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Welcome to the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning's weekly newsletter your source for everything that is helping to put us "on the map."
August 28, 2020

Nelson steps down as school director – New interim and deputy director named

For the last four years, the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning has flourished under the leadership of Trisalyn Nelson. Under her direction, our school has created new pathways of learning, expanded internship opportunities for students, bridged divides between disciplines, developed a growing cadre of faculty, fostered new research centers, formed new community partnerships and cemented our school as a national and international leader for research and education. Earlier this month, it was announced to faculty and staff that Nelson would be stepping down from her helm as the director of our school.  

“We want to thank Director Trisalyn Nelson for all her hard work and tremendous service as your director these past four years,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in his announcement. “Director Nelson has worked tirelessly to advance your school and there are a number of indicators pointing to the strong success and standing of your school under her leadership. We are grateful to her and look forward to her many contributions as a faculty member.”  

This week, the transition plan was announced which included two familiar names for our community. Elizabeth “Libby” Wentz, who has been a member of the school faculty since 1997 and previously held the position of school director from 2013-2015, will be stepping back into the role as interim director for the school. Wentz will continue to also hold her current position of vice provost and dean of ASU’s Graduate College while still helping our school through this transition. To assist in the day-to-day operations of the school, a deputy director has also been chosen. Kelli Larson has been selected to serve in this role. Larson has been a faculty member of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning since 2005, and also serves as faculty for the School of Sustainability. 

Please join us in thanking Trisalyn for her years of service to our school as director, and please join us in welcoming our new interim leadership team. 

ASU research examines how university-community engagement can improve neighborhoods 

In the early 1990s, Duke University did not have a favorable reputation with its surrounding neighborhoods. While Duke’s elite academic reputation was rising, it was mismatched by the economic decline of Durham, North Carolina, a city reliant on a collapsed tobacco and textile industry. 

Researchers have long understood that the health of an anchor institution - universities, hospitals and other enduring organizations - is intimately tied to the health of their immediate surrounding neighborhoods, but exactly how anchor institutions choose to engage with and invest in their communities varies, and while good-intentioned, these actions can have negative consequences.  

Meagan Ehlenz, assistant professor in the School of Geographical Science and Urban Planning, recently published research that explores new insights into how universities can engage their communities to ensure strong relationships and investments with mutually beneficial outcomes. Read more. 

SGSUP hosts first colloquium series of the semester: Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race

Throughout the 20th century, people have experienced and asserted their social identities through the ways they move. This presentation discusses how elites and everyday people in the California Inland Empire--a semi-rural region and gateway with far reaching networks-- have come together and conflicted over spatial mobility, including practices that allow some people to move freely while placing limits on the mobility of others: from bicycle ordinances, to immigration policy, to traffic checkpoints.

Drawing on a decade of research in regional archives and work in the public humanities, this research looks to the multiracial histories of the region to ask how communities of color have negotiated their positions within these power systems. Drawing on stories of power and resistance from her book Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race (UC Press, 2019), Genevieve Carpio, UCLA, highlights the importance of spatial transformations that emphasize the right to mobility.

SGSUP Colloquium with Genevieve Carpio, UCLA: “Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race”.
Mon. August 31, 2020 | Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Zoom Link: 

More info.  

In the News

Ashley Broadbent & Matei Georgescu
Randy Cerveny  David Hondula

SGSUP Events
Interested in keeping up-to-date on events taking place at SGSUP? Not only can you manage your calendar here in our newsletter, but be sure to bookmark our event calendar on our website: It is where you can also find an archive of our past events.

Arizona chapter of the American Planning Association Annual Conference 
The annual conference for the Arizona chapter of the American Planning Association has gone virtual! Join AZ APA for their conference on September 9-11th. Deirdre Pfeiffer, MUEP program director, and Eileen Baden, MUEP program coordinator, will be speaking at one of the conference sessions on getting students involved in planning projects!  Find out more about the AZ APA conference here.

School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning Colloquium Series

SGSUP Colloquium with Danica Schaffer-Smith, Arizona State University's Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and The Nature Conservancy: “Repeated hurricanes reveal risks and opportunities for social-ecological resilience to flooding and water quality problems”.
September 14, 2020 | Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Zoom Link:

Full listing of events

Finding internships around the country
Are you interested in internships outside Arizona? On our internships web page, scroll down past the current listings, to the list of resources for geography, GIS and planning students. You’ll see links to numerous sites with nationwide listings. For example –
  • Association of American Geographers Jobs - To see internships around the country, enter 'intern' in Search field. All 8 listed currently are GIS – but that’s not always the case!
  • Environmental Stewards - The Environmental Stewards (ES) Program is a program of Conservation Legacy. Stewards are placed with state and federal agencies and non-profits focused on the environment, in 10-week to year-long positions in the Southwest and Southeast United States. Positions are paid and eligible for post-service education grant.
  • The Nelson Institute: Environmental Jobs – Environmental internships and jobs, with a focus on the US Midwest and Mountain West
  • - Portal for 3 federal programs:  AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). Part-time and full-time positions serve US communities in areas ranging from community development to conservation.  Stipend and education grant / loan repayment offered.

New Grads:  AmeriCorps Vista Opportunities in Arizona Communities
Are you a new graduate who would like to help fight poverty through community development? Each year the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits sponsors about 20 AmeriCorps VISTA positions that focus on this objective. These are 1-year positions that could start as early as October, but with the flexibility to start later. Benefits include: living allowance, relocation allowance, end-of-service financial award, professional development training, and non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs. Below are 4 positions that are currently open. 


Planning Intern, City of Tempe, AZ
The City of Tempe’s Planning Division is offering one internship position this fall. The intern will learn and gain experience while contributing to the operations and processes of the Planning Division at large. Interns are required to work a consistent schedule of 12-15 hrs, in the office on Fridays, but with some remote work an option. Can earn 3-5 credits in PUP 484 or 584. Internship is unpaid, but past interns have an excellent track record for planning employment! Apply by Sun Sept 6. More info
Planning Intern, Town of Queen Creek. AZ
This competitive internship offers the opportunity for a current undergraduate or graduate student to gain diverse professional planning experience, ranging from code amendment research to planning application review and much more. Intern will work a set schedule that can range from 10 to 20 hours per week, through end of 2020 with opportunity for extension. $15 - $20/hr. Work will be done in the town’s office with adherence to COVID-19 guidance issued by ADHS.  Once the intern is able to work with minimal supervision, there may be an opportunity to work remotely. Past interns have a high success rate for planning employment after the internship! Apply by Fri Sept 18. Two faculty reference letters required. More info
Regional Analytics/GIS/Data Intern, Maricopa Association of Governments – Phoenix, AZ
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is accepting resumes for a paid internship with the Regional Analytics Division. This intern will assist with data collection, development, maintenance, and analysis utilizing Excel, Access, and GIS software. The ideal candidate will be a current student who is research oriented, have spreadsheet/database skills and be familiar with GIS concepts.  Experience working with Microsoft Excel is required. More info
Census 2020 Staff, US Census Bureau – Temporary, part-time positions nationwide
The US Census Bureau has resumed field operations after developing new operations in order to comply with CDC and other public health guidance. Open positions are 20-30 hours/week. Census follow-up work is underway through most of the country. Rate of pay varies by location but starts at $16.00/hr plus reimbursement for mileage and expenses, where applicable. More info

To review previous internship & part-time postings that are still current, as well as other internship resources, see
0-2 Years of experience
Soil Conservation Technician, US Dept. of Agriculture – Aztec, NM  (Apply by 9/1)
Planner, Maricopa County – Phoenix, AZ (Apply by 9/7)
Planner I, Town of Parker – Parker, CO
Water Resource Specialist I, Arizona Department of Water Resources – Phoenix, AZ
Planner I, Town of Queen Creek – Queen Creek, AZ  (Apply by 9/10)

2+ Years of experience 
Environmental Planner, WRA, Inc. – San Rafael, CA
Water Resource Specialist III, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Arizona  – Phoenix, AZ
GIS Analyst, Corona Environmental Consulting – Rockland, MA
Neighborhood Revitalizaton Planner, Tulsa Planning Office – Tulsa, OK
Planner III, Arizona State Land Department – Phoenix, AZ

To review additional full-time postings that are still current, as well as other relevant job websitessee

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SGSUP web site

ON THE MAP is presented by ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Do you have an event or announcement to include in the next edition of On the Map? Please email announcements to Megan Martin by 5 p.m. Wednesday for distribution the following Friday. 

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ASU School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning · 975 S. Myrtle Ave · 5th Floor · Tempe, AZ 85287 · USA

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