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Eric Spears - Columbus State University

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Columbus State University

headshot of Eric Spears, Ph.D.

Eric Spears, Ph.D.

Associate Professor / Executive Director, Center for Global Engagement

Center for Global Engagement

Associate Professor

History & Geography

Schuster Center 117

Geographic Information Systems, Geography, Latin American Studies

Education and Certifications

Ph.D., Geography, West Virginia University, 2004
M.A., International Political Economy, The University of Warwick, 1995
B.A., Geography, Marshall University, 1992


Dr. Eric Spears is an associate professor of geography and holds the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Eminent Scholar and Chair of International Education. Trained as a geographer, Dr. Spears teaches geography and global studies courses to undergraduate students. He also serves as the executive director for the Center for Global Engagement and oversees education abroad, international student and scholar services, international student recruitment and admissions, and on-campus co-curricular programming.

As the senior geographer at CSU, Dr. Spears coordinates the undergraduate geography minor, GIS certificate program, international studies certificate program, and Asian Studies minor. His research focuses on political ecology in Brazil and the US Southeastern coastline. In addition, he focuses on East Asian political economy, in particular with China's role in the world economy.

Dr. Spears is also part of a multi-year global grant project in Guatemala that is partnered with Rotary International, CEPA Foundation, and and the Guatemalan NGO, FUNCOLI. The grant focuses on delivering ecological 'rocket stoves' and latrines to people of Mayan ethnicity in the village of Vuelta Grande.

Academic Areas

Latin America (Brazil)
East Asia (China)
Environmental Geography
Urban Geography
Political Economy

Research Interests

Dr. Spears recently published research focusing on the impacts of sea-level rise on minority communities in coastal Georgia. In addition, he has published on the political economy of higher education with Brazil's public universities.

Dr. Spears is currently co-authoring a book with CSU archivist, Mr. David Owings, called, Cartographic America: Selections from the J. Kyle Spencer Map Collection (publication date: Summer 2023). This book will be published through the Columbus State University Press.

He is also developing an article that focuses on the geopolitical impact of Chinese foreign-direct investment (FDI) in parts of Latin America. This research should be completed by the end of 2023.
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