Professor Richard Morrill

Home address: 2837 10th Ave E 
Seattle, WA 98102-3925 
University address: 303B Smith Hall Box 353550 
Phone: (206) 543-5285 Fax: (206) 543-3313 

Web -- 

GEOGRAPHY 445  (Autumn 2001)

Link to "Growth Management, the Market, and Settlement Change in Greater Seattle 1990-2007" PDF

Link to "Gentrification in Seattle" Power Point Paper

Actually, I am now "emeritus", as I officially retired in September 1997. But I have not been able to appreciate much change, as I am teaching in Fall 1997, under a "40 percent teaching continuation plan", and have ongoing research projects.

A little background: I am really and truly a Los Angeles native, born in 1934; my father was a city engineer, my mother, who always worked because she wanted to, a librarian and teacher. We lived in some 15-20 different houses as I grew up, in many parts of the city. I should have remained in LA schools, but my mother, a librarian in the Beverly Hills system, was able to enroll me in the very elite Beverly Hills HS, where, for example, I learned a little Greek as well as Latin! I was fortunate again to be accepted at Dartmouth, where I discovered the discipline of GEOGRAPHY. After my BA in 1955, I moved to Seattle to work on my MA and PhD at the University of Washington - so my teaching career began in 1955. I was an ardent disciple of Bill Garrison ("space cadet") and the rise of theoretical and quantitative geography. After my PhD in 1959 I took my first job at Northwestern University - a great place and an exciting time, but in 1960-1961 I obtained an NSF grant to do research in Sweden, and spent the year in Lund with Torsten Hagerstrand. Since Garrison had now moved to Northwestern, I in turn went back (Fall 1961) to Washington, where I have been ever since - except for a year in Chicago as director of the Chicago Regional Hospital project (1966-67), and shorter visits to Scotland (University of Glasgow) and Dartmouth.

My doctoral work was in transportation and medical geography, and these interests have remained. However, opportunities and interests of students led me in additional directions - notably population distribution and migration, and two aspects of political geography - electoral districting and local government and regional planning. My radicalism led to a stong and continuing interest in inequality. In recent years I have taught population geography, geography of inequality, location and movement models, multivariate analysis in geography, urban geography, the United States, history and philosophy of geography, and political geography. Please see my curriculum vita for details about my career, students and publications.

Current projects and activities (Fall, 1997). I am completing a project for the Economic Research Service (Agriculture) and the Office of Rural Health Policy on defining metropolitan areas on the basis of census tracts rather than counties (this is politically sensitive!), and continue work on CRESP ( Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation) - dealing with future uses of the Hanford and other nuclear reservations.

My wife, Joanne, recently quit work also. Although empty-nesters we remain in a big old 1912 house on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Our older son, Lee, works in Seattle, our younger son Andrew moves among Montana, Seattle, and Maui (surfing), and our daughter, Jean, is at the University of Arizona, finishing her PhD in hydrology/ atmospheric sciences. Another reason I retired relatively young is so I could have more time to hike and climb while I remain physically able, given the superb opportunities here in the Pacific Northwest.