Faculty News

Ritter Receives Award for Textbook

Book Cover
Michael Ritter, Department of Geography and Geology received the National Council for Geographic Education  "Geographic Excellence in Media (GEM)" award at the 2011 national NCGE conference on August 6, 2011 for his online textbook "The Physical Environment: an Introduction to Physical Geography​". All forms of media  that exhibit outstanding geographic content or teaching methods are eligible for a GEM award. These may include any of the following: Internet websites, CD-ROMs, videos, software, television documentaries, films, slide sets, books, or articles in non-geographic periodicals. Both non-commercial and commercial productions are considered for the award. The award is based on the quality and impact of the production in advancing the learning and teaching of geography at any level for any age group.

Hefferan Presents Poster at AGU Meeting

Kevin Hefferan presented a poster at the American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting in San Francisco, December 17, 2010 entitled "The Tiddiline Formation: An enigmatic Pan African molasse deposit of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco". This paper was co-authored with Jeremy Inglis of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Hefferan Receives Personal Development Grant

Kevin Hefferan received a UWSP Personnel Development Grant entitled “Pan African subduction and sedimentary basin development” for $4,980. Kevin also received a $2,000 UWSP Faculty Development Grant: “Sedimentary basin development in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco”. Both of these grants will provide funds for field work and geochemical analysis of rock samples as part of a collaborative study with researchers from Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakech), Syracuse University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

GIS Center Receives WIST Grant

Gene Martin, Doug Miskowiak and Keith Rice, of the UWSP Geographic Information System (GIS) Center and the UWSP Department of Geology and Geography received a grant for $34,724 from the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST). Their project will apply GIS tools to model commuting routes, mileages, and other travel parameters among UWSP staff and students so as to estimate fuel utilization and identify potential consumption reductions.

Miskowiak Co-authors GIS Book

Douglas Miskowiak, recently co-authored a book describing the role of geospatial technologies in land planning, design, and management and environmental problem solving. It is also about civic engagement in planning the future and how to encourage and enhance such engagement. Instead of an abstract or theoretical treatise, our approach is to share with the reader our ideas, observations, experiences, and outcomes as they have evolved over more than three decades. The stories we tell, examples we cite, and case studies we report are based mostly in Wisconsin, but they are intended to give readers ideas about what approaches might or might not work in their own geographic, political, and cultural contexts. Our purpose, then, is to make a candid, practical contribution to those who struggle daily with difficult land-planning and management issues, regardless of where they occur.

This contribution is embodied in Planning Analyst, a term we use to describe a set of off-the-shelf technology-based tools and procedures that attract and engage citizens in the comprehensive land planning and management process. Although this book focuses on engaging citizen planners, professional planners and educators and elected officials will find this book useful to recognize cost-effective geospatial workflows and implement them successfully.

About the Authors

Citizen Planners book coverBernard (Ben) Niemann Jr. is emeritus professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the founding director of the Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility. There, he co-created and co-taught the first interdisciplinary course in GIS. He served as vice-chair of the Wisconsin Land Records Committee, helping establish the Wisconsin Land Information Program.

D. David Moyer is an honorary fellow in the Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is chief executive officer and senior consultant for D.D. Moyer and Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in LIS, GIS, land title systems, and geospatial economic studies. He co-founded and co-edited the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Journal.

Stephen Ventura is professor of environmental studies and soil science at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is director of the Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility. He has served as editor of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Journal and chaired the University of Wisconsin Spatial Information and Analysis Consortium.

Earth Materials Textbook Published

Kevin Hefferan, Professor of Geology, co-authored a new textbook that was published in April.

Earth Materials textbook cover

Since the 1980’s, Earth science at the undergraduate level has experienced fundamental change with respect to curricula and student goals. Many universities have compressed separate mineralogy, optical mineralogy, igneous petrology, metamorphic petrology and sedimentology courses into a one- or two-semester Earth Materials course or sequence. This in part reflects the increasing demand on departments to service students in environmental sciences, remote imaging and geographical information systems and science education. This change has occurred at an accelerating pace over the last decade as departments have adjusted their course offerings to the new realities of the job market. John O’Brien and I recognize the need for an Earth Materials textbook to address the evolving mineral and rock course offerings. Our goal is to produce an innovative, visually appealing, informative textbook that will meet changing market needs in the Earth Sciences.  Earth Materials provides equal treatment to minerals, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks and demonstrates their impact in our personal lives as well as our global environment. Earth Materials represents a new comprehensive approach in introducing students to the importance of minerals, rocks, soil and water in our global society.