Prof. Ken Foote was recruited to head the UConn Geography Department in 2013 and has served in many administrative and leadership roles throughout his career. In 2019 he was appointed director of UConn’s dynamic Urban and Community Studies Program based at it’s Hartford campus.
His interests are in cartography and geographic information science particularly Internet-based applications and locative media; American and European landscape history, focusing on public memory and commemoration; and issues of geography in higher education particularly instructional technologies and professional development for undergraduates, graduate students, early career faculty.
Much of his research focuses on how events of violence and tragedy are marked (or not marked) in landscape. Debate over commemoration is often highly contentious and can expose deep divides within society over how to interpret and represent the past. His book Shadowed Ground made a major contribution to this area of research. He is also very interested in the development of national commemorative traditions in the U.S. and Europe, racialized landscapes, the commemoration of African-American, Chinese-American, Japanese-American and Jewish-American historical sites, heritage tourism, and historical GIS.
He has led a number of instructional materials development projects in the Web including The Geographer’s Craft Project and the Virtual Geography Department Project, funded by the National Science Foundation. He also began the Geography Faculty Development Alliance, funded initially by the NSF, to provide professional development opportunities for early career geography faculty. The GFDA has continued now for almost two decades and he has also been in involved in leadership development efforts within the AAG.
He has served as president of both the National Council for Geographic Education (2006) and the American Association of Geographers (2010-11). I have received the AAG’s J.B. Jackson Prize (1998), the AAG’s Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education (2005), the Royal Geographical Society’s Taylor and Francis Award (2012), the Education Award of the University Consortium for GIScience (2013), the National Council for Geographic Education’s Distinguished Mentor Award (2013), the AAG’s Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award (2016). he was also among the first group of twenty scholars elected fellows of the American Association of Geographers (2018).
He and his wife have twin boys, now teenagers. In his spare time he rehearses and performs early music on flute, recorder, and viola da gamba. They have fostered and adopted many shelter dogs including ex-racing greyhounds.