Geography Alumni Newsletter, Winter 2018

Chair’s message | Happy to have new president as geography faculty

The department is very proud to have the accomplished geographer and experienced university leader Dr. Duane Nellis as the new president of Ohio University. President Nellis and his wife, Ruthie, have enthusiastically embraced the University, the Athens community and the department.

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Bloemer Day keynote focuses on multicultural perspectives on naming places

Watch the keynote address from Hugh Bloemer Day by Dr. David Mark, director emeritus of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. Mark discusses “Naming of Landscape Places and Features: Multilingual and Multicultural Perspectives.”

Watch now

New: Online certificate for professionals using geospatial technologies

The Geography Department introduces a new online graduate certificate designed for recent graduates and professionals who need to use geospatial technologies in their careers but don't necessarily have a background in GIS.

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You’re invited | Arts & Sciences career and networking week

Join alumni and students for the college’s Alumni and Student Networking Reception on Feb. 1. You have valuable experiences to share about career choices, graduate school and internships. Find out how you can help and RSVP now.

There are many ways to be involved, including networking, one-on-one conversations, resume review, and roundtables. To learn more, contact Lisa Cohen, Director of External Relations, at

RSVP today!
Alumni news

Postolovski sees GIS careers evolving with technology, urgent nationwide needs

Ray Postolovski, who works with the USGS’s National Geospatial Program, says, “Our field is constantly evolving due to changes in technology and urgent nationwide needs."

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Two geography alumni get college Notable Alumni Awards

The College of Arts & Sciences launched the Notable Alumni Awards in 2017, honoring 37 Notable Alumni—including two Geography alumni—for broad accomplishments in their careers, a commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and its students.

Kukral is associate professor of geography & Africa field studies at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He was in the Marching 110 and taught at OHIO during his early career.
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John Maximuk, BS '92: Maximuk is a city planner with 23 years of experience in the Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C., metro areas working in local government, regional planning, and advocacy. In every setting, Maximuk has been a champion for the role of design in planning and for best practices in local government.
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'Oh neat. I am on SNL now'

"Oh neat. I am on SNL now," tweeted Ohio University alumnus Luke Null '12, as NBC announced he was joining the cast for Saturday Night Live’s 43rd season. In addition to being a featured player, Null also writes sketches.

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Tim Lo uses 'science of where' to help people, environment

Tim Lo ’07 is with Esri, an international firm that does groundbreaking work in many areas, including sustainability, disease prevention, conservation, and education.

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Virin Vedder 'knighted' by France for language programming
Dr. Virin Vedder '94 was "knighted" by France in December for his work in developing French language programs in a Georgia school system.
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Kyle May 'detangles the knot' of city geography

“The second you start to detangle the knot of the urban world, it hooks you,” says Kyle May ‘09, a self-described “geography nerd.” More.

Faculty news

Faculty highlight – President Nellis is expert in environmental remote sensing and GIS

A prolific specialist of environmental remote sensing and GIS, President M. Duane Nellis was inaugurated as the 21st President of Ohio University on Oct. 18. The department is excited that such a prolific scholar will chart the course for Ohio University.

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Extraordinary Antarctic weather may have influenced race to South Pole

Dr. Ryan Fogt is the lead author on new reconstructions of past atmospheric pressures over Antarctica that show much of the continent experienced unusually high pressures during portions of the early and middle 20th century. Those high pressures were associated with warm weather that may have significantly impacted the race to reach the South Pole during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer of 1911-1912, according to the new research.

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Lein, alumna publish on fingerprinting anthropogenic waste heat using satellite data

Dr. James Lein published an article with Ohio University alumna Xin Hong on "Fingerprinting Anthropogenic 'Waste' Heat Across an Urban Landscape Using Earth Observational Satellite Data.”
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Whitson co-authors book on 'Feminist Spaces: Gender and Geography in a Global Context'

Dr. Risa Whitson’s Feminist Spaces introduces students and academic researchers to major themes and empirical studies in feminist geography. More.

Sinha gets grant, authors reference ontology on mapping basins, valleys and canyons

Dr. Gaurav Sinha co-authored a reference ontology on mapping depression landforms such as basins, valleys and canyons as part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series.
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Wangui named 2017-18 University Professor

“As teachers, we always take risks as we introduce new topics, use new methodologies or challenge our students’ world view,” said Dr. Edna Wangui. “This award tells me that the risks I have taken have paid off.”
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Houser gives keynote on tornado intensity, correlation with topography, land cover

Dr. Jana Houser gave the keynote at the AMS Radar Meteorology Conference on how geographic land characteristics such as hills and valleys and changes in surface coverage such as forests, fields and urban areas affect the intensity of tornadoes.
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Student news
Geography senior maps risk on Buckeye Trail, prepares to deploy with Air National Guard

Carolyn Kinzel '18 will graduate this spring with a Geographic Information Science major, but instead of hitting the job market she will be joining her fellow Air National Guards on a deployment.
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Geography student gets career coaching, lands McDonald's internship

Geography student Zach Hadley '19 landed a summer internship in real estate and development with McDonald’s, thanks to some help from the college’s career coach.
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Wealth & poverty internship shows realities of housing insecurity

Kees Vande Stadt '19 interned at Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society, a nonprofit organization based out of East Camden, New Jersey, a place where affordable housing and poverty have been and still are major issues.
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Can you help students? Want to get involved?

The Bobcat alumni network is incredibly productive in giving OHIO students a great start on successful career paths. If you could benefit from access to Bobcat career services, or if you know of internship opportunities, or if you want to help your department support students, there are many ways to get involved, both in Athens and from afar. If you’re interested in connecting with a department, educational enrichment, networking, or coming to campus, contact Lisa Cohen.
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