Chair's Column


Chair's Welcome for the Fall 2013 Semester

Dear students and colleagues,

Welcome to the new semester, to fall 2013. I hope that all of you had a successful summer and that you and are ready for the challenges ahead. There are, as always, exciting happenings at Hunter Geography. We have a new Assistant Professor on board this semester, Carsten Kessler, who works in the fields of participatory GIS, information integration/data mining, linked data, semantic technology, and geospatial analysis. I hope that as many of you as possible get to meet and take a course with him. There are many new changes for the Geography major curriculum (, and possible upcoming changes for Environmental Studies majors as well. Students who have declared Geography as a major prior to this summer have the choice of meeting either the old or new requirements. Please speak to an advisor to discuss this issue.

These changes arrive on top of the new CUNY-wide initiatives, including Pathways (CCCR here at Hunter) and CUNYFIRST. Thus, this semester and entire year will pose some new challenges in addition to the usual ones.

I would like to point out that we have a new occasional series on our website entitled "Alumni Focus" ( featuring stories about some of our alumni and where they have gone in their careers. Currently on view are articles about Lynn Seirup, MA 2004, and Patricia Hackbarth, MA 2009.  I urge you to read these short pieces because both have gone on to fascinating endeavors as a result of their experiences at Hunter Geography.

Many of the faculty in our department do interesting and important work as well. The latest example is the contribution by Geography Professor Sean Ahearn and Ph.D. Candidate Gordon Green to a recent map/web based application on The New York Times web site examining how the years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration have reshaped New York City's landscape (

I wish you all the best of luck in the upcoming year, and I look forward to meeting as many new students as possible, and to seeing all my returning friends.

Allan Frei
Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, Hunter College