Dr. Michael Ewers

Dr. Michael Ewers

• Assistant Professor
International Migration, Worker Welfare, Human Capital, Sustainable Development
McEniry 309

I am a human geographer and interdisciplinary social scientist. My research and creative scholarly work focus on three areas: 1) migration and globalization, 2) worker welfare and inequality, and 3) human capital and sustainable economic development. My overall goal is to understand who moves where and why in a global context; how individuals and groups experience and navigate migration and work differently across space; and how places create human capital for sustainable urban-economic development. My teaching and research interests are integrally linked, emphasizing global trends and particular expertise in the Middle East region. 

My interest in the Middle East began while serving as an Arabic linguist in the US Marine Corps. After four years, I emerged with a keen interest in the global and local complexities and influences shaping the region’s human geography. I honored that experience by taking a social sciences approach to bilingual Arabic-English data collection for my dissertation research. I was recruited as an Assistant Professor of Geography at Texas A&M University and subsequently as a Research Associate Professor and Senior Policy Analyst at Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI). SESRI is an academic survey research center established in association with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, located in the Middle East. Upon my family’s return to the US, I joined the faculty at UNC  Charlotte in 2019.

This background provided both qualitative and quantitative methodological skills. I have leveraged these skills to develop and conduct novel survey- and interview-based research in both Arabic and English across several countries. This work is the basis for new and innovative curricula: using global connections, intercultural engagement, and sustainable development, I have developed several for-credit undergraduate courses on Global Geography, the Global Economy, World Urbanization, Renewable Energy, and the Middle East, and a graduate course on Geographic Theory and Practice. I also focus on community-engaged research in the Charlotte community; for example, I lead a new 2023-2025 Gambrell Faculty Fellowship project entitled “Charlotte Atlas of Climate Inequality and Community Resilience.” 

Through my research, teaching, and service, I bring important and novel perspectives to the Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (EEGS), the Public Public Policy Program (where I am an affiliate faculty), the College, and the University. I contribute to multiple research initiatives on campus, including the University’s “Research Areas of Excellence” and Ignite Center in Migration and Diaspora Studies, the GeoSAN Center for Geospatial Sensing and Analytics, and the “Future Area of Opportunity” in Climate Resilience.

Teaching and Research interests

– Human geography 
– Migration and globalization
– Human capital and labor markets
– Urban and regional economic development
– Oil economies and energy transition
– The Middle East

Teaching at UNC Charlotte

GEOG 8124/6124 “Geographic Theory and Practice”
GEOG 3306: “Contemporary Issues in the Middle East” 
GEOG 3000/INTL 3001 “Geography of the Middle East”  
GEOG 3105 “Geography of the Global Economy” 
GEOG 3220 “Renewable Energy and Regional Energy Markets” 
GEOG 2165 “Patterns of World Urbanization”
LBST 2102 “Global Connections”
GEOG  1501 “Global Social Science: World Geography”

Recent Publications

Contact Me

309 McEniry