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Dr. Jay T. Johnson

Department of Geography & Atmospheric Science
Professor, Geography
Associate Chair of Geography & Atmospheric Science
Director, C-FIRST
Primary office:
Lindley Hall, room 402


My current research interests concern the broad area of Indigenous peoples' cultural survival with specific regard to the areas of resource management, political activism at the national and international levels and the philosophies and politics of place which underpin the drive for cultural survival. Much of my work is comparative in nature and has focused predominately on New Zealand, the Pacific and North America. For more information, please visit my research center webpage at http://www.ipsr.ku.edu/cfirst/.


Ph.D., University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003

Graduate Certificate, International Cultural Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2000

MSW, Medical Social Work, University of Kansas, 1991

B.A., Russian and Eastern European History, American history minor, University of Kansas, 1987


Geog 370 - Intro to Cultural Geography

Geog 500 - Geography Capstone

Geog 875 - Qualitative Research Methods

Geog 970 - Seminar in Cultural Geography

Teaching Interests

  • Cultural geography
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Oceania
  • Indigenous geographies


  • Indigenous geographies
  • Critical methodologies
  • Place-based struggle

Selected Publications

Larsen, S. C., & Johnson, J. T. (2017). Being together in place: Indigenous coexistence in a more-than-human world, Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Brewer, J. P, Vandever, S., & Johnson, J. T (Eds.). (2017). Towards energy sovereignty: Biomass as sustainability in Interior Alaska. Sustainability Science. DOI:

Larsen, S. C., & Johnson, J. T. (2016). The agency of place: Toward a more-than-human geographical self. GeoHumanities. DOI:10.1080/2373566X.2016.1157003

Johnson, J. T., & Madge, C. (2016). Empowering methodologies: Feminist and Indigenous approaches. In I. Hay (Ed.), Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography(4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Johnson, J. T., Howitt, R. Cajete, G. Berkes, F. Louis, R. P., & Kliskey, A. (2015). Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences to Diversify our Methods. Sustainability Science, 11(1). DOI:10.1007/s11625-015-0349-x

Whyte, K. P., Brewer, J. P., & Johnson, J. T. (2015). Weaving Indigenous Science, Protocols and Sustainability Science. Sustainability Science. DOI:10.1007/s11625-015-0296-6

Coombes, B. Johnson, J. T., & Howitt, R. (2014). Indigenous Geographies III, Methodological innovation and the unsettling of participatory research. Progress in Human Geography, 38(6), 845-854. DOI:10.1177/0309132513514723

Johnson, J. T., Louis, R. P., & Kliskey, A. (2014). Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences: Diversifying our Methods (WIS2DOM) Workshop. 116. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation. http://www.ipsr.ku.edu/cfirst/wis2dom/WorkshopReport2013.pdf

Johnson, J. T. & Larsen, S. C. (Eds.). (2013). A Deeper Sense of Place: Stories and Journeys of Collaboration in Indigenous Research. 243. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press.

Johnson, J. T. (2013). Dancing into place: the role of the powwow within urban Indigenous communities. In E. Peters & C. Andersen (Eds.), Indigenous in the city: contemporary identities and cultural innovation (pp. 316-323). UBC Press.

Coombes, B. Johnson, J. T., & Howitt, R. (2013). Indigenous geographies II: the aspirational spaces in postcolonial politics – reconciliation, belonging and social provision. Progress in Human Geography, 37(5), 691-700. DOI:10.1177/0309132512469590

Louis, R. P., Johnson, J. T., & Pramono, A. H. (2012). Editorial Introduction: Indigenous Cartographies and Counter-mapping. Cartographica, 47(2), 77-79.

Coombes, B. Johnson, J. T., & Howitt, R. (2012). Indigenous Geographies I: Mere resource conflicts? The complexity in Indigenous land and environmental claims. Progress in Human Geography, 36(6), 810-821.

Johnson, J. T. (2012). Place-based learning and knowing: A critical pedagogy grounded in Indigeneity. GeoJournal, 77(6), 829-836.

Larsen, S. C., & Johnson, J. T. (2012). Towards an 'open' sense of place: Geography and the question of being. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102(3), 632-646.

Larsen, S. C., & Johnson, J. T. (2012). In between worlds: place, experience, and research in Indigenous geography. Journal of Cultural Geography, 29(1), 1-15.

Johnson, J. T., & Yellow Bird, M. (2011). Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Survival. In L. Healy & R. Link (Eds.), Handbook on International Social Work: Human Rights, Development, and the Global Profession (pp. 208-213). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coombes, B. Gombay, N. Johnson, J. T., & Shaw, W. S. (2011). The challenges of and from Indigenous Geographies: Implications for openly transcultural research. In R. Panelli (Ed.), The Companion to Social Geography (pp. 472-489). Oxford: Blackwell.

Johnson, J. T. (2008). Indigeneity's challenges to the white settler-state: creating a thirdspace for dynamic citizenship. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 33(1), 29-52.

Johnson, J. T. (2008). Kitchen Table Discourse: negotiating the 'Tricky Ground' of Indigenous research. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 32(3), 127-137.

Johnson, J. T., Cant, G. Howitt, R. & Peters, E. (2007). Creating anti-colonial geographies: Embracing Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights. Geographical Research, 45(2), 117-120.

Johnson, J. T., & Murton, B. (2007). Re/placing Native Science: Indigenous voices in contemporary constructions of nature. Geographical Research, 45(2), 121-129.

Johnson, J. T., Louis, R. P., & Pramono, A. H. (2006). Facing the Future: Encouraging Cartographic Literacies in Indigenous Communities. ACME: An International E-Journal of Critical Geography, 4(1), 80-98.

Selected Presentations

Larsen, S. C. & Johnson, J. T. (04/28/2018). Being together in place. Garfield Conservatory in conjunction with Artist in Residence, Claire Pentacost. Chicago, IL

Johnson, J. T. (08/29/2017). Decolonisation as a transition discourse: gazing toward the horizon to glimpse the pluriverse. London, United Kingdom

Johnson, J. T. (07/11/2017). Heeding the call of place: to speak, to create, and to teach. Institute of Australian Geographers. Brisbane, Australia

Johnson, J. T. (02/28/2017). The ethical and epistemological challenges to sharing qualitative data. Qualitative Data Sharing and Use to Accelerate Synthesis for Conservation and Sustainability Science. SESYNC, Annapolis, Maryland

Johnson, J. T. & Brewer, J. P. (09/15/2016). The Haskell/KU Collaboration in STEM Education. The Tribal College STEM Summit. Moscow, ID

Johnson, J. T. & Larsen, S. C. (04/03/2016). Learning from place: Lessons of hospitality and reciprocity at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Aotearoa/New Zealand . American Association of Geographers. San Francisco, CA

Selected Grants

Johnson, Jay T, Marshall, Phillip Cody, Haskell Environmental Research Studies Internship, NSF - ESPCoR, Submitted 08/02/2016 (09/01/2017 - 08/31/2022) . Federal. Status: Proposal Submitted.

Johnson, Jay T, (Principal), Louis, Renee Pualani, (Co-Principal), Palmer, Mark, (Co-Principal), Medicine Crow, Elizabeth , (Co-Principal), RCN: Facilitating Indigenous Research, Science, and Technology, PLR-1417767, National Science Foundation, (04/01/2015 - 03/31/2020) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Johnson, Jay T, (Principal), Walsey, Victoria, (Co-Principal), Doctoral Dissertation Research: Bridging Knowledge Systems to Improve Ecosystem Management along the Yukon River, Alaska, Submitted 10/01/2014 (09/01/2015 - 08/31/2016) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Johnson, Jay T, (Principal), Larsen, Soren C, (Co-Principal), Being-together-in-place: A geohumanistic exploration of place-based politics in postcolonial settler-states, American Council of Learned Societies, Submitted 09/01/2013 (08/01/2014 - 07/31/2016) . Foundation. Status: Funded.

Louis, Renee Pualani, (Principal), Johnson, Jay T, (Co-Principal), Medicine Crow, Elizabeth, (Co-Principal), Collaboratively Harnessing Indigenous Research Principles, Protocols, and Practices, Office of Polar Programs - National Science Foundation, Submitted 01/01/2014 (07/01/2014 - 07/31/2016) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Johnson, Jay T., (Principal), Pualani Louis, Renee, (Co-Principal), Kliskey, Andrew, (Co-Principal), WIS2DOM, Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences: Diversifying our Methods, #1233266, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, (01/01/2012 - 12/31/2014) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Johnson, Jay T., (Principal), Rankey, Gene, (Co-Principal), Learning from Indigenous Science: Indigenous Perception and Adaptation to Environmental Change in Kiribati, The Commons at the University of Kansas, (01/01/2012 - 12/31/2013) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

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Sunday, September 22 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Marvin Grove, backyard of the Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi St., Lawrence, KS 66045
This is artful celebration of the autumnal equinox, the end of summer and start of fall. Enjoy activities, games and performances that explore nature, culture and the character of our communities. Headlining music act is Bad Alaskan, aka ISP's Alex Kimball Williams, performing a blend of Indigenous, trip-hop, ambient and dance music.
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"Think Indigenous: Richard Oakes, Alcatraz and the Red Power Movement"
Lecture by Langston Hughes Professor of ISP candidate, Dr. Kent Blansett
Tuesday, September 24 | 1:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium 309
Faculty, staff and students encouraged to attend

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"Sovereignty of the Soul: Centering the Voices of Native Women" Lecture by Sarah Deer
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The Commons, Spooner Hall
University of Kansas campus
Part of the Humanities Lecture Series

KU Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebrations
Keynote Speaker, Congresswoman Sharice Davids
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Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union
University of Kansas campus

Indigenous Women of Art Exhibit
October 8-27
Spencer Museum of Art
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Native American Leadership Symposium
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Thursday, October 10 | 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Kansas Union
University of Kansas

Indigenous Animated Short Films Screening
Thursday, October 10 | 7 p.m.
Lied Center Pavilion

All events are free and open to the public.

K-State Indigenous Peoples Day Conference: "Asserting Sovereignty: Innovations and Battlegrounds"
Monday, October 14 | 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
K-State Student Union, Manhattan, KS
Keynote speakers: KU's Sarah Deer, Muscogee (Creek) is a highly respected legal scholar who is committed to ending violence against women, and was recently inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Susan Faircloth (Coharie) recently named as the Director of Colorado State’s College of Education, is one of the most respected Indigenous education scholars in her field and has engaged in extensive research and service to Indian education. Meredith McCoy (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa descent) is rising star in Indian education, and has studied the history of Indian education policy extensively on topics such as finance, law and curriculum.  

Free and open to the public, but registration is required (meals included)

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