Dory Tuininga

Headshot of Dory Tuininga


Department: Geography

Describe your work in a few sentences that we can all understand:

I explored the impact of geography on the citizens of the St Louis area and how strongly segregated it is both by race and class. These divisions correspond with unjust practices in the municipal court system and in the way that towns break Missouri law at the expense of the poor and communities of color.

Q: Who mentors your project?

A: My project was mentored by Dr Margaret Pearce.

Q: What surprised you about doing research?

A: That I was doing research! What started as a simple assignment for my cartography class turned into something a lot more complex.  My curiosity drove me to keep pushing it further.
I always knew I wanted to do research at some point, but thought it would be something I’d get to later on -  only to realize that I’d spent most of a year gathering and combing through data, analyzing it, and working to communicate the patterns and understanding I’d found through maps.

 Q: What do you like most about your research?

A: Using cartographic language, I was able to visually communicate something complicated, challenging, and important.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?

A: You don’t have to have it all figured out; there are so many people who want to help you. Find a professor who’s interested in what you want to do and ask them for advice. Go in and talk to the folks at the Undergraduate Research Office and ask them for help too.

Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your research?

A: I’m kind of a nerd, so I like hanging out with friends and playing board games or watching the Sunday night kickball game during the summer. When I get a break from school and work I love to road trip and go hiking and camping with my wife, or to go on long rides on my scooter.