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Schreyer Scholar alumnus maps out dream career while seeing the world
10/30/2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Many of Patrick Stephens’ early interests — traveling, hiking, mountain biking — necessitated the use of maps.

Not surprisingly, then, maps themselves became one of those interests, and served as a constant reminder of how much of the world he has left to explore.

“I always liked traveling,” the Penn State and Schreyer Honors College alumnus said. “I never wanted to be tied down to one place. I told myself that if I could make maps, you can make them anywhere in the world. That was always kind of the goal.”


Assistant Professor of Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis
10/22/2018

The Departments of Geography and Statistics in partnership with the Institute for CyberScience (ICS) at The Pennsylvania State University, located in University Park, PA, invite applications for a new faculty member in Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis at the Assistant Professor level. This tenure track faculty position is part of the cluster hire initiative of the Institute for CyberScience (ICS) to enhance big-data and big-simulation in support of the ‘Driving Digital Innovation’ thematic area of the Penn State strategic plan. ICS is a University-wide, interdisciplinary research institute with more than 20 ICS tenure-track co-hired faculty and nearly 300 associates in interdisciplinary research enabled by high performance computing (HPC).


New course puts Penn State students in control of transformational technology
10/22/2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In his decade of teaching at Penn State, Professor of Geography Alex Klippel has seen immersive technologies disrupt everything at the University from education to research to outreach. His belief in the power of this machinery to improve the learning process guided his creation of GEOG 197: Immersive Technologies – Transforming Society through Digital Innovation.

“I created one of the first upper-level courses on [virtual reality] and 3D modeling, and I want to share my fascination for immersive technologies with students at all levels,” Klippel said of the brand-new general education course he created alongside instructional designer Amy Kuntz. “Thanks to generous support and marvelous collaboration [with the Teaching and Learning with Technology department] we are able to advance immersive learning at Penn State and share it with a wider audience.”


Geography student models future fires to restore past forests
10/16/2018

The forests we walk through today are not the same as the ones that existed hundreds of years ago.  Human activities such as agriculture, development, and logging have changed them.  Fire, or really the lack of it, also changed forests, to the detriment of some species like Oaks and Pines. 

Can we use fire to turn back time, bring forests closer to their original state, and maintain these ecosystems over the long term?

Previous studies show mixed results depending upon when, how often, how severe and in what season a prescribed burn was conducted. Anthony Zhao, a master’s degree student in geography, in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, is using computer model simulations to try to get a clearer answer to this question with his master’s research project, “Modeling Prescribed Fire Effects on Vegetation Dynamics in Pitch Pine and Mixed-Oak Forests.”


Tenure-Track Faculty Position in GIScience (Assistant Professor)
10/09/2018

The Department of Geography at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor specializing in geographic information science (GIScience). We are interested in candidates who will strengthen the department’s research and teaching program and help build strong connections to other relevant science communities. Candidates with an emphasis in any area associated with GIScience will be considered.


NSF funds $3 million graduate training program focused on Food-Energy-Water
09/11/2018

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers to create a new graduate program that will train students to find solutions to real-world problems facing Food-Energy-Water (FEW) systems.

The project, “Landscape-U, Impactful partnerships among graduate students and managers for regenerative landscape design,” focuses on societal issues around food, energy and water in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and globally.


Multi-campus collaboration tells story of cancer in central Pennsylvania
09/11/2018

Penn State has launched its first cancer-related Story Map, “The Story of Cancer in Central Pennsylvania.” The interactive geospatial map illustrates the extent of the cancer problem in the region. It also highlights patient navigators who help people overcome barriers to cancer care and action steps to help address cancer in the community.

Using a browser-based software called Esri ArcGIS Online, the Story Map pairs geospatial data with text and multimedia content. It allows viewers to drill down to population and cancer data at the county and sub-county levels.


Tenure Track Faculty Position in Climate Variability and Change
09/07/2018

The Department of Geography at The Pennsylvania State University invites applicants for a tenure-track assistant professor position in Climate Variability and Change, to join the physical geography group. Applicants should have the potential and desire to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines who are engaged in understanding how climate change reshapes physical and human environments. Candidates will contribute to the Dual-Title Doctoral Climate Science program within the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Excellence in teaching, research, and service is expected, as is the development of an externally funded research program.

To apply please upload: 1) a letter describing how your interests would integrate with the teaching and research programs within the department, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) up to four reprints, and 4) the names, addresses, and contact information of four potential referees. Review of applications will begin October 5, 2018, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Questions about the position should be directed to the search committee chair: Dr. Andrew Carleton: e-mail amc7@psu.edu. Please do not email documents or completed applications to this address as they will not be considered.


Environment and Society Faculty Position
09/07/2018

The Department of Geography at The Pennsylvania State University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the assistant or associate professor rank. We seek an established scholar whose research and teaching contributes to the area of Environment and Society as a subfield of Geography. Areas of investigation could include water, sustainability, health, urbanization, social justice, globalization, global environmental change, political ecology, planning, or governance. 

A Ph.D. in Geography or a related field is expected at the time of appointment. It is expected that applicants in related fields will demonstrate how their work will fit within a diverse Geography department. Excellence in teaching, research, and service is expected, as is the development of an extramurally funded research program.

Applicants should upload the following materials to the web link listed below: 1) a letter describing how they would contribute to the Department’s research and teaching program; 2) a complete curriculum vitae; 3) a maximum of five reprints; and 4) the names and addresses (including e-mail) of three references. All materials must be submitted electronically. Review of applications will begin October 8, 2018, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications from women and under-represented groups are encouraged.

Questions about the position should be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. Brian King, Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, 302 Walker Building, University Park, PA 16802; Phone: (814) 865-2612; E-mail: king@psu.edu.


Researcher asks ‘what causes maps to go viral’ on the web
09/04/2018

As the 2016 presidential election was heating up, the statistical news website FiveThirtyEight released a projection map asking what if only women voted.

The map, sent out in a tweet by FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, quickly went viral on social media and was viewed millions of times. That viral cartography event, and what quickly followed, is the subject of research conducted by Anthony Robinson, assistant professor of geography at Penn State.

The map spawned a series of copycat maps, many of which also went viral. They range from serious offshoots along racial lines, “What if Only People of Color Voted,” to silly, “What if Only Goats Voted,” to the hard-to-verify, “What if Only Taxpayers Voted.”