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Garrett Dash Nelson

Society of Fellows photographed in Hanover, New Hampshire on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Copyright 2018 Rob Strong

Garrett Dash Nelson (he/him) is a historical geographer who currently serves as President & Head Curator at the Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library. His scholarly work focuses on the relationship between community structure, geographic units, and political ideology, and he specializes in the urban, regional, and environmental history of Boston and New England. In addition to his qualitative work, he also has methodological interests in geospatial analysis and the digital humanities. He holds an AB from Harvard College in Social Studies and Visual & Environmental Studies, an MA from the University of Nottingham in Landscape & Culture, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Geography.

Preservation Achievement Award, Boston Preservation Alliance, as lead at Leventhal Map & Education Center, for Atlascope Boston. (2023)
Honorable Mention, ISHMap Map History Prize, as lead at Leventhal Map & Education Center, for Bending Lines: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception. (2021)
Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement. Royal Town Planning Institute. Joint award with Alasdair Rae for our megaregions research. (2017)
John Reps Prize for Best Dissertation in Planning History. Society for American City and Regional Planning History. (2017)
GARRETT DASH NELSON, 2020. “Communities, Complexity, and the ‘Conchoration’: Network Analysis and the Ontology of Geographic Units,” Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 112(4): 351–369. doi:10.1111/tesg.12400
GARRETT DASH NELSON and Ryan McKeon, 2018. “Peaks of People: Utilizing Topographic Prominence to Measure the Ranked Significance of Population Centers,” The Professional Geographer 71(2): 342–354. doi:10.1080/00330124.2018.1531039
Alasdair Rae and GARRETT DASH NELSON, 2018. “From ‘Big Data’ to Big Regions: The Geography of the American Commute,” in LA Schintler and Z Chen, eds., Big Data for Regional Science (London: Routledge).
Rebecca Summer and GARRETT DASH NELSON, 2017. “Making Stories Significant: Possibilities and Challenges at the Intersection of Digital Methods and Historic Preservation,” Area 52(2): 282–290. doi:10.1111/area.12395
GARRETT DASH NELSON and Alasdair Rae, 2016. “A New Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions,” PLoS One 11(11):e0166083. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166083
GARRETT DASH NELSON, 2016. “Making the Single City: The Constitutive Landscape and the Struggle for Greater Boston, 1891–1911,” Landscape Research 42(3): 243–255, special issue on “Landscape Histories of Urbanization” doi:10.1080/01426397.2016.1267130