The Resources and Community Research Group made a strong showing at the recent AAG annual meeting in Washington, DC. Five members presented their research on diverse topics:
PhD candidate Kelli Roemer won the RGSG Student Poster Competition for her poster entitled “Exploring rural resilience pathways for transitioning coal communities in the U.S. West” (abstract here). This research uses community resilience and transition theory framework to investigate characteristics and processes that encourage or limit community-level transition planning in the context of U.S. communities impacted by a coal-fired power plant closure.
PhD student Katie Epstein’s paper, “(Re)assembling rangelands” (abstract here), explores how high net worth landowners have become highly influential actors in the contested sustainability transitions playing out in rural places.
Graduate student Jackson Rose and MSU professor Julia Haggerty presented a poster entitled “Resource Communities and Community Benefit Agreements: Securing Long-Term Benefits From Short-Term Extractive Projects” (abstract here). The poster reports on work to support a rural community (White Sulphur Springs in Central Montana) as it tries to navigate the negotiation of a Community Benefit Agreement with an international mining company.
PhD candidate Katie Bills Walsh presented the paper “I’d do it again in a heartbeat: Coalbed methane development and satisfied surface owners in Sheridan County, Wyoming” (abstract here). This work investigates the phenomenon of landowner acceptance and satisfaction with development, specifically among a group of split estate surface owners who hosted coalbed methane development (CBM) during the 1998–2008 CBM rush in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
“Taking the road less traveled: The work of roads in energy impact geographies” (abstract here), a paper by PhD candidate Kristin K. Smith and MSU professor Julia Haggerty, explores the ambiguous effects of extensive investment in road infrastructure related to the Bakken shale play in western North Dakota and eastern Montana.
Julia Haggerty & Adrianne Kroepsch (Colorado School of Mines) shared the Professional Geographer award from the AAG's Energy & Environment Specialty Group for their paper “Geographies of Impact and the Impacts of Geography: Unconventional Oil and Gas in the American West” (paper here).