Energy development and use, climate change, human and environmental security. How do we, or for how long can we, keep living as we do without creating environmental insecurity for ourselves and for future generations? How will changes in climate and environment impact our everyday lives and places where we live? Can we reconcile current energy development and use with impending climate transformations locally, regionally or globally?
The 21st century is the century of the city. Over half of the world’s population resides in urban places, a number which increases annually. How do we create, maintain and transform nature in our cities? What factors–cultural, environmental, or economic–determine what we pay attention to in different kinds of urban settings? How can systems-oriented study of urban ecology inform urban sustainability for the long term?
The Russian Far East and North extend from Russia’s southern border with China to the Arctic. This is the least developed of Russia’s seven federal regions and, arguably, houses the richest biological, mineralogical and hydrocarbon diversity in Russia. Resource development within and near urban hubs, mostly created during the Soviet Union, transform the human and environmental landscapes of this vast region. Expansion of resource extraction into Russia’s Arctic and sub-Arctic regions continues to expand in the post-Soviet era, with high hopes that this peripheral region will become central to Russia’s continued hydrocarbon-based economic growth. What will happen to this region’s urban centers with the expansion of resource extraction? How will human and environmental (in)securities change due to climate transformations in the Arctic? How will traditional people and their cultures, as well as Soviet-era newcomers, adapt to changing socioeconomic and biophysical environments?
These three distinct, yet interrelated, realms compose the general arenas for questions I ask a geographer. I integrate theory and methods from multiple disciplines to inform my inquiry, which is problem-based, done with communities and often inter- or transdisciplinary.