IMAGE OF THE WEEK
A composite image by Tara Mazurczyk of the Coffee Hour lecture room and graduate students who gave a lightening talk last year. This Friday’s Coffee Hour will feature seven graduate students giving lightening talks about their research.
- Meg Boyle is giving a talk on international climate policy on Wednesday March 14, at 11:15 a.m., as part of the Earth System Science Seminar brownbag lunch series, in 529 Walker Building.
- Guido Cervone and Penn State colleagues received a seed grant for “Multi-Scale Estimates of Solar Power Water Stress by Integrating Process-Based Descriptions with Deep-Learning-Based Mapping of Solar Farms” from the Institutes of Energy and the Environment.
- Karl Zimmerer and GeoSyntheSES Lab affiliate Steve Vanek have co-authored a new article with Eric Lambin of Stanford University. The article, “Smallholder Telecoupling and Potential Sustainability,” is published in the most recent issue of the journal Ecology and Society (see PUBLISHED section below for citation details and abstract)
- Congratulations to Audrey Lumley-Sapanski on passing her dissertation defense.
- SWIG is seeking new officers. Nominations are due March 21 at 5:00 p.m. to Lauren Fritzsche
Graduate Student Lightening Talks
This week’s Coffee Hour will features 7 short (a.k.a. lightening) talks by graduate students in the Department of Geography. The talks will offer a glimpse of their research in progress. Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.; the lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m. Coffee Hour To Go webcast
- Natalie Pawlikowski: Group Gap Dynamics and Implications for Fire Resilience in an Old-Growth Ponderosa Pine Forest
- Cary Anderson: Map Happy: Emotive Color Connotations in Cartographic Design
- Carolynne Hultquist: Comparison of Fukushima Radiation Dispersion Simulations to Government and Volunteer-Contributed Environmental Observations
- Elham Nasr: Nature Schools and their Impacts on Empowering of Young Girls
- Zach Goldberg: Coffee Hour Food: How can $25 change the world?
- Weiming Hu: Unstructured Grid Adaptation with Genetic Algorithm for Numeric Weather Prediction
- Peter Backhaus: Synthesizing Remote Wetland Functional Assessment Methods
from the Altoona Mirror
Earth Matters: Late geography professor made a lasting impact
We all need to look up from our phones long enough to see the real world — not just to keep from running into something, but to truly look at everything that surrounds us.
We would better appreciate what a marvel the planet is and how we can change it, negatively and positively.
Penn State geography professor Peirce Lewis was as influential as anyone in helping me see those details, both natural and man-made. While his passing two weeks ago saddened me, my memories of his classes, lectures, and writings also inspired me.
Students achieve personal, professional growth through study abroad in Tanzania
Andrew Patterson, a geography major, never thought he would be able to study abroad.
“When I was a sophomore,” Patterson said, “I switched majors from environmental systems engineering to geography, and so I really didn’t think I would have the ability to study abroad and also graduate in four years.”
Geospatial intelligence students boost careers with online program
Dan Steiner knows a thing or two about assessing terrain, gathering knowledge sources and weighing human interactions — all things required in the field of geospatial intelligence — on the fly.
The West Point graduate who served for seven years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including leading an engineering company in combat during Operation Desert Storm, spent his life using these skills, first in the military, then for a pharmaceutical company, and currently for Orion Mapping, a geospatial intelligence business he founded three years ago.
Liberal Arts student has research paper accepted by international conferences
Penn State Schreyer Scholar Doran Tucker has been interested in medieval armor since before he started college, so much so that he has made his own chain mail.
The Penn State geography and international politics major considered making some armor to fulfill a general education course requirement but decided to research and write about it instead.
Tucker’s independent study paper on that topic has been accepted to both the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University this May and the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in July.
Smallholder telecoupling and potential sustainability
Zimmerer, K. S., E. F. B. Lambin, and S. J. Vanek
Ecology and Society
Smallholders are crucial for global sustainability given their importance to food and nutritional security, agriculture, and biodiversity conservation. Worldwide smallholders are subject to expanded telecoupling whereby their social-ecological systems are linked to large-scale socioeconomic and environmental drivers. The present research uses the synthesis of empirical evidence to demonstrate smallholder telecoupling through the linkages stemming from the global-level integration of markets (commodity, labor, finance), urbanization, governance, and technology. These telecoupling forces are often disadvantageous to smallholders while certain conditions can contribute to the potential sustainability of their social-ecological systems. Case studies were chosen to describe sustainability opportunities and limits involving smallholder production and consumption of high-agrobiodiversity Andean maize amid telecoupled migration (Bolivia), the role of international eco-certification in smallholder coffee-growing and agroforests (Colombia), smallholder organic dairy production in large-scale markets and technology transfer (upper Midwest, U.S.A.), and smallholders’ global niche commodity production of argan oil (Morocco). These case studies are used to identify the key challenges and opportunities faced by smallholders in telecoupling and to develop a conceptual framework.