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GEOSPECTRUM news from the department of geography 2017


WELCOME I am pleased to kick off this latest edition of our departmental newsletter. There have been many great advances in the past year, including newly renovated space, and additional faculty and students. We’ve experianced great success with our GIS major, so much so that we are adding sections to provide the classes in the sequence needed by our students. Geography is also delighted to welcome Nancy Coscia as our undergraduate advisor and she brings considerable experience to guiding students towards their degree. We are fortunate to have two new faculty recruited to the department: Dr. Madhumita Dutta and Dr. Zhengyu Liu. More on them inside! We are nearing the completion of the first step in the creation of an innovation lab for undergraduates to be named the Gary and Connie Sharpe Innovation Commons. The room is equipped in ways that support the aspirations and wishes of our undergraduates, and has facilities to practice video broadcast and allow for a clustering of effort around innovative ideas. We are truly appreciative of Gary and


Connie’s generous support. The next phase will add to this space by incorporating further rooms. There are many other points of pride including our vibrant relationship with the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC) and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA). Several faculty and staff have been active in development of an enhanced State Climatology Office, lead by Bryan Mark. I could not be more proud of the extensive efforts made by all our staff members to take the lead in producing this great newsletter. Inside you will find details on many of our initiatives and news of awards and recognitions. I hope you find items of great interest.

Morton O’Kelly Professor & Chair Department of Geography



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Cover Image by Emily Sambuco, Master’s student


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Rachel Beery is a first-generation student from Appalachia, Ohio (Chillicothe). A fourth-year geography major, Beery has made it her mission to travel to learn about other cultures and other people. She has traveled to Ireland, Costa Rica, India (twice), Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia. Beery was selected for a prestigious internship with National Geographic her third year and last summer, she spent eight weeks in India working on two research projects; one for Geography Professor Elisabeth Root and her own original project.

Sylvander is exploring these issues in the context of Nicaragua’s Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, where she is conducting mixed-method fieldwork with the financial support of a National Science Foundation DDRI grant and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.


She is collaborating with indigenous Mayangna organizations, mestizo peasants, and the local URACCAN university to incorporate their data needs and viewpoints into the research design. She is hoping that this collaboration helps to establish spaces for dialogue and to identify the often shared experiences of marginalization and dispossession.

Doctoral candidate Nora Sylvander spent several months in Nicaragua, investigating land and natural resource conflicts between indigenous people and non-indigenous “mestizo” migrants. These conflicts have recently received a lot of attention from the media and scholars alike, who tend to frame the often violent territorial disputes as inter-ethnic clashes between two incompatible cultures. Most narratives blame mestizo peasants for violating indigenous rights and for environmental


destruction. The ultimate ‘solution’ is to expel mestizos from indigenous territories – the so-called saneamiento. Sylvander’s research to date shows that this is a simplistic and dangerous approach. Drawing from political ecology and cultural politics, she is using field visits, interviews, surveys, and census data to explore the ways in which the conflicts are in fact deeply embedded in the broader historical and politicaleconomic processes that have shaped land and resource use in Nicaragua.

Sylvander knows Nicaragua well. Prior to starting her PhD, she lived in the country for two years, and became fascinated by the ways in which communities coped with the complexity surrounding land and natural resource governance. Her dissertation research gave her a chance to return to those communities and work more closely with them in their territorial struggles. She was based primarily in the mining town of Siuna, and conducted fieldwork through August.

Why did you choose to major in geography? When I first came to Ohio State, I wanted to major in international studies – my goal was to travel across the world. Then, I took Professor Coleman’s Making of the Modern World class and I immediately switched majors! This is such a unique field. Geography puts multiple perspectives on any issue. Describe your internship with National Geographic. I was one of four geography interns working in the Education Department. I helped develop educational activities, lessons, media and online course content. I did some research, tracked

deliverables and timelines and provided feedback. The content we created goes on, the website that teachers can go to and use the content for free since we are a nonprofit organization. I was part of events such as the National Geography Bee, a geography trivia competition for kids’ in grades 4 to 8 competing for a $50,000 scholarship. Describe your research work in India. I was responsible for helping map an area and connect it to the census for Professor Root. The project centered around where and how to implement health initiatives. For my own project, I developed a survey to analyze the

Jake Carr is a PhD candidate and distinguished university fellow. His dissertation, “Retail Choice, Consumer Spaces, and Dynamics in the Spatial Organization of the Goods and Services Sector,” explores new spatial analytical techniques to identify significant agglomerations of consumer goods and services firms.


Carr assesses the spatial organization of the consumer retail sector in Ohio by point pattern methods. He finds that the industry exhibits significant agglomerative tendencies over a range of scales, though concentration of the sector is the strongest at the shortest scales, with rapid attenuation of concentration with distance. Specifically, the most fascinating scales of agglomeration appear to be between zero and 10 miles, with the strongest concentrations occurring at five miles or less. Most importantly, these tendencies are strong, even after controlling for the effects of the underlying distribution of population. The strongest agglomerations identified provide insights into the landscape of consumption possibilities across Ohio. That landscape is highly variable, as some areas offer many more

impact of climate change on women’s’ reproductive choices. I was able to interview approximately 70 women. Why do you think research is a valuable experience? It’s one thing to study an issue in the classroom and quite another to see it up close and first-hand. The project I did in India really shaped my ideas about field work and the need to be involved in the world. It showed me that I want to make an impact. What are you plans after graduation in May 2018? I have applied for a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in fall 2018 in Malaysia.

consumption opportunities than others. Also, even in large urban areas, like Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati, the hinterlands saw noticeable contractions in their respective consumer economies over the most recent economic downturn. It is evident that places with strong bases of consumer support are also those that are most likely to effectively absorb the shocks of business cycles. Carr has accepted a position as assistant director of research in the Enterprise Risk Solutions (ERS) department for Moody’s Analytics, at their San Francisco headquarters. This is the first-ever position with a specific geospatial analytics focus at Moody’s. It is also Moody’s first hire toward the development of a fully-integrated quantitative spatial analytics unit within ERS. He earned a master’s in applied statistics on the way to a PhD in geography, and has capitalized on prior experience in risk assessment in competing for this new job.



Connecting Farmers to Real-Time Weather

Climate change poses a major challenge to Ohio agriculture. Our goal is to connect Ohioans with weather and climate information necessary to improve lives. -Bryan Mark


Longer growing seasons. More frequent and intense severe weather. Wetter summers. Longer droughts. False springs and milder winters. Who tracks what, and how do we get the information to the people who need it the most? The new State Climate Office of Ohio (SCOO), a team of researchers, educators, climatologists and meteorologists with more than 25 years of experience and expertise from Ohio State’s Department of Geography and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC), now serves as the steward of climate data and education, research and outreach for the people of Ohio. “Having access to accurate climate information is critical for farmers, regional planners, policy makers and all sectors of Ohio’s economy,” said Bryan Mark, professor of geography and Ohio’s new state climatologist. “It directly impacts quality of life, health, food and water security.” The new SCOO team includes Jim DeGrand, assistant state climatologist and senior researcher, Department of Geography; Jason Cervenec, education and outreach director, BPCRC; Aaron Wilson, senior research associate, BPCRC-OSU Extension; Andy Londo, assistant director, agriculture and natural resources, OSU Extension; Steve Quiring, professor of geography and atmospheric sciences; Wesley Haines, alumnus and meteorologist; and Jeff Rogers, professor emeritus of geography, and former Ohio state climatologist. “With this new office, we will greatly expand our agricultural weather outreach, enhance reporting of key data to individual farmers, planners and local officials, and mobilize resources on campus, across the state and within the region to address climate change in Ohio,” said Mark. Last year, Mark was awarded $45,000 from OSU Extension, in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Ohio State’s Office of Energy and Environment and Office of Outreach and Engagement to develop a multiplatform prototype tool consisting of the FARM (Fertilizer Application and Resource Monitor) mobile and web app and climate database, which the SCOO team debuted at the 2017 Farm Science Review, one of the nation’s premier agricultural trade and education shows. “This tool will provide farmers with the real-time weather and climate information needed to assess and plan field applications, better comply with state regulations and reduce nutrient runoff to streams,” Mark said.

The partnership between SCOO and OSU Extension — a statewide network with a presence in all 88 counties — provides invaluable guidance to farmers. Together, they coordinate drought and flood monitoring that directly impacts the agricultural cycle and work to develop a streamlined approach to collecting field soil conditions that will aid in the creation and dissemination of drought and precipitation information across Ohio. “If farmers are prepared to adapt to climate changes, they can become more resilient, able to prosper despite the challenges, Wilson said. “The more that climate scientists can work with farmers — and each has expertise to bring to the table — the more we can make connections so that farmers can make informed decisions about the future,” Wilson said.

Geographer Develops Go-To Power Outage Forecasts Ohio State Department of Geography Professor Steven Quiring is the guy the government relies on to know where the power will go out and for how long during monster storms. Quiring — along with Seth Guikema, University of Michigan associate professor of industrial and operations engineering, and Brent McRoberts, postdoctoral researcher in environmental sciences at Texas A&M — has been developing power outage forecasts for a decade. They’re the ones that Homeland Security, the Department of Energy and emergency management agencies call when putting together preparation plans for massive outages. Their model accurately predicted that Superstorm Sandy would knock out power for nearly 10 million people in 2012. He helped Texas and federal officials prepare for Hurricane Harvey, in August. In 12 years, he said he never saw a storm such as Harvey. “Hurricane Harvey did not behave like a normal or traditional hurricane,” Quiring said. “The problem was the water has nowhere to go and wouldn’t stop. That’s what kept more than a million in the dark.” To make the forecasts, the team develop a predictive model that begins with the National Hurricane Center’s weather forecast and uses data like population density, tree cover and soil moisture levels to calculate the probability of a power outage in a given area. The power outage model also considers the maximum three-second wind gust at each census tract, as well as how long they can expect winds in a particular area to stay above 45 mph. “When we know the track and the intensity of the storm, our forecasts are pretty accurate,” Quiring said. Quiring specializes in computational modeling, data analytics, climatology and hydroclimatology. His current research projects are concentrated in two areas: improving our understanding of the land-atmosphere interactions and applying this information to improve drought and seasonal climate predictability and modeling the impact of weather events on power infrastructure. “Solving these problems requires the application of a variety of data mining, machine learning and data analytics approaches,” explained Quiring. Quiring’s models are part of a larger project that aims to predict the probability of power outages from a wide variety of events, including less severe but more frequent incidents like thunderstorms, heatwaves and blizzards.



Appointments Darla Munroe has been asked to join the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Land Programme (GLP) for a three-year term. Morton O’Kelly has been appointed to the standing committee on the Aviation Economics and Forecasting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The board is one of seven program units of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Ola Ahlqvist was promoted to professor with research interests that include semantic uncertainty and formal ontology in analysis of land cover change, landscape history, and visualization; how online maps, social media, and games form a nexus for spatial collaboration, social-environmental simulation, and decision making; and servicelearning in cartography together with Columbus community partners.

Harvey Miller has been appointed chair of the Mapping Sciences Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The committee organizes and oversees National Research Council studies that provide independent advice to society and to government at all levels, on geospatial science, technology and policy. He will also join the leadership team for the Sustainable and Resilient Economy initiative, a part of Ohio State’s Discovery Themes Initiative.

Desheng Liu has been appointed as the associate editor for the journal, Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS), the official journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing PE&RS is a highly respected journal in the field of imaging and geospatial information science and technology.

Joel Wainwright was promoted to professor. His current research interests include political economy, development, social theory and environmental change.

Dan Sui was chosen to be the new chair for IGU’s GIScience Commission - a four-year term. This is an important platform to promote GIScience on the international scene.

Mat Coleman, Bryan Mark and Ningchuan Xiao are currently serving on the editorial board of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, the AAG flagship journal.


New Faculty Steven Quiring joined the department in fall 2016 with research interests in hydroclimatology, synoptic climatology and applying climate data to solve societallyrelevant problems (climate data analytics). His current research projects are concentrated in two areas; improving understanding of the land-atmosphere interactions and applying this information to improve drought and seasonal climate predictability. Second is modeling the impact of weather events on power infrastructure. Previous focus had been on the impacts of hurricanes on the power system but is now expanding that focus to thunderstorms and winter storms. Madhumita Dutta who joined the department in fall 2017, is part of a new cluster of faculty members to increase faculty diversity and promote research and teaching on topics prevalent in race, ethnicity, gender/sex and disparities in modern society. She will focus on social geography with particular focus on urban issues and an emphasis in areas such as social justice, inequality, race, gender or sexuality. Dutta received her PhD from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom and most recently held the prestigious position of postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Global Workers’ Rights in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Pennsylvania State University. Zhengyu Liu also joined the department in fall 2017 as the new Robert Max Thomas Professorship in Meteorology/ Climatology. Liu’s research interests include oceanatmosphere-land interaction and climate dynamics, dynamics of oceanic circulation, Paleoclimate modeling and Earth system modeling. He comes to us from the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Recognition Becky Mansfield is a recipient of this year’s Huber Faculty Fellowship. This award, named for former SBS Dean Joan Huber recognizes scholars in the social and behavioral sciences for their outstanding efforts.

Bryan Mark was the recipient of the Martha L. Corry Faculty Fellowship, for his considerable contributions to the department and most notably his role as Ohio’s State Climatologist. This honor has been deservedly earned as Mark has risen through the ranks here at Ohio State. The endowment supports this award and runs through June 2021.

Ken Madsen was awarded the Brown Faculty Fellow which supports the enhancement of scholarship of each individual named as a fellow.

Faculty Publications The fourth edition of Health and Medical Geography, by Michael Emch, Elisabeth Dowling Root and Margaret Carrell has been published by Guilford Press. The fourth edition of the leading text in the field has been updated and reorganized to cover the latest developments in disease ecology and health promotion across the globe. Kevin Cox’s new book, The Politics of Urban and Regional Development and the American Exception, has been published by Syracuse University Press. The book is an in-depth exploration of the politics of regional urban development, contrasting the United States with the countries of Western Europe.



The Gary and Connie Sharpe Geography Innovation Commons With a generous gift from Gary (BA, geography, 1970) and Connie (BS, nursing, 1969) Sharpe, the Department of Geography has embarked on journey to bring hands-on learning and innovation to students. The Gary and Connie Sharpe Geography Innovation Commons, will be a hub for new ideas and student engagement, cross-disciplinary partnership and new technology.

with funds from the Gary L. Sharpe Scholarship Fund in Geography. This scholarship provides funds for undergraduate students in geography with preference given to students from the state of Ohio.

“The Gary and Connie Sharpe Geography Innovation Commons will stand as a model for cutting-edge research, leadership in the field, and student and faculty engagement,” said Morton O’Kelly, professor and department chair.

“Innovation and ideas come from everywhere,” said Gary Sharpe. “You cannot be afraid to try and you cannot be afraid to fail. We want this space to be a place where students and faculty can come together and share and strategize and innovate. That’s how you move forward.”

On September 25, the Sharpes joined faculty and students in the department for a ribbon-cutting ceremony as Phase I of the Innovation Commons was unveiled. The multipurpose room includes state-of-the-art technology for broadcast recording, breakout space for collaboration and integrated equipment to engage with colleagues across universities. The space is not only functional but relevant and adaptable to changing technology and tools that is imperative to advancing student education, research and marketability. “Both Connie and I are deeply committed to supporting new and innovative ways of thinking, of solving problems,” said Gary Sharpe. “We believe that the Innovation Commons will help to advance student education and research with the goal to stay not only relevant, but to innovate, create and guide the discipline forward.” Phase Two will include additional space renovations for dedicated processors, 3D printers and collaboration space to bring the different disciplines of geography together. Gary Sharpe is the founder and owner of Health Care Logistics (HCL), a company he set up in a spare bedroom in in house in 1978. Today, the company’s a multimillion-dollar enterprise with four warehouses in the United States and one in England, all filled with unique or hard-to-find health care products. In 2010 the Gary L. Sharpe Scholarship for Outstanding Undergraduates was established. The award was established


Both Gary and Connie Sharpe are first-generation students and know well the value of a hard-won, hard-earned education.

The Department of Geography Speaker Series 2017-18 On Oct. 21, 2016, Professor Elizabeth Wentz presented her research to the department in a talk entitled “Impact of Homeowner Association (HOA) Landscaping Guidelines on Residential Water Use.” On March 3, 2017, Professor Nik Heynen gave the Edward J. “Ned” Taaffe Colloquium entitled “Abolition Ecology and Racializing the Commons.” On April 14, 2017, Professor Karen Seto gave the Arthur H. Robinson Colloquium entitled “Future Urban Expansion and Implications for Building Energy Demand and Global Croplands.” On October 5, 2017, Professor Christopher Justice, University of Maryland, gave the Arthur H. Robinson Colloquium entitled “Global Agricultural Monitoring: Detecting the Impact of Extreme Climate Events.” On Nov. 16, 2017, Professor Karen O’Brian, University of Oslo presented at The Edward J. “Ned” Taaffe Colloquium. Feb. 9, 2018, Professor Michal Mann, Pennsylvania State University, “Return to the Madhouse: Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump” March 30, 2018, Professor Rinku Roy Chowdhury, Clark University

Graduate Student Awards

Undergraduate Award Winners

E. Willard & Ruby S. Miller Fellowship Award The highest recognition the department can bestow on a graduate student. Given in recognition of potential to make a major contribution to geography particularly through scholarship and scholarly writing. Hui Kong

Fenburr Scholarship for Women and Underrepresented Groups

Fenburr Travel Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Award Offsets the costs of travel for professional development activities related to the conduct or dissemination of research, such as training workshops, conferences or fieldwork. Emelie Bailey, Bonnie Bounds, Jiayong Liang, Laura Rivas

Ruiyu Tan (Geography, Spatial Analysis)

T.R. Lakshmanan & Lata Chatterjee Award Recognizes a distinguished PhD student in geography who is either from the Global South (Asia, Africa, or Latin America) or carrying out research on the Global South, focused on issues of benefit to humanity and has demonstrated professional promise. Anurag Mazumdar, Gabriel Zeballos

Ruoran Cheng (GIS and Geography, URGS)

Rayner Scholarship for Field Work Supports fieldwork by graduate students – data generation including expenses related to travel to a field site, supply or equipment costs, access fees or other research-related expenses. Ashley Toenjes

Mia Murray (Geography with a minor in Climate Studies) Najla Dorsey (Air Transportation)

Arthur H. Robinson Scholarship - Outstanding Undergraduate in GIScience Mohamed Ahmed (GIS) Nathan On (GIS) Edward J. “Ned” Taaffe Scholarship - Outstanding Undergraduate in ASP Matthew Campbell (Atmospheric Sciences with minors in Geography and GIS) Emily Sambuco (Atmospheric Sciences) Mary Grace Thibault (Atmospheric Sciences with an Environmental Sciences minor)

Undergraduate Research

Sharpe Scholarship for Outstanding Undergraduates Provides need based scholarships with preference give to those students from the state of Ohio.

Denman Research Forum 2017 Participants

Jeffrey Dunkle (Geography – URGS)

Stephen Maldonado (Atmospheric Sciences and Earth Sciences) Surface atmospheric conditions during the 2007 and 2012 record arctic sea ice minima resolved by the arctic system reanalysis Andrew Hutchman (Atmospheric Sciences and Civil Engineering) Cold air pooling and its impact on the magnitude of the urban heat island Ruoran Cheng (Geographic Information Science and Geography) Exploring factionalism in mid-late Northern Song Dynasty China: a GIS-based network approach

Cara Gregg (Atmospheric Sciences with a minor in GIS) Donovan Kennedy (Air Transportation) Keith Marion (Air Transportation – Professional Pilot Certificate Program) Rock Sword (Geography – E&S) Stephaine Witherspoon (Geography – E&S, with a minor in History)

CC Huntington Memorial Fund Awards Scholarship provided to an outstanding student in geography. Maria Sanchez-Luna (Geography, E&S and Anthropology) Matthew Schneider (Geography, ESP and History)

The annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum is an opportunity for undergraduate students in all disciplines to showcase their research, scholarship, and creative activities with the Ohio State community and beyond.


OUR ALUMNI Kavita Pandit (PhD, geography, 1987) Associate Provost, Faculty Affairs, Georgia State University When Pandit joined Ohio State’s Department of Geography as a graduate student in 1982, she was uncertain where her life was going. Her ambition after completing her master’s degree in city and regional planning at Ohio State had been to embark on a career in economic development, but a year of working in a non-profit development agency in India left her deeply unsatisfied. She applied to Ohio State’s graduate program in geography to return to her college life in Columbus. “What I didn’t know,” said Pandit, “was how profoundly Ohio State’s geography would change my life and show me the path forward.” Professor Emilio Casetti, being a prime example, helped Pandit recognize her strengths and motivated her to excel. Mentoring by gifted instructors — Vera Herman and Randy Smith– allowed Pandit to discover the joys and rewards of teaching. “Ohio State geography introduced me to a discipline that I grew to cherish,” said Pandit. “The department gave me the intellectual mooring and the relationships that have served as the solid foundation for my career.”

Shih-Lung Shaw (PhD, 1986; MA, 1983, geography) Alvin and Sally Beaman Professor and Arts and Sciences Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Shih-Lung Shaw arrived at the Ohio State to study geography in 1981. A few months earlier, he received a letter from John Rayner, then geography department’s chair, asking if his graduate application should be transferred to the geology department because his undergraduate study had a heavy emphasis on physical geography. Shaw’s response was “Please keep my application in geography.” He later became a transport geographer studying with Howard Gauthier and Ned Taaffe, although he served as a GTA and then a full-responsibility instructor for his five years of study.   During his PhD program, Hal Moellering offered him an opportunity to work as a GRA for the National Committee of Digital Cartographic Standards of which Moellering was the committee chair. This lead him GIS for transportation (GIS-T) and an opportunity to co-author, with Harvey Miller, the book, Geographic Information Systems for Transportation: Principles and Applications (Spatial Information Systems). Since the 2000s, Shaw expanded his work to study human dynamics in both physical space and virtual space using various kinds of tracking data. He also worked on the development of a space-time GIS, especially from a time-geography perspective. His latest work attempts to develop a space-time GIS framework that integrates the concepts of absolute space, relative space, relational space, and mental space for studying human dynamics.   “Looking back on my days at Ohio State, they were some of the most productive and rewarding periods of my life,” said Shaw (including having his son born in Columbus) “I have benefitted not only from the excellent education received from the geography program but also the network of outstanding graduates of the department.” Shaw’s daughter received an MBA degree from Ohio State and now works in Columbus. They are proud to be a Buckeye family!


OUR CENTERS Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) CURA is an interdisciplinary research innovation hub specializing in the application of GIS, spatial analysis and geographic visualization to urban issues. Founded in 2001, CURA has spent more than 15 years working with partners to solve complex geographic problems. Supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the center boasts a strong interdisciplinary nature and works with multiple departments, schools and colleges across campus. From analyzing and mapping real-time urban data, to building web-based geospatial information services and performing customized spatial analysis, CURA engages in a breadth of research and applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Programs CURA organizes multiple events each semester designed to appeal to a wide array of urbanrelated interests. From urban data science to neighborhood walkability, the CURA event series offers engaging and enlightening content for a variety of fields. Events are open to the entire community, on campus and off. As the university’s hub for GIS and urban data science, CURA seeks to bridge the campus community with professionals, community leaders and the public in Ohio and beyond. Our programming is designed to engage a diverse audience interested in urban issues and the future of our neighborhoods and communities. CURA serves as an innovation hub which brings together researchers from across campus to integrate spatial modeling and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into economic, social, and public health research. We provide data management and design expertise, and we also offer web mapping and data hosting. We possess strong technical expertise in transportation, housing, and geo-demographics. Our services are provided primarily to on-campus partners, but we may also work with community groups. For the Ohio State community, CURA typically charges an hourly rate and provides an estimate for the work needed to complete the client’s project. For larger research endeavors such as government-sponsored grants, CURA faculty may be considered a co-investigator for the geo-visualization portion of the research. While many of our projects are long-term, spanning one year or more, we also participate in shorter term projects and produce focused, task specific products and services.


The 2016-2017 academic year brought intriguing new research pathways and allowed us to build upon existing endeavors. One of our largest projects is a mobile data research grant with the Ohio Department of Transportation. Continuing projects include the Weinland Park Tree Program, mobility analysis research and the state-funded Infant Mortality Reduction Project (IMRP), led by CURA affiliate and associate professor Elisabeth Root. CURA has developed a web-mapping interface to display integrated datasets relevant to infant mortality rates to empower researchers to target initiatives based on spatial data.

0126 Derby Hall, 154 N. Oval Mall Columbus, OH 43201 Twitter: @osucura

Phone: (614) 688-0527 Email:



Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Through more than 50 years of research excellence, the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC) at Ohio State is recognized internationally as a leader in polar, alpine, and climate research with programs conducted throughout the world. The center is named in honor of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, America’s most famous polar explorer. There are 10 research groups at BPCRC, along with a library, archival program, the Polar Rock Repository and a team of support staff. Research focuses on the role of cold regions in Earth’s overall climate system, and encompasses geological sciences, geochemistry, glaciology, paleoclimatology, meteorology, remote sensing, ocean dynamics, and the history of polar exploration. The center has a number of collections of climate proxies, including a rock repository containing 42,000 samples from the Polar regions, a sediment core storage facility containing Arctic Ocean cores and lake sediment cores from the mountains of Peru and China, and more than seven kilometers of ice cores gathered during more than 60 campaigns to six continents. BPCRC maintains the Byrd Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, provides research opportunities and support for graduate and undergraduate students, offers seminars and lectures, and maintains a public Education and Outreach program. Information about events, tours, and publications can be found at BPCRC.OSU.EDU.

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Scott Hall Room 108 1090 Carmack Road The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio  43210-1002 Phone: (614) 688-0080 Website: Twitter: @ByrdPolar Facebook:


Dear Alumni and Friends, Please consider making a gift or donation to the Department of Geography. Each and every gift makes a tangible difference in the lives of our students and faculty. All gifts are tax deductible as permitted by law.


SUPPORT THE DEPARTMENT Diane Carducci Department of Geography The Ohio State University 1036 Derby Hall 154 North Oval Mall Columbus, OH 43210-1208



Donor Funds: Geography Discretionary Fund - 303607: Provides support for undergraduate and faculty recruiting and to supplement endowments in the department The Edward J. Taaffe Memorial Fund in Geography - 607104: To support the Edward J. Taaffe Colloquium Series

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