Dr. Kate Beard is a professor in the School of Computing and Information Science and a member of the Spatial Information Science Engineering faculty at the University of Maine. She is Director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) and has been a research faculty with the NCGIA since its beginning in 1989. She holds a M.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1988) from the Institute for Environmental Studies, Land Resources Program, where she specialized in geographic information systems.
A native of British Columbia, Professor Kobayashi completed a B.A. (1976) and M.A. (1978) at the University of British Columbia, and a PhD (1983) at UCLA.
She taught in Geography and East Asian Studies at McGill University from 1983 to 1994, when she came to Queen's, initially as Director of the Institute of Women's Studies (1994 to 1999) and thereafter as Professor of Geography. She has spent time as a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, University College London and, most recently, Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand. In 1994, she was a Fulbright Fellow at the Migration Policy Insitute in Washington, DC. Other positions include President of the Canadian Association of Geographers (1999-2001), and Editor, People Place and Region, Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
Professor Kobayashi’s talk will be focusing on Immigrant Geographies of North American Cities based on her co-edited book, recently released by the Oxford University Press.
Bringing together an impressive group of expert contributors from Canada and the US, this groundbreaking collection examines issues of immigration, migration, and settlement from a unique geographical perspective. Featuring original research by both Canadian and American scholars, Immigrant Geographies of North American Cities fills a significant gap in the existing literature on immigration. This comparative approach gives readers a deep understanding of the complex social, spatial, economic, and political factors that affect immigration policies and immigrants’ experiences in the evolving urban landscapes of North America.
See additional details on The Melikian Center web site.
In Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs discussed “The kind of problem a city is.” Although cities face myriad challenges, they seem to be mitigated by the economic and agglomeration benefits that accrue to cities. Among these benefits is that high human capital and “creative class”individuals disproportionately aggregate in cities. In fact, the share of the workforce that is highly skilled increases with city size and not just the number of highly‐skilled workers. This creates tremendous complications for smaller cities and rural areas that not only suffer “brain drain” but also have to address the economic, productivity, and prosperity challenges that result from having a lower share of the workforce in those occupations that generate those benefits. A possible source of remediation that has been offered is proximity to major agglomerations and metropolitan areas. Small cities and rural regions may be spatially advantaged by their proximity. Using detailed demographic and geographic data for Ontario from Statistics Canada, this paper investigates the relationship between population, density, proximity, and the share of the workforce in the creative class for all Ontario Census subdivisions (CSD). Population and density are always important factors for local creative class. A linear spatial model revealed no significant relationship while a gravity model shows a minor but significant relationship. In general, only close proximity or a very large creative population is positively related to a larger creative class in small cities and rural areas.
In the seventies, biologists Maynard Smith and Price used concepts from game theory to describe animal conflicts. Their work is at the origin of the popular framework of evolutionary game theory. Space is another component that has been identified as a key factor in how communities are shaped. Spatial game models are therefore of primary interest for biologists and sociologists. There is however a total lack of analytical results in this field. The objective of this talk is to explore the framework analytically through a simple spatial game model based on interacting particle systems (agent-based models). Relying on new mathematical techniques, we prove that the behavior of the spatial game strongly differs from the one of its non-spatial deterministic counterpart, which reveals the importance of space and stochasticity in game theoretic interactions.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Brücher is one of Germany’s best known energy geographers. He completed his Ph.D. in 1968 and a second Ph.D. (postdoctoral lecture qualification) in 1974, both at the University of Tuebinger (Germany). He served as Professor of Geography at the Universität des Saarlandes, in the coal-rich area of Saarbrüken, Germany from 1976 until his retirement in 2006. From 1994 he was Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Universität des Saarlandes, and he also served as Commissioner at the German Exchange Service for student grants and loans, organizer of international exchange of students in Europe and Canada, and a liaison between French and German University geographers. For most of his career, he has been an active leader in coordinating the research and instruction among the many energy geographers in Germany. He retired from the Universität des Saarlandes in 2006. His most recent book is Energiegeographie (2009).
After the tragedy of Fukushima, the German government decided to shut down all nuclear power plants by 2022. They had generated 23% of the country's electricity. But how to fill the gap, without a convincing strategy to avoid a relapse into old polluting technologies? In any case, we have to get used to a complete change of the energy landscape. If we want to assess the possibilities to fill that gap, we have to look on the situation of each of the energy resources: There are still important domestic reserves of lignite. Coal, after the imminent closure of the last mine, can be imported without problems. Nevertheless, both are the most intensive CO2-emitters. Oil never mattered for power generation, and growing natural gas import would lead to growing political dependence. Renewable energies are making progress, but too slowly and against barriers of any type, most of all due to lack of space in a densely settled country. So, at least for the moment, Germany will be importing electricity -- from nuclear plants in France.
The current drought in the Horn of Africa has given even greater urgency to the study of impacts of rainfall variability. Possible violence (inter-communal and rebel-government) outcomes have been widely debated with inconsistent and sparse evidence to support claims of both the conflict-intensification and conflict-dampening effects of rainfall variability. Using fine geographical and temporal disaggregated measures of drought for the 8 countries of East Africa from 1990-2009, and controlling for key socio-economic and contextual factors, we show that the rainfall-conflict nexus is highly inconsistent by country and time-period. Such irregularity in the relationship implies that previous efforts to identify a general effect of rainfall or temperature change in Africa have produced highly dubious, but apparently newsworthy, claims.