Since joining the faculty in 2006, Linda Beck has developed several new courses that reflect her research interests, such as Political Activism and Advocacy in which students work on a service-learning project with one of Maine's many non-profit organizations. Linda has herself conducted research on social accountability in both Africa and Asia. She has also worked with Maine's environmental community, serving as president of the Maine Conservation Alliance. Her work on environmental issues in the US and overseas informs her newly developed course, Environmental Politics in Comparative Perspective. Linda has published various articles, chapters in edited volumes and a book on ethno-politics and democratization in Senegal (W. Africa), and has conducted research for various deveopment organizations such as the US Agency for International Development, the World Bank, Freedom House, and the International Budget Project.
Cathleen McAnneny’s research interests have focused on the effects of the physical and social environments on health. As of late the issue of access to health care in rural areas is a focus and in particular access to oral health care. Recently she has established a partnership with the Maine Dental Access Coalition and is a member of the Rural Health Care Round Table. Dr. McAnneny has also looked at the impacts of paper mills on their local communities. Along with her interests in health and health care, Cathleen has worked with the Six Campus GIS Curriculum Consortium on pedagogical challenges in teaching GIS including the role of misconceptions in students’ struggle with the material. The results of these efforts have been 22 presentations at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers and the International Geographic Union and the International Medical Geography Symposium.
Brad Dearden maintains interests in urbanization, development and the global economy, with regional specialties in Asia and Latin America. Jointly with UMF students, Brad initiated a fertility study in a Mayan community in Guatemala and works with several development organizations there. Brad has also researched urbanization and environmental processes in Islamic cities, and, using visual forms, assessed globalization processes in cities of developing regions. He is currently studying mental health and high suicide rates among women of reproductive age in Nepal. He completed a faculty exchange program at Beijing University of Technology and has participated in the Foreign Policy Speaker series sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council. Brad serves on the International and Global Studies Council at UMF, and is a member of the Asian and Latin American specialty groups of the Association of American Geographers.
Matt McCourt is a cultural geographer with a background in GIS and community planning. He teaches courses on landscape, planning, GIS, geographic concepts and globalization. Matt's current research with the UMF/Rangeley Sustainability Project (funded by the Maine Sustainability Solutions Initiative) involves working with students and community partners to understand how people take care of their local economies, cultures and ecological communities. Matt and his students use surveys and participatory mapping techniques in the field, create beautiful web and paper maps with GIS, programming tools and graphics applications, and present their research at regional and national conferences. Matt is also working on a book project applying active learning strategies to the study of North American landscapes.