Coffee Hour-Miller Lecture with Anthony Bebbington | Easterling award | Spring events


Geog undergrads at AAG poster session

Undergraduate students in the Department of Geography (from left), Kathy Cappelli, Christopher Mertz, Adelaide Kellett, Connor Klassen and Andrew Brown participated in research poster sessions at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting in Boston, Ma., April 5–9 2017.


Eva Bonta received a Penn State Erickson Discovery Grant for her project “Gastronomic Tourism in Mezcala, Mexico.”

Benjamin Carlsen’s team won “Best Visualization” at Penn State’s 2017 ASA Datafest competition

Aparna Parikh’s paper, “Ignoring perceptions, heightening risk: Examining paradoxes of urban safety policies for women working the night shift in Mumbai, India” receiving the Glenda Laws Student Paper Award from the AAG Global Perspectives On Women Specialty Group.

Ethan Davis was interviewed on “The Morning Mixtape” radio program about his new farm “Strong Roots Organic Farm” and CSAs on Friday, April 7.


Coffee Hour is the Miller Lecture with Anthony Bebbington: Mapping forest threats: the challenge of infrastructure and extractive industry
Debates over the Amazon forest in the 1970s established the adverse effects of large scale infrastructure on forest cover and forest peoples. Yet while scholars and activists in geography and related fields demonstrated the political and economic factors shaping forest conversion, the war over who in practice gets to determine the extent of forest cover continues to wage on. Forests have become increasingly disputed territories, and those disputes challenge the maintenance of forest cover and the rights of populations who live from the forest. In these disputes over forests, the expansion of extractive industry investment and investment in infrastructure play a particular role. This is the case for large and small-scale of extraction and infrastructure alike. This talk presents on-going work that attempts to assess the extent and significance of these two sectors as threats to forest cover, with a focus on the Amazon, Indonesia and Mesoamerica.

  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:00 p.m.
  • The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour to go webcast
  • Next time: April 21 Ken Keefover-Ring

Easterling receives national ‘Giving Back Award’ for promoting diversity
William Easterling, dean of the College of the Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS), received the 2017 Giving Back Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for his contributions to increasing diversity and promoting opportunities for students and faculty.

“Dean Easterling is very attuned to issues of power and privilege and equity, as well as to underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and actively works to make a positive difference,” said Victoria Sanchez, EMS’ associate dean for educational equity. “In his time as dean, he has made diversity, equity and inclusive excellence a priority for the College.”

Using geodesign for Major League Baseball stadium development
The best way for students to learn about geodesign is to apply their learning to real world projects, especially because many of the online students are already in the workforce.

Jim Sipes, a faculty member for the online geodesign program at Penn State and renowned designer with Sand County Studios, developed a project to investigate the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium and neighborhood development as the challenge for the fall 2016 Geodesign II course on urban landscape change issues.


Agrobiodiversity and a sustainable food future
By K. S. Zimmerer, S. de Haan
In Nature Plants
Access doi:10.1038/nplants.2017.47
The biodiversity of food plants is vital for humanity’s capacity to meet sustainability challenges. This goal requires the rigorous integration of plant, environmental, social and health sciences. It is coalescing around four thematic cornerstones that are both interdisciplinary and policy relevant.

Traditional Sustainable Harvesting Knowledge and Distribution of a Vulnerable Wild Medicinal Root (A. pyrethrum var. pyrethrum) in Ait M’hamed Valley, Morocco
By Abderrahim Ouarghidi, Bronwen Powell, Gary J. Martin, Abdelaziz Abbad
In Economic Botany
Access 10.1007/s12231-017-9374-2
This study examined traditional harvesting knowledge and practices, paired with field-based assessment of distribution of a vulnerable wild medicinal root, Anacyclus pyrethrum var. pyrethrum, in southern Morocco. Research included focus groups, qualitative interviews, and a survey of 38 collectors. Based on local knowledge, replanting trials were conducted and transects and plot-based assessments were used to examine distribution.

An Evaluation of a Visual Analytics Prototype for Calendar-Related Spatiotemporal Periodicity Detection and Analysis
By Brian Swedberg, Donna Peuquet
In Cartographica
Whether it is sunrise, the weekend, or Christmas, some form of temporal structure or periodic pattern governs our daily activities. Understanding them is essential to making sense of human activity, because they frame normality and allow us to identify abnormalities. However, cultural heterogeneity and scale greatly complicate our ability to uncover and understand human activity at a given time within a region. Current research in the field of visual analytics and geography provide methods of addressing spatiotemporal periodicity, but they fall short in providing access to multiple spatial and temporal scales via a relevant calendar. In response to these shortcomings, we developed PerSE (periodicity in spatio-temporal events), a coordinated-view Web application designed to aid users in the detection and analysis of calendar-related periodicity in spatiotemporal event data sets. Given the complexity of such a visualization tool, this paper focuses on the usability and learnability of PerSE. We evaluated the tool through a 20-participant study that consisted of training, a multiple-choice test, and the System Usability Scale. Our analysis of the results shows that the complex combination of visual tools and multi-scale, multi-calendar capability used within PerSE is effective, but still in need of usability improvements.

Planning Dissonance” and the Bases for Stably Diverse Neighborhoods: The Case of South Seattle.
By Lumley-Sapanski, Audrey and Fowler, Christopher S.
In City & Community
Access 10.1111/cico.12224
Recent scholarship has focused extensively on the rise of diverse neighborhoods in U.S. cities. Nevertheless, the theoretical frameworks we have for describing residential settlement patterns generally treat diversity as an unstable and transitory period that is the product of a unidirectional pressure towards segregation. In our analysis of six diverse neighborhoods in Southeast Seattle, we find evidence of processes at multiple scales that not only maintain diversity, but actually reinforce it. From individual decisions about property ownership to broader patterns of regional disinvestment, we find empirical evidence that indicates a need for a more complex theorization of the processes that create and sustain diverse neighborhoods. In our preliminary theorization of these conditions, we call for a conceptualization of residential settlement patterns that is explicitly multiscalar and recognizes a wider range of cultural, economic, and political relations as central to the production of observed patterns of neighborhood settlement.

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