Nost, Eric

Dr. Eric Nost
Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
519 824-4120 ext. 53279
Hutt 344

Political ecology; digital governance; environmental planning, markets, and justice; webmapping; agro-food systems; wetlands.

I research how data technologies inform environmental governance. New kinds of data-generating sensors and data-synthesizing algorithms are becoming central to everyday life and may prove transformational in policy too. A key challenge for geographers in the coming years is assessing these technologies’ promise to help society solve sustainability issues related to food security, climate change adaptation, and ecosystem services conservation. This will be done by understanding their human dimensions - their design, use, maintenance, and effects on society - alongside other governance trends such as marketization and metrification. It will involve understanding how these data systems came but also experimenting with them towards more just and equitable ends.

My work contributes to the field of political ecology and is currently supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant. I teach undergraduate courses in nature-society geography and mapping as well as graduate courses in research methods and in Guelph's Master of Conservation Leadership program. I serve on the coordinating committee of the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), where we bring people together to analyze publicly available socio-environmental data and track the portrayal of climate change issues on the web.

GEOG*1220 Human Impact on the Environment
GEOG*2480 Mapping and GIS
GEOG*4480 Contemporary Geographical Thought
CONS*6030 Conservation Tools and technology

For a full list of publications, see my CV here. For webmapping and other programming projects, visit my Github page.

Nost, E. and J.E. Goldstein. 2021. A political ecology of data. Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space.

Nost, E. 2020. Infrastructuring “data-driven” environmental governance in Louisiana’s coastal restoration plan. Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space.

Nost, E., M. Robertson, and R. Lave. 2019. Q-method and the performance of subjectivity: Reflections from a survey of US stream restoration practitioners. Geoforum 105: 23-31.

Nost, E. 2019. Climate services for whom? The political economics of contextualizing climate data for Louisiana’s coastal Master Plan. Climatic Change. 157(1): 27-42.

Walker, D., E. Nost, A. Lemelin, R. Lave, and L. Dillon. 2018. Practicing environmental data justice: From DataRescue to Data Together. Geo.

Nost, E. and M. Kelly. 2018. “Land Loss and Restoration in Coastal Louisiana: 1932-2009” in Water: An Atlas. Guerrilla Cartography.

Moore, S., R. Roth, H. Rosenfeld, E. Nost, K. Vincent, T. Buckingham, M.R. Arefin. 2017. Undisciplining Environmental Justice Research with Visual Storytelling Geoforum.

Nost, E., H. Rosenfeld, K. Vincent, S. Moore, and R.E. Roth. 2017. HazMatMapper: An online and interactive geographic visualization tool for exploring transnational flows of hazardous waste and environmental justiceJournal of Maps 13(1): 14-23. Map . Shortlisted for Journal of Maps’s 2017 “Best Map” award.

Nost, E. 2015. Performing nature’s value: software and the making of Oregon’s ecosystem services marketsEnvironment and Planning: A 47 (12): 2573-2590.

I’m excited to hear from prospective grad students who are curious about the intersections of data technologies and environmental governance. In particular, I am looking to recruit a Master of Arts student to research the design of government datasets in Canada and/or the US (e.g. the National Pollutant Release Inventory or the Enforcement and Compliance History Online datasets) and to experiment in alternative uses of them. This research could inform ongoing policy discussions such as those around Canada's Bill C-230 and the US's Justice40 initiative, both of which seek to develop data infrastructures for advancing environmental justice. The student would have the opportunity to collaborate with EDGI members on this project.

Prospective students should be interested in conducting interviews, document analysis, and/or surveys for their research, as well as working reflexively with data technologies themselves. I can offer training in communication skills including mapping, web design, and public writing.

I encourage interested candidates to email me at with a brief statement of interest, an unofficial transcript, a writing / research sample, and a CV/resume.

Graduate Students Supervised

Name Research
M.A. 2021 MacIntyre, Jillian Agroecological Farming Methodologies as Climate Change Resilience on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
M.A. 2021 O'Brien, Aidan Soil organic carbon decision-support systems: Integrating salience, credibility and legitimacy.
Ph.D. Glaros, Alex
M.A. Ross, Zo Research interests: precision conservation.
M.A. Singer, Noah Research interests: Web Mapping, Data Governance, Cartography
Ph.D. Smit, Emily Moving towards a regenerative built environment.
M.A. Zokaei Ashtiani, Mahya Evaluating social and environmental justice and sense of place in energy transitions.