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Karen S. Kinslow


MA Geography, The University of Kentucky

BA English Language & Literature, Grinnell College

Research Statement
My dissertation research examines the representational and affective components of a recent stream restoration & preservation project in the Lexington, Kentucky waterscape. It does so in light of the urban county’s combined sewer/stormwater issues and its EPA consent decree. Within this context, I look to the riparian zone, specifically, and I try to understand how a focus on the site’s vegetal geographies could inform environmental planners, managers, and practitioners.   
My choice of field site is guided by the idea that geographers need not go ‘elsewhere’ to untangle geographic problematics. Indeed, ‘geography is everywhere’, and I am curious about what is going on in my immediate surroundings, in the place where I dwell. 
My time in Kentucky- with all its sensory experiences- has nurtured in me an appreciation for the Bluegrass Region both biophysically and in terms of its socio-cultural complexities. This includes everything from the karst topography with its proliferation of streams, to the old-growth and new vegetation, to the various animals and the life-giving soil, as well as the past and present people.
I am most interested in urban ecology, restoration & preservation studies, critical pedagogies, and applied geographies as they relate to socioecological questions and environmental policy/management implications. I enjoy creative, collaborative, and community-engaged multimethod research. My work, which blends social theory with the environmental sciences, contributes to public conversations and actions centered around ecological encounters and our collective futures.

GEO 130 Earth's Physical Environment: Spring 2019; Summer 2020 (online); Summer 2021 (online); Fall 2021; Spring 2022; Spring 2023

GEO 172 Human Geography: Spring 2018; Summer 2018 (online); Fall 2018; Summer 2019 (online); Fall 2020 (online)

GEO 235 Environmental Management and Policy: Fall 2019

Selected Publications:

Symposium: Critical Restoration Geographies, 15th October 2021