2014 Fellows

James Dietrich

Mentors: Frank Magilligan, Geography; Brian Dade, Earth Sciences

James is a geographer pioneering the use of high-resolution 3D mapping techniques in order to better examine how landscapes change over time. His primary interests are in using 3D data to analyze rivers and riverscape change, specifically, the evolution of rivers after stream restoration and dam removal projects.  James uses a variety of remote sensing (satellite, aerial, and ground-based photography) and computer-based mapping (Geographic Information Science) tools to do a majority of his research. He also enjoys developing and constructing innovative, open-source instruments for data collection, and developing new methods for data analysis. As a Neukom Fellow, James has been continuing to improve the integration of 3D data collection into large-scale river restoration monitoring programs, developing tools to create time-lapse 3D surface models of moving objects such as water and lava flows, and is using his 3D techniques for projects in archeology and digital humanities.

You can follow James' research on his blog.

Recent Publications


  • Winter 2015: Environmental Applications of GIS (GEOG59 / EARS77)
  • Winter 2016(tentative): GEO.coding, an introduction to scientific computing for geography and earth science

Joe DiGrazia

Mentors: Marc Dixon, Sociology; Brendan Nyhan, Government

Joe is a sociologist whose work focuses on applying computational methods and novel data sources to the study of social movements, political behavior, and political beliefs. His current projects include studies examining the emergence and spread of political conspiracy theories as well as the mobilization and policy impact of social movements. His work brings together a variety of computational methods and data sources, including web scraping and the analysis of large-scale data generated by Internet users such as social media content and aggregate Internet search data. Additionally, he is working on a methodological project with colleagues at Indiana University using graph theory to analyze social science sequence data. In addition to his research, he has taught Introduction to Political Sociology (Socy 21) in the Department of Sociology.

Media coverage

Alice Doughty

Mentors: Meredith Kelly, Earth Sciences; Mary Albert, Thayer

Alice traveled to the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda in January, 2015, to assist a PhD student collecting rock samples and dating glacial retreat since the last ice age (~20,000 years ago).  The present-day Rwenzori glaciers are located only 40 km north of the Equator and, today, are restricted to high elevations (>4800 m) where the air temperature is cold, but during the last ice age, the air everywhere was cooler and glaciers flowed farther down valley.  Alice is modeling past ice extent to estimate temperature changes from today, and preliminary results suggest a 6 deg C cooling for Rwenzori glaciers to reach their ice age extent, identical to the cooling estimated from mountain glacier change in the middle latitudes of the northern and southern hemispheres.  Comparing the timing and magnitude of glacier fluctuations in different parts of the world with changes in the amount of solar radiation received has allowed Alice to challenge the leading theory of what causes ice ages.   

EARS 15: Earth's Climate: Past, Present and Future (W15, W16)


  • Comer Science Meeting, Wisconsin, Oct. 2014
  • Northeast Geological Society of America, New Hampshire, March, 2015
  • New England Glaciology Meeting, Massachusetts, April, 2015
  • International Quaternary Association, Nagoya, Japan, July, 2015
  • Tropical Precipitation, New York, September, 2015
  • Comer Science Meeting, Wisconsin, Oct. 2015
  • American Geophysical Union, California, Dec. 2015


Kirstyn Leuner

Mentors: Ivy Schweitzer, English; Mary Flanagan, Digital Humanities

Kirstyn is a digital humanist who specializes in Romantic-era and nineteenth-century literature and media studies. She directs and co-edits the Stainforth Library of Women's Writing, a digital archive under construction that will be an electronic edition of Francis Stainforth's private library, the largest private library of women's writing in the nineteenth century. When complete, this digital archive of 6,000 volumes will help scholars answer questions about the circulation, value, organization, and collection of women's writing dating back to the 15th century, much of which has been historically overlooked. The Stainforth project recently won an Innovative Seed Grant. Additionally, Kirstyn is working on a book project that explores how nineteenth-century authors integrate the 1822 invention of the Diorama into their poetry and prose. She teaches a course she developed for the Department of English called Women's Writing and Technologies of Transmission from the 19th century to the present.


  • The Textual Diorama in the Romantic Era: Writing Virtual Ruins
  • Whither Are We Bound: Romanticism in the Digital Age
  • The Annual Whalley Lecture at Queens University (Kingston, Ontario), in honor of George Whalley. "The Whalley Lecture honors the late Dr. George Whalley, former Head of Queen’s Department of English (1962–1967, 1977–1982), Romanticist, man of letters, and decorated veteran. The Whalley Lecture is the English Department’s capstone lecture in the year-long series of guest speakers." A graduate seminar related to the lecture will also be presented. For more info: Delivering the Annual Whalley Lecture, 3/11/16, Queen’s University – Kirstyn Leuner | Digital Romanticisms