Mark Welford, Ph.D.
Professor of Geography
Office: Herty, 2100E
- PhD, Geography, University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, 1993
- MS, Geography, University of Idaho, 1988
- BS, Geography, Coventry University, U.K., 1986
During my time at Georgia Southern I have actively participated in campus-wide discussions about the direction of the institution in a variety of forms:
- Serving on the following college-wide and university committees: Member, Georgia Southern University Student Conduct Board, 2015-present; Member, Provost’s Faculty Salary Taskforce, 2013; Chair, Pathways to Success Study Team, 2011-2012; Member, Quality Enhancement Program Steering Committee for SACS re-accreditation, 2013-2014; Member, Complete College Georgia Planning Committee, 2012-2013; Chair, COSM Faculty Governance Committee, 2011-2013; Member, Educational Programs Support Team for SACS reaffirmation, 2004.
- Serving on Faculty Senate and associated senate committees: Member, Faculty Senate, 2015-2018, 2013-2015, 2009-2012, 2005-2007; Member of the Senate Executive Committee, 2016-2017, 2013-2015; Member, Academic Standards Committee, 2015-2018; Faculty Senate Secretary, 2013-2015; Faculty Senate Librarian, 2016-2017; Member, Faculty Senate Welfare Committee, 2013-2014, 2009-2011.
I have also represented the department and college on various committees that support the running of the university:
- Geography Faculty Advisor, COST Advising Center, 2008-2010. Assessment Director for Geography, 2010-present. Scientific Member, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, 2009-present.
I have also been program director of various study abroad programs:
- Program Director, STEM-orientated Study Abroad to Italy, 2018; Program Director, Study Abroad to Ecuador, 2016; Co-Program Director w/Dr. R. Yarbrough, Study Abroad to India, 2015; Co-Program Director w/Dr. R. Yarbrough, Study Abroad to Ecuador, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013.
- Program Director, Study Abroad to Krakow, Poland, 2008; Program Director, Study Abroad to Czech Republic, 2006. Director, Travel with Scholars Program to Romania, 2005. Program Director, USG Environmental Support Group: Andes/Appalachian Connection, 2001. Program Director, Study Abroad/Field Workshop to Ecuador, 1998, 1999.
My research interests include Conservation, biogeography and geodynamics of Andean cloud forest; historic Atlantic hurricane frequency; and spatial epidemiology.
Dr. Bossak (College of Charleston) and I have made significant contributions in our understanding of the spatial epidemiology of the Medieval Black Death. One, we published a comprehensive synthetic theory in Medical Hypotheses that explains the summer peak of mortality (opposite to modern Plague epidemics), the rapid transmission of the medieval Black Death, and the spatial dynamics of the spread tied to the trading networks of medieval Europe. Two, we created the largest database in existence of the primary wave of Black Death mortality between 1347-1351. Three, we digitized the trading networks of the 1300’s and integrated this with our mortality data in ArcGIS. Four, we have begun to compare the spatial dynamics of mortality and infectiousness among the Athenian Plague, Justinian Plague and Medieval Black Death.
I maintain an ongoing nature-society research program in NW Ecuador that has investigated the impact of landslides and pastures on landscape evolution and the distribution of rare, range-restricted bird species; the impact of birding economics on ecotourism; the impact of climate change on tropical bird range extensions; and the impact of oil-pipelines on reforestation and ecotourism.
I also worked with Drs. Underwood and Yarbrough to develop a Georgia Southern research station in Milpe, Ecuador, called Georgia Southern’s Human-Environmental Research Station or GS-HERS for short.
My course course responsibilities include World Regional Geography, Climate and the Landscape, Nature-Societies Geographies, Biogeography, Geography of Europe, and Geography of Latin America. In future I will also teach the Research Methods course.
Dr. Welford is currently an editorial board member for Professional Geographer – the forum and journal of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). And has been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1986.
Recent Funded Research Projects
- Reconstructing Georgia’s Hurricane Record: A 260-year GIS Database of Coastal Impact (Georgia Sea Grant Program)
Selected Publications in Preparation
- Welford, MR, Barilla, AG 2017. The ongoing collapse of Antisana Ecological Reserve large-bodied avian community. Conservation Biology. In Progress.
- Welford, MR, Yarbrough, R, 2017. The Human-Landscape Environment: a geographic approach. Palgrave, UK. Contract awarded, Oct 2016. Deadline Aug 2018.
- Evans, P, Naufel, K, Locker, L and Welford, MR, 2016. Tornado Trouble: How can current tornado warnings be improved. BAMS. Submit Dec 2016.
- Welford, MR, Barilla, AG 2016. Anthropogenic Induced Changes in Tropical Bird Species Composition. Science. In progress.
- Yarbrough, R, Coles, A, Welford, MR, 2016. From Pastures to Private Protected Areas to Socio Bosque: Contested Geographies of Ecotourism and Development in Northwestern Ecuador. Environment and Society. In progress.
- Welford, MR, 2017, Geographies of Plague Pandemics: The Spatial-Temporal Behavior of Plague to the Modern Day. Routledge, U.K. Contract awarded May, 2016. Deadline for submission of book Aug 31, 2017.
Publications (2007 or later):
- Yarbough, R, Welford, MR, 2016. A Critical Study Abroad Model with Implications for Undergraduate Research. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly. Submitted Jan 15. Accepted pending major revisions May 2016.
- Welford MR, Bossak BH, Gibney, E, 2016, Archival evidence of secular changes in Georgia hurricanes: 1750-2012. Invited chapter in Hurricanes and Climate Change Vol 3: Springer, submitted Jan 15. Accepted April, 16, 2016.
- Welford, MR, Yarbrough, R 2015, Serendipitous Conservation: Impacts of Oil Pipeline Construction in rural northwestern Ecuador. Journal of The Extractive Industries and Society. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2015.07.005.
- Bossak, BH, Welford, MR 2015, Spatio-temporal characteristics of the medieval Black Death. In Spatial Analysis in Health Geography eds Kanaroglou, Demelle and Paez. Ashgate.U.K.
- Bossak BH, Keihany, S, Mullis, D, Gibnery, E, Welford MR. 2014, Coastal Georgia is Not Immune: Hurricane History, 1851-2012. Southeastern Geographer 54 (3): 323-333.
- Welford, MR, 2013, Physical Geography. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Geography. http://oxfordbibliographiesonline.com/. Published Mar 20, 2013. Updated Aug 2015.
- Welford, MR, Barilla, AG 2013. Is Neotropical Conservation sold-short: diminishing returns for birding suggest ecolodges could encourage longer stays. Journal of Nature Conservation.
- Welford, MR 2013. Physical Geography Bibliography. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Geography. http://oxfordbibliographiesonline.com/. Published Mar 20, 2013.
- Durden, LA, Welford, MR 2011. Rapid Assessment of Elevational Zonation and Biodiversity in Ecuadorian Butterfly Faunas. Southern Lepidopterists’ News 33 (2): 60-69.
- Welford MR, Bossak BH 2010. Body Lice, Yersinia pestis Orientalis, and Black Death (Letter to Editor), Emerging Infectious Diseases 16 (10): Article ID: 10-0683. doi: 10.3201/eid1610.100683.
- Bossak BH, Welford MR 2010. Spatiotemporal Attributes of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases. Geography Compass 4 (8): 1084-1096.doi:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00355.x
- Welford MR, Bossak BH 2010. Revisiting the Medieval Black Death of 1347-1351: Spatiotemporal Dynamics Suggestive of an Alternate Causation. Geography Compass 4 (6): 561-575. doi 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00335.x
- Welford MR, Bossak BH 2009. Validation of Inverse Seasonal Peak Mortality in Medieval Plagues, including the Black Death, in Comparison to Modern Yersinia pestis-variant Diseases. PLoS ONE 4 (12): e8401. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008401
- Bossak BH, Welford MR 2009. Did Medieval Trade Activity and a Viral Etiology Control the Spatial Extent and Seasonal Distribution of Black Death Mortality? Medical Hypotheses 72: 749-752.
- Dykes AP, Welford MR 2007. Landslides in the Tandayapa Valley, northern Andes, Ecuador: implications for landform development in humid and tectonically active mountain ranges. Landslides 4 (2): 177-187.
- Welford MR, Vásquez A, Sambrano P, Nunnery T, Ulman B 2007. Evidence for Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus brood-parasitism of Turquoise Jays Cyanolyca turcosa in northwest Ecuador and how this alters our understanding of Cowbird brood parasitism. Cotinga 27 (spring issue): 58-60.
Last updated: 9/29/2016