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Thomas Lavachy

Thomas LaVanchy

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography
367 Social Sciences & Humanities


I am a human-environment interaction scientist with interdisciplinary background in geology, social science, and physical geography. My research interests are interdisciplinary and include global environmental change, hydrogeology, water resource management, and water justice. I conduct research and write on water issues in Cape Town, South Africa, the Sahel of West Africa, Haiti, and along the southwest coast of Nicaragua. 


I am committed to serving as an approachable and supportive mentor for students under my supervision and welcome MA and PhD students wishing to conduct water-related research in Africa or Central America. In addition to research design and writing, success in today’s graduate studies landscape requires psychological support, institutional support (teaching advice and guidance through institutional processes), and sponsorship (letters of recommendation and networking) from an advisor. 


I approach graduate student advising as a co-produced mentoring relationship where I take an active interest in advancing the student’s academic and professional goals, and tailor the mentoring style and content to the individual. I dedicate time to learn more about graduate students I mentor by asking questions and practicing active listening. I am equally supportive and demanding of excellence. You can expect to work hard, read a lot, and receive frequent feedback and interaction through regular meetings to review goals, progress, and challenges. 


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