Dr. Meghan Cope is an urban social geographer. She is mainly interested in the ways that social, economic, political, and environmental processes influence cities and communities, as well as the ways that people's everyday lives create meaningful spaces and places within, or even against, the larger-scale processes operating on them. Her focus has always been on social/spatial processes of marginalization and disempowerment, for example, through gender, race/ethnicity, class, youth, etc. She is especially motivated by issues such as employment, households and neighborhoods, welfare, public space, poverty, discrimination, and identity. She is also a qualitative researcher who uses ethnography and other methods to learn about the geographic meanings and processes that matter to marginalized groups. Over the past 10 years she has developed an associated interest in critical perspectives on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and have explored methods of combining qualitative research with GIS (Cope & Elwood, 2009). My work intersects critical GIS, and urban and political geography. I study the social and political impacts of spatial technologies such as GIS, and the changing practices and politics of local activism, community organizing, and other modes of civic engagement. My current research focuses on emerging geospatial media - an ever-expanding range of interactive web-based technologies that enabling collection, compilation, mapping, and dissemination of spatial data by vast numbers of people. With colleagues at UC-Santa Barbara and Ohio State University, I am currently studying these new forms of 'volunteered geographic information', examining their content and characteristics, methodologies for working with these data, and the social and political practices in which they are implicated. In a parallel project, Katharyne Mitchell and I are examining the role that interactive geovisualization technologies might play in fostering collaborative learning, critical thinking and civic engagement among young teens. My research and teaching having long been structured around action research and university-community collaboration, further details can be found here.