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Faculty Highlights

Dr. Suzanne Pilaar BirchLast year, Suzie Birch, associate professor of Geography and Anthropology at the University of Georgia, was awarded the Wilson Center Research Fellowship through the Wilson Center for Humanities and Arts. Offered through the University of Georgia, the fellowship supports excellence in the humanities and arts by providing faculty with time to engage in research and creative activity. Birch’s work focused on writing a manuscript entitled More than Meat: Animal-Human Relationships in Prehistory.

Read more about Dr. Birch's fellowship and other projects.






Dr. Nik HeynenLast year, Nik Heynen, professor in the Department of Geography, was named a Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Georgia. This title is awarded to faculty who are internationally recognized for their original contributions to knowledge and whose work promises to foster continued creativity in their discipline. Heynen’s work is centered in the scholar-activism of social and environmental justice and has helped forge closer connections between the academy and society. He is interested in how the social constructs of race, class and gender have intersected to produce uneven geographical development. He studies how social movement institutions organize across space to identify and secure adequate resources for communities.

Read more about Dr. Heynen's current and future projects.



Dr. Deepak MishraLast year, Deepak Mishra, professor and associate head of the Department of Geography, was appointed by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents as the Merle C. Prunty, Jr. Professor in Geography. The appointment and award are named after UGA Geography’s first department head, Professor Merle Charles Prunty, Jr., who served as department head (of what was at the time called the Department of Geography and Geology) for 26 years. The appointment includes substantial annual research funding to support Mishra's scholarly work.

Read more about Dr. Mishra's current and future projects.





Dr. Fausto SarmientoFausto O. Sarmiento, professor of mountain science and director of the Neotropical Montology Collaboratory, has received a Fulbright U.S. Global Scholar Award to Austria, Japan and Chile. Sarmiento will research and lecture at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the World Heritage Studies UNESCO Chair of Cultural Heritage and sacred mountains at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, and the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Evolution, Laboratory of Territorial Studies of the Austral University of Chile in Valdivia, as part of a project to establish a worldwide network of montology, the convergent, transdisciplinary mountain science. Sarmiento will be researching and lecturing abroad, spending about two months in each country studying the graticule needed to expand geoecological work in altitudinal, longitudinal, and latitudinal realities.

Read more about Dr. Sarmiento's award.


Dr. Marshall ShepherdMarshall Shepherd, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia, was recently named the 2022 SEC Professor of the Year. The award is given annually to one SEC faculty member whose record of teaching and research places him or her among the elite in higher education. Winners are selected by the SEC provosts from among the 14 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients. Last year, he was recognized with election to the National Academy of Engineering, election to the National Academy of Sciences, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences—the only person in UGA history to be elected to all three prestigious associations.

Read more about Dr. Shepherd's current and future projects.




Dr. Amy TraugerAmy Trauger, author and professor of geography, was named last year as the Canada Research Chair in Food Studies at the University of Guelph, administered through the Fulbright Canada program. With this position, Trauger set forth to research the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on food insecure populations, particularly rural and indigenous people, and how indigenous groups with food sovereignty goals have responded to the pandemic. Trauger is particularly interested in what happens when people make a deeper commitment to protecting and conserving natural systems through food production, for good and bad.

Read more about Dr. Trauger's findings from her recent studies.

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