About Me

ranierAs a human geographer and geographic information scientist, I research social vulnerability and adaptation to global environmental change. I use geographic information systems, qualitative, participatory, and quantitative methods in my research. My research intersects with (in alphabetical order) development geography, geographic information science, human dimensions of global change, and political ecology.

I earned my bachelor of arts degree from Ithaca College in 2003, with majors in media studies, computer science, and anthropology/archeology. After graduation, I joined the U.S. Peace Corps in Tanzania to work in secondary schools as an information technology teacher, administrator, and technician. Two years of teaching and development work in Tanzania inspired me to learn more about the structural causes of poverty and environmental degradation and seek out methods to address them.

I enrolled in the geography doctoral program and NSF IGERT fellowship in geographic information science (GIScience) at the University at Buffalo, where I integrated studies of GIScience, economic geography, and ecosystem conservation/restoration. I applied my studies in an internship with the Jane Goodall Institute.  I subsequently developed dissertation research on social vulnerability and adaptation in the context of climate change on Mount Kilimanjaro, with particular interest in the social and environmental determinants of micro-scale adaptation, especially the role of social and knowledge networks.

I completed my degree September 2012 and started teaching at the University of Mary Washington, including courses in Human Geography, GIS & Cartography, and Environment & Society. The following year, I started a GIS teaching fellowship at Middlebury College and developed a new methods course, Open GIS for Developing Countries.  I have since diversified into a visiting professor role at Middlebury, teaching courses titled Place and Society, Urban Geography, Geographies of Climate Change Adaptation and Development, Geographies of Nature, Power & Society, and Human Geography of Hazards.  

If you’re a student enrolled in a course with me and you’re looking for course webpages, please go to courses.josephholler.com

My most recent projects include:

See my full Curricula Vitae.

Contact information: