College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mark Welford

  • Geography

    Administrative Faculty - Professor and Head of Geography; Director of Environmental Resource Management program


    PhD, Geography, University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, 1993

    MS, Geography, University of Idaho, 1988    

    BS, Geography, Coventry University, U.K., 1986

    Research Interests

    Conservation, biogeography and geodynamics of Andean cloud forest; historic Atlantic hurricane frequency; and spatial epidemiology

    Recent Funded Research Projects

    Co-PI on RAPID: Tracking and Understanding Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arctic (COVITA). ($186,089 National Science Foundation, 2021-2022) 

    Co-PI on RAPID: Tracking and Understanding Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arctic (COVITA) ($199,998 National Science Foundation, 2020 - 2021)

    Co-PI on RAPID: Hurricane Evacuations in the Age of COVID-19 ($78,821 National Science Foundation Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences Grant, 2020 - 2021)

    Co-PI on Reconstructing Georgia’s Hurricane Record: A 260-year GIS Database of Coastal Impact ($129,664 Georgia Sea Grant Program grant, 2012-2013)

    Teaching Interests

    Course responsibilities include World Geography, Nature and Society, Biogeography, and Geography of Europe. Dr. Welford has taught in and been program director of twelve Study Abroad trips, seven to Ecuador of which four were co-taught with Dr. Yarbrough (2005, 2008, 2011, 2013), one to the Czech Republic (2006), one to Poland (2008), one to India (2015), and two to Lucca, Italy (2018, 2019). He also taught in three study abroad trips to London (2003, 2004, 2005).


    Dr. Welford is currently an editorial board member for GeoJournal. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1986. In addition, Dr. Welford was an Editorial Board Member, Professional Geographer 2011-2019; a Standing Editorial Board member, Oxford Bibliographies Online 2011-2016; Member, SEDAAG Savannah Local Steering Committee 2009-2011; Member, AAG Committee on College Geography and Careers 2011-2014; Associate Editor, The Encyclopedia of Geography-SAGE volumes 1-6, 2008-2010 (RUSA 2011 Outstanding Reference Sources Award Winner); Academic Advisory Board Member for McGraw-Hill Geography 2008-present; Associate Editor, Journal of Geography 1998-2001.

    Selected Publications

    Petrov, A, Welford, MR, Golosov, N, Devlin, M, DeGroote, J, Degai, T, Savelyev, A, 2021. Lessons on COVID-19 from indigenous and remote communities of the Arctic. Nature Medicine, Aug 23, 2021: doi:10.1038/s41591-021-01473-9.

    Petrov, A, Welford, MR, Golosov, N, DeGroote, J, Devlin, M, Degai, T, Savelyev, A, 2021. The ‘Second Wave’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arctic: Regional and Temporal Dynamics. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. doi:10.1080/22423982.2021.1925446.

    Welford, MR, 2021. Book Review of Red Coasts and Wild Birds: How Military Ornithologists and Migrant Birds Shaped Empire by Kirsten A. Greer published UNC Press. Social and Cultural Geography. DOI:10.1080/14649365.2021.1917148

    Collins, J, Dunn, E, Polen, A, Welford, MR, Lackovic, M, McSweeney, Jernigan, I, 2020. Preliminary Findings: Hurricane Decision Making in the Age of COVID-19: Hurricanes Laura and Sally. 

    Welford, MR, Yarbrough, R, 2020. Human-Environment Interactions: An Introduction. Palgrave-Macmillan.

    Petrov, A, Welford, MR, Degani, T, DeGroote, J, Savelyev, A, 2020. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arctic: Early Data and Emerging Trends. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, Submitted Sept 2020.

    Welford, MR, Yarbrough, R, 2020. Human-Environment Interactions: An Introduction. Palgrave-Macmillan.

    Welford, MR, Bossak, BH, 2020. From Infection to Pandemic in 48 hours?  Disease Diffusion across Space. Royal Geographical Society, Geography Directions blog, May 29.

    Welford, MR, 2018. Geographies of Plague Pandemics: The Spatial-Temporal Behavior of Plague to the Modern Day. Routledge, U.K.

    Welford, MR, Bossak, BH, Gibney, E, 2017, Archival evidence of secular changes in Georgia hurricanes: 1750-2012. Invited chapter in Hurricanes and Climate Change Vol 3: Springer eds Collins, JM and Walsh, K.

    Welford, MR, Yarbrough, R 2015, Serendipitous Conservation: Impacts of Oil Pipeline Construction in rural northwestern Ecuador. Journal of The Extractive Industries and Society. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2015.07.005.

    Bossak, BH, Welford, MR 2015, Spatio-temporal characteristics of the medieval Black Death. In Spatial Analysis in Health Geography eds Kanaroglou, Demelle and Paez. Ashgate.U.K.

    Bossak BH, Keihany, S, Mullis, D, Gibnery, E, Welford MR. 2014, Coastal Georgia is Not Immune: Hurricane History, 1851-2012. Southeastern Geographer 54 (3): 323-333.

    Welford, MR, 2013, Physical Geography. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Geography. Published Mar 20, 2013. Updated Aug 2015.

    Welford, MR, Barilla, AG, 2013, Is Neotropical Conservation sold-short: diminishing returns for birding suggest ecolodges could encourage longer stays. Journal of Nature Conservation 21: 401-405. doi: 10.1016/j.jnc.2013.05.002

    Durden, LA, Welford, MR 2011. Rapid Assessment of Elevational Zonation and Biodiversity in Ecuadorian Butterfly Faunas. Southern Lepidopterists' News 33 (2): 60-69.

    Welford MR, Bossak BH 2010. Body Lice, Yersinia pestis Orientalis, and Black Death (Letter to Editor), Emerging Infectious Diseases 16 (10): Article ID: 10-0683. doi: 10.3201/eid1610.100683.

    Bossak BH, Welford MR 2010. Spatiotemporal Attributes of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases. Geography Compass 4 (8): 1084-1096.doi:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00355.x

    Welford MR, Bossak BH 2010. Revisiting the Medieval Black Death of 1347-1351: Spatiotemporal Dynamics Suggestive of an Alternate Causation. Geography Compass 4 (6): 561-575. doi 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00335.x

    Welford MR, Bossak BH 2009. Validation of Inverse Seasonal Peak Mortality in Medieval Plagues, including the Black Death, in Comparison to Modern Yersinia pestis-variant Diseases. PLoS ONE 4 (12): e8401. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008401

    Bossak BH, Welford MR 2009. Did Medieval Trade Activity and a Viral Etiology Control the Spatial Extent and Seasonal Distribution of Black Death Mortality? Medical Hypotheses 72: 749-752.

    Dykes AP, Welford MR 2007. Landslides in the Tandayapa Valley, northern Andes, Ecuador: implications for landform development in humid and tectonically active mountain ranges. Landslides 4 (2): 177-187.

    Welford MR, Vásquez A, Sambrano P, Nunnery T, Ulman B 2007. Evidence for Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus brood-parasitism of Turquoise Jays Cyanolyca turcosa in northwest Ecuador and how this alters our understanding of Cowbird brood parasitism. Cotinga 27 (spring issue): 58-60.