Welcome, Current Students!
Chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Dear DGES family,
It’s time once again to wish everyone a happy new academic year. I’ve just looked back at what I wrote in this space last year, and that has made me appreciate how far we’ve come, and how much more optimistic I feel now compared to then. There are certainly lots of challenges still ahead, but the arrival of vaccines and the gradual reopening of campus allow a much more pleasant outlook than we faced when we were entering our first full year of forced online-only teaching. This time we’re looking forward to a blend of online and in-person teaching in the fall, and if public health conditions allow, a return to a (new) normal blend of classes by January. In fact, I’m writing this in my Carleton office, at the end of the first week of our phase of campus re-opening. It’s still pretty quiet around here, but there are enough people around for a buzz of excitement that reminds me of past “normal” years, albeit with lots of masks, sanitizing stations and daily screening checks.
So once again, along with the recognition that not all is right in the world I think it’s important to share and celebrate our collective accomplishments. I hope you enjoy the collection of stories in our 2021 DGES annual newsletter. Of course not all of the news was happy, and in addition to the strains brought on by the pandemic, in the past year we have been mourning the loss of two of our members, Mara Ostafichuk and Doug King. Both were highly cherished colleagues and friends. Memorial details are still being worked out for Doug, and updates will be going out shortly.
Despite these losses, I’m excited that our academic family continues to grow. I wrote last year about the hiring of Koreen Millard and Dipto Sarkar, and while they have technically been with us full time since then, it has been almost entirely a virtual / online relationship. So we are very happy that they are finally able to start “moving in” to our campus. Of course all the students who first joined us last September will also soon be able to come to campus. And in addition to all the new students joining us this year, we have another new faculty member, Meera Karunananthan! Meera applies feminist geography and political ecology approaches to study water justice and hydro-social conflicts in the global South, and is a very welcome addition to our team.
I am looking forward to finally meeting all these new DGES members in person, and welcoming back our continuing students, staff, and faculty in the coming weeks and months. I don’t pretend that it will be a smooth transition, or that I know exactly how it will unfold, but through all that uncertainty, I am very excited to realize that our team, our family, is getting back together. I hope you are all doing well and share my excitement and optimism. If there is anything we can do to help with your version of this transition, please let us know.
Scott Mitchell, Chair, DGES
Resources for Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (DGES) Students
This section contains resources for students in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. Please use the links below and the navigation menu to the left to access these resources.
Useful resources for both Undergraduate and Graduate Students: