Senior Instructor I

Office: 541-737-5070

Wilkinson Hall

Wilkinson Hall 222

2601 SW Orchard Avenue

2601 SW Orchard Avenue
Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Profile Field Tabs

Brief Research Interests: 

Human dimensions of global change; environmental security and resource conflicts



Ph.D., Geography, (2009), University of Oregon
M.A., Geography, (2004), University of Oregon
B.S., Environmental Studies, (1999), University of Oregon


Geo106: Geography of the Western World
Geo296: Geographic Field Methods
Geo 300: Sustainability for the Common Good
Geo304: Geography of Natural Hazards
Geo350: Population and Environment


Human dimensions of global change; environmental security and resource conflicts; risk; political ecology; development; Southeast Asia; tourism; tropical fisheries and aquaculture; social and cultural theory; experiential education.

At the center of my research and teaching interests is a longstanding engagement with theories of political ecology and post-colonialism to examine the impact of environmental change on security and stability in Southeast Asia.

My training at University of Oregon, Eugene was firmly grounded in Geopolitics, Ecology and Sociology, initially with a focus on the understanding the vulnerability of coastal communities in Southeast Asia and the dynamics of environmental and political change. Over the last few years I have devoted most of my time to examining recovery and redevelopment after disasters, specifically the 2004 Asian tsunami and to the impact of the media on planning and decision-making. My doctoral research was based on long term field-work in Southwestern Thailand and generated a lifelong concern with questions of development, security, spatial differentiation and the subsistence of under-represented communities.

While at Oregon State University I have tried to deepen my understanding of the intersections between political ecology, vulnerability and adaptability to climate and other environmental changes, a set of interests I share with a number of my colleagues in the college from whom I have benefited greatly.

I teach subjects ranging from introductory human and cultural geography to upper-division regional and thematic courses. I encourage a sensitivity to rigorous, theoretically-oriented and systematic research approaches in my classes and I have been privileged to work with some brilliant students at Oregon State University over the past year. I am committed to excellence in teaching and am an advocate for place-based and experiential education, service learning, and research-informed teaching.

Recent Publications

Ptak, T and Hommel, D. (forthcoming) "The Trans-political Nature of Southwest China's Energy Conduit, Yunnan Province.” Geopolitics. Taylor and Francis.

Hommel, Demian and Murphy, Alexander B. (2012) “Rethinking geopolitics in an era of climate change.” GeoJournal.  Springer