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People, Place, and Region

Courses in the People, Place, and Region Area of Geography encompass political, cultural, social, and economic aspects of social science. “People, Place, and Region” is a field of geography concerned with the relationships between space and society. Encompassing many foci under the heading of human geography, this field analyzes human processes vis-à-vis the physical environment and, in particular, the ways in which people assume, require, refer to, or seek particular geographical relationships.

As a broad area of emphasis, People, Place, and Region draws from other disciplines such as sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, history, urban planning, and the humanities, to name a few. Given this diversity, this area of emphasis utilizes a range of methodological approaches, using qualitative, quantitative, and participatory methods; theoretical and empirical investigations; GIS and other forms of spatial analysis.

Subfields of People, Place, and Region at UC Davis with particularly strength include cultural and historical geography, international development, political and economic geography, planning and urban design, and social geography. These subfields and the interests of associated faculty members, many of whom work in multiple subfields, are described below.

Faculty for this Area of Depth

Fullname Summary Academic Interest Department
Javier Arbona

Race, space, and memory; histories of colonialism and imperialism, particularly with relationship to urbanization and cities; critical military, security, and policing studies; experimental geography and art practices; urban, architectural, and spatial theories.

American Studies
Gwen Arnold

Environmental policy; common-pool resource theory and management; bureaucratic decision-making in resource management; hydraulic fracturing (fracking); institutional analysis; social networks

Environmental Science and Policy
Tom Beamish

Research interests and expertise includes a focus on Risks, Hazards, & Environment; Community Politics and Social Movements; Institutions, Organizations, & Economy; and Science, Technology, & Innovation Studies

Stephen Boucher

International agricultural development; Agricultural credit and insurance markets.

Agricultural and Resource Economics
Dave Campbell

Public policy and community governance; citizenship and civic engagement; non-profit and faith-related organizations; program evaluation

Human Ecology
Diana K. Davis

Environmental history, political ecology, colonialism, political economy, Middle East and North Africa, indigenous veterinary knowledge, pastoral societies and arid lands

David de la Peña

Participatory design, autonomous communities, architecture, urban design, sustainable site-planning, urban agriculture

Human Ecology
Adela de la Torre

Adela de la Torre, an agricultural economist, is the director and Professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Davis. Dr. de la Torre's publications and research primarily focus on health care access and finance issues that affect the Latino community as well as Border health issues. In addition, she has completed studies on the impact of education on occupational location of Hispanics

Natalia Deeb-Sossa

Borderlands, in-betweenness and instability, sites of boundary-making and fragmentation, but also resistance and continual reconstruction. Construction and enforcement of social membership. Contestation by immigrants of inequalities they face in their daily life. Farmworker mothers’ activism, cultural citizenship and advocacy for educational and health rights.

Chicana/o Studies
Luis Guarnizo

Economic Sociology, transnational migration, immigrant entrepreneurs, comparative international development, citizenship

Human Ecology
Erin Hamilton

Sociology, social demographics

Susan Handy

Relationships between transportation and land use, including the impact of land use on travel behavior and the impact of transportation investments on land development patterns

Environmental Science and Policy
Martin Kenney

Silicon Valley & regional development; Japanese & Korean overseas investments; Electronics industry; Biotechnology

Human Ecology
Jonathan London

Environmental justice, rural community development, participatory action research, political ecology, Central Valley

Human Ecology
Mark Lubell

Environmental policy; community-based management; social networks, human cooperation; quantitative analysis

Environmental Science and Policy
Jay R. Lund

Resource management and planning, water resources, urban geography

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Beth Middleton

North America and Caribbean. Native American community/economic development; political ecology; Federal Indian law; Native American natural resource policy; qualitative GIS; indigenous geography and cartography; Afro-indigeneity; intergenerational trauma and healing; participatory research methods; rural environmental justice; multi cultural dimensions of conservation, land use, and planning

politcal ecology
Brett Milligan

Infrastructural studies and socio-technical systems; scenario planning; industrial ecology and radically altered environments; Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; rewilding; dredge landscapes and maritime infrastructure; spatial modeling and geomatics, including the application of drones (UAVs) and photogrammetry; theory of landscape change

Human Ecology
Bettina Ng'weno

States and property in Latin America and Africa. The construction and mobilization of space with a focus on governance, categorization, citizenship, territory and movement. Social production of space and the stories and histories told about emplacement and the movement of ideas, people and things between Africa and Asia.

African and African American Studies
Patsy Eubanks Owens

Environments of children and adolescents, community participation

Human Ecology
Michael Rios

human geography, architecture, urban planning

Human Ecology
Sheryl-Ann Simpson

urban, political, cultural and health geography, comparative social planning, critical GIS and spatial analysis, immigration and social/political participation

Human Ecology
Aaron Smith

Agriculture and resource economics, econometrics, finance

Agricultural and Resource Economics
Smriti Srinivas

Urban cultures, place-making, utopias, social memory, cultures of the body and performance, religion, South Asia within a comparative context

Thomas P. Tomich

Agricultural sustainability, sustainable food systems, sustainability metrics and indicators, sustainability science; Geography emphasis includes land use and land cover change

Human Ecology
M. Anne Visser

Social inequality and equity, low wage and informal labor markets, socioeconomic integration and incorporation, public and urban policy

Human Ecology
Karen Watson-Gegeo

Anthropology, applied linguistics; qualitative and ethnographic methods; critical discourse analysis; rural development; ethnic identity; feminist research; Hawai'i, Solomon Islands, Pacific islands, South and Southeast Asia, US Native and immigrant populations

School of Education
Stephen M. Wheeler

Sustainable development; urban design; city and regional planning; land use; climate change

Human Ecology