Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 10/25/16

OCT 16

Coffee Hour with James Tyner | Easterling on basic research | Forest foods



A big “thank you!” to our alumni who participated on the APG Careers Panel on Saturday, October 15. Great questions and answers about geography as a major, geography careers, and being a geographer. If you missed it, you canview the discussion online via Mediasite.


  • Lise Nelson wrote the chapter on “Soccer and the mundane politics of belonging: Latino immigrants, recreation, and spaces of exclusion in the rural US South” in Critical Geographies of Sport: Space, Power and Sport in a Global Perspective, edited by Natalie Koch. Routledge 2016
  • Alumnus Sid Pandey (B.S. ’14) was elected as Advocacy Subcommittee Chairperson for the Maryland State Geographic Information Committee (MSGIC).
  • Eun-Kyeong Kim gave an invited talk on her dissertation research, “Burst Analysis” at an online meeting of the joint research group of the GeoDa center at Arizona State, the Center for Spatial Data Science at the University of Chicago, and
  • Roger M. Downs will receive the 2017 AAG Presidential Achievement Award, which honors individuals for their long-term, major contributions to the discipline.


Coffee Hour on October 28 with James Tyner “Conspiratorial Geographies: Power and Paranoia under the Communist Party of Kampuchea”
The Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK; also known as the ‘Khmer Rouge’) constitutes one of the most violent and inhumane apparatus of state terror in the twentieth-century. Between April 1975 and January 1979, the Khmer Rouge carried out a program of mass violence that is, in many respects, unparalleled in modern history. In just under four years, upwards of two million people and approximately one-quarter of the country’s pre-1975 population died. Many of these deaths resulted from starvation and disease. However, an untold number were executed at numerous security-centers established throughout the country. Among these, the security-center code-named “S-21” is especially notable. Located in Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh, S-21 was one of approximately 200 security-centers. However, unlike most security-centers, S-21 is notable because it was established as a military-political facility designed to identify, interrogate, and ultimately execute perceived enemies of the state.

Researchers receive NSF grant to study how household decisions impact climate
The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.4 million to scientists working in two suburban Illinois communities to find whether families are willing to adjust their habits to help offset the impacts of climate change.

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from five universities, including Penn State, will directly ask people in the test communities if they would voluntarily make cost-effective changes in how they consume food, energy and water (FEW) in favor of more sustainable practices. The effort marks a new ground-up approach to studying the effects of human activities on climate.

Back to basics: EMS dean talks about why fundamental scientific research matters
[Geographer] William Easterling, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, recently sat down for a Q&A to discuss his keynote address at Research Penn State 2016, a showcase for the University’s five interdisciplinary research institutes. This first-of-its-kind event, held over two days in October, highlighted the breadth and depth of research in the life sciences, energy and the environment, materials science and engineering, cyber-enabled science and the social sciences.


Forest foods and healthy diets: quantifying the contributions
By Rowland, D., Ickowitz, A., Powell, B., Nasi, R. And Sunderland, T.
In Environmental Conservation
doi: 10.1017/S0376892916000151
Forested landscapes provide a source of micronutrient rich food for millions of people around the world. A growing evidence base suggests these foods may be of great importance to the dietary quality of people living in close proximity to forests – especially in communities with poor access to markets. Despite widespread evidence of the consumption of forest foods around the world, to date, few studies have attempted to quantify the nutritional contributions these foods make. In this study we tested the hypothesis that the consumption of forest foods can make important contributions to dietary quality.

How Grassroots Truth and Reconciliation Movements can Further the Fight for Social Justice in U.S. Communities
By Inwood, J. F.
In National Civic Review
Across the United States, people in communities burdened by economic injustice and political marginalization, violence, and longstanding legacies of oppression are turning toward truth and reconciliation commissions as an innovative way to address persistent inequalities. Such commissions have been organized under government auspices in other countries dealing with the aftermath of terrible civil wars and ethnic violence. In the United States, the process is driven from the grass roots rather than by government officials. How does this mechanism actually work in American communities as a form of community organizing for social justice?