Recap of Fall 2023 Center for Community Geography Events and Plans for Spring 2024


Rio Grande High School Students outside Popejoy Hall on GIS Day- November 15, 2023


Fall 2023 Recap:

The R.H. Mallory Center for Community Geography had a busy and successful fall 2023 semester. In August the center welcomed two new undergraduate fellows, Will Tatman and Taressa Nield, who are both Geography and Environmental Studies majors at UNM. The center also added a new graduate assistant, Olivia Kelly, who is a Master’s student in GES. Throughout the fall semester, Taressa and Will worked with Mari Simbaña from the Cultivating Bernalillo County Grow the Growers Program to address food accessibility in the International District following the closure of the Walmart at San Mateo Blvd. and Central Ave. This partnership is focused on community mapping for foodshed awareness and planning. For her fellowship project, Taressa focused on creating a map in ArcGIS with layers that showed community gardens, food distribution centers, stores that accept SNAP/EBT benefits, and open/vacant lots that could be developed to enhance food accessibility. Will attended community potlucks throughout the semester and focused on trying to understand the needs of the International District community and develop ways to fill those needs as he continues his fellowship in the spring of 2024. Taressa has concluded her fellowship with the center and graduated in December!

In November the Center for Community Geography partnered with the GES department and the Student Association of Geography & Environmental Studies (SAGES) to host an event for GIS Day that included a film screening, tech demos, lightning talks by current students and alumni, and a poster competition that was judged by the 90+ visiting Rio Grande High School Students that the center hosted for the day. During Geography Awareness Week, we also hosted AP Human Geography and AP Environmental Science students from Atrisco Heritage Academy along with their teacher and GES alum, Jordy Hicks to meet with GES faculty for a discussion about climate migration and city planning/design for a warmer climate future. In December we welcomed three new Faculty affiliates: Dr. Claudia Pratesi, Assistant Professor in the College of Population Health; Gwyneth Doland, Professor of Practice in the Department of Communication & Journalism; and Dr. Joe Garcia, Adjunct Faculty in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department.

Spring 2024 Plans:

The Center for Community Geography’s Associate Director, Dr. Miriam Gay-Antaki will be taking over as Interim Director for the spring 2024 semester. We have several events and partnerships planned for the spring, including sponsorship of events for the 100th anniversary of the Gila Wilderness, participation in UNM’s annual Spring Teaching Conference, and planning of Community Engagement Week events. As we have done for the last several years, the Center for Community Geography will serve as the UNM campus coordinator for City Nature Challenge 2023. We will also open applications for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 fellowships as well as faculty funding awards that are part of our Classroom Fund for Community Engagement. Be sure to follow @nmcommunitygeog on Instagram to see our work in real time.