Coffee Hour with Ann Jolly | Alum writes on ‘Strange Encounters’ | Fall events and conferences


remote sensing devise Doe Run, PA

Alumnus Ralph W. Tutlane, Jr. (’83) sent in this image of a remote sensing device he spotted in the Village of Doe Run, Pa. Doe Run, located in Chester County, is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can read more about it in the NRHP nomination.


  • Erica Smithwick and Alan Taylor, along with three other Penn State colleagues, received a grant to study social perceptions of prescribed fire in the mid-Atlantic.
  • Erica Smithwick and Alex Klippel, along with several colleagues from EESI and other institutions, received a grant from NSF-Coupled Natural Human Systems, to use virtual ecology and ecosystem modeling to assess values and trade-offs in decision making about sustainable forest management under climate change.
  • Send your good news to to be announced during Coffee Hour and published here.
  • Remember to submit your meetings and events for LOCAL EVENTS AND DEADLINES and CONFERENCES each week.


September 9 Coffee Hour with Ann Jolly: Looking for love in all the wrong places
Sexually transmitted infections (STI) spread through networks of susceptible people, where the people form nodes in the network, and the links are sexual intercourse. Data on sex partners of people are available from network studies, and from public health units which co-ordinate partner notification, in which sex partners exposed to people with STI are notified of their exposures, tested and treated. Key features of networks in which STI flourish include homogeneity; where many of the members share common characteristics; but also require a certain amount of heterogeneity, whether it is in ethnic origin, age, or geography.

  • 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: Brian King

GEOGRAPH Highlight
Symposium shows the transdisciplinary nature of spatial cognition
The third “Pennsylvania and Friends Spatial Cognition Symposium” took place in State College, Pennsylvania in May 2016. It was organized by the Penn State Department of Geography in collaboration with the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) at Temple University and the School of Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

The entire Summer 2016 Department of Geography annual newsletter, GEOGRAPH, is now available online.

The symposium reflects the transdisciplinary character of spatial cognition; while geography is a spatial discipline, there are areas in disciplines such as psychology, information science, architecture, and others that explicitly address how humans think about, represent, and interact with their spatial environments.

From the Allegheny Front
How Allegheny County is trying to move on from the legacy of blight
Scattered remnants from Pittsburgh’s steel era still dot the hills in Allegheny County, where at its peak, more than 1.6 million people lived and worked. Almost 60 years later, nearly 400,000 people have left, but the homes they forged remain. According to the most recent census, there are 50,000 vacant homes in the county. Of these, 16,428 properties are blighted, exhibiting signs of deterioration that pose threats to human health, safety and public welfare.


Strange encounters: a dialogue on cultural geography across the political divide
By Reuben Rose-Redwood (’02g, ’06g) vs Jonathan M. Smith
Journal of Cultural Geography, 33:3, 356-378
doi: 10.1080/08873631.2016.1201351
Disagreement is a fundamental aspect of scholarly inquiry, yet it is exceedingly rare for scholars on opposite sides of the political spectrum to engage in a sustained dialogue across the political divide. This article seeks to contribute to precisely such a dialogue with specific reference to the field of cultural geography. The discussion featured herein consists of an encounter between “critical” and “conservative” approaches to cultural geography in the form of a back-and-forth exchange of arguments and counter-arguments by the interlocutors. The dialogue covers a wide range of issues, including the cultural politics of essentialism, white supremacy, racial segregation, patriarchy, traditional morality, secularism, justice, authority, friendship, difference-as-strangeness, and the very question of disagreement itself. The broader aim of this dialogical intervention is not to find some sort of common ground that will resolve all differences but rather to explore what those differences are with the hope of opening up a space for more constructive dialogue on cultural geography across the political divide.


dog of the weekLast week’s animal companion was P-J. The horse is part of the Inwood family. There were no correct guesses about his identity.

Each week we feature a mystery photo of an animal companion. Any animal companion can be the dog of the week. Have fun guessing which human cares for this creature and learning about the members of our community.

Send your photos and/or your guesses to The identity of the mystery animal will be revealed the following week.

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