Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 7/2/14

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July 2, 2014

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Joshua Stevens at Radio Park Geo Club






Geography in the classroom

Joshua Stevens was invited to give the presentation for the Geo Club at Radio Park Elementary School in May 2014. Students were given an overview of what cartography is, what cartographers do, and how art and science are important to map makers. The students were shown examples of thematic and reference maps, in addition to some map facts that had them questioning the maps they encounter. Afterwards, students spent time asking some really great questions ("How do we really know where one country ends and another begins?" "Why are map symbols always so small?" "If I'm an artist, can I make maps?"). Of all the maps students were shown, the classroom favorite was a map of the amount of snowfall required for school to be cancelled.



Courtney Jackson was selected to receive a Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Scholarship.

Alex Klippel and his wife Melina announced the birth of their second child, Feliks Julius Peter Czymoniewicz Klippel, on June 18, 2014.



How is Buruli Ulcer spread?
PI Petra Tschakert, co-PI Erica Smithwick, and Vincent Ricciardi (M.S. ‘14) are investigating strong links between land disturbance and transmission of the disease. See the video on the department home page.

Former student honored posthumously with Sustainability Leadership Tree Award
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, in conjunction with the Student Sustainability Advisory Council (SSAC), dedicated a dogwood in the Leadership Tree Award grove in memory of former Penn State student Jon Taiclet. Taiclet, a 21-year-old geography honors student and sustainability leader, passed away in 2006 during his tenure as a student at Penn State.



Recently published
Downscaling reveals diverse effects of anthropogenic climate warming on the potential for local environments to support malaria transmission
By Krijn P. Paaijmans, Justine I. Blanford, Robert G. Crane, Michael E. Mann, Liang Ning, Kathleen V. Schreiber and Matthew B. Thomas
The potential impact of climate warming on patterns of malaria transmission has been the subject of keen scientific and policy debate. Standard climate models (GCMs) characterize climate change at relatively coarse spatial and temporal scales. However, malaria parasites and the mosquito vectors respond to diurnal variations in conditions at very local scales. Here we bridge this gap by downscaling a series of GCMs to provide high-resolution temperature data for four different sites and show that although outputs from both the GCM and the downscaled models predict diverse but qualitatively similar effects of warming on the potential for adult mosquitoes to transmit malaria, the predicted magnitude of change differs markedly between the different model approaches.



First-order draft: IPCC Working Group 2, Fifth Assessment Report Chapter 13, Livelihoods and Poverty
Coordinating Lead Authors: Lennart Olsson, Maggie Opondo, Petra Tschakert
This chapter discusses how livelihoods, poverty and the lives of poor people, and inequality interact with climate change, climate variability, and extreme events in multifaceted and cross-scalar ways. It examines how current impacts of climate change, projected impacts up until 2100, and responses to climate change affect livelihoods and poverty. The Fourth Assessment Report stated that socially and economically disadvantaged and marginalized people are disproportionally affected by climate change. However, no comprehensive review of climate change, poverty, and livelihoods has been undertaken to date by the IPCC. This chapter addresses this gap, presenting evidence of the dynamic interactions between these three principal factors. At the same time, the chapter recognizes that climate change is rarely the only factor that affects livelihood trajectories and poverty dynamics; climate change interacts with a multitude of non-climatic factors, which makes detection and attribution challenging.

Related: See Petra Tschakert’s Coffee Hour talk on this experience.


Cookbook to raise money for EMS Centennial Fund
We are currently taking orders for the EMS Cooks cookbook, which can be ordered online at:  Over the past few months, the EMS Staff Advisory Committee collected recipes for a cookbook to raise money for the EMS Staff Centennial Fund and many of you sent in recipes in support of this work. Thanks to generous cooks throughout the college, we have over 120 recipes, including vegetarian and gluten-free. The cost of the cookbook is $12 for one, or $10 each for 2 or more, plus postage (if needed).

Call for papers: Ethics of GMOs
The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State invites submissions of proposal for papers or posters on any topic relating to GMOs for the “Ethics of G.M.O.’s: Food Security vs. Environmental Impact,” to be held October 12–13, at Penn State.
Abstract deadline: August 1, 2014
Submit to: Jonathan Beever at
Call for papers: Computer vision and image analysis

International Conference on Computer Vision and Image Analysis (ICCVIA) 2015 is dedicated to cutting edge research that addresses scientific needs of academic researchers and industrial professionals to explore new horizons of knowledge on various computer vision and image analysis related applications and research.
Conference date and location: January 18–20, 2015 in Sousse, Tunisia
Abstract deadline: August 1, 2014
Submit to:


AAAS Science Magazine

AAG Newsletter

The Allegheny Front Radio program on environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania
Living on Earth PRI's environmental news magazine

The Equation Union of Concerned Scientists blog



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July 4 Independence Day Holiday
July 9–13  The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

July 16     EMS SAC Carnival, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

August 11–15 Summer School in Sustainable Climate Risk Management
August 18–22  Department of Geography new graduate student orientation


March 27–28, 2015  Earth and Mineral Sciences EXposition (EMEX)


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 AAG Calendar of Meetings and Events

August 13–15 First International Workshop on Information Integration in Cyber Physical

                    Systems (IICPS 2014) in San Francisco, California, USA
August 19–21  Jointly held 10th International Conference on Natural Computation (ICNC 2014)

                    and 11th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems and Knowledge Discovery

                   (FSKD 2014) in Xiamen, China.

September 13 The Cultural Studies Graduate Conference at George Mason University

October 9–11 PAS:APAL Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City
November 7–8 Pennsylvania Geographical Society annual meeting in State College, Pa.


April 21–25  AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois


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