David Rain

David Rain is an Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs at the George Washington University.

Professor Rain received his Ph.D. in Geography from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to his appointment at GW, he served as a statistician-demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau. In that capacity, Professor Rain assisted numerous countries with census and cartographic capabilities. He served as an instructor at the University of Maryland and Penn State and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger.

Professor Rain is the author Eaters of the Dry Season: Circular Labor Migration in the West African Sahel (Westview Press, 1999). His book, Handbook on Geospatial Infrastructure in Support of Census Activities, is forthcoming from United Nations Publications. His articles have appeared in Urban Geography, GeoJournal, and the Proceedings of the Environmental Systems Research Institute. His current interests include demographic and environmental change in developing world cities, remote sensing and field survey methods to explore environment and well-being, and the role of geospatial technologies in improving governance and facilitating humanitarian response. Professor Rain has received several awards and fellowships, including the ComSci Fellowship from the Department of Commerce, the Bronze Medal Award from the U.S. Census Bureau, and a Fulbright Award to conduct research in Niger.

In my eating habits I tend to be omnivorous, equally happy with squid, fufu and Five Guys. But a recent health issue had me on a vegan-plus-fish diet for three months, and this dietary change coincided with teaching a class at GW called People, Land & Food. With a subtext of exploring the geographies of…

From Colonel Drake’s discovery of oil in 1859 to the vast cut-over of remaining primary forest, to a little-known offshoot of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Project Plowshares called Project Ketch, which (before it was stopped) would have nuked a cavity in north-central PA for storage of natural gas, Pennsylvania’s rural areas have served as an…