IMAGE OF THE WEEK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.