Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 11/18/15

November 18, 2015


Geography Awareness Week

We’re celebrating Geography Awareness Week with events all this week.


• Wei Luo (Ph.D., ’14), currently PostDoc at Arizona State, was elected as a Board Member for the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences.
• A paper led by Christoph Kinkeldey (How to Assess Visual Communication of Uncertainty; based on work he did as a Ph.D. visiting scholar in the GeoVISTA Center) received the 2015 Henry Johns Award for the top paper in the Cartographic Journal for 2014.
• Lucas Harris received a NASA Space Grant Fellowship and a travel grant to present research at the 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
• Catherine Airey Lauvaux also received a travel grant to present research at the 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Conference.


Coffee Hour Graduate Student Lightening Talks: Adrienne Tucker, Sam Stehle, Russell Hedberg, Nate Frey, Amanda Young, Arielle Hesse, Sterling Quinn, and Jenn Titanski-Hooper. Each speaker will give a 5-minute talk on their area of research.

Human rights advocate is recipient of Murphy Award
Angela Chang, a human rights advocate with Amnesty International and a student in the Penn State online master’s degree program in Geographic Information Systems, Geospatial Intelligence option, was the 2014 recipient of the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award. Chang was unable to attend the 2014 U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Symposium, where the award is usually presented; therefore, she was presented with the award at the Department of Geography’s Coffee Hour weekly lecture on Nov. 13.


Really Big Data
Eun-Kyeong Kim is part of the Big Data Education Project Team, and Alan MacEachren is serving as an advisory board member in this project.
According to an article on, whether we want it or not the world of Big Data is here. What exactly is “Big Data”? For the uninitiated, it is every photo ever shared, every Facebook post ever written, every Google question ever asked. In other words, Big Data is us.


SWIG collection for CCWRC holiday basket
For the last few years SWIG has committed to sponsoring a family through the Centre County Women’s Resource Center Holiday Sponsorship Program. With the support of the community, the CCWRC provides holiday gift baskets to women and children who have experienced relationship violence. Individuals/children participating in the program are often living in the shelter or temporary housing. SWIG purchases gift cards for each member of the family and a small basket of gift items for the holidays. This year SWIG is sponsoring a family of three. The total amount of money needed to fulfill this commitment is $195.  Last year many members of the geography community donated $5 or $10 and we quickly reached this total.  Nari Senanayake ( is collecting money through Friday, December 4.


UROC open for graduate project submissions
It’s time to submit UROC projects again. To get involved, carve out an area of your research where an undergraduate could help. In the past this has involved map making, GIS analysis, coding transcripts, programming, wrangling spreadsheets, or reviewing literature. It doesn’t have to be glamorous: many undergrads are just happy to have some part in a real research project to supplement their coursework.

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

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