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Katie Algeo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Geography & Geology

Western Kentucky University

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests:

Iím a cultural/historical geographer with a background in computer science and mathematics. In my life as a geographer, these interests intersect in a serious interest in historical GIS. Most of my research in recent years has revolved around the cultural history of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, from its early use as a site of saltpeter production, through its development as a privately-owned tourism resort, and its eventual conversion into a national park. My most recent article from this project explores African American tourism to Mammoth Cave during the Jim Crow era. Mammoth Cave has a multi-faceted and fascinating human history, as well as being an awesome feature of the physical landscape. A related project, implemented with the assistance of graduate students Matt Brunt and Ann Epperson, is the creation of the Mammoth Cave Historical GIS, dedicated to representing and preserving public memory of the pre-park residents of the Mammoth Cave area.

Like all good cultural/historical geographers, I love a road trip, especially on backroads and byways, and even more so if it involves regional food. Agricultural geography also keeps drawing me back to the field. Iíve spent a fair amount of time studying burley tobacco production, Iíve looked into conditions behind the burgeoning growth of Kentucky wineries, and Iím currently researching 19th century mushroom production in caves.

Selected Publications On-Line:

Underground Tourists / Tourists Underground: African American Tourism to Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave and the Making of Place

Teaching Cultural Geography with Bend It Like Beckham

Onomastics as an Interdisciplinary Study

The Rise of Tobacco as a Southern Appalachian Staple: Madison County, North Carolina

Mammoth Cave Historical GIS: