Who I am
I am a writer, geographer, photographer, mapmaker, and father. I live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with my son Zeke.
What I do
I am an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of New Hampshire, where I have worked since 2003. Before that, I was a faculty member at the University of South Carolina and the University of Oklahoma. You can learn more about my work from my vita.
I have written two books, The American College Town (University of Massachusetts Press, 2008), and The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999). I am currently conducting research for a book about the immigration in New England tentatively entitled The Peopling of New England. A collection of maps I've created as part of that project are available here.
I teach a long list of courses: Regional Geography of the Western World, Geography of the United States and Canada, Geography of New England, Human Geography, Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Geography of Food, The Peopling of New England, and Historical Geography. I've created many maps for my classes and other purposes. They are accessible here.
I explore. I've lived in 15 states and have traveled in 48 states, seven Canadian provinces, and eight countries. I drive two-lane roads, take the business route through town, and walk around urban neighborhoods whenever I can.
I cook and bake. I have been a vegetarian since 1990 and make almost all the bread I consume. I also love to seek out hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants. My curiosity about ethnic cuisines stimulated me to create a course on the geography of food. I've created semi-selective listings of ethnic restaurants and ethnic food stores in the region for my students.
Before pursuing a career as geographer, I was a newspaper reporter, worked in the music business, and was a librarian. I wrote for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, among other newspapers. I was the first paid employee of Twin/Tone Records and also worked at Alligator and MCA Records. I was a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library and Temple University. Some of my music writing is available on Rock's Back Pages.
Things I like
Places: Montreal, Boston neighborhoods, Bunker Creek, Carrizo Plain, Center City Philadelphia, Chicoutimi, Los Angeles River, Ray Winder Field, Rittenhouse Square, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Seapoint Beach, St. Paul's Cathedral, University of Oklahoma campus, Vinalhaven, West Texas.
Movies: 35 Shots of Rum, About Ella, Ballast, Best of Youth, Boyhood, A Better Life, Chop Shop, A Christmas Tale, The Class, The Cove, Daguerreotypes, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Edge of Heaven, Frances Ha, Goodbye Solo, How I Ended This Summer, Intruder, Lion's Den, Lonely are the Brave, The Lunchbox, Machuca, Man Push Cart, Monsieur Lazhar, Mustang, Nine Queens, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Pather Panchalia, The Piroque, A Prophet, Rebels of the Neon God, A Secret, A Separation, Short Term 12, Sin Nombre, The Son, This is England, The Tunnel, The World. My ratings of movies I've watched since 2004 are available here.
Music: Courtney Barnett, Nick Cave, Vic Chesnutt, Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Al Green, Merle Haggard, P.J. Harvey, Lightning Hopkins, Mekons, M.I.A., Mountain Goats, Elliot Smith, Replacements, Stanley Brothers, Sufjan Stevens, Townes Van Zandt, Waxahatchee, Neil Young.
Books: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger; Svetlana Alexievich, Voices from Chernobyl; Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth; Mahi Binebine, Horses of God; Heinrich Boll, And Never Said a Word; Teju Cole, Every Day Is for the Thief; Richard Ford, Lay of the Land; Ernest Hebert, The Dogs of March; Peter Hessler, Country Driving; Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities; Richard Kuklick, To Everything a Season; Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; John McNamee, Diary of a City Priest; Alistair MacLeod, Island: The Complete Stories; Lisa Moore, February; Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt; Don Newmark, Chavez Ravine 1949; David Nichols, Us; James Salter, Light Years; Richard Shelton, Going Back to Bisbee; Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge; Wallace Stegner, Big Rock Candy Mountain; Haroon K. Ullah, The Bargain from the Bazaar; Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome.
Restaurants: Angelica Kitchen, Benny Tudinos, Brookline Lunch, Cafe Phare, Dante & Luigi's, The Diner, Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe, Gourmet Dumpling House, The Grit, Habesha, Istanbul'lu, KO Pies, Muqueca, MuLan, Pho Viet's, Ritu Ki Rasoi, Singh's Roti Shop, Tacos Delta, Tu Y Yo.
Sports: Boston Bruins, UNH hockey.
How to contact me
Post: Department of Geography, University of Hampshire, 102 Huddleston Hall, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824-2541.