Department of Geography and the Environment

Jayme Walenta

LecturerPh.D., University of British Columbia

Jayme Walenta


  • Office: CLA 3.422
  • Office Hours: Wednesdays 9 - 11 am
  • Campus Mail Code: A3100


Economic Geography, Feminist Geography, Environment and Business Relations


Dr. Walenta studies how economic institutions shape human-environment interactions. Broadly, she is concerned by how economic growth and environmental protection are made mutually compatible. Her current research examines this forged compatibility as it relates to the business response to climate change. At the moment, she is investigating the varied technical devices and calculation practices used to commodify climate change and make it commensurable with business logics.  An example of this is the corporate carbon footprint, a calculation tool that renders climate change impacts knowable and manageable for companies. The origins for this research derive from her experience as a carbon management consultant, a role she took on following her Ph.D., and from her longstanding interest in how businesses integrate an environmental ethic into their everyday practice.

As a teacher, Jayme strives to create participatory and experiential learning moments for her students, getting them involved in the learning process through hands on, field-oriented research projects.  Doing this shifts the site where academic knowledge is produced and applied. Jayme also prioritizes integrating critical theory into the classroom to demonstrate that human geographical phenomenon, such as globalization and de-industrialization, are inextricably linked to race, class and gender. This exposes students to a diversity of viewpoints, and asks them to consider questions of equity and justice. 


GRG 333K • Climate Change

37340 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 524

With the release of each Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, it becomes more patently clear that climate change poses one of the greatest scientific, political, social, and ethical challenges of our time. This course will investigate these challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective, paying specific attention to how the science of climate change works, the role of humans in accelerating climate change, the implications of climatic change on human populations, and policies aimed at addressing it. Ultimately, we will build towards developing the expertise to critically evaluate future climate scenarios using environmental and socio-cultural approaches. My goal for you is that you view climate change as more than a scientific issue, to be resolved simply through technical means. I want for you to see the challenge of climate change, both the scientific and the policy aspects, from a multi-dimensional and complex perspective.

GRG 342C • Sustainable Development

37380 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JGB 2.202

This course examines the powerful, contested, and endlessly debated concept of sustainable development. “Sustainability” has come to mean many things to many different entities. Most identify it through the trifecta of environmental protection, economic equality, and social justice. Similarly, the term “development” carries its own complex and contested meaning. Despite these contestations, sustainable development continues to be the key idea around which environment related development is structured today. While many sustainable development courses take the economy as a starting point, emphasizing economic notions of development, we will depart from this convention, and instead use the environment as our starting point. Discussions of social justice and economic access will reflect back onto environmental issues. After an introductory section of the course where themes such as theories of development, definitions of sustainability, and explorations of ethics, overpopulation, and governance are discussed, we will take on specific sustainable development challenges as they concern climate change, biodiversity and forests, hydrocarbons, water and agriculture. We conclude the course with a consideration of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and other calls to action to implement and achieve development through sustainable means. 

GRG 374 • Frontiers In Geography

37470 • Spring 2017
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM CLA 0.108

This upper-level undergraduate capstone level course requires students to successfully complete a research project that assembles and integrates knowledge and skills acquired across your university career. Students are expected to work independently, with minimal supervision by the professor. The topic for the 2017 spring term will be to investigate food access and food security in the Austin, TX area. Final projects are intended to contribute to a multi-dimensional investigation of food access in the area by mapping food deserts, food accessibility, and food security. By mapping, I mean both the literal visual documentation using geo-spatial technologies that you are accustomed to, as well as creating an archive of the area’s food security through interviews with key community members. You will have the option to work in groups or individually. Projects will be customized to account for group numbers. 

GRG 356T • The Gendered City

37800 • Fall 2009
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM GRG 312

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