IMAGE OF THE WEEK
Chris Fowler’s fall 2018 GEOG 421 class took 2nd place in the category Higher Ed-Central in the in Draw the Lines PA contest. Judges’ statement: In their extensive outreach to fellow Penn Staters and others, the students in Chris Fowler’s Geography 421 class lived up fully to DTL’s hopes for how mappers might engage with their communities. This group embodies the goal of Draw The Lines: to encourage Pennsylvanians to understand and engage in the legislative redistricting process and foster open discussion and debate about the competing values at play. The class began by assessing their own values, then created a survey and website to assess those of other students. They went to football games and other events to promote the survey, resulting in an impressive 247 responses from nearly every Pennsylvania county. The data showed that the respondents most value competitive districts and the class began to map with this as its to priority. The students presented their results in a nicely produced video essay, which candidly covered their failures, their strategies for dealing with urban vs. rural balance, and the impact of racial makeup on a district’s competitiveness. This winning entry demonstrates a top-notch collaborative and grassroots process, combined with a very decent map.
The orientation/info session for UROC students has bee rescheduled for today, Jan. 29 at 7:45 p.m. in 319 Walker Building.
The African Studies program is hosting a talk on “Morocco as a melting-pot: A case study of the transmission and evolution of knowledge and use of black magic” by Abderrahim Ouarghidi, assistant research professor, Office of International Program. The talk is Wednesday, Feb. 6, 12:30 p.m. in 158 Willard Building.
The Center for Landscape Dynamics is accepting proposals for the 2019 Graduate Research Award. Proposals are due Feb. 22. For more information and to apply http://sites.psu.edu/centerforlandscapedynamics/graduate-training/previous-awardees/graduate-award-opportunity-spring-2019/
Angela Rogers recently passed her qualifying exam for the Ph.D. program in Workforce Education and Development at Penn State.
Alumnus John Frederick (’78) will hold a book signing and reading of his new book Winding Roads: A Bicyclists Journey through Life and America on Tuesday, Feb.12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library, 526 Main Street, Bellwood, PA 16617. (Snow date Feb. 14).
Alumnus Siddarth Pandey (’14), CSMCCEP, has been promoted to associate. Pandey is an assistant production manager in the geospatial group at Dewberry. He is currently pursuing a masters in professional studies in geographic information systems at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Penn State, and is a member of the Maryland State Geographic Information Committee.
Alumna Lori Cohn Safer (’79) is President of the Seattle Chapter of the Appraisal Institute 2019, and a Content Reviewer for recently published book Real Property Valuation in Condemnation, Appraisal Institute, 2018.
Elizabeth Wentz ’97g, Dean & Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University
Empowering community resilience through a university-community knowledge exchange
The goal of this presentation is to introduce a Science to Solutions activity at Arizona State University (ASU). ASU’s new Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER) aims to build capacity both within the university and to broader civil society to address real, current issues of community resilience. We conceptualize community resilience in broad terms, that is: in terms of people responding to profound social, economic, and environmental change. This might come in the form of shocks (disasters, economic crashes) but more often we look at it in terms of long-term stresses, like from vulnerability to hazards, or chronic poverty. For this, we need better and more accessible data and, more importantly, a better models of working collaboratively.
- Friday, Feb. 1
- 3:30 p.m. in 319 Walker Building, Coffee and refreshments
- 4:00 in 112 Walker Building, Lecture
- Coffee Hour To Go Webcast
From the USGIF 2019 State and Future of GEOINT Report
Knowing Your Opponent and Knowing Yourself: Lessons from comparing U.S. and Russian geospatial intelligence
By Dr. Todd Bacastow, Penn State; Dan Steiner, Orion Mapping; Stephen Handwerk, Penn State; Dr. Dennis Bellafiore, Penn State; Dr. Greg Thomas, Penn State; and the Penn State Comparative Geospatial Intelligence Seminar
This article speaks to the necessity of a comparative view of yourself and an opponent in GEOINT. We illustrate the need for a comparative approach in education by examining GEOINT in the United States and the Russian Federation (RU). Our example is to illustrate that reliable GEOINT demands knowing both your opponent and yourself. The results of the study are more relevant to GEOINT educational goals and the comparative process than informative of RU GEOINT capabilities since there is little open source and explicit information about RU GEOINT doctrine.
Q&A with Robert Brooks
Robert Brooks retired to emeritus status at the end of August 2018 after 38 years of service at Penn State (25 years as founder and director of Riparia and 15 years in the Department of Geography).
Q: What made you want to become a geographer/ecologist?
A: Ever since I was about 5 years old I’ve been fascinated by the natural world—learning the names of animals and plants; exploring small streams and wetlands; and reading tales from wilderness experiences. My friends and I would look at picture books of animals with maps of far off places, such as Australia and Africa, and memorize the species that lived there. It wasn’t until high school and my camping experiences in Scouting that I learned about ecology as a profession.
Convergent validity of an activity-space survey for use in health research
Shannon N. Zenk, Amber N. Kraft, Kelly K.Jones, Stephen A. Matthews
Health & Place
We explored the validity of a survey measuring activity spaces for use in health research in a racially/ethnically diverse adult sample (n = 86) living in four Chicago neighborhoods. Participants reported on the location and visit frequency of 64 activities and wore a GPS data logger. We assessed the spatial congruence of survey- and GPS-derived convex hull measures and the number of GPS points within 100 m and 1000 m of survey locations. The survey-derived convex hull measures captured a small percentage (median = 35.9%) of the GPS-derived convex hull area. However, most GPS points were located within 100 m or 1000 m of home or reported survey locations (median = 73.4% and 92.6%, respectively).
Where are we now? Re-visiting the Digital Earth through human-centered virtual and augmented reality geovisualization environments
Arzu Çöltekin, Danielle Oprean, Jan Oliver Wallgrün & Alexander Klippel
International Journal of Digital Earth
The original Digital Earth concept, formulated by Al Gore (1998), is essentially a virtual reality system. In this (imagined) system, users are able to freely explore all possible recorded knowledge or information about the Earth though an interactive interface. While we imagine such an interface primarily as visual for now, it can be expected that in the future other senses will be engaged, allowing for even more realistic virtual experiences. Even though ‘realism’ in the experience is desirable (i.e., it feels real), immersive experiences provided by visualization environments can go beyond reality, as they can be enhanced with queryable information. Of course one can also create fictitious experiences and simulations in such environments; including information about possible pasts (e.g., ancient Rome) and futures (e.g., a planned neighborhood); or spaces that we cannot (easily) directly experience (e.g., the Moon, Mars, other far-away spaces, under the oceans, core of the earth, etc.).
Challenges for social flows
Clio Andris, Xi Liu, Joseph Ferreira Jr.
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems
Social and interpersonal connections are attached to the built environment: people require physical infrastructure to meet and telecommunicate, and then populate these infrastructures with movement and information dynamics. In GIS analysis, actions are often represented as a unit of spatial information called the social flow–a linear geographic feature that evidences an individual’s decision to connect places through travel, telecommunications and/or declaring personal relationships. These flows differ from traditional spatial networks (roads, etc.) because they are often non-planar, and unlike networks in operations systems (such as flight networks), provide evidence of personal intentionality to interact with the built environment and/or to perpetuate relationships with others. En masse, these flows sum to illustrate how humans, information and thoughts spread between and within places.