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Fall 2018

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 2nd from the Department of Geography.

jason julian

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. See the video here .



texas state geography students

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

Spring 2018

lawrence estaville

Dr. 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:


Fall 2017


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.

Dr. David Butler’s 2005 paper on beaver dam failures was recently cited in the “Daily Commercial News.” Link at:

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.” The editorial is available at

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)
    texas wild rice
    Texas Wild Rice Team
  • Joshua Hodge - First Place Individual, Geography Bowl
  • Shadi Maleki - 2nd Place Graduate Paper Competition
  • Fangda Lu - 3rd Place Graduate Poster Competition

maggie hutchins  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 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).

Summer 2017

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


Spring 2017jennifer devine

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


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.

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

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


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


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

raymondslade  Mr. Raymond Slade delivers talk titled, "Hydrologic  extremes in 
  Central Texas:  extreme floods and drought".



ben zhan awardDr. Benjamin Zhan receives the Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award


Fall 2016

alberto giordano

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


monica medel  Ph.D. student Monica Medel receives 2016 USGIF Scholarship


David R. Butler, Regents Professor, has been appointed Editor of the Annals david r butlerof 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 featured on KVUE news discussing how climate change affects yongmei luthe spread of diseases.


Injeong Jo receives national grant from the NCGE Centennial E. Willard and injeong joRuby S. Miller for Research in Geographic Education


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

Spring 2016

graciela sandolval  Graciela Sandoval selected as 2016-17 Grosvenor Scholar


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


marcedonio cartave  Student reflections of Dr. Marcedonio Cortave lecture


publications  Examples of faculty publications


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)
  Watch the YouTube video courtesy of vcYES Productions

AAG 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


Fall 2015

favorite professors

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

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


Summer 2015

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



Spring 2015

andrew sansom

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


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


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.


rain nox

Phd student Rain Nox receives Runner-up Award in 3MT Competition.

Watch her presentation on YouTube.

MAG Student Jordan Adams receives grantjordan adams



graciela sandoval

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.

dave butler

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


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



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