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There must be more maps of Illinois displayed on Chicago's South and West Sides than anywhere else in the state. The hand-painted illustrations are rendered on store walls and windows with thick house paint, spray paint, and even airbrushing. Some maps are remarkably accurate, while others more closely resemble teeth, Africa, or even Castellane pasta.

2015 was another year of change. After splitting my time in Chicago and Cambridge over the last couple of years, it's time to add another city into the mix. Since August, I have been hopping between Chicago and Minneapolis, where I am now an assistant professor of sociology at St. Olaf College.

Last week I traveled through southern Norway and Sweden. Since it was my first visit to Scandinavia, I decided to get a broad sense of the place, rather than work on a specific project.

Last week I made a short visit to Houston, Texas during the American Collegiate Schools of Planning conference. When I wasn't downtown, I spent the majority of my free time in the Third Ward, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods and home to Project Row Houses.

This time last year, I was engulfed by the Polar Vortex in Chicago, but this year I am in the Boston area for its record snowfall. The region has received nearly 8 feet (2.4 meters) of snow in the last few weeks, and additional precipitation is forecast.

Even more than 2013, I spent 2014 working on projects, including the films Almost There and The Area, and photography series about subsidized housing in New York City and Japan's Tōhoku region.

I recently visited Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to present at the International Visual Sociology Association's annual meeting and explore the region. I particularly enjoy working in Pittsburgh, but my time photographing the end of an era in Johnstown instilled an interest in the region's smaller towns. When I visited Pittsburgh in 2011, I made sure to spend a little time in neighboring borough of Braddock, but I wanted to go farther afield this time. In part motivated to see the borough of Donora, whose 1948 environmental catastrophe raised awareness of the need for clean air regulations, I visited more than a dozen towns in the Monongahela River valley, and then several more along the Ohio River.

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