Geography & Environmental Studies Alumni Newsletter Fall 2013

Welcome Dr. Someyah Dodge & Dr. Teaho Kim
GES welcomes visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Someyah Dodge and visiting researcher Dr. Teaho Kim. Dr. Dodge is currently teaching Internet GIS and Geovisualization courses. Her research explores movement patterns in relation to the environment and the underlying geographic context. As a part of her research to date, she has developed knowledge discovery methods for exploring similarities and patterns in movements of dynamic agents (e.g. humans, vehicles, animals) and spatio-temporal processes (e.g. hurricanes). Her research has been published in international journals such as International Journal of Geographic Information Science (IJGIS), Movement Ecology, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, and Information Visualization.

Dr. Kim visits the department from Department of Geography Education, Jeju National University, Korea. Dr. Kim’s research interests include periglacial processes and landform development in alpine regions, and soil erosion and landscape changes in sub-alpine grasslands. During his research visit he will be examining alpine and subalpine trails within Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) with a specific focus on trail erosion.

Iron Curtain Trail Research Trip
Dr. Havlick is currently on sabbatical and in his own words below describes some of the research activities he has been undertaking.

I recently returned from two weeks bicycling along the former borderlands of eastern and western Europe, 1200 km from Bratislava, Slovakia to Rasdorf in central Germany. Since the Iron Curtain lifted in 1990, the former deathstrip that divided Europe has increasingly been recognized as valuable greenspace and a means by which to foster a more unified European identity. National parks and biosphere reserves now line the area once fortified with barbed wire, high voltage fencing, and guard towers, and the European Union has formally sanctioned an Iron Curtain bicycle route that runs 6800 km from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea.

Having studied certain transitions of militarized space into spaces of conservation here in the U.S. for more than a decade, I was curious to explore how similar transformations are being negotiated in this part of Europe. I’m still working to put what I found into context, but was very much struck by the creative use of art, particularly in sculpture, to provoke thought, commemorate, and reclaim what for more than four decades were heavily militarized zones that divided Europe. Biking through these lands also brought to the fore what was often lost beneath the grand geopolitical sweep of the Iron Curtain: this was a trans-European barrier, but at a human scale it was a physical, political, and economic rift that separated neighbors and communities incrementally with the imposition of ever more elaborate, and seemingly permanent, barriers. Having traveled behind the Iron Curtain in 1985, I constantly marveled that today it is all but invisible and largely faded from view, or emerging in new form as parklands, farm fields, and regenerating forests.

Colloquia, events and presentations
This semester two events cosponsored by GES will be held on campus and open to all.
  • The first is a presentation by Jennifer Stark. Jennifer is the Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office, Pueblo. She will give a presentation titled ‘Where’s Waldo?’ which will focus on the Waldo Canyon burn scar and forecasting a flash flood. This event will take place at 1pm in the University Center (room 302), on Friday, October 25, 2013.
  • The second event will be a presentation by Myron Gutmann, University of Michigan, former Assistant Director of NSF. Myron will present on Friday, December 13, 2013. The time and location are to be determined, please check the department website for updates.
GES also welcomed Dr. Sean Ahearn, Professor of Geography at the Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Ahearn’s guest presentation “Representation, maintenance and visualization of the knowledge domain of Geographic Information Science and Technology” was given October 16, 2013.

Dr. Curt Holder presented “Effects of leaf hydrophobicity and water droplet retention on rainfall interception” at the AAG Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division Regional Meeting.

Dane Vogel Memorial Scholarship
UCCS and the Vogel family are proud to award the annual Dane M. Vogel Memorial Scholarship to a worthy recipient. The Dane Vogel Memorial Scholarship is available to declared Geography and Environmental Studies (GES) majors at the sophomore or higher level. This is a merit-based award, designed to honor the spirit of Dane Vogel. As such, applicants must demonstrate strength of character and be well-rounded in terms of academic and social skills. For more information on Dane Vogel and specifics regarding scholarship applications please see the department website.

Student Kudos
  • GES is excited to welcome the following new graduate students who have this fall semester begun working towards their Masters of Applied Geography: Ryan Bouton, Jeremy Tredway, Jillian Moore, Kami McFall, Dustin Knaus, Melissa Greenleaf, Shiloh Benton, Wyatt Norris.
  • James Law received the outstanding Letters Arts and Science Social Science award in Spring 2013.
  • GES student, Katie Fagundes, and students from Health Sciences contributed to the success of the Heller Student Garden and Market. The Student Garden offers a space and opportunity for the UCCS community to engage in sustainable agriculture.
  • Six GES students attended the AAG Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division Regional Meeting, held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, October 10-12, 2013. Student engagement in this professional meeting was made possible by funding from the UCCS student government.
  • Congratulations to the winner of the best student poster award - Vanessa Ferona and Josh Hendrickson.

Alumni News
We are proud of our recent graduates and their newly acquired positions / endeavors.
    • Jessica Nichols graduated in Spring 2013, and accepted a position as GIS Technician at City of Del Rio, Texas.
    • Emily Freeh, also a spring 2013 graduate, is employing her geospatial technology knowledge in her new position contracted with Boeing as an Engineering Tech Support Specialist.
    • Josh Hendrickson, a recent BA graduate and current GES graduate student accepted a position in Denver as the Assistant to the Director, Slow Food Denver.
    • Lisa Howell recently began working as a GIS Analyst/Appraiser, Williamson Central Appraisal District, Georgetown, Texas.
    • Devin O’Toole is currently employed as an Imagery Technician at Sanborn, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    • Matt Sidor is utilizing LiDAR related skills in his new position as Transportation Planner at Caltrans, Sacramento, California.
    • Peter Walke has been selected as a 2013-2015 Empire State Fellow. The Empire State Fellows program attracts diverse talent into the New York State government. During the fellowship participants will work in the policy making process and engage in professional development programs. Peter earned his Masters of Applied Geography in Spring 2013.

Geography Awareness Week 2013
Each year more than 100,000 Americans actively participate in Geography Awareness Week (GeoWeek). Established by presidential proclamation more than 25 years ago, this annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP) encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it. GeoWeek is celebrated the third week of every November, and this year is November 17th – 23rd.

To celebrate GeoWeek, the Colorado Geographic Alliance (COGA), along with the UCCS GeoClub will be putting on a GeoQuiz night on Tuesday, November 19th from 6 – 8 pm in Berger Hall on the UCCS Campus. Open to all ages, from pre-K through college graduates, this night will challenge your family’s knowledge of geography for a chance to win prizes. Refreshments are provided courtesy of the Flying Carrot and the Green Action Fund. Bring yourself, your kids, or your whole geography class for a night of geo-FUN!

Learn more about how to promote Geography Awareness online.

Connecting with GES
GES is now on Facebook, visit us here for department and discipline related news.

Quick Links

Department of Geography & Environmental Studies | P: 719-255-4054
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

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