The Department of Geography and Anthropology recently hired two new faculty members who will begin as assistant professors in August 2014. The pool of candidates was particularly competitive this year, and the faculty selections reflect the growing prestige of the department and desire for strengthening both the geography and anthropology majors’ depth of research. The Department is honored to welcome Micha Rahder from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Kory Konsoer from the the University of Illionis at Urbana-Champaign.
Micha graduated with her B.A. from Reed College in 2004, her M.S. in Environmental Science from Yale University in 2008, and her M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2010. Micha’s Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, also from UC Santa Cruz, started in 2008, concurrent with her M.A. Micha’s dissertation was titled, “Satellites and Senses of Place: Remote Monitoring of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve.” Micha won multiple awards, fellowships and grants, including a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate Fellowship, an National Science Foundation grant, and many others.
“I grew up in Toronto, Canada, but traded snowy winters for warmer places long ago – in fact, I have been moving to progressively hotter climates over the years, and Baton Rouge happily continues that trend. A parallel heat-seeking tendency has developed in my research via my long term fascination with the tropics, particularly the dynamics of human-inhabited tropical forest ecosystems. It began with a field course in Costa Rica during my final summer of high school: reading evolutionary theory, histories of science, and modern environmental treatises to a soundtrack of howler monkeys set me on my path. I’ve since followed that path through biology, evolutionary ecology, environmental studies, cultural anthropology, and science & technology studies, and am excited to see where I will head next with the fabulous group of colleagues at LSU. Locally, I’m looking forward to braving the bike lanes (and the many streets without them), adventuring through local food and music, growing a garden I can eat from year round, and getting to know the natural and unnatural histories of the Louisiana landscape.”
Kory graduated with his B.S. from Grand Valley State University in 2006 with a major in geology and a minor in mathematics. He received his M.S. from West Virginia University in 2008 with a major in geology before pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Illionis at Urbana-Champaign with a major in Geography. Kory’s M.S. thesis was titled, “LiDAR, GIS, and Multivariate Statistical Analysis to Assess Landslide Risk, Horseshoe Run Watershed, West Virginia.” Kory has published peer-reviewed articles and made more than 15 conference presentations post-2005. He served as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Geophysical Research and won multiple awards and grants, including a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant by the National Science Foundation, among others.
“I am very excited to be joining the Department of Geography and Anthropology at LSU, and look forward to the move south come August! Growing up in Michigan, I developed an early fondness and interest in the natural landscape, and how we as humans interact with such dynamic systems. As I began taking environmental classes I became especially interested in fluvial systems, particularly their ability to both erode and create beautiful landscape features. My current research interests are focused on the coevolution of river flows and channel morphology, and how vegetation influences rates of sediment transport and planform migration. My wife Samantha and I have two children; William is 2.5 and Kaylee was born this past February. Samantha has worked as a GIS specialist for Granite Construction Company for the past five years and very much enjoys attending the ESRI User Conference every summer in San Diego. We enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, and generally being outdoors whenever possible. We are very big sports fans, baseball especially, and look forward to the sports culture at LSU. In addition to the campus-life and academics, we are also looking forward to the music, food and culture of Louisiana, not to mention the lack of a Midwest winter.”