Dept.of Geography News & Events this Week - 3/19/13

March 19, 2013 (click banner for webpage)
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Dept.of Geography News & Events this Week - 3/12/13Jodi Vender talks about degree options in geography for new students and their parents at EMEX 2013, held Saturday, March 16. Current students and alumni Anne Messner (B.S. '89) and Brendan Wesdock (B.S. '95) were also on hand to talk about their experiences. Rob Brooks gave the introductory presentation.

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• As part of it’s celebration of Women’s History Month, the Penn State All Sports Museum hosted several speakers, including Karen Schuckman, Penn State’s first female All American. Schuckman shared her earliest experiences with gymnastics, competing for a berth on the U.S. Olympic team and her time as a Penn State student athlete. Schuckman was one of 15 women at the time to receive a scholarship to play at Penn State and Penn State’s first woman to become an All American. In her career she won individual national championships in all-around, vaulting and floor exercise.
• Chongming Wang passed her comprehensive exam during the week of March 10–16, 2013.
• Brent Yarnal will receive the 2013 AAG Climate Specialty Group (CSG) Lifetime Achievement Award on April 10, 2013 at the Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California.



Next Coffee Hour is March 22: The Miller Lecture “Connecting microclimates to plant species' range dynamics in a changing climate”

Speaker:  Frank W. Davis

• 3:30 p.m. Refreshments are offered in the E. Willard Miller seminar room, 319 Walker Building
• 4:00 p.m. The lecture begins at 4:00 p.m. in the John J. Cahir Auditorium, 112 Walker Building

Coffee Hour To Go


Plant species distributions are changing in response to ongoing climate change, and biogeographers and ecologists are hard at work documenting those changes and forecasting future distributions and extinction risks.  My talk will focus on plant distributions in mountainous regions and on research to better characterize mountain microclimates and the association of tree establishment with those microclimates. I will present early results from an interdisciplinary NSF Macrosystems Biology project in which climatologists, plant geographers and ecologists are teaming up to measure and model microclimate and tree species establishment in foothill and montane landscapes in California. Read more.


You're Invited—AAG Reception


Join us at the Department of Geography Alumni and Friends Reception during the AAG Annual Meeting in Los Angeles,  California


Friday, April 12, 2013


7:00  to 9:00 p.m.


Bonventure Brewing Company, on the patio

RSVP by April 2 to



Spring 2013 GEOGRAPHY newsletter
The spring 2013 Department of Geography newsletter is now available digitally via the department website and issuu. 

Earth-sized planets in habitable zones are more common than previously thought

The number of potentially habitable planets is greater than previously thought, according to a new analysis by a Penn State researcher, and some of those planets are likely lurking around nearby stars. "We now estimate that if we were to look at 10 of the nearest small stars we would find about four potentially habitable planets, give or take," said Ravi Kopparapu, a post-doctoral researcher in geosciences. "That is a conservative estimate," he added. "There could be more."

Kopparapu detailed his findings in a paper accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters. In it, he recalculated the commonness of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of low-mass stars, also known as cool stars or M-dwarfs.  Read more.


The paper is available online at:


From Science Careers
The New Cartographers
"[F]uture shortages in cartography, photogrammetry, and geodesy seem likely because the number of graduates is too small (tens to hundreds) to give NGA choices or means of meeting sudden demand." —Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence, a report from the National Research Council
Twenty years ago, a driver lost at night would pull his car over, take out a paper map bought at a gas station, and pore over its folds under a dim light. With luck and some critical thinking, he would eventually get where he was going. Today, he'd be more likely to swipe his finger across a smart phone screen and follow directions using Google Maps. Read more.


(New events and deadlines on this list are highlighted.)
March 19       UnderDoGS meeting in 319 Walker Building at 8:00 p.m.
March 22      Department of Geography Miller Lecture with Frank Davis
March 22      Department head deadline for spring 2013 theses and dissertations
March 22–24  The Twenty-Eighth Annual Graduate Exhibition
March 23     no)Boundaries conference, first floor, Deike Building
March 29     EMS financial conflict of interest training for investigators 4:00 p.m.
                   in 262 Willard Building
April 5         Pennsylvania State Geographic Bee
April 12       Department of Geography Alumni and Friends Reception during AAG in Los Angeles.
                  RSVP by April 2
April 19–21 Blue–White Weekend
April 26       Department of Geography Recognition Reception 
May 3–5      spring commencement

See more events and deadlines on the Student Calendar



April 5–7      Workshop on Critical Climate Change Scholarship, University of Minnesota

April 9–13    AAG Annual Meeting   

April 16–19    International Mining Congress and Exhibition of Turkey in Antalya  

April 22–26    International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment in Beijing, China 

April 23–25    European Navigation Conference in Vienna

April 26–27     Geographies of Power: Justice, Revolution, and Cultural Imagination

                      at The Nittany Lion Inn, State College, Pennsylvania 

May 8           Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium at Penn State

May 13–17    Summer Institute on Contested Landscapes at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

May 21–24    The National Map Users Conference in Denver, Colorado


May 23–25     GeoComputation International Conference in Wuhan, China

June 3–5        2013 PA GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) Conference in

                    State College, Pennsylvania

July 8–12      Esri International User Conference

July 16–18    The Society for Conservation GIS, Monterey, California 

August 15–17  Asian Urbanism and Beyond 

August 25–30  International Cartographic Conference (ICC) in Dresden, Germany

October 18-19  AAG Middle States Division Annual Meeting

October 24–26  Geographies of Labor, 35th Annual North American Labor History Conference

                       at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
October 30–November 2    AAG Middle Atlantic Division Regional Meeting

                                      (jointly with AAG Applied Geography Specialty Group)

November 6–8   International Greening Education Event in Karlsruhe, Germany 

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