Coffee Hour with Keefover-Ring | Crane named Global Programs avp | Recognition Reception


European Beech at Walker Building eastern entrance

A springtime view of the eastern corner entrance to Walker Building, seen through the large buds on the European Beech (Fagus sylvatica). Join us here on April 28 for the annual Recognition Reception. We recognize the accomplishments of our community during this important annual event. We will also celebrate renewals to labs in the department; help us to dedicate our new learning spaces.


  • Tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the State Theatre, a public screening of “Managing Risk in a Changing Climate” followed by a panel discussion, including Erica Smithwick.
  • Russell Hedberg is on the board of the AAG Geographies of Food and Agriculture Speciality Group which published an op-ed in the Finger Lakes Times on how the current administrations proposed immigration policies will affect the food and agriculture sector in the US.
  • Tara Mazurczyk, Natalie Pawlikowski, Cary Anderson, and Lauren Fritzsche will be the SWIG officers for 2017-2018.
  • Azita Ranjbar has accepted a tenure-track position with Ohio State’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Morteza Karimzadeh has accepted a lecturer position with Ohio State’s Department of Geography.
  • Alumna Rachel Passmore is going to attend Columbia University in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in public health with a specialization on women’s health.
  • Alumna Adrienne Cooke is going to the University of Illinois, fully funded on a fellowship.
  • Teresa Onorati arrived as a visiting scholar in GeoVISTA/Geography. She will be here collaborating with several of us through the end of summer. Onorati is visiting from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. She is currently a postdoc in the Department of Computer Science; her research is focused on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) to empower social knowledge in domains of public interest like crisis management and politics.
  • Karl Zimmerer’s article on “Agrobiodiversity and a Sustainable Food Future” was referenced on the blog Roots, Tubers, and Bananas.
  • Alan MacEachren, Jenn Baka, and Prasenjit Mitra (IST), along with postdoc Liping Yang received a Seed Grant from the Institute for CyberScience for their proposal: Comment Analytics: Leveraging Big Unstructured Data to Understand Spatial and Temporal Variations in Public Response to Government Policy.


Final spring 2017 Coffee Hour with Ken Keefover-Ring: The space-thyme continuum and other tales of chemical biogeography
Plants produce a wide variety of so-called “secondary compounds” which they use for many different functions, including deterring their herbivores or attracting their pollinators. Many of these compounds are familiar to us since we have co-opted them for our own purposes, such as fragrances and flavors (essential oils) and medicines and stimulants (aspirin and caffeine). While we associate specific plants with certain compounds, in natural populations the chemistry of some plant species can be quite variable. I am interested in this variation and how secondary compound-mediated interactions between plants and other organisms can change over a plant’s range. In this talk I will discuss where the fields of chemical ecology and biogeography meet and use some of my work to illustrate the ecological and evolutionary implications of plant chemical variation over the landscape.

  • 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

Robert Crane named associate vice provost for Global Programs
After a national search for an associate vice provost for Global Programs, Robert G. Crane, director of Strategic Initiatives within Global Programs at Penn State, has been named to the post.

“Rob is a tireless advocate for international education and a strong believer in the ideals of transforming Penn State into a truly global university,” said Michael Adewumi, vice provost for Global Programs. “Recommended by the search committee, Rob is an excellent choice, given his experience and close working knowledge and leadership roles in Global Programs over the years. His ability to take on projects and tasks that not only benefit our students and the University as a whole, but also benefit the nation and other countries is longstanding and proven.”

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