We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Sasha Davis as our newest faculty member in Geography. Dr. Davis earned his PhD from Penn State in 2003 and most recently served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. At Keene State, he will teach courses in Human Geography, Tourism, and Recreation. Dr. Davis’ research interests are in the impacts of tourism, as well as the role of militarism, in the Pacific islands.
On August 27th, the College honored Dr. Cusack with the 2015 Distinguished Teacher Award, recognizing his passion for geography and his dedication to our students. Dr. Cusack delivered an inspirational speech to more than 1000 faculty and incoming first-year students who gave him a standing ovation. We are extremely proud to have Dr. Cusack as a teacher and colleague in Geography, and pleased that the College has recognized his hard work and commitment to excellence in the classroom!
Read more here.
Seniors Hannah Elliot, Jason Cyr, Charlie Stoll and Tommy Todd spent the fall of 2014 surveying students, local residents, and business owners about their everyday practices regarding recycling and resource conservation. Their results were shared at the 2015 Academic Excellence Conference at Keene State, and the 2015 AAG Conference in Chicago. One of the highlights of their work is a map of sustainability features on the Keene State campus which will be published and distributed later this year. The map will also be available as an online interactive map through the department’s Community GIS Center. The final report can be found on the student work page.
With guidance from Southwest Region Planning Commission, senior students assessed the Ashuelot Rail Trail, which leads from the Keene State College campus all the way to the Connecticut River in Hinsdale, NH. Using GPS and GIS, students mapped trail conditions and created a final map of ‘ride-ability’ along the 22 mile route. They also surveyed riders, walkers and other community members about their commuting habits. The results are available as a final report on our Student Work page.
In the fall of 2014, four senior geography students embarked on a semester-long effort to assess the condition of the Cheshire Rail Trail North, a former railroad right of way that now forms the foundation of a nearly 18-mile long rail-trail from downtown Keene to Walpole, NH. With support from Southwest Region Planning Commission, the students discovered that the most well-maintained portions are within Keene, but some of the most scenic sections are found along the Connecticut River valley, many miles to the north and west. Read more about their project and others on our Student Work page.
Geography grads Dave Daly (’12) and Chris Ordway (’12) found their way to the center of North America on their recent sojourn across America. The students are taking their time seeing the country as they relocate to Colorado.
Our very own Charlie Stoll was recently profiled in Keene State College news. The article describes how Charlie has had an interesting path from his career as a plumber to majoring in geography and his current interest in fluvial geomorphology (a scientific way of describing the ‘plumbing’ of river systems). Please read more about Charlie’s story here.
Each spring we are proud to induct a new class of students into Keene State’s Beta Theta chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), the International Honor Society of Geography. To be eligible, students must maintain a 3.3 GPA in all classes and in geography courses. This year’s new class of GTU members includes Lena Fontana, Samantha Gaudette, Emily Pelletier and Kat Wood. Not pictured are new members Brian Jones and Megan Pietrowski. New officers were elected for the 2014-15 academic year: President: Charles Stoll, Vice-President: Kat Wood, Secretary: Samantha Gaudette, and Treasurer: Lena Fontana. Also present for the induction ceremony were current officers Michael Harpool and Keith Pancake. After the ceremony, we celebrated over dinner at Elm City Brewing Company.
Fifteen Geography seniors and four faculty members recently attended the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Held this year in Tampa, Florida, this is the premier conference of our discipline, attended by thousands of academic and professional geographers and scientists from a variety of disciplines.
Keene State was one of the best represented departments among the hundreds attending, as our students made six presentations over four days. One group of seniors, Brian Cote, Brian Jones, Michael Harpool and Abby Martelle, received the award for Best Undergraduate Paper Award from the Regional Development and Planning Group, for their project “The Ultimate Commute: An Assessment of Bike Path Conditions in Keene, NH.”
Faculty members Lara Bryant, Chris Cusack and Chris Brehme presented their latest research results during paper sessions, and emeritus professor Klaus Bayr presented a poster with alums Chris Dunn and Adam Riffle describing Dr. Bayr’s ongoing glacier research.
It was not all work and no play in Tampa. Most of the group took in an NHL Hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. On Wednesday evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner of pizza and cold drinks following our extensive self-guided tour of downtown Tampa. Thursday allowed for some relaxing hours poolside at the conference hotel.
The Annual AAG Meeting has become a rite of passage for our graduating seniors as most look forward to the final weeks of their undergraduate college experience. This year’s juniors should already be looking forward to AAG 2015 in Chicago!
Geography Seniors made a splash at the 2014 Academic Excellence Conference on April 5th with twenty-two seniors presenting six projects. Parents, friends and faculty joined them to share in their success. Read more about all six projects on the student work page. In addition, senior Mike Desjardins gave an oral presentation on the results of his KSC Undergraduate Research-funded work on coral reef conditions in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Read more about his work under his student profile.