New Assistant Professor Dr. Jessica Dempsey


The Department of Geography is excited to have Dr. Jessica Dempsey join us as Assistant Professor starting January 2016! Dr. Dempsey is also a UBC Geography alumna, having completed her MA in 2005 and PhD in 2011. She writes:

“I am delighted to return to UBC Geography in January, the institutional home of my graduate training (MA 2005, PhD 2011). My research and teaching focus on environmental politics of all shapes and sizes. For the last three years I’ve been fortunate to work with the students and faculty at the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria as an Assistant Professor. More broadly, I’ve spent the last 15 years working with various environmental and social justice organizations, mostly focused around biodiversity conservation.

Through this work and my research I have learned that confronting deeply entrenched socioecological injustices is never simple. We face known, urgent problems – biodiversity loss, drought, poverty, ongoing dispossessions, gendered and racialized violences, climate change – but diagnosing the causes of these problems, and understanding the relationships between them, is complex and always political. These challenges only increase when one attempts to build collective understandings of these problems, meaning understandings that can lead to political, economic and cultural changes across deeply fractured people, institutions and geographies.

There is no shortage of work to be done, of both the thinking and doing varieties. I look forward to grappling with our contemporary situation with the students and faculty at UBC Geography – alongside many cold and hot beverages!”

Photo by Susie Mrazek