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Augmented reality app reveals campus monument's history as teaching tool

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.

Geography professor receives Fulbright grant to work in Austria

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Anthony Robinson, assistant professor of geography at Penn State, has been selected to receive a Fulbright grant to teach and conduct research at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Beginning Jan. 2017, Robinson will spend six months working in the Department of Geoinformatics (Z_GIS).

Robinson was awarded a Fulbright for his proposal “Making Maps to Make a Difference: Uncovering Geographic Patterns in Learner Engagement.”

Geography undergraduate researches tea plantation loss through Tea Institute

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For Zongjun Li, a junior majoring in geography at Penn State, the chance to explore real-life opportunities with his degree is what drives him as an undergraduate student.

“It’s important to me to take the knowledge from our textbooks and bring it to life out in the real world,” Li said.

Raised in Guangzhou, China, Li, who is majoring in geographic information science (GIS), has always been fascinated by the applications of the geography major.

Graduate student leverages geography, coding skills to land Google internship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Like many geography students, Xi Liu has a strong interest in mapping and using geographical data to solve problems. So when he saw an opportunity to work for Google on a project that involved geographical data analysis, he wasted no time in applying.

Liu, a doctoral student in geography, was accepted into a highly competitive software engineering internship program in Google's Seattle office during the summer of 2017, and the experience showed him just how integral geographic data are for the industry giant's products and services.

Penn State alumnus to help oversee athlete, visitor safety during Olympics

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State World Campus alumnus will head to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, this month to help oversee the safety of athletes, spectators and visitors.

Parrish Henderson is the lead of the FBI’s geospatial team, which will provide real-time situation awareness using mapping and other interactive tools.

“We’re creating a GIS operational dashboard that helps us manage field assets,” said Henderson, 43. “It basically helps us better utilize our agents to ensure our athletes, visitors and spectators are safe.”