About Joel E. Quam

Textbook Author:

  • Quam, Joel, and Scott Campbell. 2020. The Western World: Daily Readings on Geography. 1st ed.              Glen Ellyn, IL: College of DuPage Digital Press. https://cod.pressbooks.pub/westernworlddailyreadingsgeography/
    • Open Educational Resources (OER) - a free, online textbook
    • utilizing an innovative format of short, focused chapters on many topics




Classes Taught:

  • GEOGR1100 - Geography of the Western World
  • GEOGR1105 - Geography of the Eastern World


Current Projects:

  • Fall 2022 - Expected debut of companion OER textbook with colleague Scott Campbell
    •  The Eastern World: Daily Readings on Geography
  • Co-founder and co-chair of the Russia Committee, a COD committee devoted to learning about Russia



  • Full Professor of Geography
  • Department Chair - Fall 2020-present
  • COD Professional Development Tsar - 2015-2018
  • Tsar of Noonball - 1998-present


Areas of Research Interest:

  • Regional Geography of Russia
    • and other parts of the former Soviet Union (especially Estonia, Latvia)


Field Studies:

  • May 2017 - co-leader of trip to Russia for students and community members
    • proposed May 2022 trip to St. Petersburg, Russia and Tallinn, Estonia



  • A.B.D. in Geography at Indiana University.
  • M.A. in Russian Studies at the University of Washington.
  • B.A. in Russian Studies, Political Science, and Mathematics at St. Olaf College.


Global Flicks (Annual COD Foreign Film Series):

  • "The Wave" - 2019 post-film presentation with colleague Diana Strode
    • discussion of geography in this Norwegian disaster movie
  • "Red Army" - 2016 post-film presentation
    • discussion of context for this American-Russian documentary about Soviet hockey
  • 2021 link - https://www.atthemac.org/global-flicks/


Topical Presentations

  • Various suburban locations
    • "Geopolitics of Russia"
  • "Bering Strait" - 2004 pre-concert (Russian country music band) presentation
    • McAninch Arts Center - discussion of the geography of the Bering Strait region


Professional Affiliations:


Awards and Recognitions:

  • 2007-2008 - Outstanding Faculty of the Year for COD's Health and Sciences Division
  • 2003-2004 - Selected as Professor in ICISP Exchange Partnership with the Netherlands


Fiction Writer - Murder Mystery Novel: