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NESTVAL 2011 – Montreal Oct 14-16

The 2011 New England-St. Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) Annual Geography Conference will be held at Concordia University, in Montreal, Canada, from Friday, October 14 to Saturday, October 15, with some additional field trips on Sunday, October 16.

Notre Dame Montreal

All interested participants (students and faculty) are invited to submit abstracts (no longer than 200 words), and proposals for sessions to  the relevant member of the conference co-ordinating committee, as specified below. Abstracts are due no later than September 15. The theme of the conference this year is the “Green City” – although, of course, abstracts, posters and sessions on any topic of interest to the membership are encouraged.

  • For topics that broadly relate to physical geography, GIS and environmental studies, please send your abstract to Dr. David Greene  at greene@alcor.concordia.ca
  • For topics that broadly relate to human geography, urban studies or planning, please send your abstract to Dr. Alan Nash at nash@alcor.concordia.ca

CONFERENCE PROGRAM:

The conference will be made up of paper and poster sessions, the Geography Bowl, and banquet. Regarding field trips — on Saturday afternoon, the following is planned:

  1. Montreal’s food and produce markets;
  2. History of the Apparel Trade in Montreal’s Mile End district;
  3. The Radical Geography Walking Tour;
  4. A walking workshop activity “Mapping St.-Laurent Boulevard”;
  5. and – on Sunday –
    5. an examination of the old growth forest on Mont St. Hilaire.

Detailed conference information, and final program will be made available online in due course on the NESTVAL website http://nestvalonline.org

REGISTRATION and CONFERENCE COSTS:

Registration and conference costs per member will be as follows:

(A) Registration costs (mandatory)

  • US $40 – NESTVAL (US$25 NESTVAL dues; US $15 subscription to the Northeastern Geographer)
  • $55 – Conference costs (pizza for the Geography Bowl; Room rentals etc)
  • Sub-Total mandatory items: $95
    • Note: reduced registration  rate for students and teachers of $15

(B) Optional conference items:

  • $40 Banquet
  • $25 NESTVAL Business lunch
  • Field trips: $10 to $20 depending on trip
  • Sub-total optional items (assume one$10  trip chosen): $75

(C) Examples of total costs (for guidance only)

  • Total (assuming regular member, participating in all events, inc. one $10 field trip) = $170
  • Total for students and teachers (assume participating in all events, inc. one $10 field trip) = $90

A list of hotels that offer discounts to Concordia visitors will be posted on the NESTVAL website.

Detailed registration costs and procedures will be made available online in due course on the NESTVAL website http://nestvalonline.org

On behalf of everyone here at Concordia University’s Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, we do hope that you and your students will join us for our annual regional meeting. It promises to be an exciting weekend!

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Environmental Geography Concentration Approved

The environmental geography concentration for the geography B.A. has now been approved by the faculty senate.  See http://blogs.umass.edu/umgeog/undergraduate-programs/environmental-geography-concentration/ for more information.

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Geography Alumni…Where are they now?

Undergraduate students in Geosciences 314 – Writing in Geography this year decided to analyze data on UMass B.A./B.S. Geography graduates for their group project.   They mapped alumni data for graduates from 1970-2010 in terms of place of residence, occupation and gender.  You can find their analysis and more information on the geography program at: http://blogs.umass.edu/umgeog/undergraduate-programs/geography-graduates-where-are-they-now/

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Geography Students win Departmental Awards

2010-2011 Outstanding Senior in Geography: Christopher Braun

2010-2011 Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Geography: Weining Zhu

Summer funding for research: Colleen Kelley, Jim MacAllister,  Melishia Santiago, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, Changjiang Ye, Weining Zhu

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Congratulations! 2010-11 Geography MS Degree Recipients

Five UMass students will be awarded MS degrees in Geography at the May 13, 2011 graduate graduation:  Jared Gasco, John Legrid, Ethan Miller, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, and Melishia Santiago-Ramirez.  Congratulations to all!  A list of all Geography MS recipients and their theses (since 2000) is available at: http://blogs.umass.edu/umgeog/graduate-program/recent-ms-theses-degrees/

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Fall 2011 Courses

Check out the Fall 2011 Geography courses for undergraduates at the Fall 2011 Courses tab on http://blogs.umass.edu/umgeog

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UMass Geographers to Give Talks at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting

UMass Geographers at AAG 2011

UMass Amherst geographers will present eight different papers at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, April 12-16, 2011.

(Detailed abstracts and times for these papers follow this list)

Janelle Cornwell* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Subjects of Scale: scale methodologies and the textural practice of possibility

Piper Gaubatz* – Professor, University Of Massachusetts, Amherst
Urban Transformation & Mega-Events in Chinese Cities

Abby Templer* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Leo L. Hwang-Carlos* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Rethinking the Creative Economy: Participatory Action Research with Artists and Artisans in the Greater Franklin County

Yong Q Tian* – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts – Boston
Qian Yu – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Robert F Chen – University of Massachusetts at Boston
Sensitivity of terrestrial DOC export to climate change from urban landscape

Eve Vogel* – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Divvying up the Watershed: Inter-Jurisdictional Negotiations, Distributive Policy and River Transformation on the Columbia River, 1933-2011

Ted White* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Harvesting Economic Possibility? Community Supported Agriculture as a Catalyst for Diverse Economic Practices

Qian Yu, Assistant Professor* – University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Weining Zhu, Ph.D candidate – University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Yong Tian, Assistant Professor – University of Massachusetts-Boston
Bob Chen, Professor – University of Massachusetts-Boston
High resolution estimation of colored dissolved organic carbon in riverine and plume area

Weining Zhu* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Qian Yu – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Uncertainties of remote sensing of colored dissolved organic matter: evaluations and comparisons for three rivers in North America

Janelle Cornwell* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Subjects of Scale: scale methodologies and the textural practice of possibility

is part of the Paper Session:

For Julie Graham: Questions of scale, mapping and subjectivity

scheduled on Wednesday, 4/13/11 at 14:40 PM.

Abstract:

In this paper I consider the common leftist claim that a lack of “scale” is or will be the inevitable downfall of economic experiments. Situating the “scale critique” in the context of a wider debate about scale, I take up A. Moore’s 2008 call for a research methodology that considers scale as a category of practice, suggesting that as geographers we are practicing and thus “performing” scale. I offer an inversion of the scalar framework as a conscious practice of scale that addresses six conceptual problems discussed by Marston, Woodward and Jones (2005) and Moore (2008). The inversion is a playful reflexive methodology that could lend insight into our own hierarchical/scaled patterns of thinking and suspend, if only momentarily, a seeming attachment to the certain failure of economic experiments and ethical economies in order to ask (again) the question: What if?

Keywords: scale, worker co-operatives, diverse economies, texture

Piper Gaubatz* – Professor, University Of Massachusetts, Amherst

Urban Transformation & Mega-Events in Chinese Cities

is part of the Paper Session:

Beijing and Beyond: Mega-events in Chinese Urban Transformation

scheduled on Wednesday, 4/13/11 at 8:00 AM.

Abstract:

As China’s cities have undergone dramatic changes catalyzed by the hyper-growth and globalization of the post-1979 reform era, approaches to mega-event planning have changed in response to shifting conceptualizations of both urban space and China’s role on the world stage.  This paper analyzes the role of mega-event planning in Chinese urban transformations through a series of case studies of large-scale events such as the Canton Fair, the Kunming World Horticultural Exposition, the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo.  It focuses in particular on the ways in which mega-event planning has been used to shape or change the course of urban growth and development through re-configuration of development coalitions, infrastructure development and image management.

Keywords: China, Urban Transformation, Olympics, Expo, Beijing, Shanghai

Abby Templer* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Leo L. Hwang-Carlos* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Rethinking the Creative Economy: Participatory Action Research with Artists and Artisans in the Greater Franklin County

is part of the Paper Session:

For Julie Graham: The Next Generation

scheduled on Wednesday, 4/13/11 at 16:40 PM.

Abstract:

Franklin County Massachusetts is often seen as a region in need and lacking economic agency. In the context of the creative economy proposed solutions to this need have been primarily to bring in external resources in the form of tourism and industry. In this vision of the creative economy, artists and artisans lay in wait, subject to the wane of tourism in a struggling economy.  Using the participatory action methods employed by J.K. Gibson-Graham, we collaborated with regional artists and artisans to make visible the rich economic practices already in existence.  This paper details how the transformative element of rethinking an epistemology; shifting from a focus on needs and lack to a focus on assets and abundance led to novel and empowering ways of viewing the region’s creative economy.  Rather than passively awaiting assistance and dollars external to the region, artists and artisans in the Greater Franklin County actively build community and livelihoods through a diverse range of economic practices.

In this project we worked in collaboration with 23 artists and artisans who interviewed their peers about the values and economic practices which motivate and animate their work. Here we highlight the transformation engendered in ourselves and the artist and artisan researchers with whom we worked as we all engaged in the process of discovering what we, and the regional artists and artisans, contribute to the broader community.

Keywords: participatory methods, diverse economies, economic subjectivity, creative economy, art and culture, asset based assessment

Yong Q Tian* – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts – Boston

Qian Yu – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Robert F Chen – University of Massachusetts at Boston

Sensitivity of terrestrial DOC export to climate change from urban landscape

is part of the Paper Session:

Climate Change and the Urban Environment

scheduled on Wednesday, 4/13/11 at 8:00 AM.

Abstract:

We conducted a field-data analysis to investigate the sensitivity of terrestrial DOC export to climate (temperature and precipitation) from urban landscape. A total of 30 sub-basins in an urban watershed with forest, agricultural, wetland, residential, and industrial landuses with total of 360 DOC concentration monthly samples and accompanying discharge measurements were used in this analysis. There is a clear increase in DOC concentration during the year with higher temperatures and precipitations for all land cover scenarios. The DOC concentrations from different land cover varied significantly in corresponding to the temperature increases. The relationship between storm water discharge and DOC concentration is regulated by temperature and watershed properties, with a larger response to events during spring periods and periods where the preceding discharge was low. The temperature relationship also shows seasonality indicating a potential link to soil carbon storages.  The study also considered the variation of annual DOC flux at sub-basin scale and watershed scales in response to climate changes

Keywords: DOC flux, temperature, land cover, watershed, coastal ecosystem

Eve Vogel* – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Divvying up the Watershed: Inter-Jurisdictional Negotiations, Distributive Policy and River Transformation on the Columbia River, 1933-2011

is part of the Paper Session:

Water governance and the politics of scale: A critical examination of water governance in a multi-scalar environment – Part III

scheduled on Thursday, 4/14/11 at 16:40 PM.

Abstract:

Many people believe that integrated watershed and river basin governance can transcend the limited geographies and entrenched politics of traditional jurisdictions. Examining long-lived river basin institutions and their patterns of decision-making, policy and material effects helps to test this claim. The Columbia River has for seventy years been conceptualized and administered within a river basin-based region that deliberately encompasses a wide range of the river’s interconnected aspects – hydrology and habitat, land and water, urban and rural areas, industry and fisheries, private profit and public benefit. Yet the repeated pattern over time is that river decision-making and policy have been structured to please the region’s jurisdictional parts and the politically influential constituents that can influence higher-level jurisdictions, not to achieve a greater sum. On the river itself, the premium has been on producing divisible benefits – especially hydropower and money – that can be distributed among the states, tribes, localities, industries and the Canadian province that make up the Columbia River’s region.  In recent years, however, vast sums of money have been dispersed on both sides of the international border to various jurisdictions and groups for fish, wildlife and community projects; this has altered the river basin in more restorative, if still fragmented, ways. This paper highlights several eras in which divvying up the watershed drove policy and management, and provides a political-geographical framework to consider how river basin governance is likely to interact with both larger and smaller traditional jurisdictions.

Keywords: watershed governance, political geography, river basin, resource management

Ted White* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Harvesting Economic Possibility? Community Supported Agriculture as a Catalyst for Diverse Economic Practices

is part of the Paper Session:

Food and Alterity in a Diverse Economy: Exploring a Politics of Possibility (3)

scheduled on Thursday, 4/14/11 at 16:40 PM.

Abstract:

As a compelling alternative to mainstream agribusiness food production and distribution networks, the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement is becoming increasingly visible. For 25 years, the CSA model has been replicated, mutated, and expanded upon by it’s farmers and farm shareholders—continually rejecting a fixed ideology yet simultaneously strengthening CSA as a popular conceptual “brand”in the US and abroad. How has participation in the numerous flexible spaces of production and consumption impacted those engaged in CSA? Transcending a hegemonic vision of economy—are CSA participants gaining a new view of economic possibility? If so, are they putting this sense of possibility into practice?  This case study looks at five divergent CSA enterprises in Western Massachusetts and examines how their participants knowingly or less knowingly are enacting new economies. In addition to yielding foods, can CSA also help create diverse resilient economies that can be transplanted beyond farmscapes and if so, where might they take root?

Keywords: agriculture, economy, community

Qian Yu, Assistant Professor* – University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Weining Zhu, Ph.D candidate – University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Yong Tian, Assistant Professor – University of Massachusetts-Boston

Bob Chen, Professor – University of Massachusetts-Boston

High resolution estimation of colored dissolved organic carbon in riverine and plume area

is part of the Paper Session:

Remote Sensing Applications in Coastal and Wetlands (II)

scheduled on Wednesday, 4/13/11 at 14:40 PM.

Abstract:

Estimating riverine CDOM concentration is essential to understand the carbon export from terrestrial coastal watershed to the ocean. Remote sensing of CDOM is dominant in ocean using coarse resolution sensors such as MODIS and SeaWiFS. The newly available 8-band WorldView2 image provides high resolution image with enhanced spectral resolution. Particularly an additional coastal blue band locates in the most sensitive wavelength of CDOM. Its potential in retrieving CDOM concentration is tested in the Neponset River in southwest Boston. Image preprocessing includes atmospheric correction using ENVI FLAASH and surface reflectance removal using HydroLight simulation. Then, we used a revised quasi-analytical CDOM algorithm developed in our earlier research to estimate CDOM, based on four bands, coastal blue, blue, green and red. The result was validated by field data. The CDOM sources are also discussed, which are identifiable from high resolution WorldView2.

Keywords: remote sensing, water carbon, high resolution

Weining Zhu* – Ph.d Candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Qian Yu – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Uncertainties of remote sensing of colored dissolved organic matter: evaluations and comparisons for three rivers in North America

is part of the Paper Session:

Remote Sensing Applications in Coastal and Wetlands (II)

scheduled on Wednesday, 4/13/11 at 14:40 PM.

Abstract:

Estimating riverine CDOM concentration is essential to understand the carbon export from terrestrial coastal watershed to the ocean. Very high spatial resolution field measurements of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), above-surface reflectance and other water properties were conducted for three rivers’ estuaries – the Mississippi River, Hudson River, and Neponset River as well as their nearby coastal regions. At the same time, EO-1 Hyperion images covering the same sites were acquired, and then have been used to estimate CDOM, chlorophyll and detrital concentrations, using a quasi-analytical CDOM algorithm (QAA-CDOM), developed from our previous study. The three coastal watersheds and estuaries have different physical and environmental properties, such as land covers land use, topography, vegetation density and scales, and hence cause different cases of in-water optical components. This study shows that at a high spatial resolution, around 30 m, there are many watershed factors influencing the uncertainties of remote-sensing estimations. In those factors, vegetation densities, seasonal variations and land uses interacting with hydrological path to determine the CDOM distributions in a large spatial scale. On the other hand, CDOM’s stratifications, surface waves, and especially in-water particulate matters, either organic or inorganic, play important roles in each step of remote-sensing inversion. Our measurements and inversion results also indicate that waters in estuarine and coastal regions are very complex, so that ocean color inversion algorithms should be carefully chosen and adjusted accordingly to be applied to coastal waters.

Keywords: CDOM, remote sensing, ocean color, uncertainty

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Qian Yu awarded grant to study carbon export processes from land to coastal waters

Assistant Professor Qian Yu (PI) was recently awarded a three-year grant by the NSF Collaboration in Mathematical Geosciences program to study dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dynamics in coastal regions using remote sensing and mathematic modeling. Qian will lead a collaborative team with three co-PIs in statistics, biogeochemistry and GIS-based hydrological modeling from both the UMASS Amherst and UMASS Boston campuses. This proposed research will improve the scientific understanding of carbon export processes from land to coastal waters.

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Stan Stevens and ICCA Consortium at the UN COP10 Meeting

ICCA Consortium Steering Committee members and colleagues

Stan Stevens (Senior Lecturer, Geography) participated in the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (the UN environmental treaty developed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio) in Nagoya, Japan, Oct. 18-29 as a member of the delegation of the ICCA Consortium ( www.iccaforum.org). The COP10 meeting in Japan was one of the major international conservation events of 2010 and was a particularly important meeting for reviewing and revising the Programme of Work on Protected Areas

In co-ordination with the COP10 the ICCA Consortium organized two side-events on ICCAs (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas), the many thousands of terrestrial and marine regions where Indigenous peoples and local communities contribute to biodiversity conservation through their stewardship of livelihood commons and sacred places.  The ICCA Consortium also held a one day General Assembly meeting and convened a 3 day ICCA Workshop in the Japanese cultural World Heritage Site mountain village of Shirakawa-Go which was attended by approximately 60 people.  These events were attended by representatives of many Indigenous peoples’ and community organizations, support NGOs, and partner organizations including IUCN, UNEP, Global Environmental Facility, GTZ, and the Christensen Fund.

At COP10 IUCN announced to the Parties to the CBD that it commits to working with the ICCA Consortium and UNEP on making recognition of ICCAs as protected areas a  priority for its conservation efforts in coming years. The Consortium also received expressions of support for its work from the GEF Small Grants Programme and the Christensen Fund.  GEF-SGP and the Christensen Fund supported the holding of the General Assembly and the Shirakawa-Go ICCA Workshop.

Stevens was reconfirmed at the Nagoya General Assembly as one of the Consortium’s three officers and continues to serve on the Steering Committee.  Informally established at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in 2008, the Consortium became a Swiss-registered NGO in July, 2010 at a General Assembly meeting convened on the occasion of the IIIrd UN Expert Mechanism of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples meeting at UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  Stevens was a member of the committee that drafted the statutes of the Consortium and as one of its officers took part in the process of legally establishing the organization.

The ICCA Consortium (www.iccaforum.org) is an association of 30 organizations headquartered near Geneva, Switzerland which works worldwide in support of conservation by Indigenous peoples and local communities.