Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 1/29/19

Coffee Hour with Elizabeth Wentz ’97g | GEOG 421 class draws the lines | Comparative GEOINT


Chris Fowler’s fall 2018 GEOG 421 class took 2nd place in the category Higher Ed-Central in the in Draw the Lines PA contest. Judges’ statement: In their extensive outreach to fellow Penn Staters and others, the students in Chris Fowler’s Geography 421 class lived up fully to DTL’s hopes for how mappers might engage with their communities. This group embodies the goal of Draw The Lines: to encourage Pennsylvanians to understand and engage in the legislative redistricting process and foster open discussion and debate about the competing values at play. The class began by assessing their own values, then created a survey and website to assess those of other students. They went to football games and other events to promote the survey, resulting in an impressive 247 responses from nearly every Pennsylvania county. The data showed that the respondents most value competitive districts and the class began to map with this as its to priority. The students presented their results in a nicely produced video essay, which candidly covered their failures, their strategies for dealing with urban vs. rural balance, and the impact of racial makeup on a district’s competitiveness. This winning entry demonstrates a top-notch collaborative and grassroots process, combined with a very decent map.