Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning Department News

Recent Posts

Geology Students Win Regional Awards

Two senior geology students were invited to participate in the Pittsburgh Geological Society Student Night and came away with awards. Congratulations to Christian Vizza and Gavin Vashie for their hard work on their research this past year and their award-winning presentations at the event.

IUP Alumnus Publishes with Okey and Ghosh on Reducing Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities

Nicholas Moctezuma, Brian Okey, and Sudeshna Ghosh recently published a paper titled "Assessing Mitigation Strategies for Reducing Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities: A Comparative Analysis" in the Pennsylvania Geographer. Their work suggests that a reduction in turbine cut-in speeds works the best to limit bat fatalities.

Warnock Publishes With Colleagues on Atmospheric Variability over Last 1.5 Million Years

Jonathan Warnock and colleagues published a record of the relationship between ice age cycles, nutrient input to the oceans, and atmospheric carbon dioxide in their new paper, "Antiphased dust deposition and productivity in the Antarctic Zone over 1.5 million years," in Nature Communications. The record, spanning 1.5 million years, is the longest detailed record of such changes, effectively doubling the available record.

Congratulations GGEP December Graduates

The Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning Department congratulates our December 2021 graduates!

Benhart Receives State Geographical Society Awards

John Benhart, a faculty member in the Department of Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning, received two state-level awards at the Pennsylvania Geographical Society meeting on November 5, 2021.

Geoscience Senior Wins Research Award on Scotia Sea Temperature and Ice

Garrett Strittmatter, senior in the Department of Geoscience, won the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (Greater Pittsburgh Chapter) Best Poster Award at the Pittsburgh Geological Society annual student research night. Strittmatter presented his senior research project, a microfossil-based assessment of temperature and sea ice conditions in the Scotia Sea from the present to the last glacial.

Warnock and Colleagues Publish on Oceanographic Changes in Southern Ocean

Working in a team of international scientists as a result of participation in International Ocean Discovery Project Expedition 382, “Iceberg Alley and SubAntarctic Ocean Dynamics,” Jonathan Warnock helped to assess the timing of past climatic shifts in the Antarctic relative to the rest of the globe. The study shows Antarctica changing simultaneously to the global record for only the last million years.

Geoscience Students Named Provost Scholars

The IUP Geoscience Department congratulates our students named as Provost Scholars. To be named a Provost Scholar, students must have earned a minimum of 45 semester hours at IUP with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Warnock and Colleagues Publish on Oceanography and Tectonics of Southern Ocean

The tectonic evolution of the Southern Ocean and associated ocean currents have had dramatic effects on Earth’s climate. A new publication by Jonathan Warnock and colleagues, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, considers tectonic development of the Drake Passage and Scotia Sea sectors of the Southern Ocean.

Geoscience Students Present Virtually on Plastic-to-Brittle Exhumation History of Taiwan Metamorphic Core

Lauren Donati ’21, Susie Adams ’22, Lindsey Aman ’20, and Jon Lewis presented a research poster, “Brittle-Plastic Structures Provide Constraints on the Rapid Exhumation of the Central Range: Taiwan,” during the July 12–16 Japan Geoscience Union-American Geophysical Union meeting in a session titled “New Perspectives on East Asian Geodynamics.” 

Ghosh and Masilela Publish Chapter on “Growth and Smart Living: The Case of the Atlanta Beltline”

Sudeshna Ghosh and Calvin Masilela, professors in the Department of Geography and Regional Planning,  published a book chapter, “Growth and Smart Living: The Case of the Atlanta Beltline.”

Geography and Regional Planning Students Process Drone-Acquired Data into Deliverables for Indiana County

Students in John Benhart’s Unmanned Aerial Systems for Geospatial Data Acquisition class spent part of the spring 2020 semester processing drone-acquired data to support economic development planning by the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development. 

Geography and Regional Planning Students Develop 3-D Model of IUP Campus

Students in John Benhart’s Technical Issues in Geographic Information Systems class spent the spring 2020 semester building a spatially accurate, three-dimensional base map of the IUP campus.

Lewis Co-Publishes on Active Tectonic Fault in Western Taiwan

The configuration of the Chelungpu fault that caused the 1999 magnitude 7.6 Chi Chi earthquake has been the target of many studies. New work by Gong-Ruei Ho, Ping-Yu Chang, Jian-Cheng Lee, Jonathan Lewis , Po-Tsun, and Chen Han-Lun Hsu suggests that the Sanyi fault that branches westward from the Chelungpu poses risks to developed areas.

Warnock and Alumna Krueger Publish Study on Nutrient Recycling and Fossil Preservation

Jonathan Warnock and Rachel Krueger ’18 published a study in Marine Micropaleontology based on her senior thesis data. The study analyzes the preservation of diatom fossils, a globally ubiquitous and ecologically important group of algae, through intervals of the Pliocene.

Geography and Regional Planning Graduate Receives Scholarship to Northeastern University Graduate School

Senior regional planning major Ahrehon Thompson recently learned that she has been awarded a full graduate assistantship to enroll in the master’s of urban planning and policy program at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, beginning in fall 2020.

Deardorff Wins Outstanding Achievement Awards in Research, Curriculum and Instruction

Nicholas Deardorff received two awards presented by IUP’s School of Graduate Studies and Research, in conjunction with the IUP Research Institute: Outstanding Achievement in Research and Outstanding Achievement in Curriculum and Instruction (awarded with co-recipient Sue Rieg). 

Coles Wins Outstanding Research Award

Ken Coles was awarded the Dean of Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Award for Outstanding Research. This award, presented by the School of Graduate Studies and Research in conjunction with the Research Institute, was presented to Coles for his work on mapping Mars.

Geoscience Students Named to Fall 2019 Dean's List

The Geoscience Department congratulates our students for being named to the Dean’s List for fall 2019.

Free Planetarium Show on Friday, February 28

The IUP Planetarium will present a free public show on in the Department of Geoscience's 30 foot planetarium in Weyandt Hall. “Astronomy and Calendars” will focus on the complexities of calendars.

Geoscience Students Present Research at Undergraduate Geoscience Workshop in Taiwan

Geoscience students Susie Adams and Lindsey Aman presented their research at a four-day undergraduate geoscience workshop in Taiwan, part of a National Science Foundation funded project aimed at understanding the very high uplift rates of the rocks in Taiwan’s Central Range.