The overall mission of the Department of Geography is to conduct theoretical and applied geographic research in a dynamic and responsive manner that educates and inspires students to become critical and committed citizens who contribute to solutions for our planet.
During a 2017 educational-based trip to Alaska that was focused on glacial systems, Courtney Rome began studying something that wasn't on the syllabus. Her curiosity resulted in an award-winning poster at the annual EMS Undergraduate Poster Exhibition.
Never has the world been better positioned to predict and respond to natural disasters. The stream of data at our fingertips is seemingly endless. But the size of this mounting trove of information in itself poses a problem. For example, running flood calculations for a city facing heavy rains using a century of data is highly accurate. But the calculation is useless if it takes days or weeks to compute.
Penn State geosciences researchers are investigating an active volcano that could pose a hazard to millions of people in Nicaragua. Masaya volcano is located in an active volcanic and seismic zone and is nearby Managua, Nicaragua's capital. The researchers are using many methods, including drones, to study how the volcano and surrounding earth are changing over time. The drones are able to capture high-quality video footage and travel to places inaccessible to humans.
Faculty and students in the Department of Geography are among the many Penn State Earth scientists participating in the 2017 American Geophysical Union meeting, which began Dec. 11 and runs through Dec. 15 in New Orleans. The geographers are highlighting applications of new visualization technologies for Earth science topics.