.|  Baltimore Ecosystem Study

 

 

 
 
Adam Dixon
 

Featured Graduate Student - Adam Dixon - March 2018
 

 
Are you interested in becoming a BES Graduate Student? Find out how.
 
Name: Adam Dixon
 
School: UMBC
 
Graduate status: PhD Student
 
BES Committee Member: Morgan Grove
 
Schools for previous degrees: University of Kansas, Northwest Missouri State University
 
Major: Geography & Environmental Systems
 
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
 


 
 
Questions
 
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?
 
- I am interested in the social processes that surround farmers and lead to wildlife outcomes in agricultural landscapes. Farmerís make a lot of decisions when managing their land for production, but how do they perceive the non-productive space on their farms, how does this influence land management, and what are the implications for wildlife?
 
How would you describe your field of study/research to a friend who is not in your graduate program?
 
- I am interested in the social processes that surround farmers and lead to wildlife outcomes in agricultural landscapes. Farmerís make a lot of decisions when managing their land for production, but how do they perceive the non-productive space on their farms, how does this influence land management, and what are the implications for wildlife?
 
What inspired you to go into this field of study?
 
- Iím an outdoorsy person, and Iíve been developing my career in conservation and land use planning for about 10 years. I wanted to come back to school to get a higher level understanding of interactions between agriculture and environmental sustainability goals.
 
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?
 
- BES provides a lot of opportunity to interact with research that while not in my own university department, feels that way because of proximity to the study site and frequent interactions with BES researchers. Its such an easy way to extend my local research network.
 
When you are not working on your research, what are some of the things you enjoy doing?
 
- I like getting outside. My new favorite spot is Gunpowder Fall State Park just 25 minutes drive north of Baltimore. Iíve hiked, bird-watched, trout fished, and tagged along with friends who forage for mushrooms there.
 

 

 
Adam piloting a drone

 
 
What is your favorite "Baltimore" thing to do?
 
- I think Baltimore community events like festivals, but even just weekly farmers markets really bring out the charm the city has. There is a strong sense of community that I enjoy observing.
 
What are your plans for after graduate school?
 
- I hope to work with an NGO interested in regional planning.
 
What is the most exciting/interesting thing you have ever done at work?
 
- I was the GIS-lead for a project that promoted land use planning among oil palm development in Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. In Borneo, for part of our trip, we traveled by speedboat down one of the major rivers and lakes there (Denau Sentarum), passing through villages built on stilts and the most beautiful scenery. It was as far away from home Iíve been.
 
Do you have any advice that you would give to a new BES graduate student?
 
- Take advantage of the opportunity to interact with lead researchers at BES. They make themselves available and contain a wealth of knowledge and experience.