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Eighth Summer Institute in Economic Geography Held at UK

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Scienceslast week hosted the Summer Institute in Economic Geography. With a 10-year history in supporting economic geography, the college and its Department of Geography welcomed young scholars from across the globe to Lexington. This is the first time the institute has returned to the U.S. since 2006 when it was hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


A group of UK geography faculty worked collaboratively to bring the institute to campus. Sue RobertsMatt ZookAndy Wood and Michael Samers won support from the National Science Foundation to fund the economic geography institute visit.


The institute was designed to create a space for sustained discussion about key frontiers of research in economic geography, including the ways in which new markets, products and industries emerge; the variety of finance and investment practices across the world; and how income, benefits and problems are structured throughout the global economy.


Attendees were able to observe the connections of Kentucky to the global system through a series of field-based observations in the automotive and agricultural industries of the Bluegrass. Participants also shared insights about how to craft a successful career path in the field and set research agendas for future work.


Co-organizer, geography Professor Sue Roberts said, “Ten years ago, the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences supported a strategic cluster hire to build on existing strengths in economic geography here. It feels really great now to be among the leading (research and teaching) clusters in this field and to be able to showcase UK to this group of scholars.”


UK co-organizer, geography Professor and Fulbright Scholar Matt Zook said, “We are excited about the week’s activities, even though we know we will be exhausted at the end of it all.”  He and the faculty team agree that events such as the Summer Institute in Economic Geography at UK have had a major positive impact in human geography and has greatly enhanced the reputation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uky4ky