A hallmark of the Department of Geography & Environmental Systems is its broadly integrative nature, drawing on the expertise of faculty with diverse backgrounds but with a common mission. Research interests among current regular departmental faculty span a broad range of topics in earth systems science, ecosystem science, human geography and urban geography, and human dimensions of global change, with application of geospatial technology to research questions across all areas of interest. Despite the diversity of research and teaching interests, there is a common focus on the importance of coupled natural and human systems and on landscape pattern in relation to human activities and their environmental consequences, and we see this as a broad programmatic thrust for our graduate degree offerings. Research based in the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems involves interdisciplinary collaborative work of local, regional and international scope.

Recent Submissions

  • Assessing the biogeographical and socio-ecological representativeness of the ILTER site network 

    Wohner, Christoph; Ohnemus, Thomas; Zacharias, Steffen; Mollenhauer, Hannes; Ellis, Erle C.; Klug, Hermann; Shibata, Hideaki; Mirtl, Michael
    The challenges posed by climate and land use change are increasingly complex, with rising and accelerating impacts on the global environmental system. Novel environmental and ecosystem research needs to properly interpret ...
  • Greater aridity increases the magnitude of urban nighttime vegetation-derived air cooling 

    Ibsen, Peter C.; Borowy, Dorothy; Dell, Tyler; Greydanus, Hattie; Gupta, Neha; Hondula, David M.; Meixner, Thomas; Santelmann, Mary V.; Shiflett, Sheri A.; Sukop, Michael C.; Swan, Christopher M.; Talal, Michelle L.; Valencia, Miguel; Wright, Mary K.; Jenerette, G. Darrel (IOP Publishing, 2021-02-15)
    High nighttime urban air temperatures increase health risks and economic vulnerability of people globally. While recent studies have highlighted nighttime heat mitigation effects of urban vegetation, the magnitude and ...
  • Keys to Improving Outcomes of Tree Planting Campaigns 

    Holl, Karen; Fagan, Matthew; Brancalion, Pedro (2020-10)
  • Keys to Improving Outcomes of Tree Planting Campaigns 

    Holl, Karen; Fagan, Matthew; Brancalion, Pedro (International Union for Conservatoin of Nature, 2020)
  • ForestGEO: Understanding forest diversity and dynamics through a global observatory network 

    Baker, Matthew E.; Ellis, Erle C.; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-12-13)
    ForestGEO is a network of scientists and long-term forest dynamics plots (FDPs) spanning the Earth's major forest types. ForestGEO's mission is to advance understanding of the diversity and dynamics of forests and to ...
  • Hierarchical Distance Sampling Reveals Increased Population Size and Broader Habitat Use in the Endangered Bahama Oriole 

    Rowley, Michael G.; Stanley, Richard C.; Antalffy, Janine M.; Christhilf, Jennifer L.; Stonko, Daniel C.; Johnson, Scott B.; Cant-Woodside, Shelley; Sillett, T. Scott; Fagan, Matt E.; Studds, Colin E.; Omland, Kevin E. (2021-01-10)
    Caribbean is home to over 20 passerine species listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. The Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi) is listed as critically ...
  • Urban Soils 

    Yeakley, J. Alan (Routledge, 2020-11-16)
    While soils in cities remain challenging to characterize, continued studies by urban ecosystem scientists are revealing general characteristics of urban soils. While all soil formation factors as per Jenny (1941) remain ...
  • Analysis of environmental migrants and their mental health in strengthening health systems 

    Herrán, Keren; Biehler, Dawn (F1000 Research, 2020-11-24)
    Background: It is predicted that by 2050 more than 250 million people will have to relocate as a result of climate-related change to their home environment. The existential threat posed by anthropogenic phenomena such as ...
  • Predicting the assembly of novel communities in urban ecosystems 

    Andrade, Riley; Franklin, Janet; Larson, Kelli L.; Swan, Christopher M.; Lerman, Susannah B.; Bateman, Heather L.; Warren, Paige S.; York, Abigail (Springer Nature, 2020-10-13)
    Context Ecological communities in urban ecosystems are assembled through ecological processes, such as species interactions, dispersal, and environmental filtering, but also through human factors that create and modify ...
  • Working landscapes need at least 20% native habitat 

    Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Oddi, Facundo J.; Miguez, Fernando E.; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Orr, Michael C.; Jobbágy, Esteban G.; Kremen, Claire; Schulte, Lisa A.; Hughes, Alice C.; Bagnato, Camilo; Abramson, Guillermo; Bridgewater, Peter; Carella, Dulce Gomez; Díaz, Sandra; Dicks, Lynn V.; Ellis, Erle C.; Goldenberg, Matías; Huaylla, Claudia A.; Kuperman, Marcelo; Locke, Harvey; Mehrabi, Zia; Santibañez, Fernanda; Zhu, Chao-Dong (Wiley, 2020-10-25)
    International agreements aim to conserve 17% of Earth's land area by 2020 but include no area‐based conservation targets within the working landscapes that support human needs through farming, ranching, and forestry. Through ...
  • Developing Sensor Proxies for “Chemical Cocktails” of Trace Metals in Urban Streams 

    Morel, Carol J.; Kaushal, Sujay S.; Tan, Maggie L.; Belt, Kenneth T. (MDPI, 2020-10-14)
    Understanding transport mechanisms and temporal patterns in the context of metal concentrations in urban streams is important for developing best management practices and restoration strategies to improve water quality. ...
  • Contrasting Impacts of Cultivated Exotics on the Functional Diversity of Domestic Gardens in Three Regions with Different Aridity 

    Cubino, Josep Padullés; Borowy, Dorothy; Knapp, Sonja; Lososova, Zdenka; Ricotta, Carlo; Siebert, Stefan; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Sol, Daniel; Jeliazkov, Alienor; Swan, Christopher (Springer Nature, 2020-09-19)
    Cultivated exotic plants are often introduced for their aesthetic value and today comprise a substantial fraction of the flora of urban domestic gardens. Yet, their relative contribution to the functional diversity of ...
  • Anthropogenic Biomes: 10,000 BCE to 2015 CE 

    Ellis, Erle C.; Beusen, Arthur H.W.; Goldewijk, Kees Klein (MDPI, 2020-04-25)
    Human populations and their use of land have reshaped landscapes for thousands of years, creating the anthropogenic biomes (anthromes) that now cover most of the terrestrial biosphere. Here we introduce the first global ...
  • Pavement alters delivery of sediment and fallout radionuclides to urban streams 

    Gellis, Allen C.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Van Metre, Peter C.; Mahler, Barbara J.; Welty, Claire; Miller, Andrew J.; Nibert, Lucas A.; Clifton, Zach J.; Malen, Jeremy J.; Kemper, John T. (Elsevier, 2020-03-16)
    Sediment from urban impervious surfaces has the potential to be an important vector for contaminants, particularly where stormwater culverts and other buried channels draining large impervious areas exit from underground ...
  • Sustainable Flood Risk and Stormwater Management in Blue‐Green Cities; an Interdisciplinary Case Study in Portland, Oregon 

    O’Donnell, Emily C.; Thorne, Colin R.; Yeakley, J. Alan; Chan, Faith Ka Shun (Wiley Online Library, 2020-07-20)
    Blue‐Green Infrastructure (BGI) is recognized as a viable strategy to manage stormwater and flood risk, and its multifunctionality may further enrich society through the provision of multiple cobenefits that extend far ...
  • Conceptual Links between Landscape Diversity and Diet Diversity: A Roadmap for Transdisciplinary Research 

    Gergel, Sarah E; Powell, Bronwen; Baudron, FrÉdÉric; Wood, Sylvia L R; Rhemtulla, Jeanine M; Kennedy, Gina; Rasmussen, Laura V; Ickowitz, Amy; Fagan, Matthew E; Smithwick, Erica A H; Ranieri, Jessica; Wood, Stephen A; Groot, Jeroen C J; Sunderland, Terry C H (Oxford Academic, 2020-06-24)
    Malnutrition linked to poor quality diets affects at least 2 billion people. Forests, as well as agricultural systems linked to trees, are key sources of dietary diversity in rural settings. In the present article, we ...
  • Global human influence maps reveal clear opportunities in conserving Earth’s remaining intact terrestrial ecosystems 

    Riggio, Jason; Baillie, Jonathan E. M.; Brumby, Steven; Ellis, Erle; Kennedy, Christina M.; Oakleaf, James R.; Tait, Alex; Tepe, Therese; Theobald, David M.; Venter, Oscar; Watson, James E. M.; Jacobson, Andrew P. (Wiley, 2020-06-05)
    Leading up to the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties 15, there is momentum around setting bold conservation targets. Yet, it remains unclear how much of Earth's land area remains without significant ...
  • Geographic Information Science and Crime Analysis 

    Getis, Arthur; Drummy, Pat; Gartin, John; Gorr, Wilpen; Harries, Keith; Rogerson, Peter; Stoe, Debra; Wright, Richard
  • Property Crimes and Violence in United States: An Analysis of the influence of Population density 

    Harries, Keith (2006-07)
    The role of population density in the generation or suppression of crime has been the subject of debate for decades. The classic argument is that high density offers opportunities for property crimes, given that it is a ...
  • Final report: Superior adaptation to drought in Rubus armeniacus (Himalayan blackberry) in northwest Oregon 

    Yeakley, J.Alan; Caplan, Joshua S.
    Despite the status Rubus armeniacus (Himalayan blackberry) has as one of the most prolific and damaging plant invaders in the Pacific Northwest, we know little about the role of water relations in its success. The information ...

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