Thursday, March 31, 2011

Congratulations to our Geography Undergraduates!

At this year's Exhibition for Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EUReCA) at the University of Tennessee, Geography was well represented with not one, not two, but three poster presentations! Congratulations to David White for his presentation titled "The Creative Metropolis in America":

to Scott Basford for his presentation titled "Putting Their Eggs in India's Basket: Church's Chicken in India": and to Sean Baskin and Sarah Jones for their presentation titled "Spatial Dynamics of Climatic Response in Ponderosa Pines (Pinus ponderosa), El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico, U.S.A.":

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guest Speaker - April 7 colloquium

I want to extend a special invitation to students (this includes undergraduates and non-majors) who are considering a career in GIS to attend the April 7 colloquium. The speaker that day will be Kenneth Bennett who received his MS degree and is now the Information Technology Manager for Los Angeles. Kenneth came rather late to GIS, having earned his BA degree in English and World Literature at UCLA.  At Tennessee he heard his MS specializing in GIS and Transportation.  His talk will focus on how he moved from his MS degree to GIS consultant, to GIS manager for Los Angeles’ Registrar and Recorder, to his current position as Information Technology Manager.  If you are at all interested in a career in GIS, I encourage you to attend.  In addition, Kenneth will meet with students on Friday, April 8 at 9 AM. I will bribe your attendance with some goodies from Panera!  Here is the official blurb for Kenneth’s presentation:
Geography Colloquium
Programming, Projects, and People:  The Journey of a GIS Professional from Geography Student to Information Technology Manager

Mr. Kenneth Bennett
Information Technology Manager, Los Angeles, CA
April 7 at 3:40 PM
Lindsey Young Auditorium in Hodges Library
Speaker Bio. Mr. Bennett graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with an M.S. in Geography in 1998, where he concentrated on a range of topics, including transportation planning and modeling, business transportation and logistics, computer programming, and GIS application development.  The degree and experience he gained at UTK landed him a position at the GIS consulting firm, GIS/Trans, Ltd.  As a consultant from 1998 until 2004, Mr. Bennett worked on numerous GIS-Transportation projects in California, Arizona, and in Chile and Bolivia.  Those projects involved not only GIS design and development, but also strategic implementation planning for enterprise GIS.  A contract with Los Angeles County to develop an innovative GIS for precincting and redistricting led to being hired by the County’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk in 2004 to be their GIS Section Head, in which capacity he headed a multi-departmental effort to build an award-winning GIS-based Countywide Address Management System.  Success in GIS project management led to a promotion to the position of Information Technology Manager, which places him in charge over numerous election-critical systems, including district mapping, precinct consolidation, ballot layout, ballot tabulation, elect results mapping and reporting, and tally audit.  Mr. Bennett also holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in English and World Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Bruce Ralston
Professor Emeritus
Department of Geography
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0925
Phone: 865-974-6043
FAX: 865-974-6025

Become a geographer, live a happy life

An article on the best jobs in America included the best 10 low stress jobs.  Take a look at number 5.
Here's the link:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Congratulations to Grant Harley!

The Graduate School has just announced fellowship winners for this year (  Our Ph.D. student Grant Harley, advised by Henri Grissino-Mayer, has received a Yates Dissertation Fellowship! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Job Opportunity for PhD student

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seek a PhD-level graduate student to participate in a NASA-funded research project to assess the impacts of disturbance and land use change on the continental-scale carbon budget of North America. The student will be expected to lead the mapping component of the project, using the start-of-the-art in remotely-sensed data and tools to develop spatially- and temporally- explicit data sets on disturbance frequency, extent and severity. The primary focus of the project is to develop these data sets to drive ecological process models to assess disturbance-climate feedbacks; but opportunities also exist for the student to design research addressing other questions, including but not limited to modeling and prediction of insect outbreaks, fire emissions, and forest management and societal impacts.
The desired candidate will have a degree in ecology, forestry or other relevant environmental science discipline. A candidate with experience using software tools for Geographic Information Systems (e.g. ArcGIS) and satellite image analysis (e.g. ERDAS, ENVI) is highly desirable. Good communication and scientific writing skills are also of high importance.
The full-time graduate assistantship is available in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ( at UTK and includes a tuition waiver, stipend (starting at ~$23,000 / year), and health insurance. The student will be required to enroll in the graduate school at UTK and the program will include collaboration with researchers at the Climate Change Science Institute ( at ORNL.
Interested candidates should send a letter of interest and résumé via e-mail to Daniel Hayes ( The position is available immediately, and the student should plan to begin their program no later than fall semester 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scholarship Opportunities

The International Geography Honor Society of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) offers five scholarships each year:

The Buzzard Undergraduate Scholarship ($1,000) Awarded to a college senior for use toward graduate school expenses

The Maxfield Scholarship ($1,000) Awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations.

The Richason Scholarship ($1,000) Awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations.

The Rechlin Scholarship ($1,000) Awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations

The Buzzard Graduate Scholarship ($1,000) Awarded to a continuing graduate student.

Information and application materials may be found on the GTU website at: Scholarship recipients must be GTU members.
Application packets from either graduate or undergraduate students must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2011.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Job opportunity

Bechtel Career Opportunities

Bechtel is seeking candidates for a GIS university hire position in Frederick, MD office. The successful candidate would become a member of the Corporate GIS team, and have the opportunity to support engineering and construction projects around the world and to contribute to cutting edge spatial technologies as well. More information at the Bechtel Career Opportunities web site

Friday, March 4, 2011

Where the People Are -- UT Geographer Tracks Human Behavior to Solve Problems

Give him five minutes and a cell phone and he'll stop you in your tracks. At least, that's how geographer Shih-Lung Shaw would come across in a Bond movie, or maybe even an episode of MacGyver.
Sounds "007"?
Continue the story by clicking here