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Meet one of our newest faculty: Dr. Douglas Rivet

Posted by: andrewst | November 3, 2020 | No Comment |

The Department of Political Science welcomed Dr. Douglas Rivet to our program in Fall 2019.  With a specialization in geography, the addition of Dr. Rivet to our program brings focus to our geography minor and the myriad of ways these two disciplines complement each other in today’s world.

According to Oxford Languages, “geography is the study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources, land use, and industries.” The first half of that definition is where Rivet’s love of geography began, but it is that second half that shows where his love has taken him.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Dr. Rivet became quite interested in GIS – Geographic Information Systems – and truly came to appreciate its vast capabilities. His first job out of college was as a property tax assessor in Brighton, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), where he refined his skills in GIS and gained valuable experience on suburban development and local government practices.

Rivet then pursued a master’s in geography at Western Michigan University and worked with GIS systems to analyze and assess the risks of agricultural disease on potatoes in the Great Lakes region.  While pursuing his master’s, he reconnected with his love of the classroom and decided to pursue a Ph.D. in order to become a professor.  He was accepted to a doctoral program at Western University in London, Ontario, and fell in love with life in Canada and its people.  Rivet was particularly fascinated by the Canadian universal healthcare system and its political processes, which are vastly different from the U.S.  Rivet worked for eight years as a transportation policy advisor for the first bus rapid-transit system in the region, which is now under construction.  He consulted on everything from where the structure should go, to how the region would pay for it, using – you guessed it – GIS!  He left Canada only because he received his “dream offer” to teach at the College of Charleston.

Dr. Rivet’s hobbies include golf and darts (a game he became fond of in Canada, where darts is practically a national “sport”).  He lives with his wife, Heather, and their two dogs, Dexter and Theodore, in Goose Creek, SC.

under: Faculty, Geography

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