Matthew Bampton

Matthew Bampton

Office Location

300f Bailey Hall, Gorham Campus, AND 416 Wishcamper, Portland Campus


(207) 780-5184 (Gorham) AND (207) 228-8352 (Portland)

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Geography, Clark University
  • MA in Geography, Clark University
  • BA in Geography, Portsmouth Polytechnic, South Hampshire, England


Matthew Bampton was born and raised in London, England.  He came to study in the USA in 1984, and has been teaching at USM since he finished his PhD 1992. He teaches Physical Geography, Geography of Maine, and GIS.

Matthew and his wife have three daughters, and live in Portland’s West End.  He can play the accordion, ride a bicycle, and paddle a kayak.  But not all at the same time.


Courses Taught

  • Physical Geography and Lab 
  • Geography of Maine 
  • GIS 1 
  • GIS 2 
  • Research Applications in GIS

Research Interests

Matthew’s research focuses on climate impacts on marginal communities in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic.  His current project is based in Southern Greenland.  He is working with an interdisciplinary group from USM and the University of Maine Climate Change Institute exploring the long-term relationship between people and the environment in and around the Kujataa UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kujalleq. Previously he worked on an interdisciplinary field project in the Shetland Islands combining archeology, geology and GIS to analyze the destruction of a farming community, described here. The core analysis for this work was undertaken in academic year 2014-15 when Matthew was appointed as Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh in the Institute for the Advanced Study of the Humanities. 

His other research interests include GIS education for undergraduates, and developing models for geospatial technology education in a rural region. This work is a collaborative effort, and involves faculty from all seven UMaine System campuses.

For over a decade he worked on a long-term NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Program with Mark Swanson of USM’s Geosciences program.  He has also worked with the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, and Maine Medical Center Research on the National Children’s Study: a multi-year study to examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21.  In the past he has studied human impacts on northern New England landscapes during the Colonial period, he has worked with archaeologists from the Thor Heyerdahl museum mapping Moai on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), and he has collaborated with USM Archaeologist to map Native American sites in coastal Maine.  Other collaborations include analyzing human rights crises and massacres in Guatemala, seal strandings in the Gulf of Maine, and the geography of obesity. 

Recent Publications

Bampton, M., Kelley, A. and Kelley, J.  2018. The hyperlocal geography of climate change impacts: long term perspectives on storm survivability from the Shetland Islands, Historical Geography.  46:1:129-150   

Kelley J. Kelley, Sorrell, L., Bigelow, G. & Bampton, M. 2018. Evidence for a former transgressive dune field: Shetland Islands, United Kingdom.  Journal of Coastal Geology. 34:6:1289-1302.

Bampton, M., Kelley J. Kelley, A. Jones, M & Bigelow, G. 2017.  Little Ice Age Catastrophic Storms and the Destruction of a Shetland Island Community.  Journal of Archaeological Science.  87:17-29.

Harris, D. E., Aboueissa, A., Walter, K., & Bampton, M. 2014. Predictors of Food Insecurity in Lewiston, Maine: A Community-Level Analysis. ​Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition​9:1:96-112

Harris, D. E., Bampton, M. B., & Aboueissa, A. M.  2013. Two methods that define the scale of obesogenic environments: A case study of Lewiston-Auburn, Maine.  Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 8:1:11-21

Bampton, M.  2012.  “Addressing misconceptions, troublesome knowledge and threshold concepts in GIScience education.”  In Unwin, D., Tate, N. J., Foote, K. E., & DiBiase, D.  Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education.  Wiley, NJ.

Harris, D. E., Whatley Blum, J., Bampton, M.  O’Brian, L.  2011.  “Location of Food Stores Near Schools Does Not Predict the Weight Status of Maine High School Students.”  Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 43: 4: 274-278.

Swanson, M. & Bampton, M. 2009.  “Integrated Digital Mapping In Geologic Field Research: An Adventure-Based Approach To Teaching New Geospatial Technologies In An REU-Site Program.”  In Whitmeyer, S. J., Mogk, D. W., and Pyle, E. J. Field Geology Education: Historical Perspectives and Modern Approaches.  Geological Society of  America Special Paper 461: 117 - 133. 

Harris, D. Bampton, M., Mosher, R., Gupta, S., & McAnneny, C. 2006. “GIS-based Analysis of Harp and Hooded Seal Sighting Locations On Shore In The Southern Gulf of Maine”. Journal of Interdisciplinary Mathematics.

Steinberg, M., Height, C., Mosher, R., and Bampton, M. 2006.  “Mapping massacres: GIS and state terror in Guatemala”. Geoforum, 37: 1: 62-68

Bampton, M. 2002.  “Linking Location and Space to Process using Precision Mapping.” Archeologia e Calcolatori 13: 171-178

Bampton, M. 1999.  “From Social Conflict to Environmental Change: Colonial Forestry’s Impact on New England’s Piscataqua Drainage Basin.”  Historical Geography. 27:193-211.

Bampton, M. & Flyg, P. 1999. “Field mapping the Ahu Ra’ai, La Pérouse Area, Rapa Nui (Easter Island).” In New Techniques for Old Times: Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods inArchaeology. Proceedings of the 26th CAA Conference, Barcelona, March 1998. 146-152.