COPLAC 2014 URC Conference Posters

Three Mansfield University Geoscience undergraduate students presented their research at the COPLAC Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference this past weekend at Keene State College in Keene, NH. I was the co-adviser of two of these projects, along with my colleague Lee Stocks. Continue reading “COPLAC 2014 URC Conference Posters”

Launch M-01 – September 14, 2013

This past Saturday, Mansfield University hosted its first night football game since 1892, back when it hosted the first ever night football game. Some 121 years later, the university finally installed lights at its (“sprint”) football stadium and had a big party with it. To kick off the balloon mapping program at Mansfield, I planned to send up a balloon over the event to capture some aerial photos of the stadium and to do some mapping.

Luckily, I had a great crew of MU Geography & Geology students who took the reins so I could sit back and supervise. Continue reading “Launch M-01 – September 14, 2013”

Launch M-01-T – September 13, 2013

Tomorrow evening, September 14, Mansfield University is hosting its first night football game since 1892, back when it hosted the first ever night football game. Some 121 years later, the university finally installed lights at its (“sprint”) football stadium. As a way to kick off the balloon mapping program at Mansfield, I thought we would send up an imaging balloon over the stadium to capture the evening. Continue reading “Launch M-01-T – September 13, 2013”

Vernacular Region of “Up North,” Wisconsin

Since moving to Wisconsin over a year ago, I’ve been trying to learn as much about the local topynymy and places of interest. One place that’s come up repeatedly when talking to students is “Up North,” referring to the relatively sparsely settled northern portion of the state. This “Up North” area is important to Wisconsin’s tourist economy and cultural identity. Many Wisconsin residents own property in the region, specifically to support their recreational pursuits. Continue reading “Vernacular Region of “Up North,” Wisconsin”

Paying Nobel Forward: Lesson Plans to Teach Oceans

This past spring of 2012, campus dean Dr. Martin Rudd requested that my colleague, Dr. Beth Johnson and I offer a course on ocean issues. The campus had received financial support from the Mielke Family Foundation for student attendance at the 48th Nobel Conference, that year focusing on ocean issues. In that four-student seminar, we required that students complete a capstone project, loosely defined. The students were moved by the severity of ocean-related concerns and decided to create lessons to help middle school-level students better engage with ocean issues. Continue reading “Paying Nobel Forward: Lesson Plans to Teach Oceans”

GEO 106’s Full Tree Inventory of UWFox

This fall, for the GEO 106 classwide project, we were asked by UWFox dean Dr. Martin Rudd to take an inventory of trees on campus in support of the TreeCampus USA initiative. Each group was responsible for mapping approximately a quarter of the over 500 trees on the campus in two formats: a shapefile with attributes, and a Sketchup file that could be added to the existing UWFox Google Earth model.

Continue reading “GEO 106’s Full Tree Inventory of UWFox”

Balloon Launch F-01 – December 5, 2012

Originally planned to launch as part of GIS Day, and then having been three times delayed by weather, we finally launched the first balloon imaging mission on December 5, 2012. The original intended use for the data was to supplement GEO 106’s TreeCampus USA inventory, but it was not completed early enough for that application. Dr. Beth Johnson, as well as a handful of students, were very helpful in giving a hand for this launch.

Continue reading “Balloon Launch F-01 – December 5, 2012”

Shawn’s WLDAAG / ELDAAG Poster

Shawn Kargus, who’s been working on adapting aquaponics as a low-cost way to solve food deserts, received a Student Scholars grant to support his presentation of this work at the 2012 West Lakes / East Lakes of the AAG Joint Meeting in DeKalb, Illinois. Continue reading “Shawn’s WLDAAG / ELDAAG Poster”

Introducing a 3D Google Earth Model of UWFox


Geographic Information Science is taught in the UW Colleges as GEO 106, a course designed to introduce students to various forms of geographic information. Goals of the course includes exposure to many skills, such as map reading and interpretation, map analysis, cartographic methods, remotely sensing data, and an understanding of technical applications of geographic remote systems. Continue reading “Introducing a 3D Google Earth Model of UWFox”

Push & Pull Factors Assignment, Spring 2011

Every semester in my introductory classes, I do an assignment on push and pull factors, and how they relate to migration.  Of course, push and pull factors are a relatively easy concept to understand, in that push factors are those ideas about a place that “push” people away from living there, while “pull” factors are those perceptions which attract people.  It’s (really) old news for population geographers, and there have been plenty of critiques on the conceptualization, but it’s nice and tidy for getting intro-level undergrads interested in migration.

Continue reading “Push & Pull Factors Assignment, Spring 2011”