Best in show | Critical zone course | Damage Assessment in urban disasters


Tara Mazurczyk Best in Show BellefonteCongratulations to geography graduate student Tara Mazurczyk for winning Best in Show at the Bellefonte Arts Festival held August 12–13.


Weekly publication of DoG enews resumes. Coffee Hour speakers will be included soon. Continue to send your good news, story ideas, and photos from fieldwork and travels to

Kimberley Thomas published an article about water sharing in South Asia in The Third Pole.
Mark Monmonier (’67g,’69g) published a new book, Patents and Cartographic Inventions: A New Perspective for Map History
Jennifer Baka was awarded the EMS Ryan Faculty Fellowship for 2017-2020

Call for papers for the Critical Geography Conference at Penn State deadline is September 15, 2017


Course introduces students to critical zone science
A new course encourages students to take a highly interdisciplinary approach to dealing with pressing environmental challenges.

The curriculum is an introduction to critical zone science, an emerging field that brings together scientists with diverse backgrounds to study the place where rock, soil, water, air and life meet.


18 Damage assessment of the urban environment during disasters using volunteered geographic information
By Hultquist, Carolynne, Elena Sava, Guido Cervone, and Nigel Waters
In Big Data for Regional Science (2017).
Cities are more vulnerable than ever due to rapid urbanization and the threats posed by
natural, manmade and technological hazards. The emergence of megacities led to the quick development of facilities needed to supply millions of people with necessary resources, including food, energy, and water.

Making Space for Energy: Wasteland Development, Enclosures, and Energy Dispossessions
By Baka, Jennifer
In Antipode, 49: 977–996
doi: 10.1111/anti.12219
This paper analyzes why and how wasteland development narratives persist through an evaluation of wasteland development policies in India from 1970 to present. Integrating critical scholarship on environmental narratives and enclosures, I find that narratives of wastelands as “empty” spaces available for “improvement” continue because they are metaphors for entrenched struggles between the government’s shifting visions of “improvement” and communities whose land use practices contradict these logics. Since the 1970s, “improvement” has meant establishing different types of tree plantations on wastelands to ostensibly provide energy security. These projects have dispossessed land users by enclosing common property lands and by providing forms of energy incommensurate with local needs, a trend I term “energy dispossessions”. Factors enabling energy dispossessions include the government’s increased attempts to establish public–private partnerships to carry out “improvement” and a “field of observation” constructed to obscure local livelihoods. Unveiling these logics will help to problematize and contest future iterations of wasteland development.

Political-industrial ecology: An introduction
By Joshua P. Newell, Joshua J.Cousins, Jennifer Baka
In Geoforum
Political ecology and industrial ecology have emerged as influential, but distinct, intellectual thought traditions devoted to understanding the transformation of nature-society relations and processes. Evolving from the pioneering work by physicists and environmental engineers in the late 1960s (e.g. Ayres and Kneese, 1969), industrial ecology emerged as a distinct field in the 1990s (Graedel and Allenby, 2003). It is a largely normative project that seeks to quantify and dematerialize the resource stocks and flows of industrial ecosystems, product life cycles, and societal metabolisms. To systematically dissect production-consumption processes across cradle-to-grave phases (e.g. extraction, manufacturing, use, reuse), industrial ecology deploys material flow analysis, life cycle assessment, environmental input-output modeling, amongst other methods, and has cultivated more abstract principles and practices such as industrial symbiosis and socio-economic metabolism. As the field has matured, industrial ecology has branched out by becoming more heterogeneous, not only in terms of topical foci and methodology, but also in terms of how it understands the material basis of societal transitions (cf. Vienna School of Social Ecology; Haberl et al., 2016). Nevertheless, the overwhelming focus of industrial ecology is on the material rather than social dimensions of resource use.


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