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Dr. Chris  Laingen

Dr. Chris Laingen

Assistant Professor, Geography

Office: 3065 - PHYS
Phone: 217-581-2999
Email: crlaingen@eiu.edu


Chris Laingen's Vita

My research interests are at the intersection of how human and natural systems affect the American rural and agricultural landscape.  Much of my work has focused upon the changing agricultural land use of the northwestern Corn Belt, specifically in the Dakotas, along with how those LULC changes affect environmental goods and services.  More broadly, I am interested in defining - in simple terms - what some of the coupled human and natural socio-economic drivers are that have caused, are causing, and will continue to cause change on the rural landscape.  These include shifts in climate, technology, trade, and economics.

My scholarship and teaching are inseparable.  In my opinion, it is not possible to be a scholar without wanting to teach, and teaching that is not based on scholarship often has a highly scripted, hand-me-down appearance.  My goal is to stress quality over quantity.  My job is not to make sure I get through each page of a 23-chapter textbook.  My job is to take the most important ideas and make sure students are able to think critically about each one, and to help students to think for themselves, rather than trying to convince them of the preferability of one particular position or another.  Environmental topics often have many complex, interconnected themes, where a single answer may not satisfy the problem.  Often, questions lead to more questions instead of answers, and it is important to assure students that an acceptable answer might be, “I’m not sure, but I will continue to ask questions.”

On campus, I am affiliated with:
Department of Geology and Geography
Center for Clean Energy, Research, and Education (CENCERE)
GIScience Center

Co-host, with Cameron Craig of WEIU-TV's "Illinois' Skies"
Four episodes per year, beginning March 2014

Frequently Taught Courses

ESC 1400G - Weather and Climate
ESC 1500G - Introduction to Physical Geography
GEG 3000 - Geography of Illinois (online only)
GEG 3025 - Regional Geography of the U.S. and Canada
GEG 3310 - Introduction to Biogeography
GEG 3320 - Natural Resource Conservation
GEG 3330 - Agricultural Geography
EIU 4101G - Senior Seminar, Spaceship Earth
CERE 5983 - Sustainability Practicum

Education

PhD, Geography - Kansas State University (2009)
MS, Geography - South Dakota State University (2003)
BS, Geography, minor in GIScience - South Dakota State University (2001)

Professional Organizations

Association of American Geographers
West Lakes Region of the AAG
American Geographical Society
National Council for Geographic Education
Applied Geography Conferences
Midwest History Working Group

Research

Coupled Humand and Natural Systems
Rural and Agricultural Geography (Midwest/Great Plains)
Socioeconomic Drivers of LULC Change
Land Use and Upland Bird Populations
Agriculture and Sustainability
Dynamics Between Agriculture and Conservation

Publications

2014. Auch, R.F., and C.R. Laingen. Having it Both Ways?: Land Use Change in a U.S. Midwestern Agricultural Ecoregion. The Professional Geographer. In Press.

2014. Laingen, C.R. A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words: Changing Agricultural Landscapes of the Dakotas. FOCUS on Geography.  In Press.

2013. Auch, R.F., C.R. Laingen, M.A. Drummond, K.L. Sayler, R.R. Reker, M.A. Bouchard, and J.J. Danielson. Land Use and Land Cover Change in Three Corn Belt Ecoregions. FOCUS on Geography 56(4): 135-143.

2013. Laingen, C.R. A Geo-Temporal Analysis of the Conservation Reserve Program: Net vs. Gross Change, 1986 to 2013. Papers in Applied Geography 36: 37-46.

2013. Laingen, C.R., and L.M.B. Harrington. "Agricultural Geography." In Oxford Bibliographies in Geography. Edited by Barney Warf. New York: Oxford University Press.

2012. Laingen, C.R. Delinieating the 2007 Corn Belt Region. Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences 35: 174-182.

2011. Laingen, C.R. A Picture is Worth 972 Words: The Old, Red Barn. FOCUS on Geography 54(3): 111-112.

2011. Laingen, C.R., and C.D. Craig. Adding Another Notch to America's Corn Belt. FOCUS on Geography 54(2): 60-69.

2011. Laingen, C.R. Historic and Contemporary Trends of the Conservation Reserve Program and Ring-Necked Pheasants in South Dakota. Great Plains Research 21: 95-103.

2008. Laingen, C.R. How Human and Natural Driving Forces Affect Pheasants and Pheasant Hunting in South Daktoa. FOCUS on Geography 51(3): 23-31.

2008. Napton, D.E., and C.R. Laingen. The Expansion of Golf Courses in the United States. The Geographical Review 98(1): 24-41.

2005. Laingen, C.R., and S. Van Aartsen. Repairing Midwest Storm Sewers. Geospatial Solutions 15(8): 28.

2002. Laingen, C.R. Fossils on the Prairie: Abandoned Farmsteads in Southwestern Minnesota. The Geographical Bulletin 44(1): 10-20.

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