Department of Geography and the Environment

Blaise Murphy

A.B., Anthropology, University of Chicago; M.A., Geography and the Environment, University of Denver,

Doctoral Candidate
Blaise Murphy



human-environment relations, anthropogenic landscapes, the Andes


Blaise is a doctoral candidate in the in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin. She studies human-environment relations in anthropogenic landscapes and their iterative impacts on land use patterns and slope stability. Her doctoral research looks at how human practice and perceptions along with the environment alter the use and form of terraced landscapes in the Andes of Southern Peru. She takes a relational approach to better understand the co-production of these anthropogenic landscapes by integrating multiple perspectives and multiple lines of evidence. This includes farmer interviews, participatory observation and land cover and slope failure mapping to analyze the changing relations between humans and geomorphic form and process. 

Blaise received her MA from the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Denver in 2017. Her thesis documented the beneficial impacts of human practice on cultivated and disused agricultural terraces in the Valley of the Volcanoes, southern Peru, through the testing and classification of physical and chemical soil properties. Blaise received her undergraduate degree from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, focusing on both social theory and archaeological practice.  

She has worked on several historic and prehistoric archaeological projects since 2011 in Texas, the Andes and the western U.S. Blaise has also been involved in the creation of geographic-focused, interactive teaching modules for secondary school students through the Planet Texas 2050 Project. She has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of Geography and the Environment since Fall 2018. These courses include South America: Nature, Society, and Sustainability as a study abroad course in Ecuador, Field Techniques, Latin America: Environmental History and Sustainability, Landscapes of Mexican and Caribbean America, Landscape Ecology, The Natural Environment and This Human World. 

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  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street, A3100
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712