AGS Council Fellowship 2014 Winners

The AGS Council Fellowship was created in 2013 to support AGS student members in their pursuit of geographical knowledge and is worth $1,000.00.  

AGS announced the recipients of the first American Geographical Society Council Fellowship to support student research. Oliver H. Wigmore, a Ph.D student at the Ohio State University and Sara N. Hughes, a Ph.D student and political geographer at the University of California, were selected from a highly competitive field of applicants.

Oliver H. Wigmore is part of a Glacier Environmental group. Dr. Bryan Mark is his supervisor. He earned his B.A. in Anthropology and a B.S. in Geography from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.  Since coming to OSU for Graudate School he has conducted field research in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. His dissertation research combines field hydrology, satellite remote sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to identify drivers and quantify spatial and temporal variability in soil moisture storage in the pro-glacial valleys and wetlands of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Funds from the American Geographical Society’s Council Fellowship will be used to purchase components for the development of a multi-rotor UAV capable of operating at 4,000 to 5,500 meters above sea level in the Andes and collect high resolution multispectral imagery. This platform will be used to map surface soil moisture, land cover and glacier surfaces and to generate digital elevation models at centimeter resolution across the study sites. Oliver expects to complete his dissertation in 2015.

Sara N. Hughes is a Ph. D. student and political geographer at the University of California, Los Angeles where Dr. John Agnew is her advisor. She will use the money towards three months of dissertation fieldwork this summer in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. The project explores why Israelis, many of them recent immigrants from the United States, would choose to live in a military-occupied area because of a sense of community and security. She hopes to address how residents are defining danger, safety, and community. Sarah Hughes earned her B.A. in Arabic in 2009 at UCLA. She then earned a M.A. in International Studies at the University of San Francisco in 2011. In 2013 she received a FLAS Summer Fellowship to study Hebrew. She expects to complete her dissertation at UCLA by 2016.

“True to our roots in geographical exploration and discovery, the members of the AGS Council selected projects that reflect the changing nature of our world…the research projects we selected are important and what we learn from the results will have real-world applications”, said Dr. Marie Price, Chair of the Department of Geography at George Washington University and Chair of the AGS Council Fellowship Selection Committee.