Matthew Fry | Department of Geography and the Environment

Matthew Fry

Associate Professor / Director of Graduate Studies
ENV 210F

Research Interests

  • how institutions, laws, and property rights structure access to and control over resources
  • political ecologies and environmental justice issues around resource and energy production and consumption
  • how the manipulation of geologic materials (oil, shale gas, aggregates, etc.) shape policies, society, the environment, and lived spaces
  • cultural landscapes and landscape change
  • conducted research throughout Latin America, but primarily works in Texas and Mexico

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • Fry, M. Shifting Volumetric Imaginaries of Oil Potential in Mexico's Chicontepec Basin: Investible Asset, Reserve Replacement, and Oilfield Services Zone. Journal of Latin American Geography. 2018.
  • Murphy, T., Brannstrom, C., Fry, M., and Ewers, M. Economic development stakeholder perspectives on boomtown dynamics in the Eagle Ford Shale, Texas. The Geographical Review. 2018; 108(1): 24-44.
  • Fry, M., Brannstrom, C. and Sakinejad, M. Suburbanization and Shale Gas Wells: Patterns, Planning Perspectives, and Reverse Setback Policies. Landscape and Urban Planning. 2017; 168C: 9-21.
  • Fry, M. and Brannstrom, C. Emergent Patterns and Processes in Urban Hydrocarbon Governance. Energy Policy. 2017; 111: 383-393.
  • Fry, M., Brannstrom, C., and Murphy, T. How Dallas became Frack Free: Hydrocarbon Governance under Neoliberalism. Environment and Planning A. 2016; 47: 2591-2608.
  • Aucoin, M. and Fry, M. Growing local food movements: Farmer's markets as nodes for products and community. Geographical Bulletin. 2015; 56(2).
  • Fry, M., Briggle, A. and Kincaid, J. Fracking and Environmental (In)Justice in a Texas City. Ecological Economics. 2015 117: 97-107.
  • Fry, M., Ponette-Gonz├ílez, A.G., and Young, K.R. A low-cost GPS-based protocol to create high-resolution DEMs for remote mountain areas. Mountain Research and Development. 2015 35(1).
  • Fry, M. Cement, carbon dioxide, and the 'necessity' narrative: A case study of Mexico. Geoforum. 2013; 49: 127-138.
  • Fry, M. Urban gas drilling and distance ordinances in the Texas Barnett Shale. Energy Policy. 2013; 62: 79-89.
  • Fry, M. From Crops to Concrete: Deagriculturalization, Urbanization, and Construction Material Mining in Central Mexico. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 2011; 101(6): 1285-1306.
  • Ponette-Gonz├ílez, A.G. and Fry, M. Pig pandemic: Industrial hog farming in eastern Mexico. Land Use Policy. 2010; 27(4): 1107-1110.
  • Fry, M. Mexico's Concrete Block Landscape: A Modern Legacy in the Vernacular. Journal of Latin American Geographers. 2008; 72(2): 35-58.

Chapter in book

  • Fry, M. and Brannstrom, C. Experimental regulatory approaches for unconventional oil and gas: the case of urban drilling and local government authority in Texas, in Whitton, J., Cotton, M., Charnley-Parry, I.M., and and Brasier, K. (eds.) Governing Shale Gas: Development, Citizen Participation and Decision Making in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Routledge. 2018.
  • Brannstrom, C. and Fry, M. New Geographies of the Texas Energy Revolution, in Bouzarovski, S., Pasqualetti, M.J., and Castan Broto, V. (eds.) Routledge Energy Geographies Companion. Routledge. 2017. Pp 17-31.

Courses Taught

Our Energy Futures (GEOG 4115) - Using Texas energy developments as a backdrop, field trips, guest speakers, and in-class discussions, this course examines geographical questions related to our shared energy futures, including: What are the benefits and drawbacks of major energy sources? How does location factor into energy extraction, transformation, transport, and consumption? What are the major institutions and organizations involved in energy supply and consumption? How do historical energy developments relate to contemporary energy paradigms?

Property: Methods and Concepts (GEOG 4885) - From the enclosure of the commons, to notions of ownership and privatization, to contemporary ideas of copyrights, patents, minerals, and IP, 'property' in all its diverse manifestations is quintessential to our modern, capitalist society. This course examines how 'property' has been conceptualized and used over time and across space, and reveals how: 1) property is a social tool, it is used to organize relations between people and groups; 2) the claim of a property right in a thing is a way to exclude access by others; and 3) property is notoriously hard to define and often merely imagined.

Political Geology Field School: Texas Parks - This course is offered during the 3-week Maymester. Co-taught with Dr. Reid Ferring, we visit and learn about the great parks of Texas through the lenses of political ecology and classic geology.

Latin America (GEOG 3770) - Human demands for food, energy, and resources are the biggest drivers of human induced environmental change. This course focuses on the commodification of natural resources, in particular key Latin American resources, and how the commodities we consume on a daily basis (e.g. coffee, sugar, coca cola) not only link us to peoples and environments in distant regions, but embody geography, history, environment, economics, culture, and development.

Geography of Mexico (GEOG 3780) - Mexico is a geographically dynamic, culturally diverse, and economically powerful nation with a long history of human-environment interactions. In this course, we explore how land and life have come to differ from one part of the earth to another using a regional perspective to analyze the cultures, politics, history, and environments of Mexico.

Culture, Environment & Society (GEOG 2170) - This course focuses on learning the why of the where, i.e., how things got to be where they are and the processes that underlie spatial patterns. These fundamental geographic questions lead us away from simply memorizing place names or types of landforms to conducting in-depth inquiry into the processes behind the patterns that are present on the landscape. These processes are fundamentally cultural (i.e., their roots reach down into religion, language, politics, economics, and built environments, among other things) and reflect human demands for food, energy, and resources.

Master's Students

  • Reed Underwood (Department of Geography and the Environment, UNT) Memory and Continuity Amidst Irreversible Decline in The Texas Big Empty
  • Michael Sakinejad (Department of Geography and the Environment, UNT) The Landscape Legacies of Urban Gas Drilling in North Texas
  • Julie Parker (Department of Geography, UNT) Pastoral Livelihoods and Household Water Management Strategies in the Central Argentine Andes
  • Jerl 'Levi' McCollum (Department of Geography, UNT) Urban Transport Governance and Public Dialogue: A Transition to Compressed Natural Gas in Bolivia

Thinking about UNT?

It's easy to apply online. Join us and discover why we're the choice of over 42,000 students.

Apply now