Community geography discussion draws 157

On March 27, Dr. Jonnell Robinson, assistant professor of geography at Syracuse University, captivated 157 students, faculty, and members of the local community in Sneden Hall with her talk on community geography. As one of only 41 Visiting Geographical Scientists listed by the American Association of Geographers and the International Geographical Honor Society, Dr. Robinson spoke on the importance of colleges and universities engaging in collaboration with their local communities in addressing issues and resolving problems through the application of geographical techniques, skills, and strategies. Her lecture, “Points, Lines and People: Connecting People and Place through Community Geography,” was filmed by GRCC Media Technologies and will soon be broadcast on GRCC TV. Dr. Robinson also was interviewed for GRCC’s “Conversation with a Geographer” oral history series, which was filmed by Media Technologies as well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jonnell Robinson to deliver Visiting Geographical Scientist lecture

Dr. Jonnell Robinson, Director of Community Geography at Syracuse University, will be delivering this year’s Visiting Geographical Scientist lecture on the evening of March 27. She’s done much in applying geographical analysis and mapping to ameliorate social injustice in urban areas and is among the most popular Visiting Geographical Scientists listed by the American Association of Geographers. She’s sure to talk about matters relevant to many disciplines in the arts and sciences, as well as workforce development.  Feel free to attend — and bring your students.


GRCC DeVos Campus, Sneden Hall, Room 108

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

6:30-7:30 p.m.

GRCC seismometer picks up Alaska earthquake

GRCC’s seismic station (GRMI) in Calkins picked up the magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Alaska on Tuesday morning. The earthquake was located at a depth of 25 km below the sea floor, southeast of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. A tsunamic warning was initiated for much of the west coasts of the U. S. and Canada but was cancelled a few hours later. The fault that generated the earthquake was not of the type that usually triggers a damaging tsunami. More information about the earthquake can be found on the U. S. Geological Survey’s website. The figures below show the dramatic trace of the earthquake on the GRMI record. The second image is the pulled record of the earthquake and clearly exhibits the P wave (a seismic body wave that moves through the Earth) and the L wave (a high amplitude wave that travels on the surface of the Earth). The waves arrived at the GRCC station about 7 and 23 minutes, respectively, after the earthquake in Alaska, a testament to the speed of seismic waves!

A readout of GRCC seismometer shows the Alaska earthquake.

Trace of M7.9 Alaska earthquake on GRMI

A readout from the GRCC seismometer shows the P and L waves from the Alaska earthquake.

Pulled seismogram of M7.9 Alaska earthquake showing the relative arrival of the P and the L waves.



GRCC student, alumna take honors at regional geography competition

All geography programs at colleges and universities throughout Ohio and Michigan are part of the East Lakes Division of the American Association of Geographers, which held its annual conference in Ypsilanti on Friday, October 13.  Paper competitions are held at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for students willing to take on the challenge of having their independent research critically assessed by a judging panel made up of faculty from some of the region’s leading geography programs.

For her paper, “Tourism in the Caribbean: Utopian Ideal or Dystopian Disaster?,” Geography major Kara Jueckstock, who intends to graduate from GRCC in December, was awarded first place honors in the paper competition open to all students pursuing the baccalaureate. This appears to be the first time a community college student has been awarded honors at the regional meeting. Kara intends to transfer to Aquinas College in January 2018.

Also, Alyson Mabie, a 2013 GRCC graduate who took first place undergraduate honors at the annual meeting in 2014, was awarded first place honors reserved for the best paper presented by a graduate student pursuing the master’s degree for her paper, “Brewing on the Edge: The Economic and Community Impacts of Small Town Breweries on the Outskirts of Beer City, U.S.A.” Following completion of the M.A. at Western Michigan University, Alyson intends to pursue the Ph.D.

In the last eight years, GRCC Geography alumni have received eight awards for the stellar quality of the papers they’ve presented at this annual regional conference.

Alyson Mabie and Kara Jueckstock stand near a statue of a wolf at Eastern Michigan University.


Geography alumna accepts New Zealand post

Cadey Korson

Cadey Korson

Cadey Korson, a 2008 GRCC graduate, recently accepted a permanent faculty appointment in human geography at Massey University in Auckland. Massey is considered New Zealand’s national university with an enrollment of 35,000 students.

Following award of the associate degree, Cadey completed the B.A. at Aquinas, M.A. at the University of Missouri, and Ph.D. at Kent State University. Subsequently, she took a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oulu in Finland, where she contributed much in terms of geographical scholarship.

Cadey has explored the realms of cultural geography, political geography, and geographic education by conducting fieldwork in the South Pacific with special reference to indigenous peoples, as well as research devoted to the teaching of world regional geography. These efforts over the past few years have resulted in six articles published in peer-reviewed publications, nine papers delivered at conferences in England, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Finland, and Sweden, and an invited lecture given in Hawaii.

A charter member (and former president) of Lambda Upsilon, the GRCC chapter of the International Geographical Honor Society, Cadey is among a number of former GRCC students who have pursued graduate degrees in Geography, and the first alumna in recent years to be awarded a Ph.D. in the field. On New Zealand’s North Island, she can be expected to serve as an inspiration for geography students in the country’s largest city, which is known for its rich cultural diversity.

Geography alumnus appointed to Dartmouth faculty

Ben Gerlofs, a former president of GRCC’s chapter of the International Geographical Honor Society (GTU), has accepted an appointment as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College, which houses the only Geography Department in the Ivy League. Ben received his BA at Aquinas College and MA at Syracuse University.  His research on an edge city in Illinois was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Urban Geography, and he is currently at Rutgers University in the final stages of completing his Ph.D dissertation, which is devoted to Mexico City. Last week, Ben presented a paper at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Boston titled: “Resisting Postpolitics in Mexico City’s Avenida Chapultepec.” Geography alumna Stacey Murphy, now studying at Aquinas, and April Shirey, the current GTU president at GRCC, co-authored a paper that was also presented at the Boston meeting: “Food and Housing Insecurities in Michigan Community Colleges: What can Geography Students do?” The conference is the largest annual gathering of geographers worldwide.

Karen Culcasi talks about Syrian refugee crisis

On March 28, a lecture at the ATC auditorium on the Syrian refugee crisis was delivered by Dr. Karen Culcasi, associate professor of geography at West Virginia University. As one of only 43 Visiting Geographical Scientists listed by the American Association of Geographers and the International Geographical Honor Society, Dr. Culcasi spoke on the challenges faced by Syrian women in Jordan who had been forced to flee their native country because of war. Sharing stories of their experiences, she captivated 140 students, faculty, and members of the local community attending her talk, which was filmed by GRCC Media Technologies and will soon be broadcast on GRCCtv. Dr. Culcasi also was interviewed for GRCC’s “Conversation with a Geographer” oral history series, which was filmed by Media Technologies as well.

Karen Culcasi talks to a packed ATC auditorium. On the video screen behind her, it says "Asma -- Beauty Salon & Sewing."

Geography student awarded scholarship for leadership and service

April Shirey, president of the GRCC Chapter of the International Geographical Honor Society, was recently awarded the Hruby Scholarship, which guarantees she will pay no more than 50 percent of the tuition for completion of the B.A. in Geography at Aquinas College. April is the third nontraditional GRCC Geography student in recent years to receive the Hruby Scholarship, which is awarded in recognition of exemplary leadership and service in our community. She also received the Dr. Phillip Sigal Peace and Justice Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded by the GRCC English Department, for completion of the Associate Degree. In addition to demonstrating leadership and service through the honor society, April presents papers at academic conferences, provides academic tutoring to students in a number of disciplines, and works as a production coordinator for events taking place throughout the U.S. She intends to begin studies at Aquinas in August 2017.April Shirey stands on a hilltop.

GRCC geography graduate receives award

A young woman stands in front of a lake and mountains.

Stacey Murphy

Each year at the American Association of Geographers regional meeting in the Midwest, three awards are presented to undergraduates and an additional three awards are presented to graduate students for their paper presentations. Stacey Murphy, an August 2016 graduate of GRCC — and now a student at Aquinas College — received the second place undergraduate award at the recent event hosted by Northern Michigan University.  She acknowledged funding from the GRCC Foundation for supporting her research on a pressing issue facing many college students: food insecurity. Throughout the years, students from GRCC have consistently shown themselves to be on par with some of the region’s best Geography students, including those from nationally ranked universities in Michigan and Ohio. Since 2010, six GRCC Geography alumni have received awards for their presentations at this annual conference.

GRCC geography student awarded scholarship

A young woman stands in front of a lake and mountains.

Stacey Murphy

Acknowledging that her “service and leadership in our community have been exemplary,” Aquinas College just awarded the Hruby Scholarship to Stacey Murphy, who will be completing studies in Geography at GRCC in August. Named in honor of Norbert Hruby, the second president of Aquinas College and a devoted advocate of continuing education for adult students, the Hruby Scholarship is granted to stellar transfer students demonstrating a history of community service and leadership through volunteerism. The Hruby Scholarship funds 50% of tuition, and Ms. Murphy is the second GRCC Geography graduate in recent years to receive this honor specifically designated for non-traditional students. Following her studies at Aquinas, she plans to attend graduate school in Geography.

Visiting geographical scientist lecture tonight

Date: April 11, 2016

Time: 7:00pm

Location: 108 Sneden Hall, GRCC DeVos Campus, 415 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

People and Plants: Conservation of Forests and Cultures
by Maria Fadiman, Geographer, Ethnobotanist and Professor, Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Maria Fadiman, associate professor of Geography at Florida Atlantic University and author of numerous publications devoted to ethnobotany and sustainable development, is known for her TEDx talks in the U.S. and Mexico on people and plants in tropical ecosystems. Maria engages in fieldwork in Latin America and Africa and has received funding from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society for research relating to cultural geography and ethnobotany. In 2006, she earned distinction as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and in 2015, she was honored as one of only 40 geographers listed by the International Geographical Honor Society as distinguished Visiting Geographical Scientists. Maria teaches courses in world regional geography, conservation, and culture and the environment. She is currently writing about the cultural geography of tropical rainforests.

Distinguished Geographer Speaks Tonight at GRCC’s Annual Conference on Race, Ethnicity, & Identity

Dr. Marie Price, Professor of Geography and International Affairs at George Washington University opens the annual conference on Race, Ethnicity, and Identity with a keynote lecture titled: Diffusion, Deflection and Diversity: A Geographic Perspective on Immigration. The conference is sponsored by the GRCC Social Sciences Department and Grand Rapids Community College, as well as Pearson Education, the International Geographical Honor Society, and the Association of American Geographers. An author of Migrants to the Metropolis: The Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities in addition to Globalization and Diversity: Geography of a Changing World, Dr. Price has received numerous honors and awards for her research and service. She is currently the Vice-President of the American Geographical Society. The lecture begins at 7:00 pm this evening in Sneden Hall Room 108 on the DeVos Campus.