Lee Ann Banaszak, head of the Department of Political Science and professor of political science and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, and Christopher Fowler, associate professor of geography and director of the Peter R. Gould Center for Geography Education and Outreach, have been named by Governor Tom Wolf to the newly formed Pennsylvania Redistricting Advisory Council.
Furthering its mission to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) has provided funding for each of its five departments to appoint faculty to serve as DEI associate heads.
The newly created positions will lead department DEI efforts and coordinate with the college to support and deepen the work being done by the college’s Office of the Associate Dean for Educational Equity.
Prior to her internship with Penn State’s Office of Investment Management, Morgan Keim, a Dalmatia, Pennsylvania, native and senior majoring in economics, did not know what her future held. After her remote internship experience this summer, that is no longer the case.
Alongside Keim was Jacqueline Saleeby, a State College, Pennsylvania, native and senior majoring in geography with a minor in Arabic. The pair spent 14 weeks researching the integration of environment, social and governance practices, known as ESG for short, across the investment industry while recommending potential strategies for inclusion in the office’s investment process.
The Department of Geography Coffee Hour lecture series has resumed on Friday afternoons for the fall 2021 semester on Penn State's University Park campus.
Coffee Hour is a twice-per-month lecture series hosted by the Department of Geography celebrating interdisciplinary scholarship and collegiality. Topics range from climate change and water systems to infrastructure and geospatial analytics, among others. Anyone with an interest in the topic is invited to attend.
The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences has a rich history dating back more than a century, from the original focus on mining engineering, to today's interdisciplinary focus on earth, energy, and materials sciences and engineering. Founded in 1896 as the School of Mines, this year, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences is celebrating its 125th anniversary.
Greenland may be best known for its enormous continental scale ice sheet that soars up to 3,000 meters above sea level, whose rapid melting is a leading contributor to global sea level rise. But surrounding this massive ice sheet, which covers 79% of the world’s largest island, is Greenland’s rugged coastline dotted with ice capped mountainous peaks. These peripheral glaciers and ice caps are now also undergoing severe melting due to anthropogenic (human-caused) warming. However, climate warming and the loss of these ice caps may not have always gone hand-in-hand.
New collaborative research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and five partner institutions (University of Arizona, University of Washington, Pennsylvania State University, Desert Research Institute and University of Bergen), published on September 9, 2021, in Nature Geoscience, reveals that during past periods glaciers and ice caps in coastal west Greenland experienced climate conditions much different than the interior of Greenland. Over the past 2,000 years, these ice caps endured periods of warming during which they grew larger rather than shrinking.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Previous fires may hold the key to predicting and reducing the severity of future wildfires in the western United States as fire activity continues to increase, according to researchers from Penn State and the U.S. Forest Service.
“We have a good understanding of how fire used to interact with dry, forested landscapes before we implemented the policy of fire suppression, and how fire seems to be deviating from these patterns today,” said Alan Taylor, professor of geography and ecology and interim director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State. “Thinking about the fire problem broadly, one of the proposed solutions is to increase the use of prescribed fire and to use wildfires burning when conditions are favorable to reduce the potential for severe canopy replacing fire over time. This has been happening in an ad hoc way over the last 40 years in the Klamath Mountains, so it’s an ideal place to look at these ideas in action and determine what might happen if we implement these practices on a large scale.”
Fires in semi-arid forests in the western United States tended to burn periodically and at low severity until the policy of fire suppression put an end to these low-intensity events and created the conditions for the destructive fires seen today. Understanding the benefits of these periodic fires and the forest structure that they maintained may help land managers and communities avert megafires in the future, according to researchers.
Douglas Miller, who earned three degrees from Penn State; worked as a research assistant, research associate and professor in two colleges; and created and led the Center for Environmental Informatics for 20 years, retired in July and was granted emeritus status.
Firefighters battling wildfires in the western United States use a variety of suppression tactics to get the flames under control. Prescribed burns, or controlled fires intentionally set to clear shrubs and forest litter before a wildfire ever ignites, can make fire suppression operations almost three times as effective in limiting wildfire severity, according to a new study by researchers from Penn State, the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.