Current graduate students in Geography

PhD Students

Alex Mohr

As a pre-doctoral student in geography at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Alex Mohr is pursuing a third career. Alex first earned an A.S. in zookeeping while working as a school theater tech and then enjoyed a career as a zookeeper. Next, Alex pursued an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Nebraska-Omaha while working as a lab technician. Geography having provided a natural convergence of varied interests; Alex went on to earn an M.A. at UNO as well. In all careers, there was some element of teaching, whether it was in Zoo Camp, training employees, being a teaching assistant in both geography and geology, or as an adjunct teaching World Regional Geography. This is where Alex wants to focus: getting students interested in learning more about cultural and regional geography, human environmental geography, and how everything relates to everything.

Jim Benes

Jim Benes is a PhD student under the direction of Dr. Paul Hanson and human-environment relations are what he finds most compelling. For his master’s research, he focused on Quaternary paleoecology and fire history in alpine environments derived from lake sediment cores. While his doctoral research is still taking shape, he aims to find out more about fire history and related ecological and human interactions in Nebraska and the Great Plains. He is drawn to the complexity surrounding climate change and the human relations regarding adaptation strategies, both past and present.

Iksoon Choi

Iksoon Choi received a bachelor's degree in Russian from the Korean Military Academy in 1991 and served in the Korean military for around 30 years until June 2019. He worked in the department that developing and maintaining the IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) collection systems for a large part of his military life. After that, from Aug 2019 to June 2021, he studied the MBA at Bellevue University in Nebraska.

"Geography is a subject that I have been wanting to study for a long time. Most of the work I did in the military had something to do with geography. The fields I am interested in are GIS and Remote Sensing. Especially I am interested in change detection in geospatial, such as modeling that can intuitively recognize changes in the AOI (Area of Interest) by effectively merging the information obtained from the imagery collecting system into legacy data."

Heather Bloom

Heather Bloom is a first-year Ph.D. student in Geography at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Bloom graduated from UNL with a Bachelor of Science degree in Textiles, Clothing and Design and News-Editorial Journalism. In completing a Master of Arts in Journalism from UNL, the thesis, “The Ignored Disease: The AIDS Epidemic 1981-1987” (2003) focused on the response of the Reagan Administration, The New York Times and the Omaha World-Herald to the AIDS crisis. For a Master of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the thesis "Alternative Methods for Identifying Groups of Neighborhoods to Support the Development of Alliances in Omaha, Nebraska" (2005) focused on statistical methods and physical geography to group neighborhood associations into neighborhood alliances to create stronger political organizations.

Bloom previously worked at the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and most recently on the 2020 Census, analyzing data and increasing participation in low-response census tracts in Omaha and rural Nebraska. Bloom's focus is on urban geography, land-use planning, and geographic disparities in race, ethnicity, gender, and social class.

Kwang Yoo

Kwang il Yoo (Jason) is a Ph.D. student in the Geography department. He earned his master’s degree in Geographic Information Science and bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. He is passionate about geo-visualization. Especially, he creates web-maps for environmental, human, and medical-related topics to let ordinary people easily access and understand the complex dataset. He was also involved in the Covid-19 Open Visualization (COViz) project that aims to combine traditional cartographic principles with innovative map forms and easy-to-use animation/interaction components. He is excited to continue to research geo-visualization in different topics. In the future, he hopes to work on projects that inspire people with innovative and brilliant maps.