Recognition Reception | Climate change workshop for faculty | Zimmerer has new book



Awards given at the spring 2018 Recognition Reception. The spring 2019 Recognition Reception will be held Friday, April 26.


New SWIG officers elected: The department’s 2019-2020 SWIG officers: Bradley Hinger, Elise Quinn, Izzy Taylor, and Jacklyn Weier will succeed the current SWIG officers beginning in the fall semester.

Andrew Carleton was elected to serve on the University Graduate Council for a two-year term.

Brian King was elected to serve as the Chair of the College of EMS Faculty Advisory Committee for a three-year term.

Esri is offering a series of free geospatial development tools webinars.


The Coffee Hour lecture series has concluded for the spring semester, and will resume in fall 2019. To view archived webcasts of talks, use the calendar on our website to navigate to the date of the talk and click on the title to access the description and webcast link.


Recognition Reception will be held April 26

The annual Department of Geography Recognition Reception will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019, on the first and third floors of the Walker Building. We’ll begin the afternoon’s festivities at 3:00 p.m. in the department seminar room, 337 Walker Building, for a commemorative presentation of a plaque honoring Dr. Wilbur Zelinsky, presented to the department by his daughters Karen and Hollis.The reception and master’s poster display will be held from 3:00 to 4:00 in room 103 Walker Building, where we’ll host you with snacks and refreshments. The awards ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:00 in room 112 Walker Building. We are looking forward to seeing you. For more information go to:

Study finds global action needed to ensure acceptable climate futures

Ensuring a tolerable climate future, one that reduces warming while considering the costs, requires immediate global action, according to an international team of scientists.

“The study analyzes climate change as a multi-objective problem,” said Klaus Keller, professor of geosciences and an associate in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State. “Considering only a goal of tolerable temperature changes misses important aspects. One also needs to consider goals such as tolerable costs and impacts.”

Penn State offering faculty workshop on Ethics of Climate Change course

In order to expand the impact of the course, Penn State’s Office for General Education and the Sustainability Institute will offer a two-day training workshop May 9-10 for faculty members from across the Commonwealth interested in bringing the course to their campuses. Participants will have an opportunity to work with the original designers of the course as well as with climate change experts, such as Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center.

The workshop is open to faculty members of any rank from every campus, including University Park. Participants receive a small amount of supplemental pay and individualized guidance that will extend beyond the two-day workshop. Meals and housing are covered and there is no registration fee.


Agrobiodiversity: Integrating Knowledge for a Sustainable Future

Karl S. Zimmerer, Stef de Haan
MIT Press
Wide-ranging environmental phenomena—including climate change, extreme weather events, and soil and water availability—combine with such socioeconomic factors as food policies, dietary preferences, and market forces to affect agriculture and food production systems on local, national, and global scales. The increasing simplification of food systems, the continuing decline of plant species, and the ongoing spread of pests and disease threaten biodiversity in agriculture as well as the sustainability of food resources. Complicating the situation further, the multiple systems involved—cultural, economic, environmental, institutional, and technological—are driven by human decision making, which is inevitably informed by diverse knowledge systems. The interactions and linkages that emerge necessitate an integrated assessment if we are to make progress toward sustainable agriculture and food systems.

This volume in the Strüngmann Forum Reports series offers insights into the challenges faced in agrobiodiversity and sustainability and proposes an integrative framework to guide future research, scholarship, policy, and practice. The contributors offer perspectives from a range of disciplines, including plant and biological sciences, food systems and nutrition, ecology, economics, plant and animal breeding, anthropology, political science, geography, law, and sociology. Topics covered include evolutionary ecology, food and human health, the governance of agrobiodiversity, and the interactions between agrobiodiversity and climate and demographic change.

More of the Same Will Result in More of the Same

Chapter in Agrobiodiversity: Integrating Knowledge for a Sustainable Future
Anna Herforth, Timothy Johns, Hilary M. Creed-Kanashiro, Andrew D. Jones, Colin K. Khoury, Timothy Lang, Patrick Maundu, Bronwen Powell, and Victoria Reyes-Garcia

Dietary intake, forest foods, and anemia in Southwest Cameroon

Caleb Yengo Tata, Amy Ickowitz, Bronwen Powell, Esi K. Colecraft
Forest cover has been associated with higher dietary diversity and better diet quality in Africa. Anemia prevalence among women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa is very high and diet is one known contributor of a high prevalence rate. We investigated whether living in communities with high forest cover was associated with better diet quality and lower anemia prevalence among women of reproductive age in Southwest Cameroon.

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