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Michelle Rhodes

Michelle Rhodes, PhD

Associate Professor

Geography and the Environment

Abbotsford campus, A406g

Phone: 604-504-7441 ext. 4773

email Michelle


Born and raised in Lake County, Illinois, I grew up experiencing the divergent elements of life in the American Midwest: hot, muggy summers; blizzards, freezing rain, and thunderstorms; small factory towns along the highway, and growing bedroom communities on the fringes of the ever-expanding Chicago metropolitan area.

After a year at the local community college, I migrated west to Montana, where I attended the University of Montana, and earned my degree in 1995, majoring in Political Science and Geography.

A year in Portland, OR, was followed by graduate school at Simon Fraser University. I kept one foot in Montana, however, completing my MA research in Kalispell, MT, and my doctoral research in the northern Plains states and the southern Canadian Prairies.

I returned to the US, teaching Political Science and Geography at the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, MT, for two years. In 2004, I moved back to BC in order to join the Department of Geography at UFV.


PhD, Simon Fraser University, 2002

MA, Simon Fraser University, 1998

BA, University of Montana, 1995

Teaching Interests

As a generalist, I teach introductory courses in human, economic, and regional (BC, Canada, world) geography, as well as specialized courses at the third and fourth years.

These build on my teaching interests in North American western geographies--particularly as they relate to resource and economic development, tourism, national parks, and urban development, as well as my interests in political geography, environmental studies, and population.

In addition, I also co-organize and co-lead multiple study tours and Adventures in Geography field schools to Alberta, Washington, Montana, and the American Southwest.

Core Courses:

GEOG 242: Economic Geography

GEOG 311: World Resources and Environment

GEOG 323: Geography of War, Terrorism, and Peace

GEOG 362: Geography of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport

GEOG 433: Selected Regions--The American West (433H); The Great Lakes (433L); The American South (IS)

Research Interests

My research interests are centred in the geographies of regional, economic, and urban geographies of the North American West. These draw in part from my graduate work on urban-rural fringe housing in Montana (for my MA) and Western North American boundary studies (for my PhD).

Current areas of interest include: housing morphology and geographies, particularly in smaller communities and suburban areas in BC, Washington, and Montana; resource management and community development; and the meanings and mythologies of western American landscapes.

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