My Story

My first transcontinental journey transpired at the ripe age of six months, when I rode in the back of a station wagon from Seattle to South Carolina. When I was older we camped our way to Oregon and back, this time with me in the back seat poring over maps and keeping a detailed journal of all of the states, national parks, and points of interest we encountered. My father was an environmental scientist and my mother was an English teacher, so perhaps it was inevitable that I would grow up with a desire to write about the earth. But these road trips sealed the deal. As an undergraduate I studied journalism and considered becoming a science writer, but I later discovered geography (literally “writing about the earth”) and was instantly hooked. I once again found myself poring over maps of all kinds, from dusty pages in a weathered atlas to satellite imagery on a digital globe. I also began creating my own maps in order to tell stories that I found important, from food deserts in Western North Carolina to endangered amphibians in the rainforest of Panama. All places have stories to tell – my role at WWC is to work with students to find creative and effective ways of helping those stories be told.

David Abernathy
David Abernathy in Panama
David Abernathy Superfriends


  • B.A. in Journalism, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.A. in Geography, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Ph.D. in Geography, University of Washington

Research Interests

  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Environment-society relations
  • Geography of Panama

Courses Taught

  • GBL 2250: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • GBL 1170: Introduction to Global Studies
  • GBL 4610: Global Studies Capstone Seminar

Contact Dr. Abernathy

(828) 771-3707
Boon 115
WWC CPO 6043

PO Box 9000

Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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