Recently published roundup: books, chapters, articles, and papers

Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 10:55am

Faculty and students in the Department of Geography were busy in 2012, publishing in multiple formats on topics such as health, women and climate change, and mapping innovations. 

Here is a roundup of books, chapters, articles, and papers that were published as of December 2012.

New Book

image Ecologies and Politics of HealthEcologies and Politics of Health by Brian King, Kelley A. Crews

Routledge, 2012, ISBN 1136295526, 9781136295522

320 pages

Human health exists at the interface of environment and society. Decades of work by researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers has shown that health is shaped by a myriad of factors, including the biophysical environment, climate, political economy, gender, social networks, culture, and infrastructure. Yet while there is emerging interest within the natural and social sciences on the social and ecological dimensions of human disease and health, there have been few studies that address them in an integrated manner.


Book Chapters

image Research, Action and PolicySeveral Penn Staters contributed to the book: Research, Action and Policy: Addressing the Gendered Impacts of Climate Change which emerged from the Gender and Climate Change: Women, Research and Action Conference held at Monash University Prato Campus, in Italy in 2011.

Edited by Margaret Alston and Kerri Whittenbury, the book:

• Offers a global perspective on the challenges that climate variation imposes on women
• Includes research and reports from Australia and the Pacific region to South Africa to the Himalayas
• Shows how, besides being vulnerable to the worst effects of climate change, women can claim a more substantial role in planning and implementing the proper response

Access the ebook here.

Penn Staters contributing chapters:

Nancy Tuana, director of the Rock Ethics Institute: " Gendering Climate Knowledge for Justice: Catalyzing a New Research Agenda." 
Andrei Israel and Carolyn Sachs, head of the Department of Women’s Studie: "A Climate for Feminist Intervention: Feminist Science Studies and Climate Change." 
Beth Bee (Ph.D. 2011), Maureen Biermann, and Petra Tschakert: "Gender, Development, and Rights-Based Approaches: Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation and Adaptive Social Protection."



image long term socio-ecological research

Karl S. Zimmerer contributed the chapter "Geographic Approaches to LTSER: Principal Themes and Concepts with a Case Study of Andes-Amazon Watersheds," in Long Term Socio-Ecological Research Human-Environment Interactions Volume 2, 2013, pp 163-187.

This chapter covers:

• Introduction to Geographic Approaches

• Themes and Concepts: Geography and LTSER
• Geography and LTSER: Environmental Interdisciplinarity and Policy
• Andean Watersheds of the Upper Amazon and Networked Sites






Raechel A Bianchetti; Jan Oliver Wallgrün; Jinlong Yang; Justine Blanford; Anthony C Robinson; Alexander Klippel “Free Classification of Canadian and American Emergency Management Map Symbol Standards” The Cartographic Journal. Volume 49, Issue 4, pages 350-360

 Emergency management in transnational contexts can be a challenging endeavour. Cultural and language differences among multiple countries can hinder the exchange of information during dynamic emergency response. With increasing international threats and the explosion of near real-time data availability, the emergency response process has become mired in complex communication practices. Maps have the potential to provide an intuitive medium for communication and means for establishing situation awareness during emergency events. The development of map symbol standards is one method for improving communication efficiency. This paper evaluates how the design of two national emergency management map symbol sets (American ANSI and Canadian EMS) influences map-readers’ conception of represented information. Read more.



Daniel Fuller, Steven Cummins, and Stephen A Matthews. "Nutritional epidemiology and public health: Does transportation mode modify associations between distance to food store, fruit and vegetable consumption, and BMI in low-income neighborhoods?" American Journal of  Clinical Nutrrition 2012 ajcn.036392; First published online November 28, 2012.

A consistent body of research has shown that the neighborhood food environment is associated with fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption and obesity in deprived neighborhoods in the United States. However, these studies have often neglected to consider how transportation can moderate associations between food accessibility and diet-related outcomes. Read more


Smithwick E A H, Naithani K J, Balser T C, Romme W H, Turner M G (2012) "Post-Fire Spatial Patterns of Soil Nitrogen Mineralization and Microbial Abundance." PLoS ONE 7(11): e50597.

Stand-replacing fires influence soil nitrogen availability and microbial community composition, which may in turn mediate post-fire successional dynamics and nutrient cycling. However, fires create patchiness at both local and landscape scales and do not result in consistent patterns of ecological dynamics. The objectives of this study were to (1) quantify the spatial structure of microbial communities in forest stands recently affected by stand-replacing fire and (2) determine whether microbial variables aid predictions of in situ net nitrogen mineralization rates in recently burned stands. Read more.


Book Review

Yapa, L. (2012), "Cities for People, Not for Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City." edited by Neil Brenner, Peter Marcuse, and Margit Mayer. Journal of Regional Science, 52: 897–899.

The book Cities for People, Not for Profit is nothing short of a rallying cry for a new program to create a socially just world where cities are organized not to maximize production for profit, but instead for use by the people who inhabit them. Read more.


Cynthia A. Brewer, Lawrence V. Stanislawski, Barbara P. Buttenfield, Paulo Raposo, Kevin A. Sparks, and Michael A. Howard. "Multiscale Design for The National Map of the United States: Road Thinning for Topographic Mapping." Proceedings of the AutoCarto 2012 conference

This paper reports on progress in generalization and selective feature removal for a

subset of fundamental base map layers that enables competent mapping through scales ranging from 1:24,000 to 1:1,000,000. Thinning and partitioning methods are applied to road features and labels for The National Map of the United States. Roads are thinned adaptively, which removes features by feature hierarchy and network connectivity, yet preserves characteristic urban/rural local density patterns that can be lost through simple category removals.


Susanne Bleisch, Matt Duckham, Allison Kealy, Kai-Florian Richter, Stephan Winter, Stuart Kininmonth, Alexander Klippel, Patrick Laube, Jarod Lyon, David Medyckyj-Scott, Tim Wark

"Challenges in supporting extraction of knowledge about environmental objects and events from geosensor data." Proceedings of the AutoCarto 2012 conference.

Technologies for capturing large amounts of real-time and high-detail data about the environment have advanced rapidly; our ability to use this data for understanding the monitored settings for decision-making has not. Visual analytics, creating suitable tools and interfaces that combine computational powers with the human’s capabilities for visual sense making, is a promising approach.


Kai-Florian Richter, Alexander Klippel, Christian Freksa. "Shortest, Fastest, —but what Next? A Different Approach to Route Directions" Proceedings of Geoinformation und Mobilität - von der Forschung zur praktischen Anwendung. Beiträge zu den Münsteraner GI-Tagen 2004

Current wayfinding assistance systems calculate primarily two kinds of routes: the shortest or the fastest. To overcome this limitation, recent research extends options in route choice. All approaches, however, provide the same kind of information independent of the route at hand, i.e. all route directions are created the same way irrespective of the route's characteristics.