Dec 17

Previous burns and fire severity | Assessing water quality on Susquehanna



Undergraduate students who participated in fall 2017 UROC projects answer audience questions at the end of the final fall 2017 semester Coffee Hour.


This is the last DoG enews for fall semester 2017. DoG enews will return January 9, 2018. Send your good news, updates, publications, and photos from field work and travel to geography@psu.edu.
• Online Geospatial alumnus Loren Pfau (’13g) and Justine Blanford have published, “Use of geospatial data and technology for wilderness search and rescue by non-profit organizations in The Professional Geographer.
Carolynne Hultquist successfully passed her doctoral comprehensive exams.
• A multi-disciplinary research team, led by Alexander Klippel received one of ten seed grants to pilot programs that support Penn State’s 2016–2020 Strategic Plan for his proposal, “Digital Innovation through Immersive Technologies: Establishing New Paradigms for Environmental Decision Support.”
Zach Goldberg received a research grant from the Africana Research Center for his project, “Organic Certification of Fig Production in Ouezzane Province, Morocco: Assessing Social and Cultural Impact.”
• The PAC Herbarium is looking for two interns during spring 2018. Interns will assist the Curator with imaging and databasing plant specimens as part of the Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis Project (MAM). Interested students should contact Sarah Chamberlain, Curator, at sjm20@psu.edu. What is the PAC Herbarium


Controlled burns limited severity of Rim Fire
Controlled burning of forestland helped limit the severity of one of California’s largest wildfires, according to Penn State geographers.

The researchers studying the Rim Fire, which in 2013 burned nearly 400 square miles of forest in the Sierra Nevadas, found the blaze was less severe in areas recently treated with controlled burns. See the research paper below.

Citizen scientists to help researchers gauge Susquehanna water quality
Using a network of up to 60 citizen scientists, a team of Penn State researchers will assess the levels of endocrine-disrupting compounds in the Susquehanna River next year, and in turn empower those volunteers to become part of the solution to water-quality problems related to emerging contaminants.


Previous burns and topography limit and reinforce fire severity in a large wildfire
By Harris, L., and A. H. Taylor
In Ecosphere 8(11)
Access DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2019
In fire-prone forests, self-reinforcing fire behavior may generate a mosaic of vegetation types and structures. In forests long subject to fire exclusion, such feedbacks may result in forest loss when surface and canopy fuel accumulations lead to unusually severe fires. We examined drivers of fire severity in one large (>1000 km2) wildfire in the western United States, the Rim Fire in the Sierra Nevada, California, and how it was influenced by severity of 21 previous fires to examine the influences on (1) the severity of the first fire since 1984 and (2) reburn severity. The random forest machine-learning statistical model was used to predict satellite-derived fire severity classes from geospatial datasets of fire history, topographic setting, weather, and vegetation type. Topography and inferred weather were the most important variables influencing the previous burn. Previous fire severity was the most important factor influencing reburn severity, and areas tended to reburn at the same severity class as the previous burn.

The political and social ecologies of energy, chapter
By Karl S. Zimmerer
In Handbook on the Geographies of Energy. eds. Barry D. Solomon and Kirby E. Calvert
Access: https://books.google.com/books?id=LupBDwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Political-industrial ecologies of energy, chapter
By Jennifer E. Baka
In Handbook on the Geographies of Energy. eds. Barry D. Solomon and Kirby E. Calvert
Access: https://books.google.com/books?id=LupBDwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Dec 17

Coffee Hour features UROC lightening talks | Apply now for spring 2018 UROC projects


5 dimentions of food acquisitionA portion of Courtney Rome’s research poster, “Food for Thought: Differences of Geographic Food Habits between Alaska and the Lower 48,” which won first place at the College of Earth & Mineral Sciences Undergraduate Poster Exhibition, held November 29, 2017.


Jiayan Zhao, Jiawei Huang, and Mark Simpson passed their candidacy exams.
Brian King published op-ed “Ending HIV While Isolation and Stigma Endure” in recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2017, in HIVPlusmag.com
Courtney Rome won first place in the College of Earth & Mineral Sciences Undergraduate Poster Exhibition with her poster, “Food for Thought: Differences of Geographic Food Habits between Alaska and the Lower 48” —Project advisers: Michael Nassry and Denice Wardrop
Luba Hristova, Danielle Ruffe, and Sabrina Yu Zhong won third place in the College of Earth & Mineral Sciences Undergraduate Poster Exhibition with their poster, “Fresno, California: Drought Impacts on Agriculture” —Project adviser: Guido Cervone
Karl Zimmerer published an article in The Conversation, “Fewer crops are feeding more people worldwide – and that’s not good.”


Coffee Hour: UROC Lightening Talks
The final Coffee Hour for the fall 2017 semester will feature lightening talks from 10 undergraduate students on their Undergraduate Research Opportunities Connection (UROC) projects. UROC gives undergraduate students an opportunity to work on research projects for academic credit under the guidance of graduate students in the Department of Geography. Giving a presentation on their work is a requirement of the program. Projects include cartography, data analysis, and translation. Topics range from flood assessment to
agricultural change and rural livelihoods to international development.

Time to apply for spring 2018 UROC projects
Undergraduate students looking for a way to gain research experience as well as 1 to 3 credits, can apply for spring 2018 undergraduate research projects supervised by graduate students in the Department of Geography.

To view the new projects and apply, go to: https://sites.psu.edu/uroc/undergrads-apply-for-a-project/

Previous tasks have involved map making, GIS analysis, coding transcripts, programming, wrangling spreadsheets, or reviewing literature. It may not be glamorous, but it is a real research project to supplement your coursework, said Undergraduate Adviser and Gould Center Director Jodi Vender. “This is a valuable resume-building experience for undergraduate students and can be beneficial for both future employment and graduate school.”


Spatial-temporal analysis of prostate cancer incidence from the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry, 2000-2011
By Ming Wang, Stephen A. Matthews, Khaled Iskandarani, Yimei Li, Zheng Li, Vernon M. Chinchilli, Lijun Zhang
In Geospatial Health
Access DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2017.611
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among males, and the incidence in Pennsylvania, USA is considerably higher than nationally. Knowledge of regional differences and time trends in prostate cancer incidence may contribute to a better understanding of aetiologic factors and racial disparities in outcomes, and to improvements in preventive intervention and screening efforts. We used Pennsylvania Cancer Registry data on reported prostate cancer diagnoses between 2000 and 2011 to study the regional distribution and temporal trends of prostate cancer incidence in both Pennsylvania White males and Philadelphia metropolitan area Black males. For White males, we generated and mapped county-specific age-adjusted incidence and standardised incidence ratios by period cohort, and identified spatial autocorrelation and local clusters. In addition, we fitted Bayesian hierarchical generalised linear Poisson models to describe the temporal and aging effects separately in Whites state-wide and metropolitan Philadelphia blacks. Incidences of prostate cancer among white males declined from 2000-2002 to 2009-2011 with an increasing trend to some extent in the period 2006-2008 and significant variation across geographic regions, but less variation exists for metropolitan Philadelphia including majority of Black patients. No significant aging effect was detected for White and Black men, and the peak age group for prostate cancer risk varied by race. Future research should seek to identify potential social and environmental risk factors associated with geographical/racial disparities in prostate cancer. As such, there is a need for more effective surveillance so as to detect, reduce and control the cancer burden associated with prostate cancer.

U.S. Interstate Route 9; A Journey Through The ‘News’
By Wayne Brew (’81)
In PAST (Volume 40, 2017), p.35
Access https://indd.adobe.com/view/9ace40e5-d537-4207-9ef5-b7dd253bf26d
“Let’s begin again, begin the begin”
The road continues to call and speak to me. U.S. Interstate Route 9 runs from the intersection of Route 13 in Laurel, Delaware north to Champlain, New York where it ends with the intersection with Interstate 87 near the Canadian Border. Web sources do not agree on the total mileage for Route 9, but when Route 9W is included it is over 600 miles. According to correspondence with Richard F. Weingroff , historian at the Federal Highway Administration, Route 9W was created simultaneously in the late 1920s on the west side of the Hudson River paralleling 9 (sometimes referred to 9E) on the east side. Figure
1 shows Route 9 in red. The history of Route 9 shares a similar story with other first generation interstates where existing local and state roads were connected with improvements based on federal standards.

Territorial Ordering: A “new” mode of land use planning and a multi-scale idea for urban-rural integration and their implications for next-generation conservation
By Zimmerer, K. S.
In The Urban and the Territorial: Housing in Mérida, eds. D.E. Davis, J. Castillo, and R. Segovia

Bridging new sustainable development goals, global agendas, and landscape stewardship: The roles of politics, ethics, and sustainability practice
By Zimmerer, K. S.
In The Science and Practice of Landscape Stewardship, eds. Bieling, C., and T. Plieninger
Access https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316499016.031

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