University of Minnesota
Department of Geography, Environment and Society

Department of Geography, Environment
and Society's home page.

Ralph Hall Brown Day

Minnesota Geographer

Minnesota Geographer magazine

Read Minnesota Geographer online

Friday April 22, 2016

Graduate Student Research Presentations"
9:30am-11:30am, 435 Blegen Hall, West Bank

Student Poster Session and Lunch
noon-2:00pm, 317 Blegen Hall, West Bank

Ralph H. Brown Memorial Lecture
Dan Brown, University of Michigan
1-102 Hanson Hall
West Bank
3:15-3:30: Coffee/Cookies
3:30-500: Lecture
5:30-7:30: Reception (Carlson School Dining Room - lower level)
Title: Modeling Land-Change Processes Across Disciplines and Scales

Abstract: The imperatives of understanding how land use and land cover changes both contribute to, are affected by, and can serve as adaptations to climate and other global changes require a greater degree of integration of knowledge across natural and human systems, and across scales. Computer models have been key tools for representing and evaluating our understanding of global change processes, and the integration human and social processes into global models has begun at some levels. In this talk, Professor Brown reflects on the findings of a recent NRC report on "Advancing Land Change Modeling" and its implications for how to advance this effort. Drawing on multiple research projects in which he has been involved that use models to formalize our understanding of land-change processes, he describes opportunities for developing models that bridge local-to-global scales, incorporate institutions in social process representations, and couple natural and social processes. Advancing in these directions has the potential to improve both our understanding of the feedbacks between human and natural systems in future Earth system dynamics and the tools available for designing policies and plans that are adaptive to those same dynamics.

Held each spring, Brown Day brings together friends and colleagues for a noon time potluck lunch, an afternoon lecture by a prominent visiting Geographer, and an evening banquet that celebrates the achievements of the past year, and recalls our history, which spans over three-quarters of a century.

The day is named in honor of Ralph Hall Brown, eminent faculty member in our department from 1929 to 1948, and author of Mirror for Americans (1941) and Historical Geography of the United States (1948).

The evening reception is a new feature started in 2016 (replacing the formal banquet). It includes an awards ceremony that recognizes the achievements of our undergraduate and graduate students.

Recent Ralph Hall Brown Memorial Guest Lecturers

  • Sarah Elwood, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Washington, “’The Poor are Us’: Middle class poverty politics in Buenos Aires and Seattle”  (2015)
  • Mona Domosh, Professor of Geography, The Joan P. and Edward J. Foley Jr. 1933 Professor,
    Vice President, Association of American Geographers Dartmouth College "From the U.S. South to the Global South: Practicing Development at Home" (2014)
  • William J. Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies, UW-Madison, "The Portage: Reflections on Nature, History and Storytelling in the Making of an American Place" (2013)
  • Susan Cutter, Carolina Distinguished Professor and Director, Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, "Moving from Hazard Vulnerability to Disaster Resilience: The Experience from Mississippi's Gulf Coast." (2012)
  • John Adams, Emeritus Professor, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, “A SHORT HISTORY OF OUR GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT, 1925-2010: COFFEE HOURS AND TEA PARTIES.” (2011)
  • "Celebrating the Life and Contributions of Professor Fred Lukermann" A panel discussion with Terkenli Theano, Robert Sack, and Trevor Barnes. Chaired by John Adams (2010).
  • Karl Zimmerer, Professor and Head of the Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University, "Environment or Nature-Society?: Geographic Trends and Trajectories" (2009)
  • William E. Doolittle, Erich W. Zimmermann Regents Professor in Geography, Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin (2008)
  • David Ley, Research Chair of Geography, University of British Columbia, "Millionaire migrants: Transnational circulation and urban transformation." (2007)
  • Victoria Lawson, Professor, and Thomas L. & Margo G. Wyckoff; Endowed Faculty Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Washington, and Past President of the Association of American Geographers, 2004-05. (2006)
  • Professor Glen P. McDonald, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, "Glimpses of time past and time future from the last woods on earth: Historical biogeography of the circumpolar boreal zone and its role in global climate change" (2005)
  • Professor Karl B. Raitz, University of Kentucky, "The Rock Fences of Kentucky's Bluegrass" (2004)
  • Professor Judith A. Carney, University of California-Los Angeles (2003)
  • Yi Fu Tuan, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin, "Sense of Place: Its Relationship to Self and Time" (2002)
  • Dr. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2001)
  • Michael F. Goodchild, "Scales of Cybergeography" (2000)
  • David Harvey, "Spaces of Utopia" (1999)