Friday, December 17, 2010

Reena Patel interview in NYTimes Article:Ambitions Meet Reality in India

Ambitions Meet Reality in India

Published: December 14, 2010 in The New York Times

Reena Patel, Ph.D. alumna of UT Geography and The Environment, was interviewed for a New York Times article about women in India. The article reports that for a new generation of women workers in India, the challenges include discrimination that is "insidious rather than blatant" and breaking into sectors and roles that have traditionally been reserved for men.  Dr. Patel's was interviewed about her experptise on India-global labor relations, and its impacts on women's rights.

The article can be read on -

Reena Patel is also the author of the book "Working the Night Shift" which is stems from her Ph.D. research at UT Austin. To learn more about her book, visit her website:

The Google Book Preview of Working the Night Shift.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

¿Tacos or Tacos?: film on urban food culture in Austin.

Robert Lemon, who studies social issues and urban space, has just finished production on his first documentary film. The film is a short 15 minute piece that explores how food is reshaping urban space and what it signifies for divergent communities.

 ¿Tacos or Tacos?”

Austin has witnessed the growth of two different types of food trucks over the last few years; taco trucks that serve immigrants, and trendier food trucks that create new hybrid cuisines. “¿Tacos or Tacos?” is a short documentary about the emergence of new food cultures of Austin and how they are shaping community identity in the city. Moreover, it is about how food trucks transform the urban environment to create a place and space where particular customs are practiced and continued. Through juxtaposing immigrant taco trucks on the East side of Austin to the new trendier food trucks in the eclectic and eccentric neighborhood of South Austin, the film elucidates that taco trucks are more than just a place to eat for Mexican immigrants.

Link to entire film on YouTube:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jon Gehring attending COP16

Logo for COP 16

Master's Student is part of AAG Delegation to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Cancun

Climate Change Conference is currently taking place in Cancun (COP16) and will continue through Friday, December 10th.

Geography master's student Jon Gehring is among the delegates at the meeting, which has as its goal to formulate an agreement that addresses the major issues on climate change. Gehring and other geographers are part of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Delegation to the Climate Conference.

The Conference is the latest in a series of meetings that having taken place since 1992, with last year’s taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. The AAG delegation has a blog with daily updates on the conference proceedings.

Blog of the AAG Delegation -

COP16 Home Page -

AAG Home Page -

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GAGS alumnus give talks at UT Geography and The Environment

Dr. Je-Hun Ryu (Ph.D. Texas Geography 1987) visited his alma mater to present research and catch up with colleagues.  He is currently on the faculty of the Department of Geography, Korea National University of Education.

He presented his talk to current graduate students and faculty under the title “Contested Identities in Postcolonial Incheon, South Korea.”   The talk focused on how Incheon City (the gateway to Seoul through its airport and seaport) still preserves relic landscapes/places reflecting pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial processes.

Dr. Ryu spoke of the old downtown area, which originated from a concession settlement (1884), and then turned into a colonial city after the Japanese annexation (1910).  During the Korean War (1950-52), however, it became a site for American marine forces to operate their landing action.  From the mid-1960s, the city began to grow rapidly along with expanding manufacturing zones.  Since the opening of the largest international airport in Korea (2001), it has launched a series of development plans to build up a global city.  It is, therefore, possible to locate in the city landscapes that record (or commemorate) each of these historical stages.

Dr. Ryu examined past and present discourses of identity, concluding that multiple/divided identities have always been characteristic of Incheon in the Korean national context. After the talk, he engaged in discussion of research in the new cultural geography and Asian Studies with interested graduate students.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ingrid Haeckel recieves award for Best Presentation

Ingrid Haeckel, a Doctoral Student in the Department of Geography and The Environment, received the Best Presentation Award at this years SCCS-NY Symposium, the Student Conference on Conservation Science in New York City. The symposium specifically targets those pursuing or considering a profession in conservation science.  SCCS-NY is a unique opportunity for those beginning their careers to present their work before established leaders in science, policy, and management.

Haeckel's presentation titled, Sustaining the Religious Bromeliad Harvest in Central Mexico, presented her research on the sustainability of traditional plant harvesting practices for religious customs in central Mexico.  Her research seeks to understand the challenges to endangered species conservation in a a cultural context.  She presented results from her recent field work, in which she empirically assessed the impact of harvesting the epiphytic bromeliads, a valuable ornamental plant.

Ingrid Haeckel's Profile

Sharon Wilcox Adams named Resident Scholar at Smithsonian Institution

Sharon Wilcox Adams has been named a Baird Society Resident Scholar at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries in Washington, DC.  During her tenure at the Smithsonian in the Spring 2011, she will be working in the SI Libraries? most unique and valuable holdings: its Special Collections. Her research will focus in James Smithson's personal materials and rare 19th century natural history volumes in the famed Cullman Library.  This research is part of Sharon's dissertation project, "Encountering El Tigre: Jaguars and People in the United States, 1800-2010."

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Getting Outside Grants for Your Research: What COLA's Grants Services Office Can Do For You

November 15, 7-8 pm GRG 408

Kristin Weidman and Jeff Meserve, staff of Grants Services at the College of Liberal Arts Dean's Office, will discuss proposal writing and how the Grants Services Office can help geography graduate students.  The talk will refer to the attached article by Christina Gillis which is useful background reading.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

U.S. Fulbright Scholars Program for 2012-2013

General Info Session and Q&A For Juniors, Seniors, Graduate Students, and Alumni who are interested in applying to the U.S. Fulbright Scholars Program for 2012-2013

Thursday, October 7, 2010
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Wooldridge Hall (W.O.H.), Room 1.102

Vijay Renganathan
Senior Program Officer
Fulbright Student Outreach

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mariana Montoya will defend her dissertation

“How Access, Values, and History shape the Sustainability of a Social-Ecological System: The Case of the Kandozi Indigenous Group of Peru”
on Tuesday, October 26, at 3:30pm in GRG 312.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AAG 2011: Call for Papers - Due October 20, 2010

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is accepting abstracts and organized sessions for the 2011 Annual Meeting.  AAG welcomes all presentations from scholars, professionals, and students interested in the advancement of geography.  If you have any questions about these guidelines please direct them to Oscar Larson at

Registration and Abstract and Session Submission are now open. 
Submissions are due by October 20, 2010.

GAGS welcomes our newest graduate students to the organization. From the left: Jennifer Alexander, Pamela Sertzen, Brian Mills, Dylan Malcomb, Kathleen Shafer, Jon Gehrig, Tony Layzell.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

ArcGIS 10 Seminar

ESRI will host free training workshops for the ArcGIS 10 rollout. Please circulate amongst students and researchers on campus. Great opportunity to meet Austin Area GIS users and learn something new about ArcGIS 10. The Geography computers labs will have the new version of ArcGIS 10 this next semester. From what I read it is a great update from 9 with new functionality and a easier user interface.

Link for Austin Session Registration:

Link for overview on Seminar

SWAAG 2010

SWAAG 2010 has offically launched its website for the annual meeting.  The 2010 Annual Meeting will take place October 14-16 at  Northwestern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Abstracts are due by September 30th, 2010

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