Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 8/6/13


August 6, 2013                                                         
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using repeat photography

Before and After

Alan Taylor, Rachel Isaacs, and incoming graduate student Lucas Harris use repeat photography from a General Land Office Section corner to evaluate the ecological effects of the 2012 Reading Fire in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. Field measurements and remote sensing data are being integrated to identify and model the patterns of past and current fire severity in the park to support fire and natural resources planning.


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• Audra Kershner (B.S. ’12) graduated in July from the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), the culmination of 10 months of full-time service to communities in need.
• Amy Thissel leaves today for the  “cerrado” in Brazil to study the adaptations that plants may be developing to make them more or less vulnerable to increasing fire exposure. Follow her blog.
• Welcome to Kirby Calvert, who joins the department this month as an assistant professor of geography, focusing on energy policy.



VIEWPOINT: Cartography as an Academic Field: A Lost Opportunity or a New Beginning?
By Alan M. MacEachren, in The Cartographic Journal Vol. 50, No. 2, May 2013 , pp. 166-170(5).
Cartography, as an academic field (and as a profession) should be at the centre of the dramatic increase of place inevery facet of our lives – but it is not. What happened? One answer is that the discipline is too small to meet all the needs. But, that answer bypasses the dramatic advances in GISystems over the years and the fact that the Esri User Conference attracts more than 15,000 participants while the ICA Conference in Paris (2011) attracted approximately 1300. Since the advent of GISystems in the 1960s, developments in cartography have proceeded largely in parallel to those in GISystems, but on a smaller scale. Cartographers who have engaged with GISystems and related technologies have often focused more on critique of the bad maps in GISystems than on taking a lead in integrating maps into place-based geoinformation technology and its applications. Read more.


Geography course shows there's more to national parks than meets the eye
Do your vacation plans include a visit to a national park? There are 18 national parks within Pennsylvania in a national park system comprised of more than 400 areas in every state. Pennsylvania is home to the smallest site, the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia; the 10th most visited site in 2012, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, along the upper Delaware River; and, commemorating its sesquicentennial this year, the Gettysburg National Military Park. Each park is more than just a pretty space. Read more.


Fieldwork blues
The hiking has been amazing. Over the past two weeks Helena and I have been doing lots of hiking and though not all of it is far in distance (46 km) there has also been a major elevation component (gain 5196, loss 5246).  Each trip into the mountains begins with a roughly 1300 m vertical assent over 4-6 km.  So far Helena and I have made it to the top of 4 mountains (Tsubaroku, Jonen, Yokodoshidake, and Chogatake) in addition to a number of smaller hills and what felt like mountains in between.  Read more.


Earth and Mineral Sciences freshmen study sustainability in Jamaica
Sixteen freshmen started their Penn State experience this summer with an excursion to Jamaica for nine days as part of an international travel component of “Sustainability in Jamaica,” a course offered through the Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) and the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS). Read more.


IN MEMORIUM: Two alumni passed away in July
George Schnell (Ph.D. ’65), longtime chair of Geography at State University of New York, College at New Paltz.
Katherine Fuess, a professor of geography at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, California.


(New additions to this list are highlighted.)
See more events and deadlines on the Student Calendar. 
August 6 and every Tuesday  Millennium Café, 10:00–11:00 a.m.

                                     on the 3rd floor of the Millennium Science Complex

August 13–15 Ag Progress Days at Rock Springs in Centre County
August 19–23 New graduate student orientation
September 6   Department "Congratulations and Welcome" Reception, The Nittany Lion Inn
October 26  Wilbur Zelinsky Memorial Service and Reception, more details TBA



(New additions to this list are highlighted.)
August 15–17  Asian Urbanism and Beyond 
August 25–30  International Cartographic Conference (ICC) in Dresden, Germany

August 27–30 International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning in Bremen, Germany



September 2–6 Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT) Scarborough, United Kingdom

September 27–28 Internationalizing the Campus, College and Classroom, Penn State

                          University Park Campus
October 7–8   Susquehanna Water Science Forum, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
October 9–11 NACIS Conference in Greenville, South Carolina
October 9 –12 Pioneer America Society: Association for the Preservation of Artifacts and    
                      Landscapes (PAS:APAL) Utica, New York.  
October 13–16 GEOINT Symposium, Tampa, Florida
October 18–19  AAG Middle States Division Annual Meeting
October 25–26  Pennsylvania Geographical Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaOctober 24–26  Geographies of Labor, 35th Annual North American Labor History Conference
                       at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
October 27–31 Imaging and Mapping for Disaster Management: From the Individual to the 
                      Global Community, joint conference of the CaGIS and ASPRS
October 30–November 2    AAG Middle Atlantic Division Regional Meeting
                                      (jointly with AAG Applied Geography Specialty Group, Annapolis, Maryland
November 1–3  Graduate Climate Conference at Woods Hole, Massachusetts
November 6–8   International Greening Education Event in Karlsruhe, Germany

December 7     IEEE ICDM Workshop on Data Mining for Geoinformatics and Environmental Hazards

                     (DMG-EH) in Dallas, Texas 
April 8–12  AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida
May 18–21 ISCRAM at Penn State

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Angela Rogers, Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State
316 Walker Building, University Park PA 16802
Office: 814-863-4562 Cell: 814-571-2942  •  •
Member of the Penn State Commission for Women. Ask me how you can get involved