nathaniel ray pickett
phd candidate, geography and atmospheric sciences, university of kansas

biographical information

i am originally from southern california, though i have spent considerable time living in the kansas city area, the minneapolis-st paul area, utah, and in various cities in ukraine. i received my bachelor's degree in history from brigham young university in 2009, after which i spent a year as a psychiatric technician at a state mental hospital. i received my m.a. degree in russian, east european, and eurasian studies from the university of kansas in 2012, with a focus on ukraine. immediately after my master's program i moved into the geography phd program at k.u., where i am working on a dissertation involving the application of science and technology studies on a political geography study of the political and social effects of the chornobyl nuclear disaster on ukraine. in september 2015-june 2016 i was in ukraine on a research fulbright to gather data and start writing my dissertation.

my academic interests generally fall within political geography, including popular geopolitics, border issues, and organizations that run counter to or separate from the capitalist world system. i am also interested in sts, religious and mythological geographies, using new media in research, urban networks and planning, and geographies of violence.

contact information


major publications:

minor publications:

conference and other presentations

academic conferences:

  • aseees roundtable, 2018: organized session, "doing research in post-soviet spaces: reports on recent fieldwork"
  • hall center workshop, 2018: "doing research in post-soviet spaces"
  • crees brownbag, 2017: "doing social science research in post-soviet spaces"
  • organized platforma, a ukrainian studies graduate student conference, 2017
  • crees brownbag, 2017: "to save a city: urban-scale geopolitics in slavutych, ukraine"
  • aag, boston, 2017: co-organized session, "post-soviet biopolitics"
  • pgsg, harvard, 2017: "to save a city: urban-scale geopolitics in slavutych, ukraine"
  • geography brownbag, 2016: "reflections on my fulbright in ukraine"
  • chornobyl 30th anniversary lecture series hosted by fulbright ukraine, 2016: "legacies and myths: western perceptions of the chornobyl disaster"
  • атомна революція: екологія політики, дифузія настроїв, санація свідомості (до 30-річчя аварії на чорнобильській аес) 2016: roundtable discussion
  • 1st international conference on nuclear decomissioning and environment recovery 2016
  • крах радянської імперії: анатомія катасрофи, 2016: "the chornobyl disaster and the end of the soviet union"
  • ukrainian ministry of education workshop 2016: publishing in western academic journals
  • national academy of educational sciences (ukraine) 2015: "phd studies at american universities for graduate students"
  • geography colloquium 2015: "radioactive research: fieldwork on a fulbright"
  • aag, chicago, 2015: mediated phenomenology, "stalker (1979), stalker, s.t.a.l.k.e.r., and stalkers"
  • pgsg, depaul, 2015: "sts and political geography: theory and applications"
  • aag, tampa, 2014: "social fallout"
  • pgsg, ucla, 2013: "revenge of geography?"
  • architecture symposium 2013: "global poverty: alternative approaches"
  • aag, los angeles, 2013: panel, "territorial cleansing topics," "bangladesh 1971"
  • aag, new york, 2012: "territorial cleansing: a geographical understanding of mass violence"
  • crees brownbag 2012: "homeland vs. our land: crimean tatar identity"

guest lectures:

  • "borders and borderlands in eastern europe: a political geography perspective"
  • "comic books and popular geopolitics"
  • "chornobyl, science, and international politics"

awards and grants

  • university graduate fellowship, 2018-2019
  • t.r.e.s.t.l.e. course transformation grant, 2018
  • doctoral student fund research award, 2018
  • graduate scholarly presentation award, 2018
  • hall center summer writing fellowship, 2017
  • fulbright for research in ukraine, 2015-2016
  • kollmorgen fellowship, 2012-13
  • palij book award for ukrainian studies, 2011

courses taught

  • principles of human geography
  • physical geography lab
  • beginning russian
  • western civilization, beginnings to 1500ad

extracurricular activity

other work experience:

  • student athlete tutor, k.u., 2013
  • book review editor, the russian review, 2012
  • graduate research assistant, fmso, 2011

professional service and volunteer activity:

  • negotiation committee and chief steward, gtac (aft-ks local 6403), 2018-2019
  • organizer, platforma: a ukrainian studies graduate student conference, april 22, 2017
  • co-organizer, lecture series on the 30th anniversary of the chornobyl disaster hosted by fulbright ukraine, 2016
  • student representative, political geography subgroup, 2013-14
  • rees gso president, 2011-12 (vice president, 2012-2014)