Coffee Hour with Sarah Battersby | Epic good news | Using drones to save elephants



A photograph from Jia-Ching Chen’s exhibit on “Remaking the Rural: Beyond China’s Urbanization”


The Penn State Department of Geography has been ranked as the twenty-fifth best program in the World (and fifth best in the United States) for the subject of geography, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject report.

Jia-Ching Chen has a photography exhibit on “Remaking the Rural: Beyond China’s Urbanization” at the Watson Institute at Brown University.

Adrienne Tucker has been named as the winner of the SWIG Nancy Brown Geography Community Service Award. Tucker will be recognized during the department’s Recognition Reception on April 29.

Azita Ranjbar’s proposal ” Silence, Silencing, and (In)Visibility: The Geopolitics of Tehran’s Silent Protests ” was selected for the Glenda Laws Student Paper Competition Award from the Geographic Perspectives on Women Specialty Group.

The new online graduate certificate program in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation being offered by through World Campus has the cover and an article in the April 2016 Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing Journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The issue will go out to all members of ASPRS, and will have bonus distribution at the April Imaging & Geospatial Technology Forum (IGTF) conference.

Amber Boll-Bosse, a Ph.D. student at the University of Kentucky, and Jennifer Lumpkin, an undergraduate student at Sinclair Community College, are the co-winners of the 2016 Jennifer Fluri and Amy Trauger Student Essay and Creative Works Competition, sponsored by SWIG.

Ramzi Tubbeh received the AAG’s Latin America Specialty Group Field Studies Award to support fieldwork for his master’s thesis on “how the Arakmbut people of Southeastern Peru use a bottom-up version of REDD+ to advance their rights to self – determination. In the process, narratives of nature, conservation, indigeneity, and livelihoods are coproduced in a negotiation with other actors.”


Coffee Hour with Sarah Battersby
Helping people see and understand spatial data
Don’t let bad things happen to your good data. When used correctly, visualizations of data can improve the decision-making process. However, even good data scientists can struggle with “doing the right thing” in creating appropriate and useful visualizations. Success is a visualization where the reader can focus on the meaning in the data, and not have to spend time wondering about the meaning of, or being misled by, a crazy mess of symbols and colors.

New, hands-on exhibit at EMS Museum teaches basics of topographical maps
A new, interactive exhibit on display in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) Museum & Art Gallery lets visitors get their hands full of learning and fun. Using the Augmented Reality Sandbox, which was unveiled in spring 2016, visitors get a hands-on lesson in how topographical maps work.

Online students apply skills in out-of-class engaged scholarship opportunities
Eric Ekobeni learned how to develop a work breakdown structure — organizing a project into smaller, more manageable components — in his online Penn State business management classes. When it came time to put those skills into practice in an internship, he chose an unconventional route: helping build a school in his native Cameroon.


Predicting and Preventing Elephant Poaching Incidents through Statistical Analysis, GIS-Based Risk Analysis, and Aerial Surveillance Flight Path Modeling
By Michael J. Shaffer and Joseph A. Bishop
In Tropical Conservation Science
The illegal poaching of African elephants for their ivory is endangering the existence of the species. Protecting elephants can be a very challenging task for wildlife rangers considering the vast areas that elephants inhabit, which is often in remote locations. Using statistical analysis and Geographic Information Systems, this study investigated the locations of poaching incidents within the Kenyan Tsavo ecosystem to reveal patterns that could assist rangers in predicting high risk poaching areas. Our study found that poaching incidents were more likely to occur in close proximity to roads, water features, and on specific types of land cover. This study also provides a method for modeling the flight path and achievable surveillance area for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, which has become a popular tool in the field of wildlife conservation.

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