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Department of Geography


Robert Kopack

Title: Instructor
Department: Geography
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: Callcott, Room 106
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Robert Kopack


Dr. Kopack received his Ph.D. in human geography from the University of Toronto in 2020. Working across political economy and the environment, his doctoral research focused on Soviet defense industry conversions in Kazakhstan in formerly secret cities and their adjacent military installations and landscapes. For this research Dr. Kopack spent more than two years in Kazakhstan and other parts of the former Soviet Union. Currently Dr. Kopack is continuing to research the closure, remediation, and repurposing efforts of defense sites in Kazakhstan as well as the United States and Canada with a particular interest in the crossroads of political-economy, public health, and environmental history. A second and related project that Dr. Kopack has begun researching are the environmental regulations and public and private sector negotiations related to opening and operating commercial space facilities.


  • ANTH 102: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 203: Comparing Other Cultures Through Film
  • GEOG 103: Introduction to Geography
  • GEOG 121: Globalization and World Regions
  • GEOG 225: Geography of Europe
  • GEOG 311: Cultural Geography

Representative Publications

Kopack, Robert. 2021. “Baikonur 2.0: “Inland-Offshore” Space Economies in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan.” Culture, Theory, and Critique, special issue “Theorizing Special Territorial Status and Extraterritoriality.” DOI: 10.1080/14735784.2021.1929363 (special issue editor).

Kopack, Robert. 2020. “Rocket Wastelands in Kazakhstan: Authoritarian Governance and the Baikonur Cosmosdrome.” In Environmental Governance in an Populist/Authoritarian Era. James McCarthy, ed. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kopack, Robert. 2019. “Rocket Wastelands in Kazakhstan: Authoritarian Governance and the Baikonur Cosmodrome.” Annals of the American Association of American Geographers. 109(2):556-567, special issue: “Environmental Governance in Authoritarian and Populist Regimes.”

Special Issue Guest Editor
 Androus, Zachary, Magadalena Stawkowski, and Robert Kopack. 2021. “Introduction: Special Territorial Status and Extraterritoriality.” Culture, Theory and Critique, special issue “Special TerritorialStatus and Extraterritoriality.” DOI: 10.1080/14735784.2021.1942109.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.