Dr. Jennifer Mapes teaches Human Geography, Qualitative Methods, Seminar in Geography, Cartographic Design, Nature & Society and Urban Sustainability.
Her primary research and teaching interest is connecting global and national change to local outcomes, with a focus on urban sustainability in small cities. Living in downtown Kent, Jen continues her work on small towns by studying the recent downtown redevelopment. She is writing a book called "The New American Small Town." The book will be based in part on her dissertation, which examined the effects of global contemporary change in small towns, connecting theoretical understandings of place and space to on-the-ground outcomes. As part of her research, she spent nine months in seven towns in the American West, interviewing local residents and key decision-makers to learn how their towns experience and react to socio-economic and environmental change.
Her current research and practice focus on the city of Kent, with a particular interest in its recent downtown redevelopment. In 2017, she was named Volunteer of the Year by Main Street Kent for her work on downtown map kiosks. Jen is currently working with the Map Library to create a community-accessible GIS database of Kent and Northeast Ohio.