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PhD candidate chosen for inaugural Elevate the Discipline Climate Change and Society cohort

Nkatha Mercy, a PhD candidate in the Department of Geology and Geography and Community Engaged Research Assistant in the WVU Center for Resilient Communities, has been selected by the American Association of Geographers to participate in its Elevate the Discipline program.

Elevate the Discipline will train an inaugural cohort of geographers over the next several months in leadership, media skills and policy strategies. The cohort will use the training to discuss their research in the media, as voices for public policies and in advocating for change around the theme of climate and society. Mercy headshot with a white background

“Being a part of this year’s Climate Change & Society cohort is a great honor and a wonderful opportunity to gain skills and share experience that connects our academic work to media and policy. This not only elevates the discipline of geography, but it also creates an environment that enables informed public and community participation.” Mercy said. “The training will go a long way in informing my dissertation research process as public-facing scholarship and in learning how to break down policy arguments into digestible talking points.”

Members of the cohort hail from 11 states and the West Indies. They represent a diverse range of practice within the discipline of geography, including hydroclimatology, political ecology, climate and health, disaster geography, geoinformatics, soil science and more.

Mercy’s research spans the areas of political and development geography related to disaster risk reduction, management and adaptation to climate change. Her research interests lie in analyzing governance challenges, how they intersect vertically and horizontally across multiple governance levels, and how these intersections impact global development related to human capabilities and well-being.  

She holds a Master of Science in Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Policy and Management, Antwerp University Belgium, a post-graduate certificate on the Politics and Economics of Aid awarded by a consortium of six European universities, and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from Kenyatta University, Kenya. She is a VLIR-UOS Scholar, an Erasmus Lifelong Fellow and a finalist for President Obama’s flagship YALI Initiative – Civic Leadership.

Information on all Elevate the Discipline participants can be found on the AAG website.


About the American Association of Geographers (AAG):

The AAG is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1904. For more than 100 years, The American Association of Geographers (AAG) has contributed to the advancement of geography. Members from nearly 100 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG's Annual Meeting, scholarly journals and the online AAG Newsletter.