili in Arusha, Tanzania, this summer. More than 5,000 students apply for this distinguished scholarship each year, and only 10%  are selected. Andy’s selection as a finalist marks the second year in a row that a graduate student at Texas State has received this prestigious award.


    alberto giordano and students photo


    Dr. Alberto Giordano featured in the College of Liberal Arts Magazine in an article titled, "Mapping Holocaust Survivors, Patterns of Modern Genocide".


    david r butler photo

      Dr. David R. Butler has been selected as AAG Fellow.  The AAG Fellows program was launched in 2016 “to
      recognize geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing geography.” AAG Fellows
      “serve the AAG as an august body to address key AAG initiatives including creating and contributing to
      AAG initiatives; advising on AAG strategic directions and grand challenges; and mentoring early and
      mid-career faculty.”


    lawrence estaville photo

    The Texas State University System Board of Regents has named Lawrence Estaville Regents’ Professor. Lawrence received the designation during the ceremony on Friday November 16 in Huntsville. Please see for more information.

    The Regents’ Professor designation honors outstanding members of the System’s professoriate who have achieved excellence in teaching, research and publication, and community service, while demonstrating an unwavering dedication to their students and university. Estaville is the 15th TSUS Regents’ Professor honored at Texas State, and the 3rd from the Department of Geography.

    jason julian texas monthly photo

    Dr. Jason Julian is featured by Texas Monthly for his research on natural areas, particularly those surrounding rivers, by using “an innovative mix of geographic tools and human behavior analysis”. Attached is the article.



    texas state geobowl team

      Texas State geography students take 1st place in the Geobowl competition at the 2018 SWAAG conference. Congratulations students!


    The following geography faculty members received Alpha Chi Honor Society Favorite Professor Award for 2018. The award ceremony was held on the evening of Friday November 9, 2018.

    David Butler, Ed Chow, Jennifer Devine, Rich Dixon, Ron Hagelman, Jennifer Jensen, Tim Loftus, and Rusty Weaver

  • lawrence estaville photoDr. Lawrence Estaville will be honored with the title of University Distinguished Professor award.  This award honors individuals whose performance in teaching, research, and service has been exemplary and recognized at the state, national, and international levels.  Congratulations Dr. Estaville.

    Congratulations to Drs. Tom Ballinger, Brian Cooper, and Christi Townsend and Delores Van der Kolk, who were designated “Favorite Professors” by the Alpha Chi Honor Society.

    Undergraduate student Gustavo Flores (Math major, Geography minor) has been awarded the South Central Climate Science Center’s Undergraduate Summer Internship for Underrepresented Minorities. Gustavo will be involved in “handson activities related to climate research that will allow him to see the direct impacts of climate variability and change on the bayous, delta and coastline of Louisiana, prairie and forest ecosystems and tribal cultures in Oklahoma, and the West Texas Southern High Plains.” Gustavo’s mentor is Rich Dixon;

    Ph.D. student Alisa Hartsell (advisor: Blue) has been selected for the 2018 Boren Fellowship. Alisa plans to use the fellowship to study in China during the 2019 calendar year;

    Ph.D. student Upendra Bom (advisor: Tiefenbacher) was awarded the EuroAsian Specialty Group Field Research Travel Award and the Regional Development and Planning Best Proposal Award at the AAG Meeting in New Orleans;

    Ph.D. student Joshua Hodge (advisor: Dixon) was awarded a 2018 Summer Research Scholarship by SWAAG for the project “Geographic Patterns of the Hurricane Ike Storm Surge Sediment Deposit on Southeast Texas Gulf Coast Marshes”;

    Ph.D. students David Mills, Guixing Wei, Niaz Morshed and Shadi Maleki were awarded a grant by Texas State University’s Environmental Services Committee (ESC) for their Bobcat Clean Air Project. Geography’s representative in ESC is Carter;

    Ph.D. student Jennifer Villa (advisor: Butler) received a travel grant from the Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America to attend the society’s regional meeting in Flagstaff, AZ;

    Ph.D. student Paepin Goff (advisor: Butler) was awarded a grant from the University of Wyoming National Park Service to support her dissertation research;

    Ph.D. student John Ponstingel (advisor: Weaver) was admitted to the 2018 George Washington University’s CIBER Summer Doctoral Institute, to be held from May 30 to July 25, 2018. Dr. Elizabeth Chacko, Professor of Geography and International Affairs at GWU, will serve as SDI faculty collaborator. Admission includes a stipend, travel expenses, and free housing in Washington, DC;

    Dr. Jinhee Lee, a recent graduate of the Geographic Education Ph.D. program (advisor: Jo) was selected as a 2018 recipient of the Salvatore J. Natoli Dissertation Award from the National Council for Geographic Education. Jinhee will be formally recognized at the annual meeting of the NCGE at the Quebec City, Canada in August.

    March Achievements

    Dr. Rebecca Davio and IGI were awarded a $151,000 competitive project from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles;

    The Texas Economic Atlas was showcased at SXSW in Austin. Team Mentor: Dr. Lawrence Estaville; Team Members: Mark Deka, John Ponstingel, Ritchie Jose, and Kaliegh Benck;

    PhD student Upendra Bom (advisor: Dr. John Tiefenbacher) was awarded the 2018 AK Chakravarti Award for the Best Graduate Student Proposal on South Asia by the AAG Asian Geography/ Regional Development and Planning affinity group;

    PhD students Guixing Wei (advisor: Dr. Ben Zhan) was selected as the Outstanding Doctoral Student from the College of Liberal Arts;

    Master’s student Andy Pinon (advisor: Dr. Dave Butler) has been awarded a $300 grant from the Rising Scholarly Travel Activity and Research (S.T.A.R) program, sponsored by the Student Government at Texas State University, to attend the AAG Annual Meeting in New Orleans next month.

    milad korde  Ph.D. students (Milad Korde; advisor: Rusty Weaver) is part of a team that won first prize in the "Future of Energy Challenge" sponsored by Shell. The team has been invited to present its project and compete at the "Powering Progress Together Conference and Shell Eco-marathon" in San Francisco next month. More info on the project at the Texas State University news feed:

    Dr. Suzon Jammes has been awarded a $107,537 grant from the National suzon jammesScience Foundation, NSF-Geoprisms (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) program for the project “Effect of contrasting structural and compositional inheritances on the development of rifting margins.” Dr. Jammes is PI on the project. Co-PI is Dr. Luc Lavier from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Congratulations to students Lucas Chavez, Julian Emerson, and Emma Highberger, whose 4427 class project is featured in a recent issue of the Community Impact Newspaper 

    fenda walker   Dr. Fenda Akiwumi has been announced as the recipient of the 2018 AAG Harm de Blij Award for Excellence in
       Undergraduate Teaching. Formal recognition will occur at the 2018 AAG Annual Meeting in New Orleans during the
       AAG Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 14, 2018. 
      Details at:


    The special issue of the international refereed journal Geomorphology (Elsevier) containing the papers of the 48th Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium on "Resilience and Bio-Geomorphic Systems", held in San Marcos and sponsored by our department this past October, 2017, has now been published as Volume 305 (pages 1-252) and is available online.

    The issue contains papers co-authored by several current and past Texas State students including Faisal Anzah, Paepin Goff, Jennifer Villa, Samantha Abbott, Aspen Manning, Johnny Phillips, and Ioannis Kamarinas, as well as papers by Drs. Butler, Julian, and Meitzen.  The issue was guest edited by David R. Butler, Jason P. Julian, Kimberly M. Meitzen, and Martin C. Thoms.

    SUPO (Student Urban Planner's Organization) members Amanda Padilla, Craig Garrison, and Emilio Levario won the Legacy Project competition at the 2017 Texas APA Conference in Frisco, Texas on November 1-3.

    Andy Sansom received the “Water for Life Award” at the San Antonio Clean Technology Forum on November 6.

    Christina Lopez was named a recipient of the “Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi’s Love of Learning Awards” for Fall 2017.

    Don Huebner and the participants to the Summer 2017 study abroad in Iceland and Norway won the “Bobcats Abroad Banner” photo award from Texas State University on November 9 (photographer: Andy Pinon).

    PhD student Paepin Goff (advisor: Butler) received an imagery grant from the Digital Globe Foundation totaling $16,500 for her doctoral research..


    Christi Townsend was interviewed by the Texas Standard (KUT/NPR) on climate change/extreme weather and how it affects viticulture in the Texas Hill Country on November. Details here.

    Gary Knell, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, delivered the 18th annual Gilbert M. Grosvenor Distinguished Lecture at Texas State University on November 29. The lecture, titled “Generation Geography,” addressed the importance of human and physical geography--how people interact with the environment and each other.

    Ron Hagelman wrote an editorial for the October NCGE’s newsletter titled “Teachers: America’s Second Responders,” a reflection on the “army of teachers, counselors, church leaders, parents, and community leaders who, as the dust settles and the ground dries, march onto evolving disasterscapes with a commitment to helping their communities heal, recover, and thrive once again.” 

    texas wild rice team photo

    At the October 25-28 SWAAG meeting in Huntsville, our undergraduate and graduate students received several awards:

    • Texas State Wild Rice - First Place Team, Geography Bowl (Joshua Hodge, Walter Furness, Jeanett Bosarge, Alisa Hartsell, Ross Martin, Thomas McNeal)
    • Joshua Hodge - First Place Individual, Geography Bowl
    • Shadi Maleki - 2nd Place Graduate Paper Competition
    • Fangda Lu - 3rd Place Graduate Poster Competition

    maggie hutchins photo

      Maggie Hutchins, Program Director of Texas Alliance for Geographic Education (TAGE), was honored recently at the October 20-22 Texas Council for Social Studies (TCSS) Conference with the Outstanding Service Award.


    mark carter photo

    Mark Carter received the 2017 College of Liberal Arts Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching


    Jennifer Devine (Co-PI), Bernardo Aguilar (PI), and David Wrathall (Co-PI) received a grant from Future Earth for the project “Drug Trafficking and Central American Protected Areas: Focusing on Participatory Governance to Conserve Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity.” Amount of the award: $149,280.

    Jason Julian (PI) and Rusty Weaver (Co-PI) received a grant from the Meridian Institute for the project “Analysis of Demand for Stream Mitigation Credits in Colorado.” Amount of the award: $63,287.

    Alberto Giordano (Co-PI) and Tim Cole (Co-PI) received a grant from the Toni Schiff Memorial Fund in the UK for the project “Mapping Holocaust Rescue and Survival in Budapest.” Amount of the award: £49,570 ($67,500).

  • ncgre Dr. Injeong Jo receives new grant for Transformative Research


    Dr. Don Huebner leads a highly successful study abroad trip to Norway

    hagelman lavy Dr. Ron Hagelman and Dr. Brendan Lavy highlighted in KUT 90.5 news story

    Texas State geography department's graduate program featured in Spring 2017 issue of ArcUser

    Dr. Rebecca Davio has been selected for the 2016 College of Liberal Arts award for Excellence in Grant/Contract funding

    alberto giordano photo  Dr. Alberto Giordano voted President-Elect of UCGIS (University Consortium for Geographic Information


  • jennifer devine photo

    Dr. Jennifer Devine voted the "2016 International Studies Professor of the Year"


    jennifer jensen

    Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Jensen, Co-PI on the following grant for 2017-2019:

    Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative. “Developing a process and conservation application for Landscape Conservation Design for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative”.  Clay Green, Jennifer Jensen, Thom Hardy (Co-PIs).  $200,000.

    joshua hodge

    Ph.D. candidate Joshua Hodge receives $1,000 graduate scholarship from the Texas State Graduate College.

    2017 AAG Awards and Honors

    PhD student Paepin D. Goff (advisor: Butler), received the M. Gordon "Reds" Wolman Doctoral Student Research Award from the AAG Geomorphology Specialty Group;
    PhD student Joshua Hodge (advisor: Dixon) was elected to the position of PhD student board member of the Coastal and Marine Specialty Group;
    MAG student Elizabeth Yarbrough (advisor: Hiner) won the student paper competition from the Wine, Beer, Spirits Specialty Group;
    MS student Paula Jones (advisor: Weaver) received the "Alternative Mode of Scholarship Competition" award from the Urban Geography Specialty Group;
    PhD student Shadi Maleki (advisor: Hagelman) was elected to the position of Council Representative for The Graduate Student Affinity Group;
    Dr. David Butler received the James J. Parsons Distinguished Career Award, "In Recognition of Outstanding Lifetime Achievements in Biogeography", from the AAG Biogeography Specialty Group;
    Dr. Sarah Blue received a 2017 AAG Research Grant;

    Ana Yanes-Garcia received a regional Alpha Chi $250 scholarship. She was also elected the Region I student representative to the National Council of Alpha Chi.

    ross martin

      Doctoral student Ross Martin receives the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Graduate Student Award

    chunhong zhao

    Congratulations Chunhong "Chloe" Zhao on receiving the Joseph E. Pryor Fellowship


    nsf grant

    Drs. Jason Julian, David R. Butler, and Kimberly Meitzen receive NSF grant award.




      Ph.D. candidate Maël Le Noc has wins the  2016-2017 CSGS Outstanding Master's Thesis Award in Digital Scholarship.


    ben zhan award

    Dr. Benjamin Zhan receives the Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award

  • alberto giordano

    Dr. Alberto Giordano wins award for outstanding achievement in international education.


    monica medel photo

      Ph.D. student Monica Medel receives 2016 USGIF Scholarship


    David R. Butler, Regents Professor, has been appointed Editor of the Annals

    david r butler photo

    of the American Association of Geographers with a focus on environmental science and physical geography.  His term will begin on January 1, 2017, and will run until December 31, 2020.



    yongmei lu photo

     Yongmei Lu featured on KVUE news discussing how climate change affects the spread of diseases.



    Injeong Jo receives national grant from the NCGE Centennial E. Willard and

    injeong jo

    Ruby S. Miller for Research in Geographic Education



     Yunuen Regadas (Ph. D. candidate) receives full scholarship by CONACyt the Consejo Nacional

    yunuen regadas

    de Ciencia y Tecnología (National Council of Science and Technology)


    mael le noc

    Maël Le Noc (advisor: Giordano) has won The Graduate  College’s Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award in Digital
    Scholarship for his thesis, “Family Arrest and Separation during the Holocaust in Italy.” Maël will receive $500 and will be
    recognized at The Graduate College’s Awards Ceremony next April.  He has also been entered into the Conference of
    Southern Graduate School’s competition for best master’s theses in the above-mentioned category.

    Congratulations to Texas State's Geography team , the Texas State Wild Rice, for winning the Geobowl competition at the SWAAG Meeting in Denton,Texas. The GeoBowl Team is composed of: Tom Shelton (coordinator), Joshua Hodge, Walter Furness, Paula Jones, Mael Le Noc, Katie Alegro, and Elizabeth Yarbrough. Paula Jones was one of the top individuals and will represent our Regional Team at AAG in 2017.

    Two of our students won awards in the student competitions: Ioannis Kamarinas (advisor: Dr. Jason Julian) won 2nd place in the Graduate Student Paper category, and Grant Moss (advisor: Dr. Jason Julian) won 3rd place in the Graduate Student Poster category.

  • Graciela Sandoval selected as 2016-17 Grosvenor Scholargraciela sandoval


    tim loftus  Dr. Tim Loftus featured in Texas Tribune article


    sansom  Andrew Sansom receives Lifetime Achievement award


    kedrowski  Kedrowski mentioned in CNN article


    national center  NSF fund Texas State University $400,000 research grant


    butler book Dr. David R. Butler releases new book


    holocaust  Dr. Alberto Giordano is Co-Investigator on a Digital    Humanities Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for
     the Humanities for a project titled “Visualizing Spatial Experience in the Holocaust.” The team awarded the project will employ computational linguistics and natural language processing techniques to study how Holocaust survivors use spatial terms to describe their experiences. Testimonies from the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation Center collection would provide the sources for the preliminary study.

    aag awardCongratulations to AAG 2016 award recipients


    education atlas team
    Texas Education Atlas team demonstrates technology at the 2015 SXSW Interactive Event.


    yongmeiDr. Yongmei Lu, together with Dr. Bing Xu from Beijing Normal University, are selected to receive the Elsevier Atlas Award for their article“Impact of climate change on human infectious diseases: Empirical evidence and human adaptation”. The article was published in Environment International. Atlas articles are selected by an external advisory board from thousands of recently published articles across Elsevier’s 1,800 journals. The purpose is to showcase research that can (or already has) significantly impact people’s lives. Drs. Lu and Xu will be presented with the Atlas trophy by Elsevier at an award ceremony this summer.

    fenda akiwumi

      Dr. Fenda Akiwumi, PhD Geography, 2006
    Dr. Akiwumi earned her PHD in Geography from Texas State University in 2006.  She is currently Associate
      Professor at the University of South Florida. Dr. Akiwumi has served as chair of the UNESCO International
      Hydrological Program (IHP) Expert Advisory Group on Water and Cultural Diversity and has published a highly
      regarded book and papers in top-tier academic journals. Dr. Akiwumi is known internationally as an expert in
      water resources and mining in West Africa. (credit - College of Liberal Arts)

    aagawardsAAG 2016 Award Recipients

    Lawrence Estaville
    : AAG Enhancing Diversity Award
    Claire Stone: 1st place Winner, Undergraduate Student Paper Competition, Business Geography Specialty Group
    Yahan Teng: Inaugural Illustrated Paper Award (with $100), China Geography Specialty Group

    students  Undergraduate students receive Texas View Research and Education Grants


    alberto giordano  Holocaust Research Collaborative



    jennifer jensen  Jennifer Jensen named Rising Star


  • Congratulations to (top row) Drs. Denise Blanchard, Sarah Blue, Alberto Giordano, (bottom row) Ron Hagelman, . Russell Weaver, and Benjamin Zhan who were recognized as “Favorite Professor” by the Alfred H. Nolle Chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society at an induction ceremony on Friday, 13 November 2015.

    Monica Medel wins $5000 scholarship from the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundationmedel

    jon kedrowski photo Dr. Jon Kedrowski '10 quoted in CNN article titled, "What happens to your body on Mount Everest?"


  • Dr. David R. Butler received the "Certificate of Outstanding Contribution in david r butlerReviewing", from the Editors of Geomorphology (Elsevier) for 2015.

  • andrew sansom
    Meadows Center's Andy Sansom honored as hero of Gulf conservation

    Dr. Lawrence Estaville presented with the 2015 Distinguished Scholar Award, lawrence estavilleAAG Ethnic Geography Specialty Group at AAG Meeting in Chicago


    Former Ph.D. student Clayton Whitesides and Regents' Professor David R. Butler have co-organized and co-edited a special issue of a leading journal, Physical Geography.  The issue contains papers by current and former students and current faculty of the Geography Department, including Rachel Cavin, Susan Peters, Stephen Tsikalas, Clayton Whitesides, Dr. Christi Townsend, Dr. Rich Dixon, and Dr. David Butler.

    MAG Student Jordan Adams receives grant

    Doctoral student Graciela Sandoval wins the Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award ($500) for Fall 2015.

    Three geography Phd students recently attended the Alpha Chi National College Honorary Society conference in Chicago, IL. Monica Medel, current Texas State Phd geography student received Alpha Chi's most prestigious award for $5000. Brendan Lavy and Erin Dascher also made student and chapter presentations at the conference.

      The Department of Geography hosts water panel.

    Dr. David R. Butler receive The Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award.

    lawrence estavilleDr. Lawerence Estaville publishes 9th booked titled, Teaching Ethnic Geography in the 21st Century.

    monica medel

    Doctoral Student Monica Medel wins first place at paper competition at the Sixth International Research Conference for Graduate Students.

    Dr. Edris Montalvo '10 wins prestigious Hackler Award at Cameron University.



    laura cano-amaya


     Doctoral Student Laura Cano-Amaya discusses her experiences at international conferences and research.


    The Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Texas State University earns the Presidential Honors Chapter Award for 2014.

    Drs. Michael Solem and Dick Boehm have been awarded $200,000 by the National Science Foundation for the project "RAPID: Geospatial Resources, Materials, and Tools for STEM Teacher Preparation." This is the first award that results directly from the creation of NCRGE, an initiative of the AAG, the Grosvenor Center, and Texas State Geography.

    Dr. Jason Julian has been awarded $72,184 by the National Science Foundation for the project "Collaborative Research: Cross-Scale Interactions Among Climate, Land-Use, and River-Water Quality."

    Dr. Jennifer Jensen, Co-PI on NSF grant, "CC*IIE Networking Infrastructure: Enabling and Improving Data-Driven Research at Texas State University," has been awarded the sum of $499.896.

    kanika verma

    Dr. Kanika Verma nominated for the 2014 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Award for her dissertation titled, "Geospatial Thinking of Undergraduate Students in Public Universities in the United States."



    jason julian photo

     Dr. Jason Julian, a 2012 Fulbright Scholar, was recently interviewed at the US Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand,



    david r butler

    Dr. David R. Butler's new book, "Fire Lookouts of Glacier National Park", was recently published in the Great Falls Tribune, as well as the Hungry Horse News from Columbia Falls, Montana.

    Several online news sources also ran a story on the book which include: The Daily Inter, The Bulletin, The Lewistown Morning Tribune, The Missoulian, and several other sources.

    alberto giordano

    Dr. Alberto Giordano’s-led research on the Holocaust featured at

  • 200 Dr Ron Hagelman, current Regional Councilor for SWAAG, elected to Chair of the AAG Regional Division Councilors


    Jon Kedrowski featured in CNN article, "What happens to your body on Mount Everest"