Writer | Researcher | Criminal Mitigation Consultant
Julie is a qualitatively trained geographer interested in how place shapes the ethical relations between humans and between humans and nonhuman animals. To this end, she works as an independent scholar in the field of animal geographies and consults as an expert witness social geographer in criminal defense mitigation. In all her work, she strives to be a facilitator of curiosity and respect in order to promote reflexive understanding.
She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Clark University and a Master's degree in Gender Studies from the University of Arizona. She is an award-winning educator and has held appointments in a variety of university environmental studies and geography programs.
She has been consulting as an expert witness social geographer for criminal defense mitigation since 2016, and has worked on federal, state, capital, non-capital, military, and Miller cases. In this capacity, she has pioneered the development of mitigation geonarratives that help link a client’s life experiences with larger social forces and her exhibits include body maps, body map videos, memory walk videos, life context overviews, and overview/summaries of specific case-based topics.
As a scholar in her specialty area of animal geographies, she has been instrumental in formalizing the disciplinary subfield by co-founding the Animal Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, publishing the award-winning Placing Animals: An Introduction to the Geography of Human-Animal Relations, co-editing the first one-volume encyclopedia for the field of Human-Animal Studies, Humans and Animals: A Geography of Coexistence, and co-editing a special issue of Society & Animals on wildlife conservation where she served as the Managing Editor for the Political Animals Section. Her research on the politics of place and human-animal relations has focused on genetically-engineered animals, urban dog parks, animal-assisted therapies, the impact of Covid-19 on urban advocacy groups, and cultural flashpoints such as ‘Hooters for Neuters.’ Her place-based historical research on human-animal relations has focused on Kansas City, Missouri, USA, and resulted in the first animal geography documentary, Kansas City: An American Zoopolis.
Her interests are wide-ranging and her collaborative projects have focused on creative geography and film-making. She enjoys cultivating her sense of wonder by collecting the moments of life in photographs, reading voraciously, exploring in natural and urban environments, treasure hunting in antique stores, and feeding the birds (and squirrels) in her yard. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and three ridiculously spoiled cats.