UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As of Jan. 1, materials published or copyrighted in 1925 became part of the public domain and are now freely available for use. Among the most anticipated collections of such materials in the Penn State University Libraries are the Pennsylvania Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of 1925, a collection of maps of 69 towns consisting of 1,600 individual map sheets, most notably four volumes each of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. — Guido Cervone, associate director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, professor of geography, meteorology and atmospheric science and Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) associate, was elected as president-elect of the Natural Hazards Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and begins a two-year term as president-elect on Jan. 1, 2021, and a two-year term as president on January 1, 2023.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four students in the Department of Geography were named as College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Academy for Global Experience, or EMSAGE Laureates for fall 2020. Amanda Byrd, Talia Potochny, Harman Singh and Sophie Tessier were recognized by Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Yvette Richardson at a virtual ceremony in November.
“I am so proud of these four women for their active engagement and their leadership,” said Cynthia Brewer, head of the Department of Geography.
“I think it meant a lot to the students to have the college leadership and their department heads there to honor them,” Richardson said. She highlighted each student’s accomplishments reflecting the scholarship, service and global experiences criteria for Laureate status.
“Since we started in 2009, EMSAGE has been the college’s signature undergraduate program for fostering experiential and global competence and promoting a spirit of integrity, service and leadership,” said Karen Marosi, director of student engagement and EMSAGE program coordinator.
Students who wish to apply to become a Laureate must be within 36 credits of graduation; have a 3.0 cumulative GPA; write an essay that ties together their experiences and describes how these experiences have helped them evolve over time at Penn State into the person they are today; and list a minimum of nine accomplishments balanced across the three areas of scholarship, experiential learning and global literacy and service.
Learn more about the EMSAGE program: https://www.ems.psu.edu/emsage
The Department of Geography, in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, at University Park, PA invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in Water Systems Science broadly defined. The position will be filled at the rank of Assistant Professor, although in exceptional cases more senior candidates will be considered. We seek colleagues who study interactions among water, biota, and the physical components of the Earth system in locations such as rivers, lakes, wetlands, and estuaries, and across terrestrial ecosystems. We are especially interested in applicants who integrate various approaches and complement existing departmental strengths in physical geography, environmental data analytics, and environment/society geography.
There is a backstory to this map. Between 27 November and 5 December of 2012, several hundred clerks at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike. Port clerks are responsible for managing the transition of cargo between logistics networks and are essential to the operation of the ports. They also belonged to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, so the rest of the 10,000 workers at the ports refused to cross the picket line in solidarity with the strikers, effectively shutting down the ports. During a typical day at either one of the ports (which are directly adjacent to each other), only one or two ships sit at anchor waiting to enter the harbour. During the strike, thirteen ships were at anchor at one time, together holding about $650m in cargo, with some waiting several days to unload. The clerks eventually emerged victorious, securing a better contract and assurance that the ports would not outsource their jobs. But it is the time during the work stoppage that my map concerns.
Mapping an immobile object may sound like a simple task. And it is. For the vast majority of their history, maps have, by and large, been static documents. Even dynamic maps usually rely on the assumption that whatever they are representing will remain in a particular state for however long the map is meant to be useful. And yet there is no shortage of maps that represent, suggest, encourage or propose movement. We are familiar with the visual forms that have been used to represent it: lines, arrows, colour gradients and sequences of dashes. Immobile objects (not moving but not necessarily unmovable) also take particular visual forms, typically as discrete shapes, pictograms or labels. But these represent the objects rather than their immobility. So, what is the visual form of immobility? What does the character, duration or intensity of immobility look like? What can we learn from attending to the visualisation of immobility? I begin to explore these questions with the map presented here, and in this essay to accompany it.
Penn State was selected as an official nominator for the Earthshot Prize, a competition aimed at identifying the most promising solutions to environmental challenges. Faculty and staff are encouraged to either self-nominate or to nominate other researchers or projects that they see as strong examples of promising solutions. The internal deadline to submit expressions of interest is Thursday, Dec. 17.
“We are looking for the best and brightest projects and ideas that Penn State has to offer,” said Erica Smithwick, official nominator for the University. “The Earthshot Prize is an opportunity for Penn State to work collaboratively and nominate projects that could truly change our world for the better.”
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Sustainability Institute at Penn State is hosting transdisciplinary symposia on biodiversity throughout the spring 2021 semester. The virtual series, "Mainstreaming Biodiversity in the Decade of Action," aims to expand collaborative networks and to inspire creative strategies to promote biodiversity in urban, agricultural and natural areas in order to improve human and ecological health and well-being.
New initiatives emerging from this symposium will be supported through a seed grant program funded by the Sustainability Institute and several other Penn State institutes and centers.
Tony Hutchinson wants underrepresented individuals seeking a career in STEM fields to know one thing: He and others just like him have their back.
Hutchinson, who graduated from Penn State in 1990 with a degree in geography, said it’s important for those individuals to know that they have a support network. That comes through mentorship and it comes through programs at Penn State such as the Millennium Scholars Program.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The effects of climate change are sometimes difficult to grasp, but now a virtual reality forest, created by geographers, can let people walk through a simulated forest of today and see what various futures may hold for the trees.
"The main problem that needs to be addressed is that climate change is abstract," said Alexander Klippel, professor of geography, Penn State. "Its meaning only unfolds in 10, 15 or 100 years. It is very hard for people to understand and plan and make decisions."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The measures instituted in April to help curb the spread of COVID-19 across the United States may hold clues for improving air quality, according to researchers.
The scientists examined the pandemic’s effects on two key pollutants – nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter -– and human mobility. They found that as individuals limited their travel, nitrogen dioxide levels fell significantly while levels of fine particulate matter rose in certain parts of the country. They report their findings in the Bulletin of Atmospheric Science and Technology.