Current graduate students in Geography

MA Students

Emmi Chambers

Emmi Chambers is a first-year master’s student in geography at UNL. She is still shaping her research interests but is particularly interested in studying strategies for climate change adaptation in Midwestern cities. Emmi received her undergraduate degree from Illinois State University in Environmental Systems Science and Sustainability with minors in Geography and Economics. Prior to attending UNL, she spent a year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA working to support basic needs security for students at a community college in the Chicago suburbs. She hopes to build off her experiences in AmeriCorps while at UNL to investigate ways communities can live sustainably with their environment.

Colby Woodson

Colby Woodson received a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2022. While at UNL, he reported for Nebraska News Service, the statewide newswire for the College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reports included topics such as corporate influence, pesticide use and rural development. As an undergraduate, he interned with the university's Department of Sociology, researching people's perception of community and its relationship to COVID-19 risk behaviors. His current focus is Development Geography and the use Geographic Information Systems to analyze regional growth. Colby is a first-year master’s student in geography at UNL.

PhD Students

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.

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.

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."

Alex Mohr

As a 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.

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.