27
Jan 20

Coffee Hour with Arturo Izurieta | VR usability testing | Solar Farm FEW

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

VR usability testing

Jiayan Zhao gives instructions to usability testing assistant Yu Zhong, an undergraduate student in the Department of Geography. See the feature story In virtual reality, real problems remain to be resolved. Image: Penn State

GOOD NEWS

The Summer 2019 GEOGRAPH is now available online in downloadable and accessible formats.

Mark Simpson successfully defended his dissertation.

Welcome to Michael Cole, the new department work-study. Cole is a third year student who attended Penn State Abington for two years. Cole is also majoring in Geography.

Welcome to Sarah Gergel, from the University of British Columbia, who will be with us this semester. Her visit is hosted through the Ecology Institute and sponsored by the Huck Sabbatical Fellowship program.

Congratulations to departments of Geography and Material Science and Engineering for having the most Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) make donations on Giving Tuesday.

COFFEE HOUR

Arturo Izurieta

Working on an old question: “How many visitors can the Galapagos hold? Finding a sustainable model”

The visitation to natural wonders like the Galapagos Islands poses questions towards its sustainability (natural, social and economic). After a short journey towards the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development and identifying two clear models of influx of tourists to the islands, it is clear the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands faces the pressures from the increasing number of tourists. Tourism in the Galapagos started in the late 60s and since then, the number of tourists have been growing without thoughtful planning, impacting the dynamics of the so-called Galapagos socio-ecosystem. Should we allow more tourists come to the islands, and if so, what are the possible consequences and effects on the natural capital that attracts the visitors and maintains 30,000 inhabitants in the islands?

NEWS

In virtual reality, real problems remain to be resolved

Virtual reality is becoming more widespread in gaming, shopping, research, education and training, but is not a perfect match to the real world. Discrepancies create usability problems with accessing virtual tools, or getting distracted, confused, lost or cybersick. Jiayan Zhao, a doctoral student in the Department of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and a developer at the Center for Immersive Experiences, is conducting experiments to reduce usability problems and improve the user’s virtual experience.

Student and faculty researchers explore food-energy-water system at solar farm

From the edge of the farm, the completed solar arrays and those under construction seemed to never end. In reality, they occupied only a small area of Pennsylvania land in rural Franklin County, but the arrays possessed a much larger potential, which a group of Penn State faculty and graduate students had traveled two hours to see.

Video: Firescapes in the Mid Atlantic

Wildfires in the Western U.S. dominate the news, but forests in the Mid-Atlantic are just as vulnerable. In this research project, PI Erica Smithwick’s team has been investigating the social barriers and facilitators that influence prescribed fire implementation. The purpose of the video is to provide an educational tool that managers can use when working with communities in their discussions about fire management.

Penn State releases updated strategic plan and resources for unit planning

Institutes of Energy and the Environment and Center for Immersive experiences named among signature initiatives

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Spatial Analysis

Matthews, S. A.
in SAGE Research Methods Foundations
doi: 10.4135/9781526421036832531
Rapid advances in the availability of spatial data, new measures, and methods of analysis have generated interest in spatial analysis beyond the traditional academic boundaries of geography and statistics. This uptick in interest is in part driven by a recognition that many contemporary problems are multifaceted and inherently spatial. This entry begins with a focus on fundamental spatial concepts such as location, distance, scale, and dependence to introduce the complexities of working with spatial data. Spatial data are special, most notably that observations in spatial data sets are rarely random and independent of each other, and as such conventional statistical approaches may be inappropriate. Two broad classes of spatial effects—spatial dependence and nonstationarity—have motivated key developments in spatial analysis and the focus here is on methods that promote a better understanding of these effects, spatial econometric and geographically weighted regression models, respectively. Selected emerging methods and themes relating to spatial data and methods are briefly discussed.


21
Jan 20

Spring Coffee Hour speakers announced | ICDS seed grants | EarthTalks series

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Powell, Bronwen, Morroco.

A photo taken on the last day of field work, December 6, 2019, for a project that Bronwen Powell (pictured) and Abderrahim Ouarghidi were working on looking at the impact of irrigation technology change on diet, women’s workloads, and biodiversity in Morocco. It was only in this highest elevation village (Oukaimeden, which is over 2,600m) that there was snow, most of the other lower-elevation villages were just cold and rainy. Photo: Abderrahim Ouarghidi

GOOD NEWS

Doug Miller is on the team that recently won at the TechCelerator pitch competition hosted by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania. The team was awarded a $10,000 investment for their fledgling enterprise, RealForests.

Mahda Bagher passed her proposal defense on January 15.

COFFEE HOUR

The first Coffee Hour lecture for spring 2020 will be January 31. Arturo Izurieta, executive director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, will give a talk on Working on an old question “How many visitors can the Galapagos hold? Finding a sustainable model”

NEWS

Spring speakers for Coffee Hour lecture series announced

The Department of Geography Coffee Hour lecture series resumes on Friday afternoons beginning Jan. 31 through April 24 for the spring 2020 semester on Penn State’s University Park campus.

Institute for Computational and Data Sciences accepting seed grant applications

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) is accepting applications for its 2020-21 seed grant program that will help fund projects that leverage Penn State expertise to help advance computation- and data-enabled research. Applications will be accepted now through Feb. 3 and awardees will be announced at the 2020 ICDS Symposium, which will be held March 16 and 17.

Spring 2020 EarthTalks series presents science toward solutions

Society faces increasingly complex problems as the world population grows and makes larger demands of the planet’s finite resources. The spring 2020 EarthTalks series, “Societal Problems, EESI Science towards Solutions,” features scientists from Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) and explores the human impacts on the global environment and how to apply this knowledge to decision-making.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Immersive Virtual Field Trips Reader

Alexander Klippel
A compilation of eight research articles on virtual field trips by members of the ChoroPhronesis lab and Center for Immersive Experiences
https://www.dropbox.com/s/prs8c6tj17p81nf/iVFTReader2019.pdf?dl=0

Wives influence climate change mitigation behaviours in married-couple households: insights from Taiwan

Li-San Hung and Mucahid M. Bayrak
Environmental Research Letters
https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab5543
Mitigating climate change requires collective action of various sectors and on multiple scales, including individual behavioural changes among citizens. Although numerous studies have examined factors that influence individuals’ mitigation behaviours, much less attention has been given to interpersonal influence. Children have been suggested to influence parents’ climate change concerns; however, how the interactions between couples—typically the primary decision-makers in married-couple households—influence each other’s climate change concerns has seldom been discussed. In this study, we surveyed married heterosexual couples to investigate the interdependency of husbands’ and wives’ motivations for behavioural change to mitigate climate change. We found that wives’ psychological constructs, including climate change risk perception, self-efficacy, and gender role attitudes, demonstrated stronger effects on their husbands’ motivation than did husbands’ own constructs on their own motivation, whereas husbands’ psychological constructs did not influence their wives’ motivation. Our results suggest the importance of wives’ role in motivating household climate change mitigation behaviours.


14
Jan 20

Visiting scholar | CIE updates | Spring UROC projects

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

heron and photographer

A split photo of subject and photographers from Professor Emeritus Rob Brooks. “Becky took the image of Fenway and me as I took the Green-backed heron photo (in Maine),” Brooks said.

GOOD NEWS

Mark Simpson will participate in a roundtable session on “Using Virtual Reality for Research and Teaching” 11:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, January 16, in 221 Chambers Building, hosted by the College of Education Technology Committee.

The Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA) will hold a seminar on “A nonstationary and non-Gaussian moving average model for solar irradiance downscaling,” 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 16 in 117 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building with Wenqi Zhang, University of Colorado, Boulder.

The National Park Service is hosting paid internship opportunities in the Bozeman,Montana office this summer. The intern will help gather information to support a water resources climate adaptation workshop for fisheries, hydrology and water quality in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Information about eligibility, application process, and the project.

Carol Bouchard, who received her bachelor’s degree in geography in 1987, got married in October 2019. Her husband Glen works in Las Cruces, New Mexico, while she is caring for her dad full time on Cape Cod. “Penn State gave me the proverbial golden foot in the door when I entered on duty at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (and its predecessor organizations) back in 1989,” Bouchard said.”I retired after a wonderful 30-year career, having visited 135 UN countries.”

Matthew Popek, who earned his bachelor of science in geography in 2009, received his American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification during the Fall 2019 cycle.

Supporting Women in Geography (SWIG) surpassed its goal for the 2019 Centre Safe Holiday Sponsorship. SWIG collected $350 ($100 more than the original goal) to spend on the sponsored family, a mother and two teen children.

The Penn State Center for Security Research and Education (CSRE) has announced its spring 2020 grant program to support security-related scholarship and educational programs at Penn State. University faculty and researchers are eligible to apply by Feb. 14, 2020. For the first time, CSRE will offer a $50,000 Impact Grant, a $50,000 Homeland Security Grant, and open-topic grants with maximum awards of $15,000. Applications should be submitted online.

The Thinking Within Symposium will he held March 28, 2020 at the Penn State Pattee Library, University Park campus, Pa.

Mei-Huan Chen and Zachary Goldberg have been selected as new grad reps for the term ending in December 2020. They will be joining current reps Ruchi Patel and Connor Chapman.

Peter Backhaus has been certified as a Wetland Professional in Training (WPIT) by the Society of Wetlands Scientists Professional Certification Program.

COFFEE HOUR

The first Coffee Hour lecture for spring 2020 will be January 31. Arturo Izurieta, executive director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, will give a talk on Working on an old question “How many visitors can the Galapagos hold? Finding a sustainable model”

NEWS

Visiting South African scholar wants to rehabilitate old mines

Is there a way to turn waste into a useful resource and at the same time reduce environmental degradation from closed mines? That’s what visiting South African scholar Nemapate Ndivhuwo wants to find out.

Ndivhuwo visited Penn State during fall semester 2019 from the University of Venda, in Limpopo Province, South Africa, as part of its University Capacity Development Programme.

Penn State’s new Center for Immersive Experiences makes dreams a virtual reality

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to a remote, ancient village in Europe, but never had the time or money? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to perform lung surgery without ever setting foot in a hospital?

With Penn State’s new Center for Immersive Experiences, those experiences are becoming a virtual reality for students and faculty of all disciplines.

Alex Klippel directs the center, located in Pattee Library, which staffs a team of nine developers and five-10 student support workers. Together, they provide technology and learning tools to experience and create virtual reality, augmented reality and 360-degree video.

Related coverage:

UROC for spring 2020

The Department of Geography’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Connection (UROC) program allows undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience and technical skills through collaboration on projects within the department and supervised by faculty and/or graduate students, as well as 1-3 credit hours to apply towards graduation (GEOG 494). This is a valuable resume-building experience for undergraduate students and can be beneficial for both future employment and graduate school.

The following projects have openings for Spring 2020:

  • Project SP20a: Mapping post-fire tree cover using object-based image analysis
  • Project SP20b: The Lived Experience of Environmental Change: Centre County Snapshots
  • Project SP20c: Mapping irrigation districts in Tolima, Colombia

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Growing Season Synoptic and Phenological Controls on Heat Fluxes over Forest and Cropland Sites in the Midwest U.S. Corn Belt

Hiestand, M.P. and A.M. Carleton
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-19-0019.1
Spatial variations in land use/land cover (LULC) in the Midwest U.S. Corn Belt — specifically, deciduous forest and croplands—have been suggested as influencing convective rainfall through mesoscale circulations generated in the atmosphere’s boundary layer. However, the contributing role of latent and sensible heat fluxes for these two LULC types, and their modulation by synoptic weather systems, have not been determined. This study compares afternoon averages of convective fluxes at two AmeriFlux towers in relation to manually-determined synoptic pressure patterns covering the nine growing seasons (1 May to 30 September) of 1999-2007. AmeriFlux tower US-Bo1 in eastern Illinois represents agricultural land use —alternating between maize and soybean crops—and AmeriFlux tower US-MMS in south-central Indiana represents deciduous forest cover. Phenologically, the latent and sensible heat fluxes vary inversely across the growing season, and the greatest flux differences between cropland and deciduous forest occur early in the season. Differences in the surface heat fluxes between crop and forest LULC types vary in magnitude according to synoptic type. Moreover, statistically significant differences in latent and sensible heat between the forest and cropland sites occur for the most frequently-occurring synoptic pattern of a low-pressure system to the west and high pressure to the east of the Corn Belt. The present study lays the groundwork for determining the physical mechanisms of enhanced convection in the Corn Belt, including how LULC-induced meso-scale circulations might interact with synoptic weather patterns to enhance convective rainfall.

Reorganization of atmospheric circulation between 1400-1700 CE as recorded in a South Pole ice core

Elena V. Korotkikh, Paul A. Mayewski, Andrei V. Kurbatov1, Daniel A. Dixon, Andrew M. Carleton, Kirk A. Maasch, Jefferson C. Simões, Michael J. Handley, Sharon B. Sneed, Douglas Intron
Earth and Space Science Open Archive
https://www.essoar.org/doi/pdf/10.1002/essoar.10501514.2
Here we present an ~2000 year high-resolution glacio chemical record from the South Pole. Significant changes in chemical concentrations, accumulation rate, stable water isotopes and deuterium excess records are captured during the period ~1400-1700 CE, indicating a reorganization of atmospheric circulation that occurred in two steps: ~1400-1425 CE and ~1650-271700 CE. Major declines in dust and SO42-concentrations are observed ~1400 CE suggesting poleward contraction of the southern circumpolar vortex and potential intensification of westerly air flow, accompanied by a sea ice decrease in the Weddell Sea and potentially also in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean. The changes in stable water isotopes, deuterium excess,NO3-31concentration and accumulation rate characterize a second shift in atmospheric reorganization between 1650-1700 CE,reflecting increased marine air mass intrusions and subsequent reduction of the katabatic winds, and a shift to a colder moisture source for South Pole precipitation. These internally consistent changes involving atmospheric circulations and sea ice conditions are also in line with those identified for the recent period, and include associations with the large-scale teleconnections of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM).

The landscape-scale drivers of herbivore assemblage distribution on the central basalt plains of Kruger National Park

Young, C., Fritz, H., Smithwick, E., & Venter, J.
Journal of Tropical Ecology
doi:10.1017/S0266467419000312
The distribution and abundance of herbivores in African savannas are constrained by interactions between abiotic and biotic factors. At the species-level, herbivores face trade-offs among foraging requirements, vegetation structure and the availability of surface water that change over spatial and temporal scales. Characterizing herbivore requirements is necessary for the management of the environment in which they occur, as conservation management interventions such as fencing and artificial water provision consequently have effects on how herbivores address these trade-offs. We tested the effects of environmental attributes on the probability of presence of herbivore functional types at different distances to water in the Satara section of Kruger National Park over the period of a year. Hypotheses about species’ relative distribution and abundance were developed through a literature review of forage and water availability constraints on feeding preference and body size of herbivore. We expected strong seasonal relationships between vegetation biomass and quality, and biomass of water-dependent herbivores with increasing distance to water. Our analyses of herbivore distribution across the region confirmed broad-scale descriptions of interactions between forage requirements and water availability across a set of species which differ in functional traits.

The value of being there: toward a science of immersive virtual field trips

Klippel, A., Zhao, J., Oprean, D. et al.
Virtual Reality
doi:10.1007/s10055-019-00418-5
With immersive experiences becoming a medium for mass communication, we need pedagogies as well as scientific, evidence-based design principles for immersive learning. To foster evidence-based designs of immersive learning, we detail an empirical evaluation of a geosciences field trip, common in undergraduate education across numerous disciplines. The study builds on a previously proposed research framework in which we detailed a basic taxonomy of virtual field trips distinguishing between basic, plus, and advanced immersive virtual field trip experiences. The experiment reported here expands the original evaluation of basic field trips into the realm of plus versions using pseudo-aerial 360∘ imagery to provide embodied experiences that are not possible during the actual field trip. We also refined our original experimental design placing a stronger focus on the qualitative feedback elicited from the students. Results show an overwhelmingly positive response of students to virtual field trips with significantly higher-valued learning experience and enjoyment. Furthermore, the introduction of pseudo-aerial imagery (together with higher image resolution) shows a significant improvement in the participants spatial situation model. As contextualizing and spatially grounding is essential for place-based learning experiences, plus versions of virtual field trips have the potential to add value to the learning outcome and immersive virtual field trip experience. We discuss these encouraging results as well as critical feedback from the participants, such as the absence of touch in virtual experiences, and lay out our vision for the future of immersive learning experiences across environmental sciences.

Neighborhood Walkability and BMI Change: A National Study of Veterans in Large Urban Areas

Elizabeth Tarlov, Abigail Silva, Coady Wing, Sandy Slater, Stephen A. Matthews, Kelly K. Jones, Shannon N. Zenk
Obesity
https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22611
Objective: Improving neighborhood walkability has been proposed as a policy intervention to reduce obesity. The objective of this study was to evaluate longitudinal relationships between neighborhood walkability and body weight among adults living in large urban areas.
Methods: In this retrospective longitudinal study of United States military veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs health care, Veterans Affairs clinical and administrative data (2007‐2014) were linked to environmental measures constructed from public (2006‐2014) and proprietary (2008‐2014) sources, and linear regression models with person fixed effects were used to estimate associations between walkability and BMI among 758,434 men and 70,319 women aged 20 to 80 years in 2009 to 2014.
Results: Neighborhood walkability was associated with small reductions in BMI. Effects were most pronounced among men aged 30 to 49 and 50 to 64. For women, differences were largest in the two youngest age groups, 20 to 29 and 30 to 49, though only estimates for all women combined were statistically significant. For women aged 30 to 49, effect sizes grew when the sample was limited to those who remained in the same neighborhood during the entire follow‐up period.
Conclusions: Investments in the built environment to improve walkability may be a useful strategy for weight control in some segments of the adult population.


10
Dec 19

Young women take watershed challenge | UROC in spring 2020 | Politics and migration

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

young women in STEM workshop

Michelle Ritchie, Jacklyn Weier Julie Sanchez, and UROC participant Jenna Pulice conducted a Young Women in STEM Workshop, hosted by Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) on Saturday, December 7, 2019. “The Watershed Challenge,” one of the four activities, was a hands-on exploration of watersheds and land use. The challenge of the activity was to design a sustainable, healthy watershed that humans and the environment can thrive in for years to come. Some girls even made their own land use rules, factory regulations, and conservation areas!  At this point in the workshop, the girls had built an island’s topography using packing paper. Over this, we laid a thin sheet of vinyl to represent the surface layer of the island. The girls then sprinkled various pollutants around the watershed (e.g., remnants from an old mine, farmland animal waste, outflow from a paper mill, wastewater). After that, the girls sprayed the island with rain to see what would happen to the different types of pollutants. They learned how different types of land use and the flow of a watershed could affect areas downstream, such as the landscape seen on the projector screen. Using this knowledge, they moved onto a second activity where they designed their own land use system within a watershed. Pictured top left: Michelle Ritchie and Jenna Pulice. Image: Julie Sanchez.

GOOD NEWS

The Penn State community is invited to attend an immersive technology open house taking place across the University Park campus on Tuesday, November 12. The event is being organized by the Center for Immersive Experiences (CIE) and will showcase the University’s resources around virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 360-degree video, and more.

Brandi Robinson, Jamie Peeler, and Ruchi Patel received the department undergraduate recruiting award for successfully bringing new students into the major.

Elise Quinn, Ruchi Patel, and Jamie Peeler successfully ran the Nittany Valley Half Marathon, held on Sunday, December 8.

Check out the new GIS Coalition story map.

COFFEE HOUR

The Coffee Hour lecture series has concluded for the fall 2019 semester. The first Coffee Hour lecture for spring 2020 will be Arturo Izurieta, executive director of the Charles Darwin Foundation. More details to come in January. More information about Coffee Hour and view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks.

NEWS

UROC for spring 2020

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Connection (UROC) is accepting applications for research and professional development projects for Spring 2020.

These opportunities allow undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience and technical skills through collaboration on projects within the department and supervised by faculty and/or graduate students, as well as 1-3 credit hours to apply towards graduation.

Politically extreme counties may act as magnets, migration patterns suggest

It may not be just location, location, location that influences where people move to in the United States, but also politics, politics, politics, according to a team of researchers.

In a study of county-to-county migration patterns in the U.S., the researchers found that when people migrate, they tend to move to other counties that reflect their political preferences. They added that the pattern also suggests that people moving from moderate partisan counties are just as likely to move to extreme partisan counties as they are to move to other moderate counties. However, people who live in a politically extreme county are significantly likely to move to a similarly extreme county.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Merits of capstone projects in an online graduate program for working professionals

Justine Blanford, Patrick Kennelly, Beth King, Douglas Miller & Tim Bracken
Journal of Geography in Higher Education
https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2019.1694874

Capstones in professional masters-level programs serve a unique nexus of developing professional, industry-specific competencies within a graduate-level academic setting. Universities offering such degree programs must demonstrate the benefits of an academic approach to working professionals, while focusing on the development or enhancement of a wide range of hard and soft skills required by industries and employers in the field of study.

In this paper we highlight the capstone project model used in an online geospatial professional program in which students apply a wide range of technical skills as well as enhance their soft skills through problem-based projects. These projects include advisement from graduate faculty, rigorous project planning to ensure the work is integrated with and builds upon the leading edge of applied research, and include numerous cycles of revision based on feedback from faculty, fellow students, and peers in the industry.

We examined completed capstone projects and surveyed past students to evaluate how relevant the capstone experience was in developing geospatial competencies. The learning model presented here is flexible and highly applicable for enhancing industry competencies for working professional students not only by providing students with the opportunity to develop research-led projects, but also for the educational institution to adjust to changing demands.


03
Dec 19

Coffee Hour with Steve Norman | CIE opening | Fighting ticks with fire

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

watermelons

In Zagor, Morocco, watermelon production represents a general push toward the intensification of agricultural production and aggregation of smaller farms.The production of watermelons in this region relies entirely on pumping groundwater to irrigate desert fields which represents a radical departure from the traditional oasis agriculture built around date palms which has sustained this region for millennia. While watermelon has been viewed as an attractive commodity to generate increased economic activity, it has introduced a new set of interrelated and converging problems. Caption and Image: Cameron Franz

GOOD NEWS

Supporting Women in Geography (SWIG) is participating again in the Centre Safe Holiday Sponsorship Program. This year SWIG is sponsoring a family of three (two children: a boy and a girl, both are 15 years old), and again the target is to raise $250. The deadline for donations is December 9. Anyone who wishes to contribute can deliver donations to Jacklyn Weier’s office (335 Walker Building), mailbox, or over a digital medium (Venmo: @Jacklyn-Weier; Paypal: jacklynweier@gmail.com).

An Interdisciplinary Workshop on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation will be held 12:30–4:30 p.m., Friday, December 6, in 134 HUB. Registration is required.

Alex Klippel will speak at the Sustainability Showcase, noon to 1:30 p.m., December 6, in 233AB HUB. He will talk about “Extended Realities-Creating Visceral Experiences for Sustainability.” For more information and to register.

 

COFFEE HOUR

Coffee Hour with Steve Norman

A “perfect storm” or the “new normal”?: Seeking resilience among Southern Appalachian forests and people after epic fire”

Wildland fire has long been a part of the Southern Appalachian landscape, but for decades wildfires were kept small with limited impacts to communities. But the area burned has sharply increased in recent decades and this resurgence reached a crescendo in the hot drought of 2016 when over 140,000 acres burned across state, federal and private lands. These fires forced the evacuation of thousands and led to an unprecedented and costly suppression effort. Tennessee’s Sevier County fires, in particular, destroyed 2,400 structures, killed 14 and injured hundreds, suggesting there is a pressing need for adaptation. Yet community and urban forest resilience are arguably more about “mountain tough” rebuilding than adaptive remaking. This presentation will review what we know about fire in this region, map the pattern of problematic fire that seems to be emerging, then communicate the various causes of our shifting fire regime in a way that relates to what can be done to mitigate risks.

NEWS

Geographer invests in education to open doors for others

Growing up in a segregated part of Washington, D.C., in the 1970s, Tony Hutchinson didn’t see a lot of the kids in his neighborhood going on to college. Even though several members of his family had graduated from teacher’s colleges — for him — it didn’t seem like an option.

Center for Immersive Experiences opens at Penn State (Video)

When you think of virtual reality you may think of entertainment and video games. But VR is being used more and more by businesses and schools. Instructors and students say the new Center for Immersive Experiences takes research to a whole new reality.

“When I first came to Penn State, I had no idea what I wanted to study and then I was introduced to one of the spaces on campus that had virtual reality and I said, “That what I want to do,” Talia Potochny, Penn State Student, said.

Our best bet against tick infestations might be fire

Erica Smithwick is quoted

People hate ticks. In fact, they hate them so much that folks are willing to deal with the hazards that accompany fire, like smoke, in order to reduce their populations. That’s what Pennsylvania State University professor of geography Erica Smithwick learned during a survey of public attitudes towards controlled fires in northeastern regions of the United States like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

From The New York Times
New York’s Subway Map Like You’ve Never Seen If Before

Designed in 1979, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s map is a record of how graphic design, politics and geography have shaped New York over the past 40 years.

Use our animated guide to travel around the city and see how the map evolved.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Geospatial Information Visualization and Extended Reality Displays

Arzu Çöltekin, Amy L. Griffin, Aidan Slingsby, Anthony C. Robinson, Sidonie Christophe, Victoria Rautenbach, Min Chen, Christopher Pettit, Alexander Klippel
Chapter in Manual of Digital Earth
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-32-9915-3_7

In this chapter, we review and summarize the current state of the art in geovisualization and extended reality (i.e., virtual, augmented and mixed reality), covering a wide range of approaches to these subjects in domains that are related to geographic information science. We introduce the relationship between geovisualization, extended reality and Digital Earth, provide some fundamental definitions of related terms, and discuss the introduced topics from a human-centric perspective. We describe related research areas including geovisual analytics and movement visualization, both of which have attracted wide interest from multidisciplinary communities in recent years. The last few sections describe the current progress in the use of immersive technologies and introduce the spectrum of terminology on virtual, augmented and mixed reality, as well as proposed research concepts in geographic information science and beyond. We finish with an overview of “dashboards”, which are used in visual analytics as well as in various immersive technologies. We believe the chapter covers important aspects of visualizing and interacting with current and future Digital Earth applications.


19
Nov 19

Homeless female veterans | RISE conference | NCSE report

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Yanan Xin Best Presentation SIGSPATIAL

Yanan Xin won the Best Presentation Award in the 3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL Workshop on AI for Geographic Knowledge Discovery (GeoAI’ 19). The title of her presentation was “Mapping Miscanthus Using Multi-Temporal Convolutional Neural Network and Google Earth Engine.”

GOOD NEWS

Professor Emeritus Deryck Holdsworth will give the 2019 GRID Lecture, “Above the Turk’s Head: Providence and Post-Maritime World,” at 3 p.m., Tuesday, November 19, in the Stuckeman Family Building Jury Space.

The following students were inducted in to the Gamma Theta Upsilon Alpha Tau chapter on November 15, 2019: Kayla Bancone, Seamus Gibbons, Jacob Grande, Sara Maholland, Kyle Myers, Jenna Pullice, Sophie Tessier, Lixun Wang.

Due to Thanksgiving break there will be no DoG enews next week.

An Interdisciplinary Workshop on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation will be held 12:30–4:30 p.m., Friday, December 6, in 134 HUB. Registration is required.

Alex Klippel will speak at the Sustainability Showcase, noon to 1:30 p.m., December 6, in 233AB HUB. He will talk about “Extended Realities-Creating Visceral Experiences for Sustainability.” For more information and to register.

NEWS

Homeless female veterans: Out of sight, out of mind

Female veterans are the fastest growing demographic among the homeless population in the United States and face a double hurdle of distance and invisibility in getting the health services they need from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to research conducted by Penn State graduate student and U.S. Air Force veteran Elizabeth Elsea.

Conference explores role of institutions of higher education in extreme weather

Erica Smithwick to participate

As the number of extreme weather events associated to climate change continues to grow world-wide, it is becoming increasingly important that institutions of higher education reflect on their role both before and after catastrophic events.

NCSE report on climate scholarship

Today, the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) released a new report showing public universities are contributing significantly to America’s understanding of climate change. In Climate Science Research in the United States and U.S. Territories, NCSE analyzed the research of 80 public institutions from all 50 states and found that they had produced 10,004 studies on the impacts of climate change on their regions between 2014 and 2018.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Spatial Learning in Smart Applications: Enhancing Spatial Awareness through Visualized Off-Screen Landmarks on Mobile Devices

Rui Li
Annals of the American Association of Geographers
DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1670611
Smartphones have become a significant platform in everyone’s daily lives. For example, maps and map-based services on smartphones bring great convenience for wayfinding. They affect users’ spatial awareness, however, due to their small sizes. That impacted spatial awareness can lead to degraded spatial knowledge and disorientation. This study intends to address these issues associated with spatial learning on smartphones by adapting cartographic and cognitive theories and investigating a new design for presenting spatial information on smartphones that can support users’ awareness of space. The design uses the distinctive identities of spatial locations beyond the mapped screen as landmarks and visualizes the identities and distances of landmarks in distance through visual variables. Following previous pilot studies, this study evaluates the effectiveness of using such a design on aspects related to spatial awareness. Results provide additional details on the advantage of using specific visual variables to enhance the acquisition of spatial knowledge and spatial orientation. Although smart devices are ubiquitous in everyone’s lives, it is still important to address the cognitive issues between those devices and their users. This study provides evidence that design can further contribute to the improvement of map-based applications on smartphones, which provides convenience and enhances users’ spatial learning of new places.

US Route 50: The Loneliest Road in America, Part 2

Wayne Brew
PAST: online journal of the International Society for Landscape, Place and Material Culture
https://indd.adobe.com/view/12e1ca68-2055-4fa1-ae95-1d0efa356b43
Part 2 of the loneliest road in America picks up the story in Missouri. For Part 1 of the story please refer to PAST 2018. For those starting the story here, I traveled the length of U.S. Route 50 (over 3,000 miles) from California east to Ocean City, Maryland (see Figure 1a). It is always a challenge tracing old interstates through major metropolitan areas because the exact route changes over time, usually to bypass the central business district. That is true for Kansas City and Saint Louis, Missouri. Sorting out the old routes can be done using historic USGS topographic maps, and it is the older routes that I travel.

The Blue Highway: US Route 10

Wayne Brew
PAST: online journal of the International Society for Landscape, Place and Material Culture
https://indd.adobe.com/view/12e1ca68-2055-4fa1-ae95-1d0efa356b43
rom 1926 to 1969 US Route 10 connected Detroit, Michigan, to Seattle, Washington. Starting in 1969 the western end of was subsumed by I-94 and I-90. In 1987, the eastern terminus was truncated to Bay City, Michigan, with the western end in West Fargo, North Dakota.


12
Nov 19

Coffee Hour with Marel King | Cleaning up the Chesapeake | Happy GIS day

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

GIS dayIt’s GIS today, Nov. 12 at University Libraries. Several Department of Geography students, faculty, and alumni are presenting talks, which may be viewed on Mediasite.

GOOD NEWS

Undergraduate geography student Zhaogeng Ding will present a poster at the annual Penn State Student Engagement Expo on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Earth Talks Seminar Series presents “The Dynamics of Deep Decarbonization,” with speaker Leon Clarke, research director, Center for Global Sustainability, University of Maryland, at 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in 112 Walker Building. Clarke’s presentation is titled “US Climate Mitigation and the Paris Agreement.” The seminar series is co-supported by the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), Power and Energy Systems Transitions Lab (PESTL) and Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA.

Alumni Update: Michael Sutherland, a 2016 graduate in geography,  is currently working as a spatial data analyst for commercial real estate company CBRE based out of the Conshohocken, Pa. office. “I mainly work with demographics, and as of late, tracking historic demographic change. Most of my work is nationally based so I’m helping out on GIS projects across the country,” he said.

COFFEE HOUR

Coffee Hour with Marel King
Chesapeake Bay: Lessons learned from 40 years of watershed management

Marel King is the Chesapeake Bay Commission’s Pennsylvania Director.  She received her juris doctor degree from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and her bachelor of science degree in Dairy and Animal Science Penn State.

The Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest estuary, with a 64,000 square mile watershed spanning parts of six states and the District of Columbia. Despite the natural, social, and political diversity across the region, efforts to restore the Chesapeake are a model of success. Nevertheless, additional progress must be made before water quality goals are achieved.

Established in 1980, the Chesapeake Bay Commission will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2020. The Commission is a tri-state legislative commission advising the General Assemblies of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia on matters of Bay-wide concern. As a signatory to the series of Chesapeake Bay Agreements and its four decades of work within the state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to craft “Policy for the Bay,” several lessons have emerged about how to successfully manage a large-scale watershed restoration effort.

NEWS

Center for Immersive Experiences to host immersive technology open house Nov. 12

Members of the Penn State community are invited to attend an immersive technology open house taking place across the University Park campus on Nov. 12. The event is being organized by the Center for Immersive Experiences (CIE) and will showcase the University’s resources around virtual reality, augmented reality, 360-degree video and more.

GTU induction set

The Department of Geography will hold an induction for the newest members of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the geography honor society, immediately preceding the Coffee Hour lecture on November 15, 2019. Gamma Theta Upsilon was founded in 1928 and became a national organization in 1931. Members of GTU have met academic requirements and share a background and interest in geography. GTU chapter activities support geography knowledge and awareness.

Choosing most cost-effective practices for sites could save in bay cleanup

Robert Brooks was involved in the research

Using site-specific watershed data to determine the most cost-effective agricultural best management practices — rather than requiring all the recommended practices be implemented across the entire watershed — could make staying below the Chesapeake Bay’s acceptable pollution load considerably less expensive.

Online geodesign program adds geographic information systems expert to faculty

Robert Stauder, a geographic information systems (GIS) professional with more than 20 years of experience in geodesign, GIS analysis and GIS in planning, is joining Penn State’s online geodesign graduate program. He is teaching Geodesign History, Theory and Principles, which is the program’s longest-standing course and also the first step toward both the graduate certificate and the master of professional studies degree, which are offered entirely online through Penn State World Campus.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Slow and Fast Violence: A Feminist Critique of Binaries

Jenna Christian and Lorraine Dowler
ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies
https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1692
Rob Nixon’s recent theorization of slow violence deliberates on specific forms of violence that unfold gradually and in unspectacular ways. However, discussions about the phenomenon that fall under slow violence are not new to the academy and echo the labor of feminist scholars who have for many years written about how violence is experienced in banal, everyday, intimate, and routinized ways. We argue that these Feminist traditions of analyzing violence are vital to touch on, because these contributions are largely overlooked in Nixon’s thesis. Further, this robust scholarship demonstrates how the invisibility of slow violence is shaped not only by its everyday nature, but also by larger gendered and raced epistemologies that privilege the public, the rapid, the hot, and the spectacular. We argue that a feminist epistemological approach to denaturalizing binaries can offer a deeper understanding of how the invisible nature of slow violence is shaped by ongoing gendered and raced epistemologies. Specifically, we believe that a feminist geopolitical framework aids in recognizing the co-constitution of fast and slow violence and engages new pathways that challenge impunity.

Complex interactions among successional trajectories and climate govern spatial resilience after severe windstorms in central Wisconsin, USA

Melissa S. Lucash, Kelsey L. Ruckert, Robert E. Nicholas, Robert M. Scheller, Erica A. H. Smithwick
Landscape Ecology
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-019-00929-1
Context: Resilience is a concept central to the field of ecology, but our understanding of resilience is not sufficient to predict when and where large changes in species composition might occur following disturbances, particularly under climate change.
Objectives: Our objective was to estimate how wind disturbance shapes landscape-level patterns of engineering resilience, defined as the recovery of total biomass and species composition after a windstorm, under climate change in central Wisconsin.
Methods: We used a spatially-explicit, forest simulation model (LANDIS-II) to simulate how windstorms and climate change affect forest succession and used boosted regression tree analysis to isolate the important drivers of resilience.
Results: At mid-century, biomass fully recovered to current conditions, but neither biomass nor species composition completely recovered at the end of the century. As expected, resilience was lower in the south, but by the end of the century, resilience was low throughout the landscape. Disturbance and species’ characteristics (e.g., the amount of area disturbed and the number of species) explained half of the variation in resilience, while temperature and soil moisture comprised only 17% collectively.
Conclusions: Our results illustrate substantial spatial patterns of resilience at landscape scales, while documenting the potential for overall declines in resilience through time. Species diversity and windstorm size were far more important than temperature and soil moisture in driving long term trends in resilience. Finally, our research highlights the utility of using machine learning (e.g., boosted regression trees) to discern the underlying mechanisms of landscape-scale processes when using complex spatially-interactive and non-deterministic simulation models.


05
Nov 19

Coffee Hour with Emily Rosenman | Faculty give talks | Geography Awareness Week and GIS day

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

GIS day
Penn State University Libraries and the Department of Geography will observe GIS Day — an annual event celebrating the technology of geographic information systems (GIS) — on Tuesday, Nov. 12, with activities designed to bring together both new and experienced users of geospatial information across disciplines.

GOOD NEWS

Luke Trusel will present a talk on “The Greenland Ice Sheet in a Warming World,” on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 11:15 a.m.to 12:30 p.m. in 529 Walker Building as part of the fall 2019 Earth System Science Center Brown Bag Series.

Guido Cervone will present a talk on “Expanded Dimensionality Image Spectroscopy via Deep Learning,” at the Meteorology Colloquium on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 112 Walker Building

Erica Smithwick will be a panelist at the Women in Science Mixer on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 5:00 p.m. in 114 Steidle Building. Meet and support women scientists from across the university. A panel discussion will be held on being a woman scientist, imposter syndrome, and work-life balance.

Earth Talks Seminar Series presents “The Dynamics of Deep Decarbonization,” with speaker Gary Geernaert, Director, Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, U.S. Department of Energy, on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. in 112 Walker Building.The seminar series is co-supported by the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), Power and Energy Systems Transitions Lab (PESTL) and Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA).

Ann Myatt James ’14g recently accepted an appointment as a Data Services Librarian at George Washington University’s Gelman Library in Washington DC. In this role, she’ll be supporting students, faculty, staff, and administrators to more effectively access and engage data resources, geospatial technologies, and visualizations in their research, teaching, and practice.

Academic job postings: The George Washington University in Washing, DC is hiring an assistant professor of geography and an assistant professor of geography and foreign affairs.

COFFEE HOUR

Coffee Hour with Emily Rosenman
Marketizing the wealth gap? Geographies of risk and power in the pursuit of an anti-racist finance

Historical and ongoing structural discrimination has created racialized geographies of inequality in the United States: wealth gaps, wage gaps, employment gaps, and so on. This history, coupled with continued constraints on state social services following the 2008 financial crisis, has prompted claims that private and charitable capital must fill these gaps. Many of these capital flows piggyback off state efforts to incentivize (rather than directly fund) social investment in dis/underinvested areas, bolstered by voluntary commitments from private and philanthropic capital to shrug off a racist past in favor of revitalizing disinvested communities with investments guided by a “lens” of racial justice. While at first glance these efforts might simply seem like another pretext for private profiteering, they partially align with the demands of marginalized communities and organizations like the Movement for Black Lives: demands for reinvestment in health, education, and social services in historically disinvested communities.

  • Friday, November 8, 2019
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • Lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour to Go on Zoom

For more information about Coffee Hour and to view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks visit https://www.geog.psu.edu/calendar/coffee-hour-lecture-series

NEWS

Geography Awareness Week — Mark your calendars!

Get ready to celebrate the importance of geography and geographic education during Geography Awareness Week (#GeoWeek) from November 10-16, 2019! The theme for this year’s GeoWeek is Igniting the Spirit of Exploration. While previous years celebrated featured parts of geography, organizers now encourage highlighting any or all aspects of geography. Follow @theAAG on Twitter leading up to and during GeoWeek for more activities and announcements.

Event explores geographic information systems Nov. 12 at University Libraries

“Exploring the World Through Geovisualization” is the theme of this year’s event

Penn State University Libraries will observe GIS Day—an annual event celebrating the technology of geographic information systems (GIS)—on Tuesday, Nov. 12, with activities designed to bring together both new and experienced users of geospatial information across disciplines.

This year’s program, “Exploring the World Through Geovisualization,” aims to foster awareness of geospatial visualization, online mapping, and geospatial data science and the ways these applications are being used on campus, in the community, and beyond. GIS use across the University is enabled through access to Esri GIS software, including ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, along with ArcGIS Online.


29
Oct 19

Coffee Hour with Andrew Anderson | New Center for Immersive Experiences | Brewer to get O. M. Miller Cartographic Medal

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center in New York (and bust of John D. Rockefeller), where Emily Rosenman was researching the history of “program-related investments,” in which foundations make investments (rather than grants) to organizations that support charitable causes. Rosenman is looking at investments in Cooperative Assistance Funds, which were a civil rights-era initiative by the Ford and other foundations making investments in urban Black-owned businesses to inform her research on geographies of contemporary investing done with a racial justice “lens.” Image: Emily Rosenman

GOOD NEWS

Cynthia Brewer has been selected by The American Geographical Society to receive the O. M. Miller Cartographic Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of cartography. She will be recognized at the AGS fall symposium on November 22, 2019 at Columbia University, New York.

Emily Domanico ’19g won second place in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Graduate Poster Exhibition held Wednesday, October 23, 2019.

Jessica Whitehead ’09g has just been named as North Carolina’s first chief resilience officer, tasked to think ahead in new ways to bolster the state against the effects of climate change.

Earth Talks Seminar Series presents “The Dynamics of Deep Decarbonization,” with speaker Tom Richard on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. in 112 Walker Building. The seminar series is co-supported by the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), Power and Energy Systems Transitions Lab (PESTL) and Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA).

The GIS Coalition is holding a Youth Mappers event on November 4, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., in 208 Walker Building. During the event, mappers will digitize imagery with Open Street Map ​to help relief efforts navigate and bring aid to those facing food insecurity in the Philippines. More information about the project can be found at https://tasks.hotosm.org/project/5461#bottom.

Erica Smithwick and Scott Showalter will present a seminar on NSF and NIH grantwriting for graduate students and post-docs, November 14, 2019, noon to 1:30 p.m. in 233A HUB. Register at: https://forms.gle/1MRBwcZp77agUtuq7

Federal job posting: Supervisory Geographer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Open & closing dates: 10/21/2019 to 11/08/2019.

COFFEE HOUR

Coffee Hour with Andrew Anderson
The Landscapes of Oman: Nature | Culture | Place

The landscapes of Oman are at once beguiling, surprising and breathtaking. While intimately known to the people who have lived in this corner of Arabia for untold millennia, the landscapes of Oman slowly reveal their secrets – some of them, at least – to those willing to slow down, observe and experience nature, culture and place in this most fascinating of countries.

Following a brief introduction to his unique experience and expertise in the allied disciplines of landscape architecture and world heritage conservation, Senior Landscape Architect and World Heritage Advisor Andrew Anderson will guide a three-part introduction to the landscapes of Oman from the perspective of multi-disciplinary collaboration and research.

  • Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • Lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour to Go on Zoom

For more information about Coffee Hour and to view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks visit https://www.geog.psu.edu/calendar/coffee-hour-lecture-series

NEWS

Center for Immersive Experiences set to debut, serving researchers and students

Penn State will be equipped to meet the needs of students, faculty, and a society at large that is progressively more reliant on immersive technology with the opening of the Center for Immersive Experiences (CIE) on the University Park campus.

The center, with physical space in Pattee Library and collaborators in 11 different academic units at the University, will feature comprehensive services around teaching, learning and research involving immersive technology by increasing access to virtual reality, augmented reality, 360-degree video, mixed reality and more.

JOB POSTINGS: Post-doctoral fellows, Ph.D. and Masters, Developer, and Intern positions

The Center for Immersive Experiences at The Pennsylvania State University (immersive.psu.edu), in collaboration with other units at Penn State (such as ChoroPhronesis, chorophronesis.psu.edu, and Teaching and Learning with Technology), is hiring two Post-Doctoral Researchers focusing on areas such as immersive analytics, immersive learning, immersive decision-making, or serious games.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Smart Festivals? Security and Freedom for Well-Being in Urban Smart Spaces

Jeremy W. Crampton ’87g’94g, Kara C. Hoover, Harrison Smith, Steve Graham & J. Colette Berbesque
Annals of the American Association of Geographers
DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1662765

In this article we use the natural lab of music festivals to examine behavioral change in response to the rapid introduction of smart surveillance technology into formerly unpoliced spaces. Festivals are liminal spaces, free from the governance of everyday social norms and regulations, permitting participants to assert a desired self. Due to a number of recent festival deaths, drug confiscations, pickpockets, and a terroristic mass shooting, festivals have quickly introduced smart security measures such as drones and facial recognition technologies. Such a rapid introduction contrasts with urban spaces where surveillance is introduced gradually and unnoticeably. In this article we use some findings from an online survey of festivalgoers to reveal explicit attitudes and experiences of surveillance. We found that surveillance is often discomforting because it changes experience of place, it diminishes feelings of safety, and bottom-up measures (health tents, being in contact with friends) are preferred to top-down surveillance. We also found marked variation between men, women, and nonbinary people’s feelings toward surveillance. Men were much less affected by surveillance. Women have very mixed views on surveillance; they simultaneously have greater safety concerns (especially sexual assault in public) and are keener on surveillance than men but also feel that it is ineffective in preventing assault (but might be useful in providing evidence subsequently). Our findings have significant ramifications for the efficacy of a one-size-fits-all solution of increased surveillance and security in smart places and cities and point to the need for more bottom-up safety measures.


21
Oct 19

Coffee Hour with Ted Toadvine | GIS Day | Esri ArcGIS software available

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

geocaching GIS coalition

The undergraduate GIS Coalition recently conducted a Geo-Caching activity on campus. This picture shows Erin Arndt, GIS coalition president, Harman Singh, coalition secretary, and Clarie Byrnes, a coalition member and anthropology major looking for a hidden cache near Deike building.The Geospatial Information Science (GIS) Coalition is an organization that offers students majoring, minoring, or sharing an interest in GIS opportunities to develop supplementary knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the professional GIS industry.

GOOD NEWS

Esri Education and Directions magazine are offering a two-part webinar on GIS for classrooms Oct. 23 and Nov. 6

Humphrey Fellows Fall Presentation Series, this week in 102 Chambers; noon-1:00 p.m. October 24:

  • Socio-political and economic considerations in higher education in the Anglophone Caribbean
  • Higher education challenges in Afghanistan

COFFEE HOUR

Coffee Hour with Ted Toadvine
Climate Change and the Apocalyptic Image of Time

The prospect of climate disruption haunts contemporary culture and political debate today in a way that no environmental threat has before, and it is commonplace to hear climate change identified as the single most important challenge facing humanity. Is this prioritization of climate destabilization as the defining threat of recorded human history justified? Here I investigate the image of time underlying this apocalyptic narrative to show that it depends upon, and attempts to manage, the explosion of our horizons of time represented by “deep” geological timescales.

  • Friday, October 25, 2019
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • Lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour to Go on Zoom

For more information about Coffee Hour and to view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks visit https://www.geog.psu.edu/calendar/coffee-hour-lecture-series

NEWS

Event explores geographic information systems Nov. 12 at University Libraries

“Exploring the World Through Geovisualization” is the theme of this year’s event

Penn State University Libraries will observe GIS Day—an annual event celebrating the technology of geographic information systems (GIS)—on Tuesday, Nov. 12, with activities designed to bring together both new and experienced users of geospatial information across disciplines.

This year’s program, “Exploring the World Through Geovisualization,” aims to foster awareness of geospatial visualization, online mapping, and geospatial data science and the ways these applications are being used on campus, in the community, and beyond. GIS use across the University is enabled through access to Esri GIS software, including ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, along with ArcGIS Online.

Esri ArcGIS software now more easily accessible to faculty, staff, students

For a project in a geographic information systems (GIS) class in Penn State’s Department of Geography, Alexis Fisher sought to spotlight the wage gap in the United States. She had familiarity with the topic, but when she began plotting a story map using Esri’s ArcGIS online tools, the data really came to life.

Fisher, a senior majoring in cyber security analytics and operations with a focus in geopolitics, entered historical wage data broken down by counties with variables for gender and ethnicity, to create an interactive map with text, videos, and graphics.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Next Steps for Spatial Demography

Stephen A. Matthews
Spatial Demography
https://doi.org/10.1007/s40980-019-00055-1
I would like to open my first editorial by thanking the founding editors of Spatial Demography, Frank Howell and Jeremy Porter, and their editorial board for all their contributions over the past eight years. Frank and Jeremy recognized long before anyone else the importance of a signature journal for the field of spatial demography. I greatly appreciate the foundation they set and for initiating the later partnership with Springer. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with both Frank and Jeremy on an edited book and then more recently alongside Jeremy as co-editor of the journal. This was a valuable experience and certainly eased the transition to becoming sole editor.


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