Jun 17

Brooks gets SWS award | ChoroPhronesis releases app | Michael P. Murphy winners named


Brooks wetlands award
Robert Brooks (left) receives an award recognizing him as a Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists at the society’s annual conference held in June 2017, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. SWS President Gillian Davies (right) presents the award. Photo by SWS.


For the summer, DoG news will be published every other week. Continue to send your good news, story ideas, and photos from fieldwork and travels to geography@psu.edu.

Robert J. Farnsworth, a retired US Army Reconnaissance Engineer, and Lt. Drew Cavanagh, US Coast Guard,  received the 2017 Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence. Farnsworth was presented with the award at GEOINT 2017. Cavanagh will be recognized at Penn State’s Military Appreciation Day Nov. 11, 2017.

Giselle Redila (undergraduate IST major and ChoroPhronesis intern) received a Penn State Student Engagement Network Grant. She will be working on immersive visual
analytics projects this summer.

Guoqiang Peng (incoming visiting scholar from Nanjing Normal University) received a Chinese Scholarship Council 2017 Scholarship and will be joining ChoroPhronesis this fall.

Yu Zhong (undergraduate intern at ChoroPhronesis) was accepted into the Schreyer Honors College.

Thanks to mobile app developments led by Jan Oliver Wallgrün, ChoroPhronesis has released the beta version of its first app via the google app store.


Brooks elected Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists
Robert P. Brooks was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists at the society’s annual conference held in June 2017, San Juan, Puerto Rico. A Fellow is the highest recognition of membership bestowed by the society. Nominees must be active society members who have been nominated by other active members to receive the honor, recommended by the Fellows Committee and elected by the SWS board of directors.

Brooks is a nationally recognized leader in wetland science and policy with more than 35 years of experience working in inland freshwater wetlands and riverine ecosystems.

“Dr. Brooks has served in a professorial role for over 35 years, educating students of all ages. Whether through formal classroom teaching, laboratories and field trips, or numerous outreach events, he always finds ways to ignite the passion of his students. His love and dedication to the subject—wetlands, other aquatic ecosystems, and their wildlife and biota—are noteworthy, and have not faded,” said his nominator, Christopher B. Craft, the Janet Duey Professor of Rural Land Policy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University.

“Beyond formal appointments, Dr. Brooks leads by example, through diligent and sustained professional activities, setting an example for students and colleagues in wetland science and related fields.  What stands out about Rob’s career is how he seeks to integrate research, teaching, outreach, and service endeavors, as he and his students and staff add to the knowledge base about wetlands, and their place in watersheds, and communicate the importance of aquatic ecosystems to varied audiences,” Craft said.

Brooks is currently the Ruby S. and E. Willard Miller Professor of Geography and Ecology, and Director of Riparia at Penn State, a center “where science informs policy and practice.”

Researchers create virtual mobile tour of University Park campus
From the 1915 class gift of the Old Main sundial to the 2013 “We Are” structure, Penn Staters have a rich history of contributing back to the University. As new landmarks and class gifts sprout up across the University Park campus, it’s often difficult for the average visitor to keep track of each gift’s location and history.

Quantifying space, understanding minds: A visual summary approach
By Mark Simpson, Kai-Florian Richter, Jan Oliver Wallgrün and Alexander Klippel
In Journal of Spatial Information Science
Access: doi:10.5311/JOSIS.2017.14.292
This paper presents an illustrated, validated taxonomy of research that compares spatial measures to human behavior. Spatial measures quantify the spatial characteristics of environments, such as the centrality of intersections in a street network or the accessibility of a room in a building from all the other rooms. While spatial measures have been of interest to spatial sciences, they are also of importance in the behavioral sciences for use in modeling human behavior. A high correlation between values for spatial measures and specific behaviors can provide insights into an environment’s legibility, and contribute to a deeper understanding of human spatial cognition. Research in this area takes place in several domains, which makes a full understanding of existing literature difficult. To address this challenge, we adopt a visual summary approach. Literature is analyzed, and recurring topics are identified and validated with independent inter-rater agreement tasks in order to create a robust taxonomy for spatial measures and human behavior. The taxonomy is then illustrated with a visual representation that allows for at-a-glance visual access to the content of individual research papers in a corpus. A public web interface has been created that allows interested researchers to add to the database and create visual summaries for their research papers using our taxonomy.

Jun 17

New EMS dean | Summer dispatch: Fukushima | ICS updates


campers in GrenadaRachel Passmore (’14) sends this photo of campers on a river tubing trip from her Peace Corps service in Grenada (West Indies) She and her Grenadian counterpart hosted a sex education camp for 20 Grenadian youths.


For the summer, DoG news will be published every other week. Continue to send your good news, story ideas, and photos from fieldwork and travels to geography@psu.edu.


Penn State faculty member named College of Earth and Mineral Sciences dean
Lee Kump, a University faculty member and leading paleoclimatologist, has been named the new dean of Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, pending approval of the Penn State Board of Trustees on July 21. Kump will serve as interim dean from June 1 to July 20.

Institute for CyberScience upgrades research cyberinfrastructure
The Institute for CyberScience (ICS) has completed a major upgrade of its Advanced CyberInfrastructure (ICS-ACI), Penn State’s high-performance research cloud. The upgrade efforts involved adding new computing capabilities and migrating computing hardware from Penn State’s 1960s-era Computer Building to a newly built, state-of-the art data center facility.

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