2009 - 2010 Archived News

Graduate Student Po-Yi Receives CCK Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

July 6, 2010

Department of Geography Graduate Student Po-Yi Hung will receive support for his dissertation research from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.

Rewards are given based on the significance of the contribution that the proposed project will make to the advancement of research and knowledge in the field of Chinese studies, the quality or the promise of quality of the applicant's work as a creative interpreter of Chinese studies, the quality of the conception, organization, research strategy and source material of the proposed project, and the feasibility that the applicant can complete the entire project.

Congratuations Po-Yi!

Graduate Student Jacquelyn Gill Receives ESA's Cooper Award

June 22, 2010

Department of Geography Graduate Student Jacquelyn Gill is honored with the William S. Cooper Award from the Ecological Society of America (ESA) for her paper "Pleistocene Megafaunal Collapse, Novel Plant Communities, and Enhanced Fire Regimes in North America," published in Science last November. The paper attracted widespread media attention.

The Will iam Skinner Cooper Award is given to honor an outstanding contributor to the fields of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession, or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients, these being the fields in which W. S. Cooper worked. The award is for a single contribution in a scientific publication (single or multiple authored). Nominees need not be ESA members and can be of any nationality.

Gill will recieve the award at the ESA annual meeting in August.

Undergraduate Miller Honored with Leadership Trust Award

May 10, 2010

Ally MillerUndergraduate geography major Ally Miller has received the Leadership Trust Award through the Letters and Science Honors program. The honor also provides funding to be used by the students to help plan, develop, and implement projects designed to improve the UW-Madison, the community, and/or the university student body.

In promoting healthy relationships with food and community, the Slow Food Friends project seeks to meet the needs of four interrelated organizations: Slow Food-UW, the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Quaker Housing Inc for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and the South Madison Farmer's Market. This campus-community partnership provides spaces for intergenerational and cross-cultural interaction while celebrating the many agricultural and environmental initiatives that exist within South Madison.

2010 Department of Geography Student Awards

Trewartha Honorary Lecture – April 30, 2010

Map Awards

Bricknell MapMichael Bricknell – Barbara Petchenik Memorial Graduate Award in Cartography Design: First Place

Wang MapPing Wang – Barbara Petchenik Memorial Graduate Award in Cartography Design: Second Place

Forrest MapMatt Forrest – Barbara Petchenik Memorial Undergraduate Award in Cartography Design: First Place

Ignatowski MapSimon Ignatowski – Barbara Petchenik Memorial Undergraduate Award in Cartography Design: Second Place

Graduate Research Awards

Trewartha Research Grant Awardees:

Dempsey receives Graduate Student Peer Mentor Award from the Grad Student Collaborative

Graduate student Kara Dempsey has received the Graduate Student Peer Mentor Award from the Grad Student Collaborative for 2010. This award honors graduate students who take the time to help others succeed in graduate school. Congratulations and thank you to Kara for her service to the department.

Jamie Stoltenberg receives College of L&S Early Career Award

April 20, 2010

Geography PicnicDepartment of Geography's Map & GIS Librarian Jamie Stoltenberg recently received the College of Letters and Science Early Career Award for academic staff. This award honors staff who have served 3-8 years and demonstrate outstanding performance in their positions, substantial promise of future contributions, a high degree of professionalism. Read more from Campus News

Congratulations Jamie!

UW-Madison AAG Party April 14th

April 14, 2010

map to One Lounge at 1606 20th St NWThe UW-Madison Department of Geography Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers Party in Washington D.C is on April 14th from 5 – 8pm at One Lounge located at 1606 20th St NW.

See a Google Map to the One Lounge

Call for Fall 2010 Geography TA applications

April 3, 2010

If you're interested in applying for Fall 2010 TA positions in the Geography department, please complete the online application form by Wednesday, April 21.

If you have questions, please contact Sharon Kahn.

Click here to take the survey for Geography TA applications.

Department-Wide Round Table on Work/Life Balance: Friday, March 19th

March 16, 2010

The Department of Geography will faciliate a department-wide discussion on Work/Life Balance on Friday, March 19th at 3:30pm in 175 Science Hall, in place of the Yi-Fu Tuan lecture.

Brenda Parker, Geography alumna and Assistant Professor from the University of Illinois, Chicago will facilitate the department-wide conversation and offer her own reflections as a published academic on the topic and as a mother (see her article linked below). Po-Yi Hung, Lisa Naughton, Matt Turner, and Jack Williams will also sit on the panel and offer reflections from their own experiences and the articles (linked below) to start us off.

The discussion is organized by Women in Geography (WIGs).

Related literature:

Geog Undergrad Colter J. Sikora Takes First in WLIA Thematic Map Category

March 4, 2010

Geography undergraduate student Colter J. Sikora won first prize for his map, entitled "The Rising Red River Valley" at this year's WLIA (Wisconsin Land Information Association) map contest. The map won the Thematic Map category.Colter Sikora Map

From the map: "The watershed of the Red River of the North in the north-central United States has undergone some of the most significant flooding in the country over the last two decades. Usually beginnning during the Spring snow melt, the general flooding season in the Red River Valley is pushed along by Spring rainfall and numerous other factors that reign across the local landscape."

GIS Certificate Student Michael Bricknell Sweeps WLIA Map Contests

March 3, 2010

GIS Certificate student Michael Bricknell won three first prize awards in the WLIA (Wisconsin Land Information Association) map contest. He won first place for the Small Format category with his map, "Balloon Bomb Incident.' And he took the Brochure and Best Student Map categories with "Discover the Mississippi Hills." Bricknell MapThe Balloon Bomb Incident map was the final project for Mark Harrower's Geography 370 in Fall 2009. The Mississippi River Hills map was done in conjunction with the MRH Association.

Michael is a GIS Certificate student and a student employee in the State Cartographer's Office. Congratulations to Michael, and to the department for helping bringing out the best in our very talented student body!

Grad Student Cooper Receives 2009 Rural Geography Research Grant

March 1, 2010

Mark CooperDepartment Graduate student Mark Cooper has been awarded the 2009 Rural Geography Specialty Group Student Research Grant. The award will be presented in Washington D.C. and the Annual Meeting of the AAG. The award supports research related to important topics of discussion or debate in rural geography.

The grant will support interview-based fieldwork that, seeks to 1) analyze how farmers' attitudes toward climate change and their perception of a responsibility to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gas emissions differs from their attitudes and practices for other environmental issues and, 2) understand the effects of new market-based climate policy instruments and the ways in which the cultural, social, and economic conditions of agricultural production mediate the environmental behaviors and practices of farmers.

Congratulations Mark!

Cronon to Deliver Talk on Sustainability: March 3rd

February 25, 2010

Bill CrononProf. Bill Cronon will give a talk for the Center for the Humanities titled, "The Riddle of Sustainability: Pondering the Environmental Past to Imagine the Human Future."

Cronon is Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies.

The talk will be at 5:30pm on March 3rd in the Chazen Museum of Art, L160 (Elvehjem Building).

Grad Student Neely Displays "Faces and Places" Photo Exhibit Through CHE at Bradley Memorial

February 18, 2010

Faces and Places is an exhibit that celebrates the people and the places of the Pholela region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It explores the meanings of "place" through the faces of Pholela's residents and through the words they use to describe their favorite places. The exhibit is on display on the first floor of Bradley Memorial (click for map to Bradley Memorial).

Below are a few examples of the photos on display:

Yenzokuhle in dog housePortrait of Yenzokuhle


Khanyile in front of the gravePortrait of Venencia Khanyile


Nonkanyiso Radede


While conducting dissertation research in Pholela Abby began work on a side photo project. She settled on the concept of "faces and places" for two reasons. First, understanding place is fundamental to her academic work. She seized an opportunity to explore the meaning of place both with the camera and through the words of local people. Second, "Faces and Places" (which will also be a web site) provides a unique way to introduce people to Pholela, thereby helping to raise funds for an NGO Abby is creating to support community projects in the area. (For more information see: www.pholelatrust.org)

Grad Student Muellerleile Awarded Research Grant from EGSG

February 11, 2010

Chris Muellerleile has been awarded a research grant for his work on financial derivatives and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission by the Economic Geography Specialty Group of the AAG.

Chris is studying the political economy of Chicago to understand the role the city played in the development of modern financial derivatives and state regulation of those derivatives between 1972 and 1985. His research also investigates the seemingly contradictory functions of state financial regulation and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): limiting and controlling the capitalist enterprise while often lending socio-political legitimacy and protection to particular firms and industries. This analysis will clarify Chicago's role in the (de)institutionalization of derivatives trading and contribute more generally to a spatialized regulation theory.

Chris will deliver a talk at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual meeting in Washington D.C. on April 17th in a paper session titled Marketization and its discontents.

Congratulations Chris!

Thursday, 11 February: Grad Student Neely Presents Research at Land Tenure Center Spring Discussion Series

February 9, 2010

Abby NeelyOn Thursday Ph.D. student in Geography Abby Neely will give a talk, titled "How can history inform present-day health policy and practice in South Africa?"

Her research involves a critical examination of KwaZulu-Natal's Pholela Community Health Centre in the 1940s and 1950s, first as a successful case study, second as shaping long-term local practices, and third as a single input into a rich local system of understanding.

She argues that careful study of this history can help us better understand local realities and craft more effective policies and interventions. The presentation will be followed by discussion.

Geography Department Staff Helps Build Campus-wide Geospatial Science Network

January 30, 2010

SIACThe Department of Geography recently helped re-launch the UW Spatial Information & Analysis Consortium (SIAC) website in an effort to strengthen the network of faculty, staff and students working in the area of geographic information science (GIScience) on campus. Staff from the State Cartographer's Office, Robinson Map Library, Cartographic Laboratory, and GIS Certificate Program hope these efforts will foster greater interaction, information sharing, and collaboration among resident geospatial professionals.

The site highlights the many diverse geospatial resources available at UW-Madison and – though designed to enhance intra-campus communication – will also help those outside the University get a better understanding of the type of research, teaching, and outreach at UW-Madison. Faculty and staff at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Departments of Landscape Architecture and Space Science & Engineering are also contributing to the effort.

Explore the site to find the various centers and offices developing or utilizing geospatial technologies. Of particular utility for studens is a comprehensive listing and description of GIS, Remote Sensing and GPS coursework offered through ten departments on campus. SIAC is planning a GIScience Summit in March to discuss how interdisciplinary coordination and support of geospatial activities and research on campus can be improved.

UW Geography Allumnus Named New Editor for the Annals of the AAG

January 25, 2010

Mark FonstadThe Association of American Geographers announced the appointment of Prof. Mark Fonstad (Texas State University) as the new Environmental Sciences section editor of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Dr. Fonstad, born in Neenah, Wisconsin, received a B.S. in Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995. His research covers the physical geography of rivers, the fusion of physical geography with geographic information science, geomorphology, hydrology, and remote sensing. Current research projects have focused on the high-resolution remote sensing of river habitats, modeling of river dynamics and ecotones, and work on the upcoming NASA SWOT satellite mission.

Read more of Mark Fonstad's full biography.

Thursday, December 17th – Geographic Vignettes of the Rock River Basin: An Undergraduate Symposium

December 16, 2009

Please join the Department of Geography for this undergraduate student symposium in 180 Science Hall on Thursday, December 17th.

4:00 to 6:15 PM

7:00 to 9:00 PM

UW-Madison Cartographers Contribute to Release of High-quality Free Map Data

December 3, 2009

Screenshot of Natural Earth WebsiteAn effort to create an amazing set of geospatial data was led over the past six months by Nathaniel Kelso of the Washington Post and Tom Patterson of the National Park Service. These data are now freely available and creating excitement throughout the cartographic community. The total amount of time invested in this project exceeds thousands of hours and includes contributors from several countries, including many experts on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Principle contributors from UW-Madison include Assistant Director the the Cartographic Laboratory Tanya Buckingham and Bill Buckingham of the Applied Population Lab. Grudate students Sarah Bennett and Ben Coakley, undergraduate student Kevin McGrath, and former Department of Geography GIS-certificate student Rozalynn Klass all helped with the research and production cartography.

Mammoth Study by Graduate Student Jacquelyn Gill and Team Attracts Global News Coverage

November 20, 2009

A study published in Science led by UW-Madison Department of Geography graduate student Jacquelyn Gill has attracted local, national, and global news coverage. Co-authored with John W. Williams, Stephen T. Jackson, Katherine B. Lininger, and Guy S. Robinson, the study analyzes dung fungus Sporormiella to establish the megafaunal decline predated Younger Dryas cooling, enhanced fire regimes, and the proposed extraterrestrial impact event.

Read the full text of the article in Science, "Pleistocene Megafaunal Collapse, Novel Plant Communities, and Enhanced Fire Regimes in North America". The study was picked up and covered by various news outlets:

GIS Day Expo – Friday, November 20th

October 21, 2009

student at GIS ExpoOn Friday, November 20th the Department of Geography will host a GIS Day Expo in the Memorial Union from 9-3. GIS Day is an international day of education about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geography. Over 40 organizations will share how they are using GIS for management, decision-making, planning, spatial analysis, mapping and education. Of course this includes remote sensing, cartography and related geospatial technologies. Over 300 people are expected to attend.

We invite your organization or department to participate in this outreach event to share your GIS research, applications or resources with the UW campus community and general public! Of course, this includes remote sensing, cartography and peripheral technologies such as GPS. Participation is free!

There are many ways to be involved. You can hold a booth, give a presentation (there are two tracks planned for general and professional audiences), submit to the map gallery, hold a special interactive activity, or all of the above! We are particularly interested in showcasing GIS applications in the areas of public health and alternative energy this year.

This event will be advertised and open to the general public but we will also do targeted outreach. The youth education this year will focus on high school kids. Other target groups are the UW campus, the state legislature, non-profit organization, and K-12 educators.

If you are interested, please fill out and return the participant form to Karen Tuerk at kstuerk@wisc.edu.

Read more about the GIS Day Expo at UW-Madison.

MadGeogNews – Issue 69, 2008-2009

October 17, 2009

cover of MadGeogNews Issue 69MadGeogNews Issue 69, which covers news updates and stories from the Department of Geography and Science Hall from summer of 2008 through the summer of 2009, is now available for download.

This issue features stories and articles, many of which are not previously available in the online news, contributed by Science Hall faculty, staff, students, alumni, and emeriti. New department Chair Prof. Bob Kaiser welcomes readers with the traditional "letter from the Chair."

Prof. Emeritus William Denevan initiated, named, and edited the first MadGeogNews in November, 1981.

This issue of MadGeogNews was compiled and designed by Ph.D student and department webmaster Richard Donohue.

Prof. Bill Cronon Stars in PBS Special The National Parks

October 9, 2009

Bill CrononProf. Bill Cronon – Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at UW-Madison – recently starred in a Ken Burns' PBS special, The National Parks.

Drawing on a career dedicated to thinking about the relationships between humans, Nature, and the American landscape – as well as his early childhood experiences visiting America's National Parks – Cronon delighted audiences around the country with his insightful and eloquent stories of US history.

Read the Ithmus article, "UW Prof. Bill Cronon stars in Ken Burns' The National Parks on PBS".

Also, view excerpts of the episodes from the PBS special The National Parks.

UW Geography Alumni to Give Talks on Campus

October 7, 2009

Diener talk flierOn Thursday October 8th at 4 pm, Alex Diener, (Ph.D., 2003) will give a talk entitled "One Homeland or Two: The Nationalization and Transnationalization of Mongolia's Kazakhs" in 206 Ingraham Hall (please see this pdf for Diener's talk at the CREECA Lecture Series.

Alex will also meet with undergrads, grads and anyone else wishing to talk with him informally about his doctoral and postdoctoral experiences, and careers in geography. This informal talk will be in 450 Science Hall beginning 12:15 on Friday, Oct. 9.

Karen Till (Ph.D., 1996) will be speaking on campus at the 42nd Wisconsin Workshop, The Wall Came Down: On the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. This event will be fron November 5-7, 2009 the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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Prof. Joe Mason's Dune Research Highlighted in UW-Madison News and NSF

October 6, 2009

Joe MasonProf. Joe Mason's research into the dunefields along the desert margin of northern China have gained the attention of both the UW-Madison News and the NSF. Mason investigates changes in the extent of the mobile dunes over the past few decades using remote sensing, in addition to reconstructing similar changes over millennial timescales using geologic evidence.

Prof. Mason delivered a talk on this research this past February for the Yi-Fu Tuan Lecture Series.

Po-Yi Hung Awarded 2009 Young Scholar Award of China Times Cultural Foundation

October 6, 2009

Po-Yi HungGraduate student Po-Yi Hung has been awarded the 2009 Young Scholar Award of China Times Cultural Foundation. It is an award to support his dissertation research about tea, road, and place-making in southwest China. China Times Cultural Foundation, founded in 1986, has been supporting Chinese studies in humanities and social sciences over 20 years. For the Young Scholar Award, applicants must enroll in a university in the US or Canada with an approved doctoral dissertation prospectus. Scholarships are in the amount of US$5,000 each. They are awarded on the basis of scholastic achievement without regard to nationality. Since 1986, over 150 young scholars have been supported by the foundation to conduct their research in Taiwan and China.

Read more about Po-Yi's research into Constructing Landscape for Post-Socialist Development: Transnational Tea Trade, State Governance, and Ethnic Minorities in Southwest China

Hmong Studies Faculty Vacancy at UW-Madison

October 4, 2009

Applications are being accepted for an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) of Hmong studies for the College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The candidate, irrespective of field, should have a current or developing specialization in Hmong studies in Southeast Asia and/or adjacent regions. Duties include teaching and research regarding Hmong studies in Southeast Asia and/or adjacent regions. The successful candidate will develop active collaborative work in the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and be a full participating member of his or her home department.

Please do not hesitate to contact Michael Cullinane (Email: mmcullin@wisc.edu; Tel: 608-263-1755) or Kris Olds (Email: kolds@wisc.edu; Tel: 608-262-5685) if you have any queries about this vacancy.

Geographer Dr. Raleigh to give talk on Climate Change and Conflict: Myths, Facts, and Futures

September 16, 2009

flier for Raleigh talkPlease join the Human Rights Initiative and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first in a series of lectures on climate change and human rights. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Clionadh Raleigh is an assistant professor of Geography and Politics at Trinity College in Dublin. She writes extensively on the patterns and processes of war in developing states, with a particular focus on environmental factors and Africa. She received her BA in Geography from UW-Madison in 2000.

Geography Open House – September 25, 2009

September 15, 2009

Science HallWe warmly welcome alumni and friends of Geography to visit the Department on Friday 25 September for a relaxed Open House. We're sprucing up the halls of Science Hall, and invite you to do any or all of the following:

There is no need to RSVP; all alumni, friends, and friends of friends are welcome!

Download the Geography Open House postcard.

It is worth noting that this is an ideal time to visit Madison. The Open House is on, of course, as are several public talks by the famous author Michael Pollan. In particular:

The Badgers are playing Michigan State University on Saturday, and some of you might already know about the Bascom Hill Society's various events between 25-26 September.

Geography Picnic – Friday, September 11th

September 5, 2009

Group Shot of Spring 09 PicnicThe Department of Geography Fall picnic will be held Friday, September 11th at Tenney Park starting at 5pm. Tenny Park is located at 1254 Sherman Ave, Madison, WI.

The Department will supply grilled meat and vegetables, beer, and other refreshing beverages. Participants are encouraged to bring a potluck item to share, as well as partners, friends, and family members.

Department Welcomes New Graduate Students to Department

August 31, 2009

New 2009 Graduate StudentsFaculty, staff, instructors, and students gathered on the 3rd floor of Science Hall to welcome a new class of graduates to the department. Sixteen students begin their work in geography this semester: 6 physical geographers, 6 human geographers, 3 people-environment, and 1 in cartography/GIS.

The welcome party culminated with a special presentation on the history of Science Hall by David Null, Director of the University Archive.

Learn about new and current graduate students in UW-Madison's Department of Geography.

Jing Gao Awarded Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship

August 29, 2009

Jing GaoGraduate student Jing Gao has been awarded the Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship from Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA).

The Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA) established the Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund to help students working toward a degree related to land information (such as geographic information systems, geography, and urban planning). The scholarship is funded through donations to the fund from private individuals, organizations, and other funding activities of WLIA. Two scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each are distributed by the WLIA Board of Directors and includes a one year student membership and free registration to the 2010 WLIA Annual Conference.

Science Hall Welcomes State Cartographer Howard Veregin

August 25, 2009

Howard VereginDr. Howard Veregin has been selected as the next State Cartographer for Wisconsin. Howard takes over for Ted Koch, who retired in early July of this year.

Howard received his PhD from the University of California - Santa Barbara, and held a faculty position in cartography at the University of Minnesota before joining Rand McNally in 2000, where he was Director of their GIS division. In his message to faculty, staff, and students of the Department, Chair of the Department Prof. Kaiser explained that "(Howard) is excited to be back in an academic setting, and the State Cartographer's Office will benefit greatly from his years and diversity of experience."

Watch the State Cartographer's Office "Mapping Bulletin" newsletter at news.sco.wisc.edu for a full biographical sketch of Howard and his new role in the Geography Department.

Harris to Manage Science Hall IT

August 1, 2009

Suzanne HarrisThe department welcomes Suzanne Harris to Science Hall as our new IT Manager. Suzanne replaces Paul Gunther who took a new position in January with the College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS) as IT Manager for Russell Labs.

No stranger to the UW-Madison, Suzanne comes to us from the School of Nursing where she was Coordinator of Technology Services for the last 8 years. A native of Wauwatosa, Suzanne has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the UW-LaCrosse and a received her Master's in Biological Anthropology from the UW-Madison in 1991. She has been involved in computer support both as an employee and consultant since 1988, including 6 years with the WI State Historical Society.

Alice Halfen Welcomed as New Department Administrator

August 1, 2009

Alice Halfen joins us from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (downstairs in Science Hall). Before serving as the Nelson Institute's Payroll and Benefit's Specialist, she spent several years working in Human Resources for the private sector. "I feel right at home here. Geography runs in the family as I was a geography undergraduate at the UW-Eau Claire, and met my husband in the Cartography Lab there." Both Alice's husband Fred and son Alan are geography graduates.