Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 3/31/15

March 31 2015

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Old Main at dawn


Old Main at dawn. Photo by Angela Rogers


MGIS student Roger Bannister, with Patrick Kennelly as coauthor, has recently published his capstone work as “Incorporating Stream Features into Groundwater Contouring Tools Within GIS” in the journal Groundwater.


Sterling Quinn was accepted to the summer doctoral program at the Oxford Internet Institute, to be held in July at Oxford University.


Sam Stehle successfully defended his dissertation proposal.


Coffee Hour Rinku Chowdhury “The homogenization of (sub)urban America? A comparative approach”
Urban residential expansion increasingly drives global changes in land use and vegetative cover. At regional and local scales, residential land use and management are driven by diverse socio-ecological factors, yet may result in converging land cover outcomes in otherwise distinct eco-climatic regions. I draw on collaborative research focused on six US cities (Miami, Baltimore, Boston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Los Angeles), to examine whether urbanization is associated with a homogenization of land/vegetative cover across distinct urban and climatic regions as well as sociodemographic neighborhoods.

2 degree Celsius climate change target “utterly inadequate”
The official global target of a 2-degree Celsius temperature rise is “utterly inadequate” for protecting those at most risk from climate change, says a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), writing a commentary in the open access journal Climate Change Responses. Petra Tschakert, a coordinating lead author of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, says: “The consensus that transpired during this session was that a 2-degree Celsius danger level seemed utterly inadequate given the already observed impacts on ecosystems, food, livelihoods, and sustainable development.


Alumni and Friends Reception during AAG
The Department of Geography will hold a reception on April 23, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. during the AAG annual meeting in Chicago. For more information and to sign-up:


Zelinsky and Matthews’s book “The Place of Religion in Chicago” inspires field trip during AAG
The “Sacred Places in Chicago” field trip is sponsored by the Geography of Religions and Belief Systems Specialty Group and will be led by Richard N. Dodge, of the Desert Rose Baha’I Institute in Eloy Arizona. The trip is from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, 2015, leaving from the conference hotel by bus).  Dodge said The Place of Religion in Chicago done by Stephen Matthews and the late Wilbur Zelinsky is a valuable reference for the field trip and a paper he is giving at the AAG annual meeting.
Field trip information:


Participants wanted for a geovisual analytics web app usability study
Participants will be asked to become familiar with a web application, and later be asked to answer task oriented multiple choice questions with the aid of the application. A portion of the study can be completed individually at anytime, and the other portion will take place on campus at University Park. This study will take 2 hours (1 hour off-site and 1 hour on-site). Participants will be given a $20 Amazon gift card. Must be over the age of 18. If you are interested, please contact Brian Swedberg: by April 7


Students gain geographic ground following Esri software pledge to White House ConnectED Initiative
At the White House Science Fair, in conjunction with President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative, Esri announced significant academic progress from its billion-dollar commitment to offer mapping technology to every K-12 school in the United States. Since the program’s launch on May 27, 2014, more than 1,000 schools have grown their geographic programs through Esri’s ConnectED pledge. Eric Cromwell (MGIS ’11) is the elementary science coordinator for Baltimore County Public Schools, and has been using desktop GIS for a decade. On the heels of the May 27 announcement by the White House, Eric set about changing plans for the district.


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