Weekly News

January 21, 2018

Attention geography majors concentrating in physical geography, meteorology or weather broadcasting. The University of South Florida in Tampa, FL is recruiting current freshman but who will be sophomores by fall 2018, for the 2018 summer funded opportunity where you will receive research experience in the area of weather, climate, and society. This opportunity is targeted to students who reside or are at schools in the Southeast.

DEADLINE: Feb 1, 2018. Further information on this opportunity available at: drive.google.com/file/d/…and weathercenter.forest.usf.edu/REU.html

Also, Marshall will host its first THATCamp (The Humanities and Technologies Camp) on Saturday, March 31st from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington, WV (http://marshall2018.thatcamp.org/). THATCamp is a participant-driven meeting (an “unconference”) where humanists and technologists from all skill levels, disciplines, and professions come together to:

  • discuss their interests in the digital humanities,
  • share their knowledge of digital tools and their applications to research, teaching, publishing,             ​and archiving,
  • troubleshoot or brainstorm the solution to a problem,
  • receive feedback about ongoing projects, and
  • network among fellow digital humanists.

Sessions will be designed the day of the conference and there is no “call for papers.” However, participants may propose a session, workshop, or activity by visiting http://marshall2018.thatcamp.org/propose/. THATCamp is intended to be non-hierarchical and participatory, spontaneous and productive, and accessible and unrestricted: all are welcome.

Registration (free for students, $30 for all others) is open and covers the cost of food and t-shirts. To register, visit http://marshall2018.thatcamp.org/register/. Please contact Dr. Cordoba for additional information regarding the event and logistics.

Academic Opportunities

1) Central Washington University is recruiting students for their Cultural and Environmental Resource Management Graduate Program.

The Geography faculty is seeking quality students that are interested in pursuing research nationally or internationally.  Graduate Assistantship funding available on a competitive basis, and in-State Tuition for students that are residents of 16 Western States and territories.

The mission of the Cultural and Environmental Resource Management (CERM) Program is to professionally prepare students for ethical decision-making and earth stewardship through management, policy development, critical analysis, and evaluation. Since 1983 the CERM Program has offered students an interdisciplinary cultural and natural resource management curriculum drawing primarily from Geography, Anthropology and Economics, as well as electives from related disciplines such as Biology, Geology, History, and Sociology. Cultural resource management focuses on the management of ethnographic and archaeological sites and materials, historic properties, and archives. Natural resource management focuses on the management of land, water, energy, mineral, atmospheric, and biotic resources. Natural and cultural resources intertwine in several ways within socio-political and cultural contexts, including with transportation systems of all modes and scales. Understanding the multiplicity of resource issues is critically important to making sound decisions at all levels.

Job Opportunities

GIS Specialist, Wade Trim Group, Inc., Cleveland, OH

Geospatial Technician III, BAE Systems, Pittsburgh, PA

GIS Technician, City of Richmond, Richmond, VA

Cartographic Analyst, Prescient, McLean, VA

Cartographic Analyst, Leidos Holdings, Springfield, VA

Cartographic Analyst, Syntelligent Analytic Solutions, LLC., Springfield, VA

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department

January 12, 2018

Welcome to the New Year!  Hopefully everyone had a chance to see family and friends during the break, and more importantly managed to stay warm. I think we should have Dr. Law explain how did we go from a “bomb cyclone” to temperatures in the 60s in the middle of January?

 Academic Opportunities

 1) Texas A&M University’s Department of Geography is looking for MS and PhD students interested in studying urban sustainability.

 Dr. Guneralp is recruiting graduate students who are interested in human-environment interactions in urban contexts. Ongoing research themes include:  Urban land-change analysis and modeling; Environmental impacts of urbanization across scales; Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus issues in urban and peri-urban areas; Exposure and vulnerability of urban areas to natural hazards.  In addition to the above research interests, students should have, or be interested in developing:  Experience in GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis; Experience in engaging with social science data and methods; Experience in complex systems analysis (e.g., using systems dynamics, agent-based, or spatial statistical modeling); Ability to work both independently and in interdisciplinary teams in a variety of contexts; Strong skills in oral and written communication. Funding is available for up to four years (through graduate teaching and research assistantships and fellowships) with the potential for additional support thereafter. Interested candidates may contact Burak Güneralp (bguneralp@tamu.edu; Profile on ResearchGate; Profile on Google Scholar) for further inquiries. The application deadline to be given priority in funding for Fall 2018 enrollment is January 31, 2018. To apply to the Texas A&M graduate school directly, go to: admissions.tamu.edu/graduate/apply

 2) PhD student to study urban geography in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

 Possible research topics include, but are not limited to, urban agriculture, ecological gentrification, food justice, and urban land policy. The student is expected to contribute to research projects in Charlotte with the potential opportunity to also conduct international fieldwork in South America. The student will have the opportunity to co-author journal articles and conference presentations as well as complete an individual project to meet graduation requirements. The ideal candidate will be curious about human-environment interactions and social justice, self-motivated, and team-oriented. A successful candidate will have a background in geography, urban planning, international relations, or a related field. Preferred skills include: community-based research, GIS, and a working knowledge of Spanish. The Geography PhD program generally requires a Master’s degree prior to admission. Funding (at $19,000 per year) is guaranteed for two years on a 12-month appointment, with additional years of funding expected through teaching and/or research assistantships. The position will also support relevant conference travel and the student will be nominated for the University’s Graduate Assistant Support Program (GASP) to offset tuition fees. The position will begin in August 2018.

 Interested applicants should submit a cover letter (including a statement of interest in the position, relevant education and experiences) and CV to Dr. Colleen Hammelman at colleen.hammelman@uncc.edu. Priority deadline for submitting full graduate school applications is February 15, 2018. More information on how to apply for the program can be found here. Interested applicants should contact me directly before applying to the graduate school.

 3) M.S. and Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship Positions at Oklahoma State University – Fall 2018

 The Department of Geography at Oklahoma State University is currently accepting applications for fall 2018, and financial support (monthly stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance coverage) is available for qualified students at both the M.S. and Ph.D. level. Our community of student and faculty scholars works at the forefront of geographic research to seek out and bring together insights and approaches from a variety of disciplines with a strategic emphasis on (1) nature-society dynamics, (2) cultural-historical geography, and (3) geographic information science including an emerging interdisciplinary research area in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with several faculty in the department actively involved in research and teaching in this area.

 To apply, students must submit all documents through OSU’s online application portal managed by the Graduate College (gradcollege.okstate.edu/apply); further information about the graduate program can be found at geog.okstate.edu/programs/graduate-program. Oklahoma State University is an equal opportunity institution (eeo.okstate.edu/). Applications are accepted year round but should be received by February 1st for full funding consideration for the 2018-2019 academic year.

 Job Opportunities

 Geospatial Technician-Orthophotography, Woolpert, Inc., Dayton, OH

Jr. GIS Professional, CH2M, Cincinnati, OH

GIS Technician, Wade Trim, Cleveland, OH

GIS Analyst, Radiance Technologies, Dayton, OH

Research Planning Specialist, Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, Waverly, OH

GIS Technician, Kucera International, Inc., Kirtland, OH

GIS Specialist, Arcadis, Cincinnati, OH

GIS Specialist, Integrity Applications Incorporated, Beavercreek, OH

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department​

December 22, 2017

Congratulations to Amber Miller who this past weekend earned a Master of Arts degree in Geography, and a graduate minor in Environmental Studies. Amber also completed a summer internship at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. Amber, we wish you the best in all future endeavors, and please keep us posted with your achievements, we would certainly like to cheer your success.

Speaking of personal goals and attainments, with the completion of another year, this is a great time to look back and update our CVs. For our alumni, please send us an update on your personal, professional, and/or academic achievements so that we can share the news with the rest of the department.  Remember that we can always be reached at geography@marshall.edu

Also, as a geographer you have been uniquely trained to examine the physical and cultural landscape, so if you have taken any trips, or would be taking a trip during the break (even if you are just going back home), we encourage you to take pictures of the landscape and share them with us. We will feature your images in the GEO News Brief. For every image, please tell us the location of the shot and a brief narrative.

Academic Opportunities

1) M.S. or PhD. Graduate Research Assistantship at Virginia Tech – Fall 2018

Virginia Tech is seeking applicants for one graduate research assistantship at either the M.S. or Ph.D. level to begin Fall 2018 under the direction of Dr. Tom Crawford in the Department of Geography.  The assistant will contribute to a project supported by the NSF www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1660447. The project investigates linkages between monsoon rainfall, riverbank erosion, and household vulnerability and resilience. The study site is in the Bangladesh delta region in the Lower Meghna river/estuary which is the main outlet of the combined Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin. Students must have the ability to work within a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the U.S. and Bangladesh.  The assistant will have opportunities to engage in research within one or more of the following areas:  (1) geospatial analysis of shoreline change, (2) predictive modeling of shoreline change, (3) geographical social science analysis of household survey and focus group data.  While collaborators at a partner university are leading the project objective dealing with monsoon precipitation, there is the potential for the assistant to engage with this theme, particularly as it relates to prediction of shoreline change. Knowledge of GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis are desired along with the desire to engage with social science data and methods that may vary depending on the candidates interests.  The Department of Geography houses an M.S. in Geography and participates in the interdisciplinary PhD program in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis. Questions about these opportunities should be directed to Dr. Tom Crawford (+1-540-231-7216, tomc3@vt.edu).

2) M.S. and Ph.D. Students in Geography wanted at the University of Alabama

The Human-Environment Interactions and Simulation Lab at the University of Alabama is seeking MS and PhD students to work in the general area of human-environment interactions. The Lab’s research is focused on understanding how humans make decisions to modify the environment, and how those modifications change environmental dynamics and feedback on subsequent human decisions. We are seeking MS and PhD students that are interested in bridging human and physical geography and will complement ongoing project topics including:

Global synthesis of large-scale land acquisitions and associated land-use changes.

Risk perception and adaptive responses of residential households to coastal hazards

Land-use change in Latin America driven by illicit commodity trafficking networks.

Land-use and livelihood change driven by global agricultural commodity markets.

Integrating a livelihoods perspective into food-energy-water (FEW) nexus analysis.

Socio-environmental synthesis of coastal saltmarsh evolution and vulnerability.

Cultural evolution approaches to understanding landscape modification in the Anthropocene.

For full consideration, applications for fall 2018 are due by February 15, 2018. Admission and selection for Graduate Assistantships is highly competitive. Interested students should first contact Dr. Nicholas Magliocca (nrmagliocca@ua.edu) with a statement of interest, an unofficial transcript, and GRE scores to assess competitiveness and topical fit with the Lab. Questions about the admissions process can be directed to Dr. Justin Hart (hart013@ua.edu).

3) Ph.D. in GIS at the University of Texas-Dallas

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in GIS, starting in the Fall of 2018, at UT-Dallas (www.utdallas.edu/epps/gis).  Their GIS program is a unique multidisciplinary program in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences (EPPS). UT-Dallas organizes academic units in a hierarchy of schools and programs. Although this organization hierarchy is similar to the conventional colleges and departments, schools and programs give more flexibility than the conventional organization for faculty and students to participate across disciplinary boundaries, and thus promotes interdisciplinary research and education. Their GIS research and education  focuses on spatial data analytics. Key topics include spatial statistics, spatial analysis, spatial modeling, remote sensing, and spatial econometrics.  Besides GIS, the School of EPPS houses criminology, economics, political science, sociology, public policy, public & non-profit management, and social data analytics and research. Ph.D. students may choose any subject area of interest to develop and apply GIS methods in their research. Their Ph.D. degree can be joint with Computer Science in the Engineering School or Geoscience in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics School, so students who meet course pre-requisites can choose computer science courses or geoscience courses to fulfill prescribed elective requirements.

Admission information is available at www.utdallas.edu/admissions/graduate/degrees/…

Applications must be submitted online at www.utdallas.edu/admissions/graduate/steps-to-admission

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

Meteorologist (Intern), NOAA, multiple opportunities across the USA

GIS Analyst, CALIBRE, Ft Eustis, VA

GIS Analyst, Allegis Group Company, Fairfax, VA

GIS Analyst, Booz Allen, Fort Belvoir, VA

GIS Technician, North Penn Water Authority, Lansdale, PA

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department

December 15, 2017

​Remembering Dr. Mack H. Gillenwater

June 22, 1934 – December 12, 2017

Earlier in the week we briefly informed the geography community at Marshall University of the passing of Dr. Mack Gillenwater. A valued member of the Geography Department and the Marshall academic community. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight Dr. Gillenwater’s achievements as an educator and scholar.

Mack Henry Gillenwater was born in Crumpler, West Virginia, where received his early years of schooling at the local elementary school but graduated from Northfork High School in Northfork, WV in 1952. The fall of the same year he attended Emory and Henry College but later transferred to Marshall University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in geography the spring of 1957. He continued in the program earning a Master of Arts degree in 1958, and quickly started his career as an educator serving the Logan and Wyoming county school systems for six years as a social studies teacher.

In 1965 he joined the academic ranks as an instructor at Pembroke State College, serving East Carolina University in the same capacity in 1966. As it is evident by his record, Dr. Gillenwater did not allow any gaps in his timeline, and then went on to pursue a PhD at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Under the supervision of Dr. Robert G. Long he served as a graduate teaching assistant his first year in the program, and in 1968 he returned to Marshall University to join the geography faculty as an assistant professor. His research culminated in 1972 with the successful defense of his dissertation where he examined the cultural and historical geography of mining settlements in the Pocahontas coal field of Southern West Virginia between 1880 and 1930. This seminal work identified four spatial morphologies of mining settlements and has been widely cited by multiple academics and books, just to name a few:

  • ​Hard Places: Reading the Landscape of America’s Historic Mining Districts
  • ​Restoring Women’s History Through Historic Preservation
  • S​​oft Coal, Hard Choices: The Economic Welfare of Bituminous Coal Miners
  • Appalachian Aspirations: The Geography of Urbanization and Development in the Upper  Tennessee River Valley, 1865–1900
  • ​U.S. Steel and Gary, West Virginia: Corporate Paternalism in Appalachia
  • ​Strategies for Survival: Women’s Work in the Southern West Virginia Coal Camps

It becomes clear by this representative references, that Dr. Gillenwater’s research is fundamental in the study of mining in Appalachia. His command of the subject allowed him to review books in this area and to be interviewed by prominent national outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and PBS regarding this subject. He was instrumental in the establishment, under the auspices of Congressman Nick Rahall, of the Coalways and Coal Mining Heritage projects designed to determine the feasibility of protecting and preserving significant cultural and historic sites associated with the coal mining heritage of southern West Virginia. He also coordinated a comprehensive study of historic preservation and tourism in the greater Huntington metropolitan area including Ashland, Kentucky and Ironton, Ohio. Additionally, he completed 10 historic preservation surveys for the West Virginia Department of Culture and History.

During his tenure in the Geography Department, Dr. Gillenwater served as interim chair of the department in 1983 and was an active participant in the Southeastern Division Association of American Geographers. He took students to multiple academic meetings, organized panels where he served as lead discussant, and served the organization as State Representative for West Virginia in 1992. During his 28 years of service to the university, he taught a variety of human geography courses and advised hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. He participated in faculty exchange programs at the Universitas Nebrissenis in Madrid, Spain and at Beijing Normal University in China. He was awarded the 1995-1996 John Deaver Drinko Distinguished Fellowship to recognize his outstanding service and contributions to Marshall University faculty and to assist him in undertaking innovative curriculum reforms and promote his research and publications. Dr. Gillenwater was a member of the American Association of Geographers, the National Geographic Society, the National Council for Geographic Education, and the West Virginia Geographers’ Association. He retired Professor Emeritus in 1996.

On behalf of the current geography faculty, and the multiples of geographers in training, thank you Dr. Gillenwater! You will be missed.


The Geography Department

December 8, 2017

We begin this week with news from a current major in the department, Ann Lockard, who was interviewed by the host of Inside Appalachia– a radio show that tells the rich cultural history of Appalachia and its people. Ann reports that “the questions revolved around homesickness for Appalachia and why WV is “different” than other places.” Ann used her background in geography, specifically the concept of place, to explain the unique gravitational pull of the region. The interview will air on December 15th on West Virginia Public Radio and it will be archived as a podcast on the Inside Appalachia website.

Academic Opportunities

1) A fully-funded Ph.D. position is available at the Department of Geography, the University of Hawaiʻi – Mānoa from August 2018. The Ph.D. assistant will play a leading role in the research about applying web-GIS and crowdsourced geospatial data to prompt sustainable agriculture and carbon sequestration. Additionally, the GA can participate in wide range of research projects including in spatio-temporal data modeling, hazard vulnerability and resilience assessment, and coupled natural and human system modeling. The funding for the position will be available for a period of four years. The candidate will need to be admitted to the department’s graduate program to be qualified for consideration. The contract will be renewable annually based on the satisfactory performance.

Prospective students should have experience in geospatial analysis, GIS modeling, and background knowledge in environmental sciences. Preference will be given to applicants with experience of web-GIS development and geodatabase management. Good written/oral communication skills, self-motivation and ability of conducting independent and collaborative research are desired.

To apply, please go to the website: manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/geography

Application deadline is January 15, 2018. If you have any questions about this particular position, please contact Dr. Yi Qiang at yiqiang@hawaii.edu.

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

GIS Specialist, The Energy Cooperative, Newark, OH

GIS Analyst, Radiance Technologies, Dayton, OH

GIS Technician, Randstad Engineering, Akron, OH

GIS Technician, Rangam Consultants, Inc. Greensburg, PA

Field Map Q/A Specialist, Uber, Pittsburgh, PA

Cartographic Analyst, Clear Resolution Consulting, LLC, Springfield, VA

Cartographer, CLI Solutions, Springfield, VA

Demographer/Planner, Chesterfield County, Chesterfield, VA

GIS Analyst, ManTech, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department​

December 1, 2017

Why every student and recent graduate should be volunteering or doing an internship!

 “Cartography Stages a comeback” is the title for an interesting article that appeared on Wired, where it describes the expected higher demand for individuals with map-making skills. Although this really isn’t news for geographers, it is still worth mentioning as our skill-set is finally receiving more attention and recognition in mainstream organizations. It is therefore worth emphasizing that future and recent graduates from our program face good prospects as they enter the job market. However, this also means that recent graduates will face more competition, as more individuals seek training in this high growth area. They key for recent graduates therefore is to stand-out from the competition, and nothing will give you more leverage over a candidate than experience. But I know what you are thinking, how am I supposed to get “experience” if all this time I have been going to school, working to sustain a household, and dealing with family matters? The reality is that experience can come in many forms, and one of the best ways to add that experience line on your resume is by doing some free work or low remunerated job. We are talking about volunteer opportunities and internships. Although the idea of working for free or getting paid peanuts is not attractive, volunteering or doing an internship in your field will pay dividends as you try to enter the job market. Here is how these opportunities benefit you:

1)      Experience is experience.  Meaning that you do not necessarily have to get paid to classify something as experience. After all, when you volunteer or do an internship at a place, you will be working under a supervisor, dealing with colleagues, managing project and task deadlines, and of-course having to show-up to “work”. These are all functions in which you will be evaluated while you volunteer or do an internship. A potential employer would like to know what kind of employee are you? Your volunteer or internship supervisor will be able to speak of these abilities after having worked with you (even if you were not getting an actual pay-check).

2)      You will need references. Again, if you did a good job during your volunteer or internship experience, this should be a very easy thing to get. After having worked for free, or for very little money, the least your supervisor can do is to put in a good word for you.

3)      Build a network! Although getting your supervisor to write a letter for you is great, there is a whole lot more you can get from a volunteer or internship. Your colleagues are a great source of knowledge, work practices, software and data tricks, trends in the industry, and more importantly, they know people who knows people, who know other peoples. Therefore, your colleagues can be consultants when you have questions or are stuck with a task, can pass along information or job opportunities that might be of interest to you, and they can also put in a good word for you.

4)      Learn the company’s culture. Not every work place is the same, and the earlier you learn the kind of work environment in which you are the right “fit”, the better you can leverage yourself to a potential employer. As you volunteer or do an internship, be observant and ask your colleagues and supervisor what is it like dealing with upper management, other departments? What kind of employees do they tend to hire? What kind culture is there in the unit? Do they mingle after work? Are you expected to participate in specific activities or get together? Socialization can be a big deal at some companies, or absolutely mean nothing at all in others. Every company have their own work and hiring culture, and you should be aware of these.

5)      Find a mentor. If you hit it off well with a colleague that has much more experience than you, this person might be a good candidate for a mentor. As you try to get your “foot in the door” in the job market, you will have your ups and downs, and having someone to talk to or to guide through these peaks and valleys is priceless. Not to mention that they can really help you work through hard career decisions. Mentors are great at every stage of your career, so find them and cultivate these relationships starting with your volunteer or internship opportunities.

These are some of the key benefits of volunteering or doing an internship as you transition from student to professional. Note that you should not do one of these opportunities and expect to be offered a job at the end of your time with them. Not at all! I know there are stories where this has been the case, but these are more the exception than the norm. So do not fall in love with mirrors-they break easily. Getting your career started after graduation takes time and it can be frustrating, but your career really starts the moment you chose your major. This is really when you start focusing on the industry you would like to go in, and start building your experience through volunteer and internship opportunities. If you do this, by the time you graduate not only will you have your degree in hands, but you will have enough experience, professional references that can speak on your behalf, and support network of former colleagues that will be there to support you along the way. You do not have to wait for your first professional job to be considered a “professional”, you become one the moment you start behaving and doing the things that professionals in your field do. Start on the road to professionalization as early as possible so that you can hit the ground running when you graduate.

Academic Opportunities

1)      The Geography Department at Marshall University has more than a few openings for funded graduate teaching assistantships starting in fall 2018. Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree should contact Dr. James Leonard. Preference will be given to students who submit their complete applications by the April 1stdeadline.

2)      Graduate fellowships are available through the Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CREST, https://www.noaacrest.org/) sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  CREST provides funding for graduate students to pursue their degrees and to develop potential careers at NOAA.  NOAA-CREST fellows receive funding for summers and/or the academic year, and work on-site with NOAA counterparts.  Students from underrepresented communities are especially encouraged to apply.  Partner institutions include the Departments of Ecology, Geography, and Mathematics and Statistics at San Diego State University, which are actively seeking applicants to MS and PhD programs.  To apply for remote sensing applications in water resources, please visit the Geography Department website at geography.sdsu.edu/programs/masters/apply and contact Dr. Trent Biggs (tbiggs@mail.sdsu.edu) for more information.  For remote sensing applications in ecosystem services contact Dr. Doug Stow (Geography, stow@mail.sdsu.edu), Dr. Walt Oechel (Ecology, woechel@mail.sdsu.edu) or Dr. Sam Shen (Mathematics and Statistics, sam.shen@sdsu.edu) for more information.

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

Geospatial Analyst, Novel Applications, Charlottesville, VA

GIS Technician, Adecco RCE, Greensburg, PA

Senior Lead GIS Analyst, City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

GIS Coordinator, Peters Township, Canonsburg, PA

GIS Analyst, NextGen Federal Systems, Dayton, OH

GIS Specialist, Kforce, Inc., Columbus, OH

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department

November 23, 017

This week’s news brief comes a bit early on the eve of thanksgiving, but it is for a great reason. It is with great pride that the Geography Department would like to recognize the outstanding performance of Brian O’Keefe in the geography bowl competition at the 72nd meeting of the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers (SEDAAG). Brian placed 8th in the overall competition averaging 10 points per round. On top of this personal achievement, Brian was elected by his team to the “student all-star team” who faced against the “faculty dream team” who included heavy hitters such as Dr. Derek Alderman, current president of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Brian was the only contestant from the State of West Virginia and was assigned to the Virginia team. In the early team rounds, Brian earned half of the points for his team, which included a stunning performance in two toss-up questions where the team had to provide the city where numerous interstate highways intersected. Brian single-handedly answered correctly every intersection. It garnished a huge round of applause from the audience, which needless to say, was well earned! Keep in mind that the geography bowl contestants included graduate students (master and doctoral), so for Brian to finish 8th as an undergraduate having to face competitors from state flag-ship institutions across the Southeastern United States, make this performance even more impressive. Well done Brian! Not only did you represent the department, but Marshall and the State of West Virginia.

Brian’s performance also serves as a great source of inspiration for our current undergraduate and graduate students to participate in future SEDAAG meetings. The conference offers multiple avenues for students to learn, get involved, and present their work (e.g. posters and paper expositions). To encourage the participation of students, the organization holds posters, paper, and photographic competitions, and monetary prizes are awarded in every category. Additionally, field trips are organized by the hosting university to nearby sites of cultural and environmental significance to enhance the learning experience and sense of community among fellow geographers. SEDAAG is the strongest division within the AAG and offers faculty and students the opportunity publish their work in their peer-review journal The Southeastern Geographer, a well-established academic journal soon to receive an impact factor. The next three meetings will be hosted by: Eastern Tennessee University (Johnson City, TN); University of North Carolina-Wilmington (Wilmington, NC); and the University of North Alabama (Florence, AL). Students should start making plans to attend the 2018 meeting at Johnson City, TN. This is a short drive from Huntington, the conference is on a weekend (Saturday through Monday), and registration for the conference is affordable ($75 for students by the early bird deadline). Students should consider doing a poster or paper to showcase their work, or simply attend to participate in the geography bowl and learn from multiple research presentations from experts in their fields. The more students attend, the easier it gets to share the travel expenses, as rooms can be split (on a gender basis) between two to four students, and transportation as a group can be arranged. If you are interested in participating, see Dr. Córdoba for further information.

Brian O’Keefe (seated closest to podium)

Academic Opportunities

 1) The Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany has begun offering a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (MSGIS) and is now accepting applications for the Fall 2018 semester. The 36-credit program is divided into an 18-credit core, a 3-credit capstone course, and 15 credits of electives. Their GIS faculty members include 4 experts in their respective fields:

· Dr. Alexander Buyantuev–remote sensing technology and its application to environmental issues,

· Dr. Shiguo Jiang, the use of spatial statistics for environmental analysis,

· Dr. Rui Li-mapping and navigation, and

· Dr. James Mower-algorithm development for augmented reality and landscape rendering applications.

Because of their location in New York State’s Capital Region, students participating in the MSGIS program will have the unique opportunity to access a wide array of internship offerings, including those with public and private sector offices and agencies.

Their faculty would be happy to discuss the MSGIS with you by email (best), by phone, or during a visit to the Department.

2) Funding opportunities exist for students who want to pursue doctoral degree in the following fields: study of complex systems (e.g., using agent-based modeling and statistical modeling) including complex human-environment systems, space-time analysis and modeling, human-environment interaction and landscape ecology, and land use and land cover change. Extramural projects and the joint doctoral program between the Department of Geography at SDSU and the Department of Geography at University of California, Santa Barbara provide funding to support a number of doctoral students each year. The admission and financial support are competitive–please contact Dr. An at lan@mail.sdsu.edu before you send your application.

3) The Institute of Geography and Sustainability (IGD) seeks to fill the position of PhD student/Graduate Assistant in Global Urbanism, for a maximum period of 5 years. The position is part of the research team M3 (Materialities | Multiplicities | Metropolis), led by Professor Martin Miller. The Institute of Geography and Sustainability (IGD) is an interdisciplinary community of about 100 academics that work on space, place and the environment. With 15 professors and close to 40 PhD students, the department offers a vibrant, stimulating environment for cutting-edge research. It hosts regular lecture series and distinguished guest researchers from around the world. The post is located in the research group Urban Studies, the largest of the institute’s six groups.

Additional information:

– Professor Martin Miller: www.martin-muller.net

– Research team M3: http://igd.unil.ch/martin.muller/en/M3/

– Research group Urban Studies: http://unil.ch/igd/home/menuguid/english/research/urban-studies.html

Application Deadline : 1/14/18

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

GIS Cooperative Education & Internship, Langan Engineering, Pittsburgh, PA

Entry Level GIS Specialist, AECOM, Cincinnati, OH

GIS Analyst, Arlington County, Arlington, VA

Geospatial Specialist in Emergency Management, FEMA, Washington, D.C.

GIS Administrative Technician, City of Lima, Lima, OH

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department


November 17, 2017


The 2017 GIS Day was another success! Over thirty students from Huntington High School were in attendance to celebrate the occasion and participate in an array of activities. The day started with a welcome message by Dr. Leonard where he discussed the significance of GIS, followed by lab activities with Dr. Kozar. Current geography students also participated by showcasing their cartographic and spatial analytical skills with posters and maps created over at the Sam E. Clagg GIS Lab. The gallery saw the presence of Emiko Hori, a Marshall geography alumni, now working over at the West Virginia Department of Transportation. The Keynote address was delivered by Mack McCarty from the Army Corps of Engineers-Huntington District. Mack introduced students to the different unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that they utilize and to some of the applications and projects that they have carried-out with UAVs. As if this wasn’t enough, students then had a blast geocaching landmarks and monuments across campus.


Academic Opportunities

 1) Four years of year-round graduate funding is available to enroll in Ph.D. programs in Geography, Public Policy, Sociology, Environment and Ecology, and Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), beginning August 2018. EPPSA Fellowships include tuition, health insurance, fees, 12-month stipends, funds for research support and travel, and conference funds. Students will be engaged in a large, interdisciplinary project funded by the United States National Science Foundation titled “Confronting Energy
Poverty: Building an Interdisciplinary Evidence Base, Network, and Capacity for Transformative Change” (or “Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa” (EPPSA)). The student is expected to contribute to project execution, travel internationally, and conduct fieldwork in Malawi, Zambia and/or Zimbabwe. S/he will develop their PhD dissertation research focused on population environment dynamics as it pertains to energy poverty, with the exact topic to be developed in consultation with the advisor and project team. Interested students must first apply for admission to a PhD program in one of the participating departments at UNC-CH: Geography, Public Policy, Sociology, Environment and Ecology, or Anthropology. Full graduate school applications to UNC-CH are due December 12, 2017. Further information on EPPSA can be found at: https://eppsa.cpc.unc.edu.

2) The Department of Geosciences at East Tennessee State University offers Master of Science degrees in Geosciences with concentrations in Geospatial Analysis and Paleontology. ETSU Geosciences is currently recruiting one or more graduate students for research in watershed dynamics (Geospatial Analysis concentration). Students may work on planning and assessing watershed restoration efforts, hydrologic modeling for water quality and quantity, and community-university partnerships through citizen-science data collection and other work with local watershed groups. Opportunities for funding are available through one dedicated research assistantship and competitive teaching assistantships. For more information please contact Dr. Ingrid Luffman (luffman@etsu.edu). Students attending the 2017 SEDAAG regional conference in Starkville, MS are encouraged to meet with Dr. Luffman during the conference.

3) Graduate Student Fellowship, University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Department of Geography and Environmental System invites outstanding applicants to apply for our Environment and Society Fellowship. Fellows will receive one year of research support (full tuition and living stipend), along with additional years of full-time support in the form of teaching assistantships. We welcome applicants from across the natural and social sciences. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit our website at ges.umbc.edu to learn more about our department faculty and their diverse research interests. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential mentors prior to applying.

4) Two (2) graduate research assistantships are available that will begin in the Fall 2018 semester in the Department of Geography (www.unr.edu/geography) at the University of Nevada, Reno.  One position is available for a Masters student and the other for a PhD student.  Students with research interests in transportation, energy, and sustainability are encouraged to apply. If interested in either position or if you have further questions please contact Scott Kelley (scottkelley@unr.edu) as soon as possible.  If interested in applying, please send a CV/resume and a 1-2 page cover letter, making sure to specify which project is of interest to you.  Degree programs and requirements can be found at www.unr.edu/degrees/geography.  The deadline to apply for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Geography at the University Of Nevada, Reno is February 1st, 2018, and applications should be submitted to: www.unr.edu/grad/admissions.

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

GIS Summer Internship, Arsenal Resources, Wexford, PA

GIS Technician, HMI Technical Solutions, Blue Bell, PA

GIS Field Technician, SAM, Pittsburgh, PA

GIS Analyst, Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington, KY

GIS Technician, Randstad Engineering, Akron, OH

GIS Mapping, FirstEnergy, Akron, OH

GIS Specialist, UNICONInternational, Inc., Groveport, OH

GIS Project Manager, APC, Cincinnati, OH

Land Survey GIS Technician, GDP Group, Multiple locations

GIS Specialist, Manifest Solutions, Columbus, OH

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department

November 9, 2017

To celebrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day this year, the Natural Resources & the Environment and Geography departments are jointly hosting GIS Day events at Marshall on Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017.  The main event will be held at BE5 in the Memorial Student Center.  Keynote speaker will be Mr. Mack McCarty (US Army Corps of Engineers – Huntington District).  He will speak on “Drones for GIS and RS.”  GIS Day will also feature undergraduate/graduate research posters.  In addition, local high school students who are officially invited will participate in GIS software contest and geocaching.


09:00 – 09:30, Welcome and Introduction (BE5)

09:30 – 11:00, Poster Exhibition (BE5), GIS software contest (Corbly Hall 330)

11:00 – 11:30, Keynote Speaker: Mr. Mack McCarty

11:30 – 12:30, Dutch lunch

12:30 – 01:30, Poster Exhibition (BE5), Geocaching (On-campus)

We invite all interested faculty, students and staff to participate in the poster presentation/exhibition.  All types of GIS/remote sensing posters, including those from your past and on-going projects, will be welcomed.  A small prize will be given for best graduate and undergraduate posters.  Feel free to post/distribute the flyer.  This year GIS Day events are sponsored by the College of Science, College of Liberal Arts, Dept. of Geography and Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Academic Opportunities

1) Doctoral assistantship in Economic/Urban Geography  at the University of Luxembourg. Applications are invited until 30th November for specific details click here or contact Markus Hesse at markus.hesse@uni.lu.

2) Doctoral research assistantship at the University of Utah. The selected research assistants will work as members of an interdisciplinary research team, studying the socially and geographically uneven effects of environmental hazards, under the direct supervision of Drs. Tim Collins (Geography) and Sara Grineski (Sociology). Potential projects that the students may contribute to include: environmental injustices in exposure to air pollution at US elementary schools; social and geographical inequities in exposure to multiple hazards (e.g., flooding, industrial fires, etc.) and emergency response capabilities at US elementary schools; effects of air pollution on children’s academic performance and development, including analysis of unequal impacts by race/class/gender as well as identification of protective factors; disparate health effects of Hurricane Harvey; and/or social, spatial and temporal dynamics of post-Hurricane Harvey recovery. First contact Drs. Tim Collins (twcollins@utep.edu) and Sara Grineski (segrineski@utep.edu) via e-mail by no later than December 1, 2017, to express interest in the positions. Drs. Collins and Grineski will then encourage individuals to apply for the positions.

3) The Agricultural Impacts Research Group at Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography is looking for PhD candidates interested in studying the drivers and impacts of tropical agricultural change (particularly within sub-Saharan Africa’s savanna range countries). Their projects relate to food security, land use planning, climate variability, trade and economic policy, biodiversity impacts, and the development and application of next-generation Earth Observation methods (e.g. environmental sensing networks, crowdsourcing, UAS, computer vision/machine learning) for measuring and monitoring agricultural systems. Candidates should have a background in a relevant discipline (e.g. geography, geosciences, computer science, engineering, quantitative ecology or social science) and experience in programming and geospatial analysis. Funding to support the position is available for three years (TA and/or RA duties assigned) with the potential for additional support thereafter.  Interested candidates may contact Lyndon Estes (head of the group; lestes@clarku.edu) for further inquiries. The deadline to apply for Fall, 2018 enrollment is December 31, 2017. The application portal is here

4) The Geography Program at West Virginia University is currently recruiting graduate students for the 2018-19 academic year, with opportunities for funding though competitive University fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. The 2018-2019 funded research assistantship positions will be in the following areas/units: Immersive Virtual Reality for Geovisualization and Geography Education (Dr. Insu Hong, insu.hong@mail.wvu.edu), Health care disparity and accessibility in West Virginia (Dr. Insu Hong, insu.hong@mail.wvu.edu), The role of wild food/game in the WV food system (Dr. Gregory Elmes, greg.elmes@mail.wvu.edu), and in the WV GIS Tech Center (Dr. Jonathan C. Hall, jonathan.hall@mail.wvu.edu).

Funded Ph.D. students will be guaranteed 3 years of funding contingent upon progress within the program and are eligible for continued funding in years 4 and 5, based upon performance.  Funded M.A. students are guaranteed 1 year of funding contingent upon progress within the program and are eligible for continued funding in year 2, based upon performance. All funded positions include a tuition waiver. Students interested in research assistantships should contact the research faculty prior to applying. Transcripts, test scores, and all other completed application materials are due January 1, 2018 for Fall 2018 admission.

5) Three years of funding is available to enroll in the PhD program in Environmental Studies Program (www.colorado.edu/envs) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), beginning in August 2018.  This includes tuition and stipend for each academic year (mid-Aug through April). The PhD student will be involved in a large, interdisciplinary project funded by the National Science Foundation, “Sustainable Communities & Gold Supply Chains: Integrating Responsible Engineering & Local Knowledge to Design, Implement & Evaluate Sustainable Artisanal Mining in Latin America.” If you are considering applying, please send the following: 1) a curriculum vitae; 2) statement of your research and professional interests, including your interests and qualifications for the research project described below, as well as why you would like to enroll in the ENVS program, and why you would like to obtain a PhD; 3) GRE scores and percentiles; 4) TOEFFEL scores where relevant; and 5) copies or links to any publications (e.g., peer reviewed, professional reports, conference proceedings) if relevant to Dr. Joel Hartter (joel.hartter@colorado.edu). Deadline: December 1st, 2017

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

Geotechnical Intern, Stantec, Cincinnati, OH

GIS Technician, HNM Systems, Norfolk, VA

Human Geographer, Novel Applications of Vital Information, Springfield, VA

Data Analyst, Hampton Roads Transit, Norfolk, VA

Cartographer, Booze Allen Hamilton, Springfield, VA

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department​

November 2, 2017

We begin this week with a look back at the number of theses that students have written in the department since 2002. According to the Proquest Database there were thirty one Masters level theses accepted by the geography faculty. The topics covered a wide array of geographic expertise and subfields, ranging from the analysis of historical land grants to the remote sensing of coniferous forests. We highly recommend our current students to search and read those that appeal your geographic interest, and to use them as a potential source of inspiration to embark on your own. In future posts we will be highlighting some of the theses as we go through the anniversary dates. If you are an alumni and would like to share your personal story and recollection of going through the process of crafting, executing, writing, and defending your thesis, please reach out to us; we would love to hear from you.

Also, we would like to send a big shout-out and thank you to our great administrative assistant, Ms. Paula Kouns, for putting-up with the geography faculty and students for a year. Paula joined the Geography Department in November of 2016, but she has served in multiple roles and departments at Marshall University for more than 10 years. Thank you, Paula! We are really lucky to have you.

Just another friendly reminder that next week, on Wednesday, November 15th, the Geography Department will be celebrating and hosting GIS Day for a seventh time. High schools students from our community will be visiting the university and the department to participate in different GIS activities. We would look forward to your presence and support of this event.

Finally, check-out Dr. Leonard’s drones video. He is really becoming famous!

Academic Opportunities

1) Dr. Silvia Secchi at the the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at the University of Iowa has openings in the graduate program in the areas of human-environment interaction and GIScience. Specifically, she is recruiting a graduate student to work on a project looking at the land use change impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standards in the US Corn Belt. The application deadline is January 1st, 2018. Candidates should contact me at silvia-secchi@uiowa.edu.

2) For students interested in human-environment interaction, the Texas A&M Research Experience for Undegraduates (REU) in Ecohydrology of Tropical Montane Forest is now accepting applications the 10-week summer program (May 29- August 3, 2018), which includes 5 weeks at the Texas A&M Soltis Center for Education and Research (Costa Rica) and 5 weeks on the campus of Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas, USA). For further details visit https://tamu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dcZlhp3nVWp1Tb7 or contact Dr. Wendy Jepson at wjepson@tamu.edu

3) The Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) proudly announces that applications are now being accepted for the Society’s annual graduate student scholarship awards. These scholarship awards recognize academic achievement and encourage the continuing success of outstanding cartography and geographic information science students. The scholarships also recognize achievement or potential for achievement in original research advancing the specific disciplines of cartography or GIScience. Winners are selected based on academic achievement, particularly in the calendar year prior to the award. Applications are due by January 19, 2018 and will be reviewed by the CaGIS Scholarship Committee. Award recipients will be announced in March, 2018. Three scholarships are available to students whose research and accomplishments support the mission of CaGIS. CaGIS will bestow two Masters Scholarship Awards ($750) and one Doctoral Scholarship Award ($1500) to successful applicants. For more information on eligibility, application procedure, and award details please see the CaGIS award website at: www.cartogis.org/awards/scholarship.php Or, contact Fritz C. Kessler, Chair of the CaGIS Scholarship Award Committee at fck2@psu.edu.

4) The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (FES) is offering 5 years of guaranteed funding for our PhD program on any aspect of the environment. Fellowship includes tuition, stipend and health insurance. Successful applicants will articulate a strong and clear research statement. Because admission to the doctoral program is very competitive, the match between applicant and potential faculty advisor is critical. Thus, it is important that applicants identify a member of the FES faculty with whom to work, and begin a dialogue with him or her about mutual interests and potential dissertation topics. Please visit environment.yale.edu/directory/faculty for faculty profiles. For questions, please contact Elisabeth Barsa, Doctoral Program Coordinator (Elisabeth.Barsa@yale.edu) or Doctoral Program Director, Karen Seto (karen.seto@yale.edu).

5) Study abroad opportunities for spring 2018 are still available!!!

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

Weather Anchor/Multimedia Journalist, Gray Television, Bridgeport, WV

Meteorologist I, Nexstar Broadcasting, Charleston, WV

Planning Intern, Woolpert, Dayton, OH

Geospatial Technician-Orthophotography, Woolpert, Dayton, OH

GIS Specialist, ALEX Alternative Experts, LLC, Carrol Valley, PA

GIS Analyst, PIKA International, Inc., Stafford, VA

Journeyman Geospatial Analyst, Bluehawak Intelligence Services, Springfield, VA

Geospatial Analyst, Procleared LLC, Springfield, VA

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department​