From the Head | Rethinking food | Holocaust learning resources


EMEX panel on Zoom

EMEX, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences annual recruitment event, took place virtually on Saturday, March 28. After general sessions about the college, including a Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences (GEMS) panel, each department, including the Department of Geography, hosted a breakout session. The Geography breakout session was attended by four prospective students. Jodi Vender and nine current undergraduate students presented information about the program and their experiences as geography students.  Closed captioning, shown at the bottom of the image, was provided during the event.


Jeremy Diaz was selected to receive a 2020 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF).

Zachary Goldberg received the AAG Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group Field Study Award.

Karen Schuckman has been named a finalist in the Personal Achievement in LIDAR category of the Lidar Leader Awards, a joint initiative of LIDAR Magazine and the organizers of the International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF).

“Improving climate risk management: Are we doing the science right? Are we doing the right science?” In this EarthTalks seminar, Klaus Keller will discuss how engaging with stakeholders and decision-makers can help scientists identify mission-oriented basic science questions, and how scientists can help to improve decisions. The seminar will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, April 6, and webcast through Zoom at talk is free and open to the public.

Solve Climate by 2030: Solar Dominance + Civic Action Pennsylvania statewide webinar will take place 7 p.m., April 7 2020.  Link to Join:

The Dutton Institute has gathered resources for remote teaching on their website.  In addition, the Institute will hold open office hours via Zoom at Open office hours can be used for Zoom tips, assessment strategies discussion, help with Canvas or Kaltura, or even a discussion of options for delivering your final exam remotely. Office hours will be at the following days/times this week:

  • Wednesday, 4/1: 10:30 – 11:30 am and 4:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Thursday, 4/2: 10:30 – 11:30 am and 12:30 – 1:30 pm
  • Friday, 4/3: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm and 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Call for maps: Guerrilla Cartography is seeking maps, ideas, cartographers, and researchers for an atlas on shelter. Shelter: An Atlas will bring together a diversity of disciplines all connected by the theme of shelter, and it will be a sister-atlas to Guerrilla Cartography’s earlier projects, Food: An Atlas and Water: An Atlas. Deadline to submit a map idea or to volunteer to be a researcher is Monday, April 13. Want to submit your own map? First map submissions are due June 15.

Job posting: The Department of Geography at Gustavus Adolphus College is searching for one-semester position of Visiting Instructor (or Assistant Professor with appropriate qualifications) in the Department of Geography to begin September 1, 2020 and ending December 30, 2020. The one semester teaching assignment will be 3.5 courses. Primary teaching responsibilities will include introductory GIS and remote sensing of the environment. To apply:



From the Head: Right Hires

We couldn’t have planned two better faculty emphases to add to the department in 2020, health geography and data analytics, which will be part of learning how to better study disease. Though Provost Jones announced a freeze on faculty hires in progress at the March 24 Town Hall, EMS Dean Kump confirms that both our hires for next year are secure. Wang and Holmes have already signed their Penn State contracts and will be arriving July 1, 2020.

Shujie Wang will join us as an assistant professor (tenure home in Geography, co-hire with EESI, and associate faculty in both EESI and ICDS). She is hired into the EMS position “Understanding Land-Water Systems Using Data Analytics” and specializes in Earth and environmental sciences using data-driven tools and methods. She studies cryosphere and climate dynamics using geographic information science, remote sensing, image recognition, numerical modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. This coming year, Shujie will be teaching an EMS course on data analytics and intro and advanced remote sensing courses (GEOG 362 and 462). Shujie is currently a postdoc at LDEO at Columbia.

Louisa Holmes will join us as an assistant professor of health geography. She is our SSRI co-hire with the Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse (SSRI is PSU’s Social Science Research Institute). She works on substance use and abuse in tobacco and marijuana. She has experience with NIH and health-related granting agencies, running large surveys of youth that include place characteristics, and intensive quantitative modeling. Louisa’s initial teaching next year is planned as the intro core course in GIScience (GEOG 260), advanced spatial analysis (GEOG 464), and an advanced undergaduate course in health geography (GEOG 497). Louisa is currently an assistant professor at Binghamton University.


It’s time to rethink how you shop for food | Opinion

by Zachary Goldberg, For The Inquirer, Updated: March 27, 2020

These are troubling times for the food industry. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, food consumption is changing fast as restaurants, schools, and other community spaces close. This has prompted panic shopping. Many look to stock their shelves with canned and frozen food, as I did the early moments of the crisis, running out to Target to buy the last case of San Pellegrino along with essential supplies for my mom

Holocaust Education Initiative releases first set of free instructional material

Alexander Kippel is a participant

To help teachers remotely engage their students during the coronavirus crisis, Penn State’s Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Initiative has released its first set of free learning resources.

The initiative — a Penn State partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and several state and national organizations to provide educators with the tools to tackle difficult topics — has been developing instructional material for classroom use. Responding to the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced schools to close across the state, the innovative program readied some of its learning resources for home use.

Related: Human rights initiative earns Community Engagement and Scholarship Award

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