Jeff La Frenierre


Assistant Professor in Geography and Environmental Studies

As a geographer, I am fascinated by environmental change – especially climate change – in mountain landscapes. I am especially interested in the relationship between water and people in mountain regions, and have conducted much of my research in the Andes of Ecuador, where I have investigated the relationship between glacier retreat, mountain hydrology, and water resources vulnerability. As a researcher, my guiding philosophy is that integrative research incorporating both physical and social dimensions and methodological approaches is essential if the challenges facing society as a result of environmental change are to be fully understood and addressed. I also strive to produce research that not only advances methods and provides important new knowledge for the scientific community but also provides actionable information for people grappling with the challenges of life in our rapidly changing world. As an educator, I strive to expand the horizons of my students by instilling in them a sense of wonder about the myriad complexities and contradictions of our world. My goal is to help create thoughtful, engaged citizens who are responsible stewards of our natural environment and who are prepared to fight for a more just society. I seek to provoke students’ curiosity, to challenge their preconceived notions and to inspire them to reflect upon their place in the world.

When I’m not geeking out on all things geographic, I enjoy kayaking, backpacking, snowboarding, snowshoeing and photography.

I live with my wife Paula (and our cat Loki) in Hopkins, MN. 


Ph.D. (Geography) Ohio State University; M.A. (Geography) University of Denver; B.A. (Geography) University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
GEG-240Fundamentals of GIS52016/FA, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, and 2014/FA
GEG-108Weather and Climate42016/FA, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, and 2014/FA
GEG-108Weather and Climate Lab32016/FA, 2015/SP, and 2014/FA
GEG-343Prob Slv GIS II w/Lab22016/SP
GEG-397Honors Thesis Project22016/SP and 2015/FA
GEG-243Hydrology & Water Res12016/FA
GEG-155Landscape Evol-Ecuador12016/JN
GEG-230The Anthropocene12015/SP