Oct 19

Coffee Hour with Andrew Anderson | New Center for Immersive Experiences | Brewer to get O. M. Miller Cartographic Medal


Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center in New York (and bust of John D. Rockefeller), where Emily Rosenman was researching the history of “program-related investments,” in which foundations make investments (rather than grants) to organizations that support charitable causes. Rosenman is looking at investments in Cooperative Assistance Funds, which were a civil rights-era initiative by the Ford and other foundations making investments in urban Black-owned businesses to inform her research on geographies of contemporary investing done with a racial justice “lens.” Image: Emily Rosenman


Cynthia Brewer has been selected by The American Geographical Society to receive the O. M. Miller Cartographic Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of cartography. She will be recognized at the AGS fall symposium on November 22, 2019 at Columbia University, New York.

Emily Domanico ’19g won second place in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Graduate Poster Exhibition held Wednesday, October 23, 2019.

Jessica Whitehead ’09g has just been named as North Carolina’s first chief resilience officer, tasked to think ahead in new ways to bolster the state against the effects of climate change.

Earth Talks Seminar Series presents “The Dynamics of Deep Decarbonization,” with speaker Tom Richard on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. in 112 Walker Building. The seminar series is co-supported by the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), Power and Energy Systems Transitions Lab (PESTL) and Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA).

The GIS Coalition is holding a Youth Mappers event on November 4, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., in 208 Walker Building. During the event, mappers will digitize imagery with Open Street Map ​to help relief efforts navigate and bring aid to those facing food insecurity in the Philippines. More information about the project can be found at https://tasks.hotosm.org/project/5461#bottom.

Erica Smithwick and Scott Showalter will present a seminar on NSF and NIH grantwriting for graduate students and post-docs, November 14, 2019, noon to 1:30 p.m. in 233A HUB. Register at: https://forms.gle/1MRBwcZp77agUtuq7

Federal job posting: Supervisory Geographer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Open & closing dates: 10/21/2019 to 11/08/2019.


Coffee Hour with Andrew Anderson
The Landscapes of Oman: Nature | Culture | Place

The landscapes of Oman are at once beguiling, surprising and breathtaking. While intimately known to the people who have lived in this corner of Arabia for untold millennia, the landscapes of Oman slowly reveal their secrets – some of them, at least – to those willing to slow down, observe and experience nature, culture and place in this most fascinating of countries.

Following a brief introduction to his unique experience and expertise in the allied disciplines of landscape architecture and world heritage conservation, Senior Landscape Architect and World Heritage Advisor Andrew Anderson will guide a three-part introduction to the landscapes of Oman from the perspective of multi-disciplinary collaboration and research.

  • Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • Lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour to Go on Zoom

For more information about Coffee Hour and to view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks visit https://www.geog.psu.edu/calendar/coffee-hour-lecture-series


Center for Immersive Experiences set to debut, serving researchers and students

Penn State will be equipped to meet the needs of students, faculty, and a society at large that is progressively more reliant on immersive technology with the opening of the Center for Immersive Experiences (CIE) on the University Park campus.

The center, with physical space in Pattee Library and collaborators in 11 different academic units at the University, will feature comprehensive services around teaching, learning and research involving immersive technology by increasing access to virtual reality, augmented reality, 360-degree video, mixed reality and more.

JOB POSTINGS: Post-doctoral fellows, Ph.D. and Masters, Developer, and Intern positions

The Center for Immersive Experiences at The Pennsylvania State University (immersive.psu.edu), in collaboration with other units at Penn State (such as ChoroPhronesis, chorophronesis.psu.edu, and Teaching and Learning with Technology), is hiring two Post-Doctoral Researchers focusing on areas such as immersive analytics, immersive learning, immersive decision-making, or serious games.


Smart Festivals? Security and Freedom for Well-Being in Urban Smart Spaces

Jeremy W. Crampton ’87g’94g, Kara C. Hoover, Harrison Smith, Steve Graham & J. Colette Berbesque
Annals of the American Association of Geographers
DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1662765

In this article we use the natural lab of music festivals to examine behavioral change in response to the rapid introduction of smart surveillance technology into formerly unpoliced spaces. Festivals are liminal spaces, free from the governance of everyday social norms and regulations, permitting participants to assert a desired self. Due to a number of recent festival deaths, drug confiscations, pickpockets, and a terroristic mass shooting, festivals have quickly introduced smart security measures such as drones and facial recognition technologies. Such a rapid introduction contrasts with urban spaces where surveillance is introduced gradually and unnoticeably. In this article we use some findings from an online survey of festivalgoers to reveal explicit attitudes and experiences of surveillance. We found that surveillance is often discomforting because it changes experience of place, it diminishes feelings of safety, and bottom-up measures (health tents, being in contact with friends) are preferred to top-down surveillance. We also found marked variation between men, women, and nonbinary people’s feelings toward surveillance. Men were much less affected by surveillance. Women have very mixed views on surveillance; they simultaneously have greater safety concerns (especially sexual assault in public) and are keener on surveillance than men but also feel that it is ineffective in preventing assault (but might be useful in providing evidence subsequently). Our findings have significant ramifications for the efficacy of a one-size-fits-all solution of increased surveillance and security in smart places and cities and point to the need for more bottom-up safety measures.

Oct 19

Coffee Hour with Ted Toadvine | GIS Day | Esri ArcGIS software available


geocaching GIS coalition

The undergraduate GIS Coalition recently conducted a Geo-Caching activity on campus. This picture shows Erin Arndt, GIS coalition president, Harman Singh, coalition secretary, and Clarie Byrnes, a coalition member and anthropology major looking for a hidden cache near Deike building.The Geospatial Information Science (GIS) Coalition is an organization that offers students majoring, minoring, or sharing an interest in GIS opportunities to develop supplementary knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the professional GIS industry.


Esri Education and Directions magazine are offering a two-part webinar on GIS for classrooms Oct. 23 and Nov. 6

Humphrey Fellows Fall Presentation Series, this week in 102 Chambers; noon-1:00 p.m. October 24:

  • Socio-political and economic considerations in higher education in the Anglophone Caribbean
  • Higher education challenges in Afghanistan


Coffee Hour with Ted Toadvine
Climate Change and the Apocalyptic Image of Time

The prospect of climate disruption haunts contemporary culture and political debate today in a way that no environmental threat has before, and it is commonplace to hear climate change identified as the single most important challenge facing humanity. Is this prioritization of climate destabilization as the defining threat of recorded human history justified? Here I investigate the image of time underlying this apocalyptic narrative to show that it depends upon, and attempts to manage, the explosion of our horizons of time represented by “deep” geological timescales.

  • Friday, October 25, 2019
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • Lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour to Go on Zoom

For more information about Coffee Hour and to view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks visit https://www.geog.psu.edu/calendar/coffee-hour-lecture-series


Event explores geographic information systems Nov. 12 at University Libraries

“Exploring the World Through Geovisualization” is the theme of this year’s event

Penn State University Libraries will observe GIS Day—an annual event celebrating the technology of geographic information systems (GIS)—on Tuesday, Nov. 12, with activities designed to bring together both new and experienced users of geospatial information across disciplines.

This year’s program, “Exploring the World Through Geovisualization,” aims to foster awareness of geospatial visualization, online mapping, and geospatial data science and the ways these applications are being used on campus, in the community, and beyond. GIS use across the University is enabled through access to Esri GIS software, including ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, along with ArcGIS Online.

Esri ArcGIS software now more easily accessible to faculty, staff, students

For a project in a geographic information systems (GIS) class in Penn State’s Department of Geography, Alexis Fisher sought to spotlight the wage gap in the United States. She had familiarity with the topic, but when she began plotting a story map using Esri’s ArcGIS online tools, the data really came to life.

Fisher, a senior majoring in cyber security analytics and operations with a focus in geopolitics, entered historical wage data broken down by counties with variables for gender and ethnicity, to create an interactive map with text, videos, and graphics.


Next Steps for Spatial Demography

Stephen A. Matthews
Spatial Demography
I would like to open my first editorial by thanking the founding editors of Spatial Demography, Frank Howell and Jeremy Porter, and their editorial board for all their contributions over the past eight years. Frank and Jeremy recognized long before anyone else the importance of a signature journal for the field of spatial demography. I greatly appreciate the foundation they set and for initiating the later partnership with Springer. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with both Frank and Jeremy on an edited book and then more recently alongside Jeremy as co-editor of the journal. This was a valuable experience and certainly eased the transition to becoming sole editor.

Oct 19

Coffee Hour with Pablo Pacheco | EarthTalks series | VR research published


Nature-Society Workshop

Members of the department attended the Nature-Society Workshop at Syracuse University, NY. The workshop, which is held annually at universities across the Northeast, included panel discussions on climate politics; intersections of fire, livelihoods, and the state in the Amazon; and environmental justice. The workshop also included a keynote lecture by Dr. Wendy Wolford titled “The Social Life of Land” and a field trip to Onondaga lake and other sites exemplifying urban environmental (in)justice and history in and around the city of Syracuse. Photo taken at Syracuse University and Onondaga Lake.


Jacklyn Weier’s first single-author research paper titled, “(Re)producing the Sexuality Binary: On Bisexual Experiences in U.S. Gay and Heterosexual Spaces,” has been accepted by Gender, Place & Culture.


Coffee Hour with Pablo Pacheco
Governing for sustainability in tropical forest landscapes

Halting deforestation and forest degradation are central in the efforts to protect forests and achieve sustainability goals in forest landscapes, particularly in the tropics. Forest sustainability has increasingly been framed within broader policy agendas of conservation, climate change and sustainable commodity supply. This has triggered disparate interventions with a growing involvement of the private sector, which have been implemented under different approaches including individual adoption of voluntary standards, sector-wide supply chain-based interventions, and mixed supply chain and territorial initiatives at jurisdictional level. This presentation will evaluate critically the progress and implementation challenges of these approaches and provide insights on what is needed to overcome those challenges.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) program.

  • Friday, October 18, 2019
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • Lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour to Go on Zoom

For more information about Coffee Hour and to view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks visit https://www.geog.psu.edu/calendar/coffee-hour-lecture-series


EarthTalks series brings experts to Penn State to discuss decarbonization

Reducing carbon emissions to combat rising global temperatures is a hot topic, but achieving deep decarbonization poses problems that require fundamental changes in the industrial, agricultural and energy sectors. The fall 2019 EarthTalks series, “The Dynamics of Deep Decarbonization,” brings prominent researchers to the Penn State University Park campus to discuss these changes. The series, which is free and open to the public, runs at 4 p.m. every Monday through Nov. 18, in 112 Walker Building.


For the Many, Not the One: Designing Low-Cost Joint VR Experiences for Place-Based Learning

Jan Oliver Wallgrün, Jack (Shen-Kuen) Chang, Jiayan Zhao, Pejman Sajjadi, Danielle Oprean, Thomas B. Murphy, Jennifer Baka, Alexander Klippel
In: Bourdot P., Interrante V., Nedel L., Magnenat-Thalmann N., Zachmann G. (eds) Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. EuroVR 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11883. Springer, Cham.
The paper details the design and evaluation of a joint, multi-user immersive virtual field trip (iVFT). The setting for our work centers on academic disciplines that value place-based education. The reported user study is embedded into a developing research framework on place-based learning and the role immersive experiences play as supplement, proxy, or through providing experiences physically not possible. The results of this study are both practical as well as theoretical, demonstrating the feasibility of using entry level immersive technologies in regular classroom settings and showing that even low-cost VR experiences strongly relying on 360∘ imagery add value to place-based education. With quantitative analysis, we also identify potentially critical aspects in how individual differences shape the adoption of this technology. Finally, we report insights gained through two qualitative analyses on how to improve the design of future iVFTs for educational purposes.

Oct 19

Bye week for Coffee Hour | Alum blends maps and hoops | UN taps into geographers


points per shot mapKirk Goldsberry’s Points per Shot map shows that the average value for 3-point shots is significantly higher than for mid-range shots. Image: Kirk Goldsberry


Bronwen Powell has been invited by the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) to participate in a meeting to set Global Forest Indicators (a set of indicators on the importance of forests that all countries will report on). She was invited to contribute to efforts to set indicators for the way Forests contribute to Food and Nutrition.

Luke Trusel’s research was cited in last week’s UN IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

Humphrey Fellows Fall Presentation Series starts this week in 102 Chambers; noon-1:00 p.m. October 10 talks:

  • More than just books: The underestimated impact of academic libraries on Jordan.
  • Use it, don’t lose it: A tale of highly educated housewives in Pakistan

SWIG is convening an Undergrad/Grad Round Table Discussion for students interested in applying to graduate school on Thursday, October 17 at 6:15p.m. in 319 Walker Building.

The 2019 Esri Mid-Atlantic User Conference will be held December 10–11 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Call for Proposals: UCGIS Symposium 2020, May 28–June 1, 2020, Honolulu, Hawaii.


A bye week for Coffee Hour,  next talk is October 18

For more information about Coffee Hour and to view previously recorded Coffee Hour talks, visit https://www.geog.psu.edu/calendar/coffee-hour-lecture-series


For the love of maps and hoops: Geography alumnus excels in basketball analytics

As a geography student, Kirk Goldsberry never needed an excuse to make maps. The trick was finding ways to combine cartography with his other love — basketball.

The Penn State geography alumnus found professional success combining his passions. He is a leader in basketball analytics, having worked as an NBA front office executive and as a writer for ESPN.

In his most recent work, The New York Times best-selling book “SprawlBall: A Visual Tour of the New Era of the NBA,” Goldsberry examines how the proliferation of the 3-point shot, and other trends, have helped transform the league, perhaps in unexpected ways.

“My book is just another example of a geographer noticing a change, searching for its essential causes, and trying to explain them via the mighty combination of maps, stats and prose,” Goldsberry said.


Environmental Knowledge Cartographies: Evaluating Competing Discourses in U.S. Hydraulic Fracturing Rule-Making

Jennifer Baka, Arielle Hesse, Erika Weinthal & Karen Bakker
Annals of the American Association of Geographers
DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1574549
In this article, we evaluate competing environmental knowledge claims in U.S. hydraulic fracturing (HF) regulation. We conduct a case study of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) rule-making process over the period from 2012 to 2015, which was the first attempt to update federal oil and gas regulations in thirty years. Our study addresses a gap in the energy geographies and environmental governance literatures, which have yet to evaluate systematically HF-related decision-making processes at the policymaking scale. We mobilize theoretical insights from science and technology studies on boundary objects and critical environmental discourse analysis to conduct a “cultural cartography” of the BLM’s rule-making process. Our analysis of a subset of 1.4 million public comments submitted to the BLM, combined with fifteen stakeholder interviews, focuses on (1) who participated in the rule-making process; (2) the types of knowledge claims advanced in support or opposition of the rule; and (3) how these claims affected the rule-making process. In contrast to recent literature that finds increased “horizontality” of environmental knowledge production, we find a clear hierarchy that privileges government knowledge—including federal government–sponsored research and existing laws—above all other categories of evidence cited. As such, we argue that government knowledge—which in this case brought disparate stakeholder groups together to debate HF regulation—functions as a key boundary object in the rule-making process. We conclude with a discussion of implications for both research and policy.

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