September 2019

Message from the chair | Geography celebrating 50th anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Ohio University Department of Geography. We hope that many of the department's alumni and friends—including you—will be able to join us on Friday and/or Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16, 2019, to help commemorate this milestone.

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Alumni news

Jonathon Hogue suffers fatal fall at Island in the Sky

The Ohio University Geography Department mourns the loss of alumnus Jonathon Hogue, MS '18, who died March 15 at Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

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Koran studies Swahili in Tanzania, heads to Peace Corps in Rwanda

Alexandra Koran, BA '19, won a U.S. Critical Language Scholarship to study Swahili for eight weeks in Tanzania this summer—before she headed to Rwanda with the Peace Corps.

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Lt. Col. Fuller reflects on career launched at OHIO

“In 1971, I was a career Army officer (rank of captain) who had relatively recently returned from a one-year combat tour in Vietnam. The military was offering me a two-year opportunity to complete a master’s degree program at Ohio University…”

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Stone explores street art in Baltimore as catalyst for change

Meredith Stone, MA '17, analyzed the breathtaking murals in Baltimore, seeing not just images that transcend political and social boundaries but also a catalyst for change.

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Roberts named curator at Nevada Historical Society

Making history fun and education for the school children who visit the museum is a key element in what drew Michelle Roberts to the position.

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Arbino joins NBC 24 in Toledo as meteorologist

Ohio University alumnus Chris Arbino, BS '17, joined WNWO NBC 24 in Toledo as a meteorologist in November.

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Oldham named presiding judge for Akron Municipal Court

Judge Jon Oldham, BS ’99, serves as the administrative/presiding judge of the Akron Municipal Court for 2019.

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Lewis's forecasts help pilots, forest firefighters, communities

Simone Lewis, BS '03, is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, and her weather forecasts help pilots at multiple airports across the country make flying decisions.

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Kathleen dedicates career to increasing recycling

An environmental planner with GT Environmental, Molly Kathleen, BS '08, works to address recycling and solid waste challenges in Ohio.

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Zontini starts at 1 a.m. to get Dayton ready to go

Kirstie Zontini, BSJ '11, usually gets to work around 1 or 2 a.m. She has weather forecasts, stories and graphics done long before most people's alarms go off.

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Krautmann creates social media storm over sliced bagels

Meteorologist Alek Krautmann, MS ‘12, created a social media storm when he brought bagels to work sliced the St. Louis Bread Company way — vertically, not horizontally.

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Geography alumni give advice to job seekers

“Be open," says Susan Liggins, BS '02. "It’s not likely that you stand there today knowing exactly what you will be doing in one year, let alone 15 or 20.”

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Geography hosts alumni for JobQuest career panels

Students were invited to a series of JobQuest career panels with Geography alumni late last fall.

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Homecoming 2019: Meet the new dean, register to win fire pit

Stop by before or after the 10 a.m. Homecoming parade and meet the new dean of Arts & Sciences at the college’s tent from 9 a.m. to noon at Howard Square (across from Schoonover on the parade route on Union Street) on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Register to win a Bobcat fire pit at the A&S tent!

Save the date | Arts & Sciences Student-Alumni Networking, Jan. 30

Mark your calendars for the college’s fourth annual Alumni and Student Networking Reception on Jan. 30, 2020. You have valuable experiences to share about career choices, graduate school and internships. Come back to Athens to help fellow Bobcats get a jump on their careers.

There are many ways to be involved, including networking, one-on-one conversations, resume review, or employer tables. RSVP online, or contact Lisa Cohen, director of external relations, at

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Faculty news

Geography Professor Emeritus Lynden Williams passes away

Professor Emeritus of Geography Lynden "Lyn" Williams passed away on May 28 in Buhl, Idaho. Williams taught at Ohio University from the early 1970s until he retired in the mid-1990s.

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Lein retires after 31 years

Dr. James Lein was responsible for establishing the geospatial techniques of GIS and satellite remote sensing at Ohio University—and for fully integrating these critical topics into the geography curriculum.

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Houser named University Professor

Dr. Jana B. Houser was named a 2019-20 University Professor. She received a monetary stipend and the opportunity to teach a course of her choosing as a means of enriching the undergraduate curriculum.

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Fogt using NSF grant to explore contemporary variability in Antarctic Sea ice

Dr. Ryan Fogt was awarded his third National Science Foundation grant from the NSF Office of Polar Programs.

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Whitson gets faculty research and creative activity award

Dr. Risa Whitson received an Ohio University award to fund her project "Embodied Memories of Displacement: Using Participatory Art and Mapping for Understanding and Reconciliation in Colombia."

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Sinha gets affiliate faculty status at USGS research center

Dr. Gaurav Sinha was recently assigned affiliate faculty researcher by the USGS Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS).

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Geography celebrates Geofest 2019 student awards

The Geography Department hosted the annual Geofest celebration on April 17, presenting academic and service awards to the department’s undergraduate and graduate students. 

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Athens, Ohio 45701-2979

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