Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 1/15/13

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picture of emma mullaney standing in front of a mountain ridge in mexico

Emma Gaalaas Mullaney at Nevado de Toluca, México (extinct volcano, 15,390 ft / 4,691 m)
March 2012. Photo by Rebecca Hamlyn.

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Alex Klippel and Anthony Robinson have received a grant from the Center for Online Innovation in Learning at Penn State to work on Enhancing Online Geospatial Education with Sketch-based Geospatial Learning Objects.

Leah Wasser, Rick Day, and Alan Taylor had a paper accepted in PLOS ONE titled: "Influence of Vegetation Structure on Lidar-derived Canopy Height and Fractional Cover in Forested Riparian Buffers During Leaf-off and Leaf-on Conditions."

Mark D. Aurit, Robert O. Peterson, and Justine I. Blanford  had a paper accepted in PLOS ONE titled:"A GIS Analysis of the Relationship between Sinkholes, Dry-Well Complaints and Groundwater Pumping for Frost-Freeze Protection of Winter Strawberry Production in Florida." Available now.

Jase Bernhardt presented the following paper at last week's Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in Austin, Texas: "A synoptic climatology of contrail outbreak events and associated surface temperature effects for the southern United States" (with Andrew Carleton).  The presentation was part of the 16th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology.  The extended abstract is published at: Research for the paper was partly funded by Carleton's most recent NSF grant, and Jase's participation in the conference was funded by an EMS Centennial Award for 2013.


January 18 Coffee Hour: Self-reinforcing patterns of fire severity
Speaker: Alan Taylor

Coffee Hour To Go

Spring 2013 Coffee Hour Schedule

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Fire severity in mixed conifer forests in California has increased in the recent decades due in part to fire suppression and fuel build up. This has resulted in more severe fire effects in these ecosystems. 

In 2008, the Cub Fire burned through a watershed with an earlier fire history study (1997) that identified fire severity patterns in the 19th century. No logging had occurred in this watershed so differences in fire severity between the late 19th century and 2008 are related to fire history, vegetation structure, topography, changes in vegetation and fuels since fire suppression, and weather conditions during the fire.  Read more.

Reception during AAG meeting: Send your suggestions!

The Department of Geography will be hosting an alumni and friends reception during the AAG Meeting, April 9–13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  We are looking for a fun, cool restaurant or bar that is within walking distance of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites (404 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071) If you are familiar with the area, please send your suggestions to


Summer GIS internship position
PJM Interconnection is looking for a summer 2013 GIS intern to work at their Norristown, Pennsylvania location The intern will work with the GIS team in the development, modification, and checking of GIS database regarding the interconnection of new generation, merchant transmission, and baseline transmission projects to the PJM system to ensure the long-term reliability and adequacy of the PJM system.  See attached position description [PDF]. Appy to and CC Frank DiCicco.

Is red the color of poverty?
by Lakshman Yapa,
Even though higher income households vote Republican in all regions of the country, paradoxically, states that vote Republican are overwhelming poor. This is part one of a two-part series exploring issues in electoral gridlock, the geography of poverty, low voter turnout among the young, and public scholarship. Read more.

Inspired by world travel, students share ideas with USGS for The National Map
by Chelsea Gilliam and Everleigh Stokes
Twelve Penn State students, one graduate student, and two professors visited the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on November 28, 2012  to present suggestions to the director of the National Geospatial Program and other interested staff to improve The National Map and The National Map Viewer. The students’ suggestions were derived from two semesters of CAUSE coursework at Penn State and three weeks of research at national mapping agencies from diverse locales, including Frankfurt, Germany; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Tokyo, Japan. Read more.

Recently published roundup: books, chapters, articles, and papers
Faculty and students in the Department of Geography were busy in 2012, publishing in multiple formats on topics such as health, women and climate change, and mapping innovations. Here is a roundup of books, chapters, articles, and papers that were published as of December 2012. Read more.


ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies
Volume 11, issue 3, 2012
Special Theme Issue: Anarchist and Autonomous Marxist Geographies
Guest edited by Nathan Clough and Renata Blumberg

From the allegheny front
It was only a matter of time before someone made a feature movie about fracking. Promised Land is billed as an anti-fracking movie, a movie about the tough choices rural places have to make, and the role of big business in the country’s new energy frontiers. Read more. 



(New events and deadlines on this list are highlighted.)


January 14–18   Education Abroad Week

January 16        “Energy Exchange Seminar Series: Clean Energy” 10:00 a.m. C213
                         Coal Utilization Laboratory. More information is available at
January 16         Financial Conflict of Interest Training Session for investigators at 2:00 p.m.
                         in 529 Walker Building [PDF]
January 16         Information Session for The Graduate Exhibition, 5:15 p.m. in 112 Kern Building
January 17         GIS Coalition meeting in 319 Walker Building at 7:00 p.m.
January 18         Coffee Hour with Alan Taylor
January 25         Coffee Hour with Barbara Gray
January 25         College of EMS Casino Night.
January 31         “Marketing for Scientists” professional development workshop presented by
                         Marc Kuchner, hosted by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics,
                         from 12:30–2:30 p.m. More details here.
February 12       "Close Encounters of the PSIEE Kind" The Nittany Lion Inn from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.
                         RSVP to Sandy Maitland at by February 7, 2013.
February 27       Summer at Penn State Fair, HUB 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
March 4–8         Spring Break
March 15           SYWIG Day
March 16           EMEX
March 19           11th Annual Undergraduate Research at the Capitol—Pennsylvania Poster
                        Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. [PDF]
March 22           Department head deadline for spring 2013 theses and dissertations
March 22–24      The Graduate Exhibition
March 23           no)Boundaries conference

See more events and deadlines on the Student Calendar.  



(New conferences on this list are highlighted.)

February 1   Mapping Discursive Geographies Symposium at the University of Arizona
February 1   Nature of Spatial Practices 
February 16  Speaking Up: A feminist practice conference at Penn State.
                   For more information:
March 15–16 Annual Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology Student Symposium (ECMSS)
                     at the University Park campus
March 16   Voices of Resistance: Communication and Social Justice, Communication Graduate
                    Conference at Penn State. For more information:  
April 5–7  Workshop on Critical Climate Change Scholarship, University of Minnesota
April 9–13  AAG Annual Meeting  
April 16–19    23rd International Mining Congress and Exhibition of Turkey in Antalya 
April 23–25 European Navigation Conference in Vienna
May 8   Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium at Penn State
June 3–5   2013 PA GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) Conference in State College
August 25–30  International Cartographic Conference (ICC) in Dresden, German


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