UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — There are a few statistics about women firefighters that stand out to Penn State researcher Lorraine Dowler.
Women account for about 7 percent of firefighters nationwide. Men and women firefighters have the same average age, but women are paid $10,000 less, on average, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Even in the San Francisco Fire Department, which has made great strides toward equal representation, just 15 percent of firefighters are women. In the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), that figure is less than 1 percent.
That’s why Dowler, an associate professor of geography; women, gender and sexuality studies; and international affairs, has spent the past decade interviewing women firefighters about their challenges and thinking about ways to improve opportunities for women.
More than 70 Penn Staters, including students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty, and staff are participating in the AAG annual meeting in New Orleans, April 9–14.
Among the highlights:
Spreadsheet on Box with all Penn Staters and their sessions
More AAG program information
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Open-source code developed by a Penn State graduate could improve weather forecasting and a range of other research endeavors that rely on pairing atmospheric models with satellite imagery.
Yanni Cao, who earned her master’s degree in geography in 2016, developed the code while a member of Penn State’s Geoinformatics and Earth Observation laboratory (GEOlab) as a way to fix errors created when satellite data is combined with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The work was done in collaboration with her adviser, Guido Cervone, head of GEOLab, associate professor of geoinformatics and associate director of the Institute for CyberScience, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — “Linguists reckon we lose a language every two to three weeks. Species extinction rates are about 1,000 times higher than they were before people showed up. None of that is good news," said Larry Gorenflo, professor of landscape architecture and geography at Penn State.
Gorenflo conducts research to understand how cultural and biological diversity co-occur in the hope of helping to conserve both. Gorenflo also holds the Eleanor R. Stuckeman (ERS) Chair in Design which provides him with support to further his ongoing inquiries. His research has demonstrated that places with a high number of species also feature high numbers of indigenous languages. He added, “Both are disappearing at alarming rates.”
Story from Portland State University News
What if you could see what a forest might look like 50 or 100 years from now? Imagine being able to see how a warming climate turned a dense forest into sparser woodlands.
Soon, there will be an app for that. With just a smartphone and a cardboard headset, users will be able to immerse themselves in a forest years into the future.
Portland State University researcher Melissa Lucash is part of a team that is working to visualize how a variety of factors – including climate change, wildfires, insect invasions and harvesting practices – can alter a forest and how that information can then be used by forest managers when making decisions.
Andrew Patterson, a geography major, never thought he would be able to study abroad.
“When I was a sophomore,” Patterson said, “I switched majors from environmental systems engineering to geography, and so I really didn’t think I would have the ability to study abroad and also graduate in four years.”
In the fall of 2016, Patterson received an email from his adviser, Jodi Vender, containing information about a summer study abroad program in Tanzania.
“After looking at my schedule, it was the perfect fit for me,” Patterson said.
Dan Steiner knows a thing or two about assessing terrain, gathering knowledge sources and weighing human interactions — all things required in the field of geospatial intelligence — on the fly.
The West Point graduate who served for seven years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including leading an engineering company in combat during Operation Desert Storm, spent his life using these skills, first in the military, then for a pharmaceutical company, and currently for Orion Mapping, a geospatial intelligence business he founded three years ago.
Now, through the online Master of Geographic Information Systems (MGIS) program, he’s looking to take those skills to the next level with a master's degree and geospatial intelligence analytics certificate, offered online through Penn State World Campus in partnership with the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ Department of Geography and the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute.
Penn State Schreyer Scholar Doran Tucker has been interested in medieval armor since before he started college, so much so that he has made his own chain mail.
The Penn State geography and international politics major considered making some armor to fulfill a general education course requirement but decided to research and write about it instead.
Tucker's independent study paper on that topic has been accepted to both the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University this May and the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in July.
By Alumnus John Frederick ('78)
We all need to look up from our phones long enough to see the real world — not just to keep from running into something, but to truly look at everything that surrounds us.
We would better appreciate what a marvel the planet is and how we can change it, negatively and positively.
Penn State geography professor Peirce Lewis was as influential as anyone in helping me see those details, both natural and man-made. While his passing two weeks ago saddened me, my memories of his classes, lectures and writings also inspired me.
Peirce F. Lewis, 90, died at Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College, on February 18, 2018. He was born on October 26, 1927, in Detroit, Mich., and is the son of the late Peirce and Amy Fee Lewis, of Pleasant Ridge. Mich. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Felicia L. Lewis, of State College; his son, Hugh G. Lewis and his wife, Joselyn, of Gettysburg; his three granddaughters, Gillian Desonier-Lewis and Isla and Raquel Lewis; his sister, Frances Lewis Stevenson, and her husband, John, of St. Augustine, Fla.; and his beloved nephews and niece....
... Peirce joined the faculty of Penn State University's Geography Department where he taught from 1958 until his retirement in 1995. Peirce loved everything about geography and revelled in any opportunity to share his enthusiasm for the subject with others. His acclaim as a lecturer and essayist is widely acknowledged by students and colleagues alike. His writings have received awards from the Association of American Geographers and the International Geographical Union. In 2004, he won the J. B. Jackson Award for his book, New Orleans: The Making of an Urban Landscape. He gave invited lectures for more than 100 audiences around the country, both academic and public. He was a visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley, and at Michigan State University. He received several awards for his vibrant and engaging approaches to teaching geography, including the Lindback Foundation Award, Penn State's highest award for distinguished teaching, the first Penn State Provost's award for distinguished multidisciplinary teaching, and a national award as a distinguished teacher at the college level by the National Council for Geographic Education.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Augmented reality is reviving the educational focus of the oldest monument on Penn State’s University Park campus. Known as the Obelisk, the nearly 33-foot-tall, 53.4-ton stone structure was originally constructed in 1896 to showcase regional rocks and minerals. Its 281 stones, procured from sites around Pennsylvania and neighboring states, are stacked by geologic time period, from youngest at the top to oldest at the base.
Now, anyone with a new Obelisk augmented-reality app, developed by researchers in the Department of Geography, can home in on details about each stone in the historic structure.