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Coping With a Fast-Changing World: Why Geography Still Matters
- Alexander B. Murphy (Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon)
Geographical thinking is vital for addressing some of the critical geopolitical, environmental, and socio-economic challenges facing the contemporary world. Yet the insights geography can offer on the changes unfolding around us are often overlooked because of the tendency to view geography in static, descriptive terms–and indeed rank ignorance of the subject. Alexander Murphy will highlight how geography’s concern with spatial patterns and assumptions, mapping, and integrative place-based modes of analysis can enhance understanding of matters ranging from uprisings in the Middle East, to human alteration of natural systems, to the spread of disease, to the impacts of technology on contemporary society. Examples will range widely, but will include developments of contemporary significance to Asia such as growing tensions in the South China Sea, the sustainability challenges facing Asian cities, and disputes over water resources in the Mekong region.
Alexander B. Murphy
Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon
Alexander B. Murphy is Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon, where he holds the Rippey Chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Murphy specializes in political, cultural, and environmental geography. He is Senior Vice President of the American Geographical Society and a Past President of the Association of American Geographers. He recently chaired a U.S. National Academy of Sciences — National Research Council committee charged with identifying “Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences.”
Murphy is the author of more than 100 articles and several books. In the late 1990s Murphy led the effort to add geography to the U.S. College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. He was elected to membership in the Academia Europaea in 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from Yale University, a law degree from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Chicago. http://geog.uoregon.edu/murphy/