Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 11/4/14

November 4, 2014

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Facebook, Politics and the Midterms

Since July, more than 20 million Facebook users added posts, comments and other messages about this week’s elections. The social media company analyzed the data, placed the messages into categories and shared the findings with The Wall Street Journal. These maps show several of those categories by congressional district, with darker shades representing proportionally more discussion. Search the maps to find your city or state.


Alan Taylor received a grant from the USDA Pacific Southwest Research Station for “Forest Growth Response to Climate and Millennial time scale reconstruction of climate in the Klamath Mountains.”


Middle States AAG Recap

-Jase Bernhardt, Carolynne Hultquist, and Adrienne Tucker joined with Shippensburg University students to compete in the Middle States
Geography Bowl. While their “PennShip” team finished in second place,
Bernhardt earned a spot on the regional team that will compete for the World Geography Bowl title at the AAG meeting in Chicago this spring.
-Hultquists poster, “Machine Learning for Post-fire Burn Severity
Assesment in Diseased Forests,” won the graduate prize in MSAAG’s
inaugural student poster competition.
-Tucker’s paper, “Eastern Pacific Ship Tracks in Relation to Sea Surface Temperature Variations,” garnered first place in the graduate division of the student paper competition, while Erin Goodnough took second place with her paper, “A Proposed Open Source Architecture for Collecting and Analyzing USAID Performance Indicator Data.”
– MGIS students Erin Goodnough and Marnie Sippel presented their capstone projects at the meeting, supported by faculty advisors John Kelmelis (Ph.D. ’91) and Doug Miller.


Coffee Hour November 7: Ingrid Nelson “Feminist political ecology and the (un)making of “heroes”: Encounters in Mozambique”
What are the effects and implications of persistent desires to make and celebrate hero figures in environmental justice struggles? This talk draws on 18 months of research amidst forest conservation interventions, afforestation “land grabs” and illegal timber trading in the woodlands of Zambézia, Mozambique. A group of local woodland residents and other competing actors become new hero figures in woodland and other spaces, appearing to signify much-needed progress in a broader decolonial and feminist project of displacing paternalistic white saviors and solemnly remembered war heroes. What effects does this shift and transformation in making and unmaking hero figures have in the forest and in the ways we understand the political ecologies of woodland landscapes and activism. Note: This talk will be available live (via Mediasite) only and will not be archived.

  • 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour To Go

Next Week: Matthew W. Wilson “Geography, Harvard, and Digital Mapping”


Pennsylvania Geographical Society meets
The Pennsylvania Geographical Society will hold its annual meeting  in State College, Pa., on November 7-8, 2014. The meeting will be held at the Days Inn Penn State. Penn Staters on the program (in addition to keynote speakers Clio Andris and Petra Tschakert): Marissa DeFratti, Aaron Dennis, Carolyn Fish, Carolynne Hultquist, Jack Swab will present posters and Carolynne Hultquist will present a paper. While the deadline to present has passed, it’s not too late to attend or volunteer. Final lunch/dinner counts need to be in by end of week. Meeting registration info at


Women’s soccer wins Big Ten Championship
The Penn State women’s soccer team won its 16th Big Ten Championship and third outright title in four years, thanks to second half heroics by senior Kori Chapic on Senior Day Sunday (Oct. 26) afternoon. Also earning a career-best mark is geography undergraduate  Britt Eckerstrom (16-2-0), who posted her 16th win of the year. She made three saves in the victory. See also: No. 7 Women’s Soccer Wins Big Ten Championship: Kori Chapic and Britt Eckerstrom set career-marks in the win.


Has technology changed our perception of distance?
A recent article in The Economist analyzed whether the Internet has “eliminate[d] geographical differences” as some experts predicted it would. In a Directions Magazine podcast, editors Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg discuss the article and consider the impact of GIS technology.


IJSLE fall issue available
The editors of the International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (IJSLE) are pleased to announce publication of the Fall 2014 issue.  To view this issue of the Journal, please log on to