Harvey K. Flad, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Geography
Harvey Flad

Harvey K. Flad, Professor Emeritus of Geography (1972-2004), received his B.A. from the University of Colorado (1962) and M.A. and PhD from Syracuse University (1973). Over three decades of teaching, Dr. Flad chaired the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, a founding member and Director of American Studies and Urban Studies programs, founding member of Environmental Studies, and Director of the Exploring Transfer program. He led many field trips to examine cultural landscapes from Poughkeepsie to Santa Fe. He has worked in film, on-camera in the prize-winning film Hyde Park and as writer and narrator of A Digital Tour of Poughkeepsie reissued on the Vassar College YouTube site in 2010. He has published on 19th century art, artists, and landscape design. His work at the interface of the arts, history and environment led to consultation to museums and art galleries, including the Smithsonian, Albany Institute of History & Art, and as co-curator and catalogue essayist of the exhibit "Humanizing Landscapes" at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, 2000. Other consultation focused on historic preservation in Dominica, curriculum development in Lithuania as a senior fellow of the American Association of Geographers, and a Fulbright Lectureship in Kyrgyzstan. Dr. Flad has continued his scholarship in retirement. He and Vassar colleague and historian Clyde Griffen published Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie in 2009. He was senior consultant for the 2019 exhibit "Hudson Rising" at the New-York Historical Society and has offered legal testimonies in 2015 and 2022 on the visual/aesthetic impact of industrial intrusions on communities in New York State.