Coffee Hour with Sanjoy Chakravorty | CAUSE 2016 | What’s in a place name?


Rosendal, Norway.Andrew Carleton shares an image from his year on sabbatical. Pictured: Rosendal, Norway. Send your photos from fieldwork and travels to


Susan Lechtanski (B.S. ’97) was named to the GEMS Board of Directors.

Lise Nelson’s article, “Landscapes of luxury in the rural US depend on the recruitment of low-wage and often undocumented Latino workers” on the London School of Economics U.S. policy and politics blog made it on the list of last week’s ten most popular posts on that site.

Jenna Christian was awarded a dissertation improvement grant from the National Science Foundation for her doctoral project titled: “Geopolitical Youth: Race, Citizenship, and a School-to-Military Pipeline in Houston, Texas.”

Mark Monmonier (M.S. ’67, Ph.D. ’69) is quoted in a news story about the Board on Geographic Names

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September 25 Coffee Hour: On the Land Question in India: Crisis and Discourse
The scarcity of land has created a triple crisis in India. (1) A price crisis, whereby urban and rural land prices are arguably the highest in the world, reinforced by severe income inequality. (2) An agricultural crisis, whereby three-quarters of agricultural households possess less than an acre of land and make less than $100 per month. (3) An acquisition crisis, resulting in a new law that is oriented to social justice but will effectively create a social tax on the majority. I present the broad outlines of these conditions, followed by a brief discussion on the resulting intellectual and political responses. I argue that the former are ideological and the latter opportunistic, and both are based partial or convenient or wrong information. I end with a few words on my embryonic attempt to theorize the post-colonial state in the information age.

  • 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
  • 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
  • Next Week: Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Penn State researchers assess the impacts of changing weather on Pennsylvania
Penn State researchers assessed the effects of changing climate conditions on agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, water resources, forestry, energy and human health in the 2015 Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment Update. The experts also made recommendations to help Pennsylvanians prepare and respond. The 2015 update was released by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

CAUSE 2016: Glaciers and Wetlands of the Americas
CAUSE 2016 will be taught by Denice Wardrop, Joe Bishop, and Mike Nassry. The CAUSE 2016 experience includes travel to two distinctly different landscapes where students will be able to explore the impact of climate change and glacial recession on both the surrounding ecosystems and the communities that rely on glacial meltwater supported streams. Students will have the opportunity to explore both the societal impacts of climate change and participate in fieldwork in the glacial-wetland systems of each region.

Information Sessions:

  • Monday, September 21, 6:00 p.m. in room 10 Deike Building
  • Thursday, September 24, 6:00 p.m. in room 10 Deike Building

Polar Center releases video
The Polar Center fosters creative, ground-breaking, and synergistic collaboration by catalyzing exchange among members with a unique breadth of expertise at Penn State, representing the life-, physical-, and social sciences. See View video:


  • An analog ensemble for short-term probabilistic solar power forecast
    By S. Alessandrini, L. Delle Monache, S. Sperati, G. Cervone in the Journal of Applied Energy. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.08.011
    The energy produced by photovoltaic farms has a variable nature depending on astronomical and meteorological factors. The former are the solar elevation and the solar azimuth, which are easily predictable without any uncertainty. The amount of liquid water met by the solar radiation within the troposphere is the main meteorological factor influencing the solar power production, as a fraction of short wave solar radiation is reflected by the water particles and cannot reach the earth surface. The total cloud cover is a meteorological variable often used to indicate the presence of liquid water in the troposphere and has a limited predictability, which is also reflected on the global horizontal irradiance and, as a consequence, on solar photovoltaic power prediction.
  • Influence of protected areas on malaria prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa
    By Eric Taber and Erica Smithwick in Applied Geography

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