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Bencloski and Student Receive Awards at Pennsylvania Geographical Society Meeting

Sara R. Fortnam, a Geography graduate student at IUP, received the best graduate student research award for her presentation at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Geographical Society (PGS) in West Chester on October 23, 2009. Also at the meeting, Dr. Joseph W. Bencloski, professor of Geography, received the PGS 2009 Distinguished Service Award for his many years of professional service to the society, the discipline of Geography, and IUP.

Fortnam’s paper, “The Identification of Archaeological Remains on Cyprus via Quickbird Imagery and Remote Sensing,” examines the use of satellite image analysis techniques to locate potential Late-Roman archaeological sites for future field work. Using high-resolution Quickbird imagery, along with principle components and normalized difference vegetation index analyses, Sara identified multiple linear features that displayed similar spectral properties of known sites in central Italy. Sara also won the top award in the student map competition for her entry “Olive Oil in the Ancient World.”

Bencloski presented a paper titled “The Impact of the 1997-98 El Niño on Vegetation Health in the Piura Region of Northwestern Peru: An NDVI Analysis.” Using Landsat digital satellite image analysis, he compared the differences in vegetation robustness in the Piura region before and during the 1997–1998 El Niño event.

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