Spring speakers for Coffee Hour lecture series announced

Professor of Geography Jennifer Baka gave the opening fall 2019 Coffee Hour lecture on Sept. 6 on the topic,"Cracking Appalachia: A Political-Industrial Ecology Perspective." Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

The Department of Geography Coffee Hour lecture series resumes on Friday afternoons beginning Jan. 31 through April 24 for the spring 2020 semester on Penn State's University Park campus.

Coffee Hour is a weekly lecture series hosted by the Department of Geography celebrating interdisciplinary scholarship and collegiality. Topics range from innovations in GIScience, to food security to land use and justice issues, among others. Anyone with an interest in the topic is invited to attend.

Unless otherwise noted, refreshments are offered beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the E. Willard Miller seminar room, 319 Walker Building, and at 4 p.m. the lecture begins in the John J. Cahir Auditorium, 112 Walker Building.

The lecture is also webcast and is accessible for viewing online.

“The ‘Coffee Hour To Go’ endowment supports the webcast and also allows us to invite international scholars,” said Cynthia Brewer, head of the department.

Erica Smithwick and Emily Rosenman are the Coffee Hour Committee co-chairs for 2019–20.

“Fall 2019 provided an opportunity to put forward a list of speakers to address the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus. Inherently interdisciplinary, the FEW nexus is an effort to frame convergent solutions to meet linked agricultural, water or energy challenges,” Smithwick said.

The fall 2019 lectures can be viewed on the Coffee Hour Mediasite Channel.

“For spring, our scope will broaden to include other geographical perspectives on race, gender, history and indigenous knowledge, and data science approaches to grand societal challenges,” Smithwick said. “We cap off the semester with a talk by renowned geographer Laurence Smith, the John Atwater and Diana Nelson University Professor of Environmental Studies and professor of earth, planetary and space sciences at Brown University. Smith will be our Miller Speaker for 2020, and his visit will coincide with the release of his new book, ‘Rivers of Power’ which explores the relationships between rivers and civilization as we know it.”

Confirmed speakers to date:

Jan. 31: Arturo Izurieta, executive director, Charles Darwin Foundation, “Working on an old question How many visitors can the Galapagos hold? Finding a sustainable model.” This talk is co-sponsored by the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management program.

Feb. 7: Akira Drake Rodriguez, University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, “A Spatial Approach to Educational Justice: The Comprehensive School Planning Review Process of Philadelphia."

Feb. 21: Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for science applications at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University. This talk is co-sponsored by the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences.

Feb. 28: Jason Hackworth, professor of geography and planning, University of Toronto, “Manufacturing Decline: How Racism and the Conservative Movement Crush the American Rust Belt.”

March 20: Julie Reed, associate professor of history at Penn State

March 27: Debanuj Dasgupta, assistant professor of geography and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, University of Connecticut. This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Center for Global Studies and the Department of Asian Studies.

April 24: The Miller Lecture featuring Larry Smith, John Atwater and Diana Nelson University Professor of Environment and Society and professor of earth, environmental and planetary sciences, Brown University. This talk is co-sponsored by the Institutes of Energy and the Environment. Special time and location: 2:30 p.m. at the Hintz Family Alumni Center. This event will include a reception and book signing.

Coffee Hour was established by professors emeritus of geography, Ronald Abler and John Adams, in the fall of 1968.



Last Updated January 20, 2020