|Robert Kuhlken, Ph.D.
Professor of Geography
Department of Geography
Phone: (509) 963-2795
GEOG 203 Map Reading and Interpretation
GEOG 304 Economic Geography
GEOG 408 Advanced Topics in Human Geography
GEOG 440 Ecology & Culture
GEOG 450 Geography of Arid Lands
GEOG 481 Urban Geography
REM 501 Systems of Resource Management
I remain interested in numerous aspects of cultural ecology, along with many topics within cultural and historical geography, including music geography, urban and regional planning, resource management, environmental literature and nature writing, and the regional landscapes of Oceania, the Pacific Northwest, and the South. I also wrote a book recently that investigates changing land use patterns in the so-called New West, co-authored with friend and mentor from Oregon State University, Dr. Philip Jackson.
Some of my past fieldwork has focused on the ways that humans have shaped their landscapes, especially for subsistence production. I have become fascinated with agricultural terraces, and believe that most terraced landscapes in the world are places of enduring utility and incredible beauty. I always like to visit these places, for I feel they harbor valuable lessons in conservation and aesthetics and how to live in harmony with the environment. During 1987, for example, I traveled through the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia looking at terrace systems there. But a number of those areas were already being documented by geographers, anthropologists, agronomists, and others keen on preserving the traditional ecological knowledge it took to build and operate these often sophisticated agrosystems. I thought about a previous year of travel in another favorite portion of the planet, through the South Seas during 1984-85, and wondered if there were terrace systems somewhere in that wondrous region that might be studied in greater depth. A fortuitous conversation with Professor Harold Brookfield during the AAG meetings in Toronto in 1990 led me to pursue a broad study of agricultural terracing in the Fiji Islands. There were once many operating terrace systems in Fiji, which were developed for the irrigated cultivation of taro (Colocasia esculenta). Most of these have been abandoned, yet I have tried to document their areal extent and morphology. I was fortunate, however, to find several irrigated terrace systems still being used, on the remote southern island of Kadavu.
(this link provides a more or less complete list)
M.S. Geography, 1983, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Research Paper: Selected Factors Affecting Rangeland Use on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation
Committee: Philip Jackson (chair), James Pease, Richard Highsmith
Ph.D. Geography, 1994, Louisiana State University, Baton
Dissertation: Agricultural Terracing in the Fiji Islands
Committee: Kent Mathewson (chair), Anthony Lewis, Philip Wagner, Carville Earle, Miles Richardson
With my committee - photo taken on Carville's lawn after passing my orals:
(l to r): A. Lewis, P. Wagner, rk, C. Earle, K. Mathewson, M. Richardson
George, Geraldine Eva. 2002. Investigating the implications of federal reserved water rights on Alaska Native allotments.
Kline, Randall K. 2001. Addressing rural commercial land use under the Growth Management Act: A case study of Jefferson County, Washington.
Matthews, Amy Kurant. 2001. Species distribution of coexisting populations of westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) within the Little Naches watershed of eastern Washington.
Larned, Kimberly Ann. 1999. Changes in natural resource perception and use in Roslyn, Washington, 1880-1999.
Mattson, Lauris C. 1997. Habitat or housing?: Planning
long-term change at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.