News Archive

This page is a digital repository for departmental news that has rotated off of our current news page.

  • Dr. Tom Kovacs to chair President's Sustainability Commission

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    EMU President James Smith announced the creation of the Sustainability Commission on September 21, 2018. In his address, President Smith named Geography and Geology faculty member Dr. Tom Kovacs as chair of the commission. The excerpt from President Smith's address is below:

    Along the line of communication, I want to announce a special new initiative, which is the President's Sustainability Commission, to be chaired by Thomas Kovacs, a distinguished professor of meteorology and an authority on our Eastern campus environment. The Commission will be charged with working with various units to assess Eastern's sustainability efforts and make recommendations on how to become more sustainable. What do I mean by sustainable? “Sustainability entails both principles and practices that promote and maintain the responsible use of natural resources by current generations to ensure the availability and well-being of those resources for our future generations.” We’re already doing a good deal in this area, including the introduction of our co-generation electricity and heating system, the installation of energy-saving glass in residence halls and other buildings, and energy efficient lighting throughout campus. But how can we do more? The commission will be a great opportunity for the campus to show how cross-sectional groups can work together to produce terrific results. I’m excited about this effort and what it can mean for the future of our campus and community.

  • Dr. Eric Portenga awarded Faculty Research Activity for '18–19

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    Congratulations to Professor Eric Portenga for receiving a Faculty Research/Creative Activity Fellowship for the FY2018/19 academic year, where he will receive $2,924 in support funds. The award will support Dr. Portenga ’s research on Isle Royale in Lake Superior.
  • Dr. Chris Gellasch named 2018 UG Symposium Speaker

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    Congrats to Dr. Chris Gellasch upon news that he will be the 2018 EMU Undergraduate Symposium keynote speaker.
  • Geography and Geology Faculty, Students Awarded EMU URSP Fellowships for Winter, Summer 2018

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    Two faculty-student teams in the Geography and Geology Department were awarded Undergrad Research Stimulus Program fellowships for Winter 2018. A third team was awarded an URSP fellowship for Summer 2018. The URSP program is intended to facilitate research partnerships between undergraduate students and Eastern Michigan University faculty. Successful student applicants will receive a $2,000 fellowship in support of their research efforts. Congratulations to the teams of Dr. Bill Welsh and Harel Tanjong, and Dr. Chris Gellasch and Jacob Kowalczyk for their Winter 2018 URSPs, and Dr. Matt Cook and Sean Ryan for Summer 2018.
  • GIS Master's Program Ranked

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    The Geography and Geology Department is proud to announce the recent ranking of our GIS Master's Program as among the top GIS/Geo-informatics programs in the world by Vinithra Rajendran at Geoawesomeness. Check out the article highlighting these top programs for master's degrees in GIS, geo-informatics and related programs.
  • HP Program alumna to head Packard Plant renovation

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    Kari Smith (MS, 2011) is featured in the Monroe News about her groundbreaking work on the rehabilitation of the famous Packard Plant in Detroit. It is a fascinating story about the power of historic preservation and adaptive reuse.
  • Geography and Geology Hosts East Lakes Regional AAG Meeting

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    The Geography and Geology Department hosted the 2017 Annual Meeting of The East Lakes Divisions of the American Association of Geographers October 12–13, 2017.
  • Congratulations to HP Master's Student Rachel Ellenson

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    Rachel Ellenson, a second year historic preservation graduate student and graduate assistant, received an award and recognition on Friday, March 24, 2017, at the Graduate Research Conference for her research presentation entitled "Cultural Landscapes and Re-Photography: Changing Cultures and Our Influence on the Landscape Around Us." Over the last two years, Rachel has cataloged over 5,000 stereo images from the Mark Jefferson collection in the EMU archives. Congratulations, Rachel!
  • Geography and Geology Department launches new brownbag series

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    After the many productive discussions that came out of the Fall 2016 NAGT "Building Strong Geosciences Departments" workshop, several Geography and Geology faculty and lecturers decided to establish a series of brownbag talks and informal meetings in Winter 2017. Coordinators for this semester are Drs. Ryker and Cook. The series is open to all members of the department including faculty, lecturers, grad students and interested geography and geology majors.

    Please see below for the schedule, and please join us in Strong 201 from noon–1:30 p.m., unless otherwise indicated! 

    • January 20: Introductory discussion
    • January 23: "Counter narratives and African American historical geographies" presentation - Matt Cook, Pray-Harrold 426 
    • February 3: Teaching Difficult Topics: From Evolution to Revolution
    • February 6: Presentation by Geology job candidate - 1:45 p.m., Rm. 215 Mark J. Science Complex
    • February 8: Presentation by Geology job candidate - Noon, Rm. 215 Mark J. Science Complex
    • February 9: Presentation by Geology job candidate - 2 p.m. (location TBA)
    • February 10: Presentation by Geology job candidate - Noon (location TBA)
    • February 15: ​"Becoming Highly Productive through Collaboration" brownbag - Katherine Ryker, Halle 104
    • February 15: Presentation by Geology job candidate - Noon, Rm. 215 Mark J. Science Complex
    • February 16: Presentation by Geology job candidate - 12:30 p.m. (location TBA) 
    • March 3: High Impact Practices and Liberal Education: America's Promise
    • March 17: Undergraduate Research Symposium practice talks
    • April 7: Research presentation by Dr. Steve LoDoca
  • Professors Cook, Ryker and Yang win EMU Summer Research Awards

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    Geography and Geology faculty members Dr. Matthew Cook, Dr. Katherine Ryker and Dr. Xining Yang were notified in mid-January that each of them were awarded an EMU Summer Research/Creative Activity Award for Summer 2017. The internal award is intended to encourage and support the research, creative, artistic and scholarly endeavors of full-time tenured or tenure-track EMU faculty during the summer months (May–August) by providing stipends of $12,000 for outstanding proposals in lieu of summer teaching assignments.
  • Congrats to Professor Nancy Bryk for Women in Philanthropy grant

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    Professor Nancy Bryk was awarded a grant from EMU's Women in Philanthropy for the project "Creating a World-Class Exhibit." Professor Bryk will use the funds as part of her Winter 2017 GHPR 633 course Museum Experience Development. The course, which meets on Saturdays from 10 a.m, to 12:40 p.m., requires students to develop, research and install a museum exhibit in McKenny Hall. Interested students are encouraged to contact Professor Bryk for more details and register for the course soon!
  • Geography and Geology Hosts Successful NAGT Workshop

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    The department welcomed outside facilitators from the National Association of Geosciences Teachers (NAGT) on December 2–3, 2016. Faculty and lecturers within the department met in Strong Hall with Dr. Dave Mogk (Montana State University) and Dr. Jim Ebert (SUNY Oneonta) for a workshop called "Building Strong Geosciences Departments." The workshop brought together our diverse faculty to analyze departmental strengths and weaknesses and prioritized goals for the coming year. One outcome from our time together is beginning a regular brown bag session this Winter to share teaching and research idea, as well as to improve communication within the department. We will also use these sessions as time to bring in external speakers. We look forward to seeing many of you at these events!
  • Save the Date—Geography and Geology To Host East Lakes Regional AAG Meeting

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    2017 Annual Meeting of The East Lakes Divisions of American Association of Geographers October 12–13, 2017

    Hosted by EMU's Department of Geography and Geology.

    More information will be available over the next year as we plan to host geoscientists and geographers from Michigan, Ohio and the surrounding region.

    Questions? Email Department Head Richard Sambrook at [email protected].

  • New Geospatial Technology Major

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    The Department of Geography and Geology is pleased to announce our new Bachelor of Science (BS) major in geospatial information science and technology (GIST). Graduates of this new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) BS major are in high demand in both the government and private sectors of the economy. GIST skills are both highly marketable and transferrable to major metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad, as well as in communities of all sizes. Please consider Geography and Geology's new STEM major that prepares you for careers in the dynamic spatial information technology (SIT) sector by taking a look at the EMU course catalog under the geography degree programs.

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