Coffee Hour with Maarten V. de Hoop | SWIG at Haunted-U | Alumnus lives his love for cartography


SWIG Haunted-U

Supporting Women in Geography hosted two interactive spaces at Haunted-U. In the first one, pictured above, leaves, tree cookies, and a foliage map were used to teach kids about leaf phenology and dendrochronology. Pictured left to right: Michelle Ritchie, Stacey Olson, and Ruchi Patel. See a fun video about the event on our department homepage. Photo: Arif Masrur.


Megan Baumann received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award (DDRA) to support her research in Tolima, Colombia. It’s effective from now until August 2019.

Alumna Trieste Lockwood (’08) is profiled in Style Weekly.

Chabad at Penn State is hosting two events featuring the Honorable Rachel Frier, our nation’s first Chassidic female judge. Events include a lunch program from 1:00-2:20 p.m. in Memorial Lounge of the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, as well as a speech and Shabbat dinner at 7:30 p.m. in Chabad House, 443 East Waring Ave., State College.

A Climate Change Workshop is scheduled for Friday, Nov., 9 from noon to 3:00 p.m. in 529 Waller Building. Register here.

SWIG is hosting a Girl Scout Workshop on Sunday, Nov. 11, from 11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Whitmore Laboratory. The activity focuses on learning about geography and land cover change using Landsat imagery.

Improving Communication through Improv Theater Workshop, offered by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs & Happy Valley Improv, Monday, Nov. 12, 1:00-2:30 p.m., in 233AB HUB. A 90-minute improv theater workshop in an energetic and supportive environment, this event will prompt participants to practice collaboration, problem solving, and responding to the unexpected. Register here.


Maarten V. de Hoop
Advances in computational seismology

We present new developments in large-scale computing focused on seismology, viewing Earth as an unstructured tetrahedral mesh, across an extreme range of scales. We discuss, while highlighting emerging techniques, the simulation of (i) seismic normal modes on planetary scale, (ii) high-frequency time-harmonic waves in the crust, in particular, sedimentary basins, (iii) earthquakes, and (iv) broad-band wave propagation and scattering in poro-elastic media with connections to rock physics.

  • Friday, Nov. 2
  • 3:30 p.m. Coffee and refreshments, 319 Walker Building
  • 4:00 Lecture, 112 Walker Building
  • Coffee Hour To Go Webcast
  • Next Coffee Hour is Nov. 9 with Lindsay Naylor


Dutton Institute director advocates for all learners through Faculty Senate

Ann Taylor always wanted the experiences of being Penn State University Faculty Senate chair but knew her job duties as assistant dean for distance learning and director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute wouldn’t allow for the time commitment.

So the guru of nontraditional learning found a way to make it work.

Schreyer Scholar alumnus maps out dream career while seeing the world

Many of Patrick Stephens’ early interests — traveling, hiking, mountain biking — necessitated the use of maps.

Not surprisingly, then, maps themselves became one of those interests, and served as a constant reminder of how much of the world he has left to explore.

“I always liked traveling,” the Penn State Geography and Schreyer Honors College alumnus said. “I never wanted to be tied down to one place. I told myself that if I could make maps, you can make them anywhere in the world. That was always kind of the goal.”


Can shareholder advocacy shape energy governance? The case of the US antifracking movement

Kate J. Neville, Jackie Cook, Jennifer Baka, Karen Bakker & Erika S. Weinthal
Review of International Political Economy
DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2018.1488757
Research on socially responsible investing (SRI) and investor-led governance, especially in the climate sector, suggests that shareholders adopt social movement tactics to influence corporate governance, including building networks, engaging directly with corporations and lobbying regulators. Further, research on corporate transparency and financial disclosure has proliferated, notably in the extractives sector. Our work builds on these existing literatures, with a focus on shareholder resolutions on hydraulic fracturing (HF) in the United States. We analyze US HF-focused shareholder resolutions from 2010 to 2016 to evaluate filing strategies and outcomes. We argue that these resolutions provide space for a range of new actors to shape corporate governance—but their power is constrained. The constraints flow from the same political economy factors that enable shareholders to take collective action: the distance between individual investors and financial decisions; the structure of resolutions and managerial responses; and the complexity of investment vehicles and vote shares. We assess how shareholders respond strategically by altering the focus of resolution demands, liaising with external campaigns and networks, and engaging with government to enhance regulatory interventions. Our work reveals how the upstreaming of power in commodity chains intersects with the power of management boards and the challenges of financialization, with consequences for corporate and energy governance.

Comparison of simulated radioactive atmospheric releases to citizen science observations for the Fukushima nuclear accident

Carolynne Hultquist, Guido Cervone
Atmospheric Environment
Citizen science data from the Safecast project were shown to provide a reliable estimation of the spatial distribution of concentrations of elevated radiation levels around Fukushima when compared to government data. A comparison is presented between the HYSPLIT Lagrangian atmospheric transport and dispersion (T&D) model and a reflected Gaussian model to both government and Safecast contributed measurements. The advantage of contributed data with respect to the government data is that they are collected over a long period of time and have a larger spatial coverage.

First, the Safecast contributed measurements are compared to aerial surveys completed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Then the HYSPLIT T&D model is run to simulate the nuclear release using high resolution terrain and meteorological data. A Gaussian dispersion model is also run for comparison using meteorological data observed at the time of the accident. The results of both models and observed data are decay corrected to December 2016 in order to use a larger quantity of contributed measurements in the comparison.

The comparison of areas of elevated radiation shows that the citizen science observations align with the prediction of models representing dynamic behavior of radionuclides dispersed in the environment. This paper shows that citizen science data can be used to validate and potentially better calibrate atmospheric T&D models.

Industrial Maize as a Commodity System: Spatial Scale and Relations of Production in Turkey’s Agriculture After Economic Restructuring

Yetkin Borlu, Stephen A. Matthews
Journal of Economic and Social Geography
During the decade of 2000‐2010, industrial maize production in Turkey doubled to approximately four million tons and the area under maize cultivation increased by ten per cent. Concomitant with the increase in total output, private agri‐food industry came to control 90 per cent of total production by 2010. Using exploratory spatial analysis and spatial regression methods, we are able to have a more detailed and spatially explicit regional study of a commodity system across Turkey. We argue that maize production in Turkey developed in the 2000s along the tenets of a corporate food regime according to demands by agri‐food firms. However, small‐scale farmers are not fully excluded from corporate relations of production, and low‐yield traditional maize farming persists in some provinces as an important field crop for household consumption.

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