Research Areas

  • Economic geography, theories of regional differentiation, sustainable development, regional development policies and restructuring in non-central regions, particularly in the Russian and Canadian North; resource and knowledge-based economies in peripheral regions, spatial determinants of economic marginality;
  • Sustainable development, impacts of environmental and social chage on Arctic communities, socila indicators, community-based monitoring
  • Geographic Information Science and statistical techniques for advanced spatial analysis, application of GIS in social sciences and economics, socio-economic determinants of land use-land cover change, precision agriculture, urban remote  sensing;
  • Spatial population analysis, demoeconomic and migration models; factors of population dynamics, population cartography

Regional Interests

  • Russia, Canada, The Arctic, Midwest

Research projects

Externally funded research projects (current)

  • NSF Grant [PI] “RCN-SEES Arctic-FROST: Arctic Frontiers Of SusTainability: Resources, Societies, Environments and Development in the Changing North,” 2013-2018
  • NSF Grant [Co-PI] “REU Site: The Interdisciplinary Research Experience in Hyperspectral Imaging (IDRESHI),” 2012-2015
  • National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER) [Co-PI] “Census Atlas of Russia 2010, 2012-2015
  • SSHRC/ReSDA [Lead] “Resource Development Impact Indicators Gap Analysis,” 2012-2013
  • SSHRC/ReSDA [Co-lead]: “Inuvialuit Region Baseline Indicators project”, 2011-2014
  • NSF Grant [PI] “Creative Arctic: Creative Capital for Economic Development in the  Arctic (A Spatial Analysis)” 2009-2013
  • NSF Grant [Co-PI] “Acquisition of a Hyperspectral Imaging System (HIS) for Multidisciplinary Research” 2010-2012
  •  NSF Grant [SP] “EPSCoR: Harnessing Energy Flows in the Biosphere to Build Sustainable Energy Systems” 2011-2016
  • NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium [PD] “Enhancing Remote Sensing Education in Iowa” 2010-2012
  •  SSHRC [Co-I] “Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA)” 2011-2018

Research Teams

  • NSF EPSCOR-UNI-Wind Team: Tesfay Russell, Jordan Wessling*
  • ARCSES Team: Philip Cavin, Matt Cooney, Susan Meerdink*
  • Creative Arctic Team: Philip Cavin, Brian VanDrasek
  • TREC: Taimyr Reindeer Team: Anna Pestrereva, Susan Meerdink*
  • Arctic Fires Exploratory Study (AFES) Team: Jonathon Launspach, Kevin Jaque*
  • DACART/Urban LiDAR Team: Philip Cavin, Robert Stephens
  • Iowa agriculture Team: Hannah Overton, Susan Meerdink*, Bernard Conrad*