Professor Profile: Sasha Davis

Usually when a person completes a project or triumphs in some way, he rewards himself with a pat on the back, an ice cream cone, or a well-deserved nap. UVM Assistant Professor of Geography, Sasha Davis, rewards himself with tattoos. However, according to Davis, he “needs to slow down.”

“I need to start rationing them out or I’ll start looking like Allen Iverson,” said Davis.

Davis is not your typical professor. He brings a unique perspective to the University of Vermont community.

Davis grew up in Arizona and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and the University of Arizona in Tuscon, double-majoring in geography and pre-med. He also attended the University of Hawaii, and received his PhD in geography from Penn State.

“I seem to be slowly migrating to the northeast towards colder places. I suppose I’ll probably end up in Greenland,” said Davis.

After college in the early 1990’s, Davis was a singer and a bassist for six years in an Anarcho-punk band called ‘Primitive Tribes.’ The band put out a few seven-inch records and other full-length material. They toured the United States on tour, playing in small clubs and basement shows. They also got to play larger shows with bands such as Rancid, Offspring, Aus Rotten, Blatz, and The Vandals. According to Davis, the best song they wrote was titled “Destruction is Progress,” an ode to sabotage and property destruction.

Today, Davis cherishes his time at UVM, stating that the other faculty members in the Geography Department and the quality of students in Burlington enhance the quality of life in Vermont. He also enjoys the outdoor offerings close to town, and finds Burlington to be similar to Flagstaff, Arizona where he grew up.

Davis teaches because “it is a great job.” He gets the opportunity to talk about the world and how it got to be the way that it is today. Davis finds the subject interesting, and is pleased with the chance to teach his knowledge to others.

“I think it is important for students to understand how different parts of the world interact with each other,” said Davis. “Also, to understand that many of those interactions often benefit some at the expense of others.”

He also is grateful for the intellect of UVM faculty and students because of some people he has encountered in his past. “I used to work near the Grand Canyon in a gas station and I’ve heard tourists ask insanely dumb questions like ‘When do they turn the lights on so we can see the canyon at night?’ I’ve also heard tourists, while staring at a map of Northern Arizona, seriously ask, ‘How do I get to Marlboro Country?'”

When not at work, Davis spends time with his wife and infant daughter, Mariposa.