Since finishing my studies on Bogue Street in East Lansing, I’ve made a bittersweet departure for Canada to begin PhD work at the University of Toronto. Bitter, because I have left the academic community of MSU that is dear to me, and sweet, because my affiliation with MSU Geography is a proud reminder of an outstanding academic lineage that follows me. I was recently reminded of how close, in fact, I still am to MSU while lunching with Dr. Catherine Yansa and PhD candidate Albert Fulton at a UT soils lab.
My course work here is moving along swiftly, and I hope to take comprehensive exams in October of this year. Building on research that I conducted in Kazakhstan while at MSU Geography, for a dissertation project I am beginning to design a research plan that explores the complex spatial dimensions and legacies of the Soviet (now Russian) space program and Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. With luck, I will head out for field research beginning in the summer of 2015—when weather in Central Asia allows for expedient travel. Though, I have been known to spend a winter or two in the southern reaches of Siberia—it’s not impossible!