Mar 16

No Coffee Hour this week | Spring department events


Walker Building

Walker Building is ready for spring.


Paulo Raposo accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in GIScience at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to start in fall.

Doug Miller, Rob Brooks, and Erica Smithwick along with other colleagues were awarded a PSIEE grant for their project: Mapping and Measuring Forests and Wetlands with a UAS-Based Lidar/Multispectral System.

Eden Kinkaid received a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study Hindi in Jaipur, India, this summer.

Jase Bernhardt has been offered a tenure-track assistant professor position in atmospheric science with the Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability at Hofstra University.


Coffee Hour adjustments
We’ve had a slight change in the Coffee Hour schedule for this spring. There will not be a Coffee Hour this week on March 25 as originally planned. Due to AAG, there will be no Coffee Hour on April 1. Sarah Battersby will speak on April 8, and Gian Rocco will speak on April 15. View the updated schedule: http://www.geog.psu.edu/news/coffee-hour

Spring department events
Please mark your calendar and plan to attend these important department events.
• March 31 Alumni and Friends Reception during AAG in San Francisco
For more details and to RSVP: http://www.geog.psu.edu/aag-reception
• April 29 Year-end Recognition Reception (note new location)
For more details and to RSVP: http://www.geog.psu.edu/news/events/recognition-2016

DJs, drones and the sounds of data featured at 2016 Polar Day on March 22
The weather may be warming with spring on the horizon, but ice will be center stage at Penn State’s annual Polar Day on March 22, 2016 on the University Park campus. The annual event features performances, lectures and other events celebrating the natural and cultural value of the world’s polar regions.

Earth and Mineral Sciences museum selected for accreditation academy
The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) Museum and Art Gallery is one of 10 small museums recently selected to participate in the American Alliance of Museums’ pilot season of its new Small Museums Accreditation Academy.

Mar 16

Coffee Hour with Kirk Maasch | SYWIG Day | New online program


girls at SYWIG Day learn about physical geography

Young women from local schools attending Supporting Young Women in Geography (SYWIG) Day 2014 learn about physical geography. This year, SYWIG Day is March 18.


Jennifer Baka will begin with us July 1, 2016, as our newest assistant professor of geography, with emphasis on energy policy.

Donna J. Peuquet will be awarded Fellow status by The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) at its upcoming May 2016 Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Alumnus Greg Milbourne (B.S. 2015) accepted a position with Vricon in McLean,Virginia, as a 3D geospatial specialist.

Erica Smithwick received a 2015–16 Fulbright Grant: Measuring and Monitoring Forest Carbon Stocks and Biodiversity in South Africa.


Coffee Hour with Kirk Maasch
Foot Steps of the Ancient Great Glacier of North America: A Long Lost Document of a Revolution in Nineteenth Century Geological Theory
John K. DeLaski practiced medicine in the Penobscot Bay region of Maine in the middle of the 19th century. He was also a naturalist with keen powers of observation. His study of the landscape led to the conclusion that a thick glacier had overtopped the highest hills, flooded all of Penobscot Bay, extended far to the east and west and probably was part of a greater continental glacier. He published his field observations and inferences in numerous articles in local newspapers and magazines, and in the American Journal of Science in 1864.

Take back the tap: Pledge to eschew single–use plastic water bottles
Danielle Ruffe, a geography major and president of the Penn State “Take Back the Tap” campaign, wants students to choose tap water over bottled water. “This campaign focuses on human geography aspects of access to water in regions and promotes the drinking of tap water for students in State College instead of single-use plastic bottles,” Ruffe said. The goal of the campaign is to ban single-use plastic water bottles on campus in 5 years.

“Currently we are in a contest called Tap-a-palooza, a nation-wide contest to collect pledges from students saying that they will try to use a reusable water bottle whenever possible instead of a disposable plastic one,” Ruffe said. To pledge text “I<3 Tap!” to 69866 by March 22, World Water Day. The winning school gets funding for a new refilling station.

EMS benefiting THON dancers reflect on inspiration and support
Laser tag, making blankets for families fighting cancer, fishing — and of course, a 46-hour dance marathon — are some of the most memorable activities from the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) activities for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) benefiting THON team. The group raised $71,302.45 in the fight against childhood cancer, making it the third-highest general organization in THON for 2016. The EMS benefiting THON group raised the largest amount of any general organization from 2011 to 2015.

World Campus remote sensing certificate helps GIS professionals
use drone data
Drones are suddenly everywhere — gathering crop data, monitoring air pollution, helping with search-and-rescue missions and even taking “drone selfies.” But the increase of data collection by drones, as well as by manned aircraft and satellites with advanced digital sensors, creates a need for experts who can interpret and apply the rapidly expanding data and images generated by them.


Domains of uncertainty visualization research: a visual summary approach
By Jennifer Smith Mason, David Retchless , Alexander Klippel
In Cartography and Geographic Information Science
DOI: 10.1080/15230406.2016.1154804
The inherent uncertainty of geospatial data has engendered a critical research agenda addressing all facets of uncertainty visualization due to the communicative efficiency of graphical representation. To organize this broad research area, we have reviewed literature on geospatial uncertainty visualization and systematically and iteratively classified research in this field. Upon creating a classification, we developed several visual summaries over time, refining the classification and subsequent graphic as new relevant topics emerged. This visual summary extends current existing approaches to taxonomies by allowing users a quick visual overview of relevant topics in a research area at a glance.

There׳s an app for that: development of a smartphone app to promote active travel to a college campus
By Melissa Boppa, Dangaia Sims, Stephen A. Matthews, Liza S. Rovniak, Erika Poole, Joanna Colgan
In Journal of Transport & Health
DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2016.02.007
Active travel (AT) is associated with many health benefits, however rates of AT remain low in the USA. Using technology to target population level AT behavior allows for the widespread dissemination of behavior change messages. Limited evidence exists on an effective process for developing and tailoring apps for a specific population. Therefore the purpose of the current study was to document the development process of a smartphone app for promoting AT to a college campus.

Mar 16

Coffee Hour with grads | Super Tuesday Tweet Map


SensePlace3 Election EditionSuper Tuesday Tweet Mapping. The Geo VISTA Center just released SensePlace3 (SP3) Election Edition. SensePlace3 focuses on Tweets that reference a location by including places or coordinates they are posted from and/or mentioning locations within the text. Try it here: http://www.geovista.psu.edu/SensePlace3/election/



Coffee Hour: Graduate Student Lightening Talks
Each speaker will give a brief talk on their area of research: Jase Bernhardt, John Dzwonczyk, Aparna Parikh, Mark Simpson, Li-San Hung, Catherine Lauvaux.

  • 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 Webcast
  • Next week: Spring Break, No Coffee Hour

SWIG accepting nominations for the Nancy Brown Award
SWIG is now accepting nominations for the Nancy Brown Geography Community Service Award. Named after graduate student and SWIG member Nancy Brown, this award recognizes graduate students who are involved in the department and the community, particularly in ways that go unrecognized in other forums, while completing their degree.

We first ask for nominations. Only names are necessary, but if you have specific reasons for nominating somebody, you may include those as well. After the March 11 deadline, accepting nominees will be asked to provide written statements, at which time there will be a public vote available on Angel. The winner will be recognized at the department’s end of year reception and will receive a small award from SWIG.  Please email all nominations by Friday, March 11, to samstehle@psu.edu

Past recipients include: Emma Gaalaas Mullaney (2010), Jennifer Titanski (2011), Jeremy Fischer and Laura Spess (2012), Dana Cuomo (2013), Amanda Young and Arielle Hesse (2014), Aparna Parikh (2015).

Fulbright Features: Teacher makes impact in and outside New Delhi classrooms
By Rachel Passmore (B.S. ’14)
Arriving in India’s capital city of New Delhi was like entering a dusty sauna — my body and brain felt hazy, partly because of the drastic temperature change and partly because of the shock that my dream of living in India and being immersed in the drastic varieties of cultures, religions and customs had turned into reality.

Skip to toolbar