Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 11/3/15

November 10, 2015



Sterling Quinn took this beautiful photo of Ipanema Beach at sunset while at the International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2015.

Send your photos from fieldwork and travels to


Alex Klippel, together with colleagues from Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins, received an NSF–Cyber-Human-Systems award “Improving Wayfinding and Navigation in Immersive Virtual Environments,” The three-year project will use immersive technologies such as Oculus Rift to inform models of human behavior in built environments. The objective of this research is to enable more effective design and use of virtual worlds.

Tim Yuskavage (B.S. ’11) is enrolling in the Master’s of Arts in the Security Studies program at Georgetown University beginning in January 2016. He is currently employed as an analyst for the US Department of Defense.

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Coffee Hour with Matthew Ferrari
A world without measles? the ecology of eradication
Though the global reduction of measles disease through vaccination is heralded a one of humanity’s great public health triumphs, measles still results in 400–500 childhood deaths per day. Thus, understanding the ecological dynamics that allow the persistence of this infection, despite dramatic control efforts, is of both practical and intellectual importance, as understanding these mechanisms may translate to the design of control programs to reduce or eradicate other pathogens.

  • 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:00 p.m.
  • The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour To Go Webcast
  • Next Week: Graduate Student Lightening Talks with Adrienne Tucker, Sam Stehle, Russell Hedberg, Nate Frey, Amanda Young, Arielle Hesse, Sterling Quinn. Jenn Titanski-Hooper

M.S. or Ph.D. student position announcement
The Vegetation Dynamics Lab is looking for an M.S. or Ph.D. student to work on a collaborative project with Penn State and USFS scientists and resource managers on fire effects and forest development in ponderosa pine forests in California. 


Assistant/associate professor of geography and global ethics sought
The Department of Geography and The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State invite applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the assistant or associate professor rank. We seek an individual whose research explores the social, political, racial, technological and/or environmental dimensions of human vulnerability and global ethics.


Zelinski mentioned in The New Yorker article about the geography of barbecue
Hollis Zelinski notes, “Trillin and my dad go way back and he cited him in one of his food stories a few decades ago.  It’s bittersweet but thrilling to see Trillin mention him again now, after his death.  He and Reed (with whom my father had a large professional correspondence) clearly get a kick out of my father’s old ‘Where the South begins Mule vs. Horse’ census study— apparently, one of his enduring claims to geographical fame.” Read the article here:


Penn State partners with National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
On October 2, 2015, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) renewed two five-year partnerships with Penn State, one with the Department of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and another with the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). 


Video: Erica Smithwick studies how much carbon is in the forests of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

View the video on the blog or department website


Remember to check Local Events and Deadlines for upcoming lectures, meetings, and special events


Next week is Geography Awareness Week