Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 9/17/13

September 17, 2013                                                     
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usug flood mapper

USGS Flood Inundation Mapper shows flood water extent and depth on the land surface. Floods are the leading cause of natural-disaster losses.


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Wei Luo, and Alan M. MacEachren’s review paper "Geo-Social Visual Analytics" has been accepted for publication in Journal of Spatial Information Science (JOSIS).
Paulo Raposo’s article "Scale-specific automated line simplification by vertex clustering on a hexagonal tessellation" has been published in Cartography and Geographic Information Science
Vol. 40, Iss. 5, 2013.
David Retchless passed his comprehensive exam in May, and his master's thesis was published in Cartography and Geographic Information Science as "Communicating Climate Change: Spatial Analog Vs. Color-Banded Isoline Maps with and without Accompanying Text"



September 20 Coffee Hour: Anthony Robinson

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution: A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Cartography

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.

• The talk begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have emerged as a rapidly-growing trend in distance education. By their nature, MOOCs provide a new form of access to courses without tuition costs to students, and they challenge traditional models for university education which emphasize high levels of one-on-one contact between instructors and students. Read more.

Watch the webcast live or later with Coffee Hour To Go

September 27 Coffee Hour Speaker Amy Hessl is profiled on the Allegheny front.

Complete Fall Coffee Hour Schedule

The Risks and Rewards of Science Communication
When: September 26, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Room 114 of the Earth-Engineering Science (EES) Building, University Park Campus
Nancy Baron, a science communications trainer and coach, will give a talk, “The Risks and Rewards of Science Communication.” The talk is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception in room 217 EES Building. Baron is director of science outreach at COMPASS, helping scientists communicate their work to journalists, policy makers and the public. She is author of “Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter,” lead trainer for the Leopold Leadership Program and recipient of the 2013 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Media.  Baron’s visit is sponsored by the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Recently Published

Matthew D. Hurteau, John B. Bradford, Peter Z. Fulé, Alan H. Taylor, Katherine L. Martin, "Climate change, fire management, and ecological services in the southwestern US," Forest Ecology and Management, Available online 7 September 2013, ISSN 0378-1127,
The diverse forest types of the southwestern US are inseparable from fire. Across climate zones in California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, fire suppression has left many forest types out of sync with their historic fire regimes. As a result, high fuel loads place them at risk of severe fire, particularly as fire activity increases due to climate change. A legacy of fire exclusion coupled with a warming climate has led to increasingly large and severe wildfires in many southwest forest types. Climate change projections include an extended fire season length due to earlier snowmelt and a general drying trend due to rising temperatures. This suggests the future will be warmer and drier regardless of changes in precipitation. Hotter, drier conditions are likely to increase forest flammability, at least initially. Read more.

Klippel, A., Tenbrink, T., & Montello, D. R. (2013). "The role of structure and function in the conceptualization of directions." In E. van der Zee & M. Vulchanova (Eds.), Motion Encoding in Language and Space (pp. 102–119). Oxford: Oxford University Press. For more information.
This chapter analyses a corpus of route directions given while viewing simple maps, focusing on the conceptualization of direction changes at decision points. It addresses the variability of conceptualizations underlying turning actions at decision points as well as the level of detail given to specify actions, and proposes a systematic approach to analysing route direction data that is suitable to account for the difference between structure and function. Verbalizations of trajectories within a route direction task may require different levels of detail depending on the spatial situation, to enable disambiguation to the degree needed to perform the route task.

From the Wall Street Journal
Pictures make sense of big data
Most people have trouble recalling strings of numbers that are longer than their phone numbers. So how do we begin to  comprehend a hundred rows of data, let along a thousand or a million or a billion rows? That's the dilemma so many companies face, thanks to technology advances that make it easier to routinely collect enormous amounts of data. The answer is pictures. Read more.

Other geography news
AAG Newsletter

The Allegheny Front

Living on Earth
LOCAL EVENTS AND DEADLINES(New additions to this list are highlighted.)
See more events and deadlines on the Student Calendar. 
September 17 and every Tuesday  Millennium Café, 10:00–11:00 a.m.
                                                on the 3rd floor of the Millennium Science Complex

September 19  Kickoff workshop-luncheon for PSIEE Research/ Outreach Dialogue Series  

                      “CSATS STEM Education-Outreach Model” 11:00 a.m. –1:30 p.m. in 309 Sackett

September 19  Department of Geography GEMS student mixer,

                      4:00 p.m. in room 319 Walker Building

September 20  GEMS board Biennial Showcase Seminar at the Millennium Science Complex

                      RSVP by September 17

September 21 GEMS Tailgate at Porter Gardens at Lubrano Park at 1:30 p.m. RSVP

September 26   Talk: “The Risks and Rewards of Science Communication,” at 1:00 p.m. in

                       room 114 of the Earth-Engineering Science Building on the Penn State campus.
(New additions to this list are highlighted.)


September 27–28   Nature-Society Workshop at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

                            Registration deadline: September 16

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

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