25
Mar 19

AAG annual meeting information | Recognition Reception save the date | Inwood on French TV

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Scenes from AAG annual meeting in 2018, highlighting poster sessions, the alumni and friends reception, and advisers meeting their online students in person.

GOOD NEWS

Welcome to Jack Chang, a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the ChoroPhronesis lab, starting in spring 2019.

Welcome to Pejman Sajjadi, a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the ChoroPhronesis lab, starting in spring 2019.

Guido Cervone has been selected to receive the 2019 UCGIS Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award. The award presentation will take place at the 2019 UCGIS Symposium in June in Washington, D.C.

Kelsey Brain, Eden Kinkaid, and Nari Senanayake had an article accepted for publication in the Geographical Review Special Issue on Challenging Research Methods in 21st Century Geography. The paper is titled: “The podcast-as-method?: Critical reflections on using podcasts to produce geographic knowledge.”

Saumya Vaishnava received the AAG-Energy and Environment Specialty Group data and field work award for this summer.

Michelle Ritchie was awarded the Global Safety Office’s Wilderness First Aid Training Grant for her upcoming travel to Iceland.

“Research Framework for Immersive Virtual Field Trips” by Alex Klippel, Jiayan Zhao, Danielle Oprean, and Jack Chang was awarded best paper at the KELVAR workshop.

Alex Klippel’s course proposal for GEOG 170N Immersive Technologies: Transforming Society Through Digital Innovation was approved by the Faculty Senate.

Joshua Inwood was interviewed on The Debate program on the France 24 English news channel about white supremacy in the wake of the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Weiming Hu’s entry was chosen as the third place winner of the Physical Sciences & Mathematics category in the 34th annual Penn State Graduate Exhibition.

COFFEE HOUR

No Coffee Hour this week. The final Coffee Hour for the spring 2019 semester will be April 12. The speakers will be the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Connection (UROC) students presenting their projects. An induction ceremony for the Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) geography honor society will also take place.

NEWS

Penn State Geographers at AAG

Nearly 100 current Penn Staters, including graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff are participating in the AAG annual meeting, April 3–7, in Washington, D.C.

Among the highlights:

Save the date for the Recognition Reception

The annual Department of Geography Recognition Reception will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019, third floor of the Walker Building. Come for refreshments and socializing, the graduate student poster session, and a program in which awards and accomplishments are recognized and celebrated. For more information and to RSVP go to: https://www.geog.psu.edu/event/recognition-reception-2019

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Research Framework for Immersive Virtual Field Trips

Klippel, A., Zhao, J., Oprean, D., Wallgrün, J. O., & Jack Shen-Kuen Chang
KELVAR: The Fourth IEEE VR Workshop on K-12+ Embodied Learning through Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual field trips have been thought of and implemented for several decades. For the most part, these field trips were delivered through desktop computers and often as interactive but strictly two-dimensional experiences. The advent of immersive technologies for both creating content and experiencing places in three dimensions provides ample opportunities to move beyond the restrictions of two dimensional media. We propose here a framework we developed to assess immersive learning experiences, specifically immersive virtual field trips (iVFTs). We detail the foundations and provide insights into associated empirical evaluations.

Care

Lorraine Dowler, Dana Cuomo, A. M. Ranjbar, Nicole Laliberte, Jenna Christian
Keywords in Radical Geography: Antipode at 50, First Edition
Edited by the Antipode Editorial Collective.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/9781119558071.ch6

This essay calls for a “Manifesto of Radical Care” in Geography. The radical care that we advocate centres on non-dominant and intersectional forms of care (Lugones 2010) and challenges geographers to recognise different bodily experiences while being mindful of a commonality of vulnerability that stems from national or institutional policies and politics. This manifesto demands that geographers move beyond recognition into action, actively working to infuse radical care into our everyday interpersonal interactions and into our departmental, institutional and disciplinary policies and practices.

18
Mar 19

Coffee Hour with Nina Lam | SYWIG day is Thursday | Zimmerer and Baumann get NSF-GSS DDRI

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

The image shows the students taking part in a mapping activity during the 2018 event. SYWIG day is Thursday, March 21—Supporting Women in Geography’s annual Supporting Young Women in Geography (SYWIG) Day will be held on March 21, 2019. Seventh and eighth grade girls from Centre County middle schools Philipsburg-Osceola and Moshannon Valley will be visiting the department to participate in interactive workshops led by SWIG volunteers covering a range of topics in geography. The event provides a unique opportunity to connect young women in the State College area and bring geography to life through creative activities led by Geography graduate and undergraduate students. Organizers of this year’s event are SWIG officers, Ruchi, Emily, Elham, and Michelle, with a special thanks to Stacey, Jamie, Julie, Jacklyn, Izzy, Elise, Emily, Sam, Erin, Tara, Saumya, Jodi and the office staff. Through this acknowledgment, SWIG endeavors to highlight the extraordinary service of women in the department every day.

GOOD NEWS

Welcome to Mamma Sawaneh, visiting scholar from The Gambia, working with Erica Smithwick this semester.

15th annual Penn State Powwow is scheduled for April 6-7.

The Smith Center is pleased to announce that the twentieth series of the Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography will be held at the Newberry Library, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.To register or for more information, please contact Smith Center Program Assistant Madeline Crispell at crispellm@newberry.org or at (312)-255-3575.

Karl Zimmerer and Megan Baumann were recently awarded an NSF-GSS Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) grant. It is titled “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Social-Environmental Feedbacks Between the Use and Governance of Water and Soil in Dryland Irrigation Megaprojects.”

COFFEE HOUR

Nina Lam
Are Happiest Cities Most Resilient to Disasters? – Challenges in Community Resilience Assessment

A 2014 report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research ranked American cities according to residents’ “happiness.” The results have surprised many people. This brings to a question that is closely related to resilience and sustainability research: are the happiest cities also most resilient to disasters? The answer to the question relies on how we measure community resilience.

  • Friday, March 22
  • 3:30 p.m. in 319 Walker Building, Coffee and refreshments
  • 4:00 in 112 Walker Building, Lecture
  • Coffee Hour To Go webcast

NEWS

From Smithsonian.com
Checking In on the Health and Vigor of the Chesapeake Bay

It’s May, 2016, and another drizzly day on the Chesapeake. I’m aboard Hōkūle‘a, the Hawaiian voyaging canoe circumnavigating the globe promoting a message of Mālama Honua, meaning “take care of the Earth.” I joined the crew in Yorktown, Virginia, for nine days of journeying in the Chesapeake Bay area, meeting with local Indian tribes and exploring environmental issues and solutions.

Editor’s Note: The following two articles were printed together in the summer 2018 GEOGRAPH as a package to honor the late Peirce Lewis. If you missed it, the Oct. 2, 2018 Coffee Hour lecture given by Richard Schein (’83g) was also a celebration of Lewis’s life and scholarship. You can view the talk here: http://live-geog.psu.edu/Mediasite/Play/c5740d0b55744ec88abb03e8cdb1a99d1d

Students and colleagues remember Peirce Lewis

An energetic man in his late fifties greeted us by switching off the lights and switching on a slide projector.

“As we plunge into intellectual darkness, let me assure you that after this class, you will never be able to look at the world in the same way again. At least, I hope not.” In spectacles and a khaki field jacket, Peirce Lewis fit everybody’s idea of a geography professor.

“I’m going to show you the cultural landscape of the United States and give you the tools to understand why things are where they are, and how they got to be that way,” Lewis continued. “Then you will show yourselves and me what you have learned by going out there and reading the local landscape yourselves. This first slide . . . “

Making good geographical sense

I have just spent a poignant afternoon browsing my correspondence with Peirce; hours sweet with nostalgia for an acquaintanceship that began when I joined the Penn State geography faculty in 1967 and grew into comradery; hours of sadness that his death brought that relationship to the definitive end.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Analysis of remote sensing imagery for disaster assessment using deep learning: a case study of flooding event

Liping Yang, Guido Cervone
Soft Computing
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00500-019-03878-8
This paper proposes a methodology that integrates deep learning and machine learning for automatically assessing damage with limited human input in hundreds of thousands of aerial images. The goal is to develop a system that can help automatically identifying damaged areas in massive amount of data. The main difficulty consists in damaged infrastructure looking very different from when undamaged, likely resulting in an incorrect classification because of their different appearance, and the fact that deep learning and machine learning training sets normally only include undamaged infrastructures. In the proposed method, a deep learning algorithm is firstly used to automatically extract the presence of critical infrastructure from imagery, such as bridges, roads, or houses. However, because damaged infrastructure looks very different from when undamaged, the set of features identified can contain errors. A small portion of the images are then manually labeled if they include damaged areas, or not. Multiple machine learning algorithms are used to learn attribute–value relationships on the labeled data to capture the characteristic features associated with damaged areas. Finally, the trained classifiers are combined to construct an ensemble max-voting classifier. The selected max-voting model is then applied to the remaining unlabeled data to automatically identify images including damaged infrastructure. Evaluation results (85.6% accuracy and 89.09% F1 score) demonstrated the effectiveness of combining deep learning and an ensemble max-voting classifier of multiple machine learning models to analyze aerial images for damage assessment.

Jet stream dynamics, hydroclimate, and fire in California from 1600 CE to present

Eugene R. Wahl, Eduardo Zorita, Valerie Trouet, and Alan H. Taylor
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1815292116
Moisture delivery in California is largely regulated by the strength and position of the North Pacific jet stream (NPJ), winter high-altitude winds that influence regional hydroclimate and forest fire during the following warm season. We use climate model simulations and paleoclimate data to reconstruct winter NPJ characteristics back to 1571 CE to identify the influence of NPJ behavior on moisture and forest fire extremes in California before and during the more recent period of fire suppression. Maximum zonal NPJ velocity is lower and northward shifted and has a larger latitudinal spread during presuppression dry and high-fire extremes. Conversely, maximum zonal NPJ is higher and southward shifted, with narrower latitudinal spread during wet and low-fire extremes. These NPJ, precipitation, and fire associations hold across pre–20th-century socioecological fire regimes, including Native American burning, postcontact disruption and native population decline, and intensification of forest use during the later 19th century. Precipitation extremes and NPJ behavior remain linked in the 20th and 21st centuries, but fire extremes become uncoupled due to fire suppression after 1900. Simulated future conditions in California include more wet-season moisture as rain (and less as snow), a longer fire season, and higher temperatures, leading to drier fire-season conditions independent of 21st-century precipitation changes. Assuming continuation of current fire management practices, thermodynamic warming is expected to override the dynamical influence of the NPJ on climate–fire relationships controlling fire extremes in California. Recent widespread fires in California in association with wet extremes may be early evidence of this change.

Diversity, representation, and the limits of engaged pluralism in (economic) geography

Emily Rosenman, Jessa Looms, & Kelly Kay
Progress in Human Geography
https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132519833453
Within geography writ large, and economic geography in particular, there has been increasing interest in ‘engaged pluralism’ – defined by its proponents as lively and respectful engagement across theoretical, methodological, and topical lines – to increase diversity and build mutual respect among scholars. Drawing on feminist and postcolonial scholarship, we offer a sympathetic critique of engaged pluralism, grounded in a review of publishing trends in economic geography. Our findings reveal theoretical inertia around particular topics and paradigms, as well as low rates of publishing participation from women. We close with a discussion of engagement, reciprocity, and meaningful contact.

 


11
Mar 19

Coffee Hour with Denice Wardrop | Fair election maps for purple PA | Longer drier fire seasons for CA?

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Pine Creek Lizard map detailA detail from the new 2nd Edition of the Pine Creek Lizard Map—Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Purple Lizard Maps was founded by Penn State geography alumnus Michael Hermann (’95).

GOOD NEWS

Gregory S. Jenkins will give a brown bag talk on Wednesday, March 20 on “Natural, Human and Climate Change Drivers in Africa and the Need for Interdisciplinary Research and Communication,” at 12:30 p.m. in 158 Willard Building.

Welcome to Cindy Etchison the new NRT Program Coordinator for Landscape U.

A Penn State study on using VR for second language learning was featured in a news article in Campus Technology.

The Institute for CyberScience is hosting its annual Symposium on April 1, which is free for Penn State faculty, staff, and students (and includes free breakfast and lunch). It’s at the Nittany Lion Inn, and the theme is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Science and Society. Learn more and register here: https://ics.psu.edu/events/ics-symposium-2019.

Save the date: The Penn State Geography Alumni and Friends Reception during the AAG annual meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Lillies. More details to come soon.

COFFEE HOUR

Denice Wardrop

Peak Ecological Water and its shift under climate change: case studies from Peru and Pennsylvania

In most watersheds, as withdrawals for human needs increase, the ecological services provided by the same water are in decline. At a certain point, the value of water provided for human use is equal to the value of the ecological services, and beyond this point, ecological disruptions exceed the benefits of increased water extraction; this point is referred to as “peak ecological water.” In addition, the human and ecological benefits may occur at different spatial and temporal scales. Climate change may be shifting the point of peak ecological water in new and unpredictable ways, and two case studies provide insights into how those changes may be context dependent.

  • Friday, March 15
  • 3:30 p.m. in 319 Walker Building, Coffee and refreshments
  • 4:00 in 112 Walker Building, Lecture
  • Coffee Hour To Go webcast

NEWS

Complex trade-offs persist in drawing fair election maps for purple PA

Penn State Professor Christopher Fowler’s fall 2018 GEOG 421: Population Geography class won first place in the Higher-Ed division of the “Draw the Lines PA” statewide finals in February. For Fowler, the work on how to get better representation in Pennsylvania is just beginning.

Seed grants awarded to projects using Twitter data

Clio Andris is among recipients

Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), in collaboration with the Institute for CyberScience (ICS) and the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has awarded over $100,000 in funding to support six new interdisciplinary teams of Penn State researchers whose work is aimed at developing innovative research programs using Twitter data.

North Pacific jet stream, moisture and fires change with fire suppression

Future conditions in California may include more rain rather than snow during the wet season, longer fire seasons, and higher temperatures leading to drier fire seasons, according to a team of researchers who looked at the historic patterns of the North Pacific Jet, precipitation and fire.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Book Review of A Biography of a Map in Motion: Augustine Herrman’s Chesapeake

Deryck W. Holdsworth
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History
https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01359
Before Chesapeake City at one end of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was named in 1839, the plantation site had been known as Bohemia Manor for more than two centuries, under the ownership of Augustine Herrman, a Bohemian who worked for the Dutch West-Indische Compagnie (WIC) in both Amsterdam and later New Amsterdam. Herrman marked its location on his magnificent map Virginia and Maryland as it is Planted and Inhabited this present year 1670. Koot explores the multiple intentions of the Herrman map from its origins as a manuscript initially commissioned by Philip Calvert in 1659 delimiting the boundary between Dutch New Netherlands and colonial Maryland to a far different map printed in London in 1673 as a piece of imperial propaganda celebrating possession of the broader Chesapeake.

Metrics for characterizing network structure and node importance in Spatial Social Networks

Dipto Sarkar, Clio Andris, Colin A. Chapman & Raja Sengupta
International Journal of Geographical Information Science
DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2019.1567736
Social Network Analysis offers powerful tools to analyze the structure of relationships between a set of people. However, the addition of spatial information poses new challenges, as nodes are embedded simultaneously in network space and Euclidean space. While nearby nodes may not form social ties, ties may exist at a distance, a configuration ill-suited for traditional spatial metrics that assume adjacent objects are related. As such, there are relatively few metrics to describe these nuanced situations. We advance the burgeoning field of spatial social network analysis by introducing a set of new metrics. Specifically, we introduce the spatial social network schema, tuning parameter and the flattening ratio, each of which leverages the notion of ‘distance’ to augment insights obtained by relying on topology alone. These methods are used to answer the questions: What is the social and spatial structure of the network? Who are the key individuals at different spatial scales? We use two synthetic networks with properties mimicking the ones reported in the literature as validation datasets and a case study of employer–employee network. The methods characterize the employer–employee as spatially loose with predominantly local connections and identify key individuals responsible for keeping the network connected at different spatial scales.

 


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