.|  Baltimore Ecosystem Study



Meredith Stone

Featured Graduate Student - June 2017

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Name: Merideth Stone
School: Ohio University
Graduate status: Recent graduate with Master of Arts in Geography
BES Committee Member: Geoff Buckley
Schools for previous degrees: University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg VA- Bachelor of Arts
Major: Geography
Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

How would you describe your field of study/research to a friend who is not in your graduate program?
- My research is focused on street art and how it can be a outlet for racial issues such as Black Lives Matter in Baltimore neighborhoods. My thesis explored ideas of how street art is defined as well as the ways it relates to Black Lives Matter and resists racial oppression. I used interviews and newspapers to access this information.
What inspired you to go into this field of study?
- When I began grad school at Ohio University, I knew I wanted to study race and current social issues. As an undergraduate, I was part of a research project entitled "Transformation of Racialized American Southern Heritage LandscapesĒ which explores the representation, or lack thereof, of the enslaved at southern plantation museums and kickstarted my interests. However, my first exposure to street art was not exactly academic and I discovered it by walking the streets in Paris, France during a summer study abroad trip. A close friend encouraged me to find a way to unite these two interests in my Masterís thesis.
Why did you become involved with BES?
- I became involved with BES when my advisor, Dr. Buckley, invited me to become his research assistant. He has been linked to the project for a few years and specifically studies the distribution of urban parks and street trees across the urban landscape. He also studies the social and ecological benefits linked to the removal of asphalt from Baltimore's schoolyards and playgrounds. This year, I helped him develop a timeline of the Parks and People Foundationís projects since the 1990s.
What do you most enjoy about being involved with BES?
- The thing I like most about being involved with the BES is contributing to a larger body of interdisciplinary research. As a geographer, I care a lot about studies that bring together multiple fields. The BES is a reminder of how engrained society and environment are with each other thus why we should study them in conjunction with each other. I also enjoy learning about the different projects people are working on.
What types of outreach activities do you do to engage communities in your research?
- When I was conducting my research, I reached out to organizations recommended to me by Helen Glazer, former Artist in Residence for the BES. Those organizations helped me make new connections and find new people to interview.
When you are not working on your research, what are some of the things you enjoy doing?
- I love to cook and eat new recipes in my spare time. I also like to go for walks and runs.


A Mural in Sandtown
What is your favorite "Baltimore" thing to do?
- Because my research is about street art I, of course, love to see all of the beautiful murals Baltimore has. I also like talking to people- Baltimoreans have been very warm and friendly towards me!
What are your plans for after graduate school?
- As a recent graduate, I just moved to Washington, DC and began a new job working for the American Association of Geographers. So far, itís great!
What is the most exciting/interesting thing you have ever done at work?
- Going to Baltimore in and of itself was exciting and interesting. As an urban geographer, I love learning about different cities. The people I interviewed were fascinating and so connected to their communities.
Do you have any advice that you would give to a new BES graduate student?
- Go to the annual meeting. I learned a lot about all the research projects encapsulated in BES beyond my own research. Itís also a great opportunity to network with people with similar interests.