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.
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.
Luke Kellett is a broadly trained professional archaeologist who has done fieldwork in the US Southwest and the Andean region of South America. As an anthropological archaeologist he is interested in the long-term interactions between humans, landscapes and the environment especially during periods of climate change. He has worked in museum and contract archaeology settings, as well as an archaeologist for the US Forest Service. Since 2002 he has conducted archaeological research in the Andahuaylas region of highland Peru where he is investigating the settlement ecology of the Chanka ethnic group during a period of drought and social upheaval (AD 1000-1400). Luke teaches several courses in the Culture, Meaning and Society (Anthropology) and Geography Programs and has led UMF travel courses to Peru and Newfoundland, Canada. He is also works as UMF's sustainability coordinator and loves to ski, hike, climb and travel internationally.