• Research

  • Teaching

  • Fieldwork

I teach in the Department of Geography, Geology and the Environment at Illinois State University.  My courses include urban geography, geographic information systems (GIS), maps and society introductory courses in human and world regional geography, and regional field courses in New Mexico and Japan.  I research and write about topics related to how people relate to and interact with their places, broadly falling under subdisciplines of sense of place and urban/cultural geography.  In all I do, I try to integrate human geography and geographic information science.  My first book, Everyday Las Vegas, is a place study of the local side of this tourist town and was published by the University of Nevada Press.


Ph.D. in Geography (with honors): University of Kansas, May 2009
Emphasis: sense of place and urban/cultural geography

M.A. in Geography: University of Kansas, May 2005
Emphasis: combining geographic techniques and cultural/environmental geography

B.S. in Geography (cum laude): Brigham Young University, August 2002
Minor: Japanese

Typical Teaching Schedule

  • Urban Geography (Geog 336)–Fall
  • World Regional Geography (Geog 135)–Fall
  • Introduction to Geographic Information systems (Geog 303)–Spring
  • Regional Studies in New Mexico and West Texas (Geog 306.15)–Spring (even years)
  • Maps and Geographic Reasoning (Geog 138)–Spring (odd years)
  • Japan Explorations (Geog 306.22)–Summer (odd years)
  • Career Preparation in Geography–Spring

Select Publications

Rowley, Rex J. 2013 (paperback in 2014).  Everyday Las Vegas: Local Life in a Tourist Town. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 272 p.  Everyday Las Vegas, Home Page

Rowley, Rex J.  2018.  “Landscapes of Recovery: Shifting Senses of Place Attachment in Kesennuma, Japan” in Explorations in Place Attachment, edited by Jeffery Smith, 211-225.  London: Routledge.

Rowley, Rex J.  2017.  “Voluntary Regions and the Case of Las Vegas.” Journal of Cultural Geography.  doi: 10.1080/08873631.2017.1375371.

Rowley, Rex J.  2016. “Las Vegas Strip,” in Minicars, Maglevs, and Mopeds: Modern Modes of Transportation Around the World, edited by Selima Sultana and Joe Weber, 166-67.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Press.

Rowley, Rex J.  2016. “Shinkansen (Japan),” in Minicars, Maglevs, and Mopeds: Modern Modes of Transportation Around the World, edited by Selima Sultana and Joe Weber, 278-79. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Press.

Rowley, Rex J.  2015.  “Multidimensional Community and the Las Vegas Experience.”  GeoJournal, 80, no. 3: 393-410.  DOI: 10.1007/s10708-014-9561-y.

Rowley, Rex J.  2015. “Faith Islands in Hedonopolis: Ambivalent Adaptation in Las Vegas,” in The Changing World Religion Map: Sacred Places, Identities, Practices and Politics, Volume 4, edited by Stanley D. Brunn, 2265-2284. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Sagers, Glen, Bryan Hosack, Rex J. Rowley, Doug Twitchell, and Ranjitha Nagaraj.  2015.  “Where’s the Security in WiFi: An Argument for Industry Awareness,” HICSS 48 (48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences): 5453-5461. doi: 10.1109/HICSS.2015.641.

Rowley, Rex J.  2012 (2014 release of backdated issue).  “Becoming Las Vegas: Opportunity and Challenge with the Building of Boulder Dam.” Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 55, no 1-4: 3-35.

Rowley, Rex J.  2013. “Where Locals Play: Neighborhood Casino Landscapes in Las Vegas,” in Frontiers in Chance: Gaming Research Across the Disciplines, edited by David G. Schwartz, 99–114.  Las Vegas: UNLV Gaming Press.

Kostelnick, John C., David McDermott, Rex J. Rowley, and Nathaniel Bunnyfield.  2013.  “Cartographic Methods for Visualizing Sea Level Rise.” Cartographica 48, no. 3: 200–224.

Rowley, Rex J. 2012. “Religion in Sin City.” Geographical Review 102, no. 1: 76–92.

Bowen, Carol, John C. Kostelnick, David McDermott, Danny Rowland, and Rex J. Rowley. 2012. “Building and Sustaining a GIS Education Program for Indian Country at Haskell Indian Nations University,” in Tribal GIS: Supporting Native American Decision Making, edited by Anne Taylor, David Gadsden, Joseph J. Kerski, and Heather Warren, 113–18. Redlands CA: ESRI Press.

Full list of publications

Contact me