University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geography

Faculty - Meghan Cope, Professor, Department Chair


Meghan Cope, Ph.D.; Professor, Department Chair

  • Ph.D., Geography; University of Colorado, 1995
  • C.V.
  • Office Hours Spring 2015: Monday 1:00-2:30, Thursday 9:00-10:00 or by appointment
  • Teaching Assistant, Meraz Mostafa, Office Hours: Monday 1:00-1:45 and Friday 11:45-12:30 or by appointment
Area of expertise

Urban social geography, children's geographies, gender, race/ethnicity, North American cities, social theory, qualitative research, critical GIS.

Contact Information

Dr. Cope is an urban social geographer. She is mainly interested in the ways that social, economic, political, and environmental processes influence cities and communities, as well as the ways that people's everyday lives create meaningful spaces and places within, or even against, the larger-scale processes operating on them. Her focus has always been on social/spatial processes of marginalization and disempowerment, for example, through gender, race/ethnicity, class, youth, etc. She is especially motivated by issues such as employment, households and neighborhoods, welfare, public space, poverty, discrimination, and identity. She is also a qualitative researcher who uses ethnography and other methods to learn about the geographic meanings and processes that matter to marginalized groups. Over the past 10 years she has developed an associated interest in critical perspectives on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and have explored methods of combining qualitative research with GIS (Knigge & Cope, 2006). Dr. Cope recently received a Dean’s ‘Faculty Research Award’ to explore young people’s independent mobility in several Vermont towns. With colleague, Sarah Elwood (University of Washington), Dr. Cope co-edited a book on mixed-methods in Geography focused on blending Qualitative Research and GIS. This came out of her interest in Geographic Information and Society Issues, and work that she and her graduate students at SUNY-Buffalo did toward integrating ethnography and GIS. The manuscript, Qualitative GIS: A Mixed-Methods Approach (London: Sage), was published in June 2009.
Courses that Dr. Cope teaches at the introductory level include Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. and an introduction to human geography titled "Space Place and Society". At the intermediate and advanced levels, her courses have included Urban Geography, Geography of Global Economy, Children’s Geographies, Qualitative Research in Geography, and Global Childhoods and the Construction of Places. Dr. Cope holds a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College (1989), an M.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado (1992), and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Colorado (1995).

Quote:"If I could tell an incoming freshman one thing it would be to talk individually with your professors after class or during office hours -- even if it's just a few minutes chatting about a news clip you saw or an issue you're interested in and would like their perspective. Establishing a relationship with your professors enriches the academic experience, makes you feel more connected to the processes of your education, and helps in practical ways too."