Getting to Know You (Module 1) – Bernstein

Hello everyone!

My name is Teresa Bernstein. I am a Junior majoring in International Relations (a branch off of the International Politics major) and currently attend the World Campus “location”. Even though I was born in North Carolina, I was raised here in Bernville, Pennsylvania. Bernville is a rather small town about 12 miles away from the more well-known city of Reading (if you need a point of reference). In the future I hope to get into politics – hence my major – and maybe even represent the United States abroad (as I have my Bachelor’s in German from Lycoming College already). The part of this course that I am most anticipating is talking about human-environment interactions and the implications thereof. I do not have too much to say about myself fact wise; I am very big into music and can play 6 different instruments (some of which I taught myself how to play), and like to participate in karate in my free time (a hobby of mine since I was about 9 years old).

One issue that geography would be well suited to address is human-environment interactions. Environment and Society Geography can help analyze why certain areas of the world are left with a larger human footprint than others. Globalization and integration as a result also play a large role in this particular issue. If Country A has a natural resource that Country B wishes desperately to acquire, the Cultural integration between these two countries could lead to Economic integration in order to meet the desire for this resource. Too large of a demand then has the possibility to stress Country A and could deplete resources at drastic rates unless sanctions are put in place. As a result, this can fuel the fires of an economic and/or political battle – which all started with Geography. I believe it is important to understand how much of an effect we have on our surroundings because it ties into more than one would think at first glance.

Getting to Know Me: Chris Miller

Hi everyone, my name is Chris Miller.  I’m a senior Finance major at Penn State.  I currently live off-campus in downtown state college.  During my childhood in Pittsburgh, I developed an appreciation for nature by playing in the woods behind our home. I also enjoy lifting and playing basketball in my free-time. This is my fourth year at Penn State and with graduation approaching, I’ve been considering different career options.  I spent the past seven months working at IBM in New York. I’ll either end up in corporate finance or banking. I’m excited to take this course and learn about geography at the college-level.  Specifically, I would like to gain a better understanding of our negative interactions with the environment and how these can be improved.

I’m interested to see how geography can analyze human-environment interactions and help solve global issues.  With this problem I believe it’s essential to look at scale, globalization, and governance.  Many country specific environmental issues have far reaching implications.  We need to examine how globalization increase the strain on these resources and how nations can govern trade to reduce the strain.  This governance should promote sustainability, without economically harming local actors. Over-fishing is a great example because it’s a global problem with severe consequences for local communities.  Governments need to create a sustainable framework of laws and treaties to combat this problem, while keeping scale in mind.  Globalization has increased demand for seafood and people at the local level are incentivized to meet this demand.  Any solution should consider this local scale and explore ways to provide new employment.  A possible solution would be to construct a fishery in the local region, which would meet demand and provide an alternative to fishermen.

Module 1- Introduction

Hi, I’m Zack.  I just finished my last full semester at State College this past fall; I actually lived in a tent the whole semester on a local dairy farm because it sounded like a good time. Currently, I am living at home in Waterford, PA finishing up two online courses in order to graduate with a Plant Science degree in May. Also, I am working full time this semester.  I grew up on a large farm, and I plan to work in the agriculture industry and get some experience before I take over my family’s farm.  This geography class interests me because reconciling large scale agriculture and sustainability is a personal goal of mine.  Other than that, I’ve been very lucky to travel extensively and I get excited at any opportunity to learn something about the world!

I think a geographical issue that is very important to me is going to be food production.  I am a big proponent of large scale agriculture, but there are many problems that need to be fixed in order for complete sustainability.  Geography will be very relevant do to the varied landscapes and changing climate.  Feeding the world does not mean just producing more food, but creating stable production and distribution to places that actually need the food.


Getting to Know Jason Hirons

Hello, as the title states my name is Jason Hirons. I currently live in McKinney, Texas however I’m originally from Southern Illinois. I’ve lived in Virginia Beach, San Diego, and Korea. I’ve been to Japan, France, Italy, England, Croatia, Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Crete, Turkey, Nigeria, Cameroon, maybe a few more I’m missing, and of course Iraq. I’m a 14 year military veteran out on a disability retirement due to injuries and surgeries on my spine. I was an Intelligence Analyst and therefore this topic is near and dear to my heart. My interest in this course is because it is part of my minor in Geography. I’m currently majoring in Psychology with a life sciences option. I hope to be a high school teacher and teach life sciences and social studies in my near future.

As far as a topic that is important is the whole topic of Social Science Perspective. Perspective is often in the driver seat in society. When it comes to these vital topics of environment whether it comes from human impacts, environmental impacts, or the policies that define them; how we ultimately shape the perspective of them will be a large part of our future. These issues are now at the forefront of society and ultimately must be clearly shaped, defined, and packaged in away to effect the appropriate change. Perspective is key in reaching global populations.

I Look forward to working with all of you this semester

Getting To Know Me: Shelby Epstein

Hello everybody, my name is Shelby Epstein! Currently, I am living at Penn State University, University Park as a freshman. When applying to Penn State, I was not certain what major I wanted to pursue in, but taking all sorts of classes in the first semester helped me get a baseline of what I wanted to do. I now am taking steps to enter the Smeal College of Business, in hopes of finding a career in Supply Chain Management. My interest in this course is learning the different ways in which humans damage the environment and ways to prevent that from happening. Every single day something is impacting our environment and we as humans need to stop hurting it, or else there is going to be daunting consequences in the future.

While reading through the module 1 content, the issue of human-environment interactions stood out to me. This issue is very important because it involves natural hazards, which are natural events that disrupt human activity. This can be seen in California with the continuing drought that occurred and keeps reoccurring. The drought is a huge problem because it is affecting the people in California and the wildlife by the dryness and wildfire outbreaks. You may ask yourself… what decisions and processes can humans make in order to save the natural environment? This is where the concept of sustainability comes in. Sustainability try’s to understand how human activities can exist without disrupting the ability of natural ecosystems to function; governance can do this. Although constrained by outside forces, humans still make decisions whether they are ethical to their environments or not. We as a community need to stop making irrational decisions and save our environment together!

Module 1: Getting to know you

Hello everyone, my name is Steven Feng and I am a senior at Penn State Worthington Scranton.  I am majoring in the IST program, going down the design and development route, and will be graduating after this semester.  I grew up in Scranton, and am currently residing in Dickson City.  The career I am planning on pursuing is one that deals with developing technology.  Currently, I work with databases a lot and is, in my opinion, a pretty good choice.  I am taking this class because of one of the requirements for me to graduate, as well as the effect humans have on the geography of Earth.

One of the issues that interest me is climate change and how it’s really impacting the Earth.  Module 1 covered things such as human’s impact at towards climate change.  It also covers how the scale of climate change is both on a global and local scale.  This sparked my interest because, if we recall, Christmas this year was obnoxiously warm.  In my opinion, this issue should be more widely known and it is really affecting the world.

Getting to Know Me- Humna Khan

Hi, my name is Humna and I am a senior at Penn State University Park. I was born in Pakistan and lived there for eight years; afterwards, I moved to America in 2003 with my family to Easton, Pennsylvania. I have lived there ever since, excluding my time in State College. I intend to graduate this semester as an Accounting major and Economics minor, then pursue my CPA license. I will be working as an audit associate at Grant Thornton in Philadelphia starting in the fall. As a business graduate, I have become very interested in the environment thanks to classes such as: Business Ethics and two Energy classes. I am also concurrently taking Geog010 at the time. Originally, I took the energy classes to fulfill my science credits (and I hate biology, chemistry, and so on), but over time, I have come to truly value the classes. There is such a big connection between humans and the environment, so I hope to gain more knowledge and become aware of our surroundings and our actions through this class.

As I mentioned, I have taken a few environment classes now, and common topics were limit of natural resources, climate change, and so on. As the lesson suggested, a way to mitigate these problems may be governance. The issue and solution that I am most interested in is the business world’s relation to the use of natural resources. Businesses have factories, operations, and certain products that use an excessive amount of these non-renewable resources (admittedly, some of them may be renewable in the long-term), including oil, water, coal, and so on. This affects many people around the world, whether it is because some people have little to no access to clean water while others use it carelessly or because some of these resources output pollution and are a cause of climate change. Although businesses are partially responsible for these incidents, they are also capable of solving these issues. Businesses can improve their processes to become environmentally friendly, or use their profits to conduct research to help with sustainability. The lesson was accurate that ethics is a big part of this. As business ethics continues to grow in importance, my hope is to help the environment through the business world. As Ernst and Young’s website says, “When business works better, the world works better.”

Christina Liptak

My name is Christina Liptak. I am 20 years old and live in Schuylkill Haven. I have lived in Schuylkill Haven all my life. The career that I am planning on pursuing is being a teacher for pre-k to 4th grade kids. If I am unable to pass the Pect PAPA or Praxis tests then I am thinking of changing my major to HDFS. The first reason why I am interest in this course is because it is something I need for my major. The second reason is because I thought this class would be interesting. I have an older brother that is ten years older than me. He went to Penn State Hazelton to become a Physical therapist. I also have two cats. Their names are Tigger and Sparkle. I am also in the anime club here at Penn State. I also like to draw as a hobby.

One issue I find myself interested in is climate change and its continued impact on Earth. For some reason there is a portion of the population that does not believe climate change due to human factors exists. I think we should focus on showing more visual impacts to others, and begin to invest more money in reversing or at least maintain the current climate. This would include spreading more ways to increase sustainability in order to influence the people to work together to reverse global warming.

Module 1 – Ryan Daley

Hi everyone, my name is Ryan Daley and I am a senior here at Penn Sate studying professional golf management. I currently live in the Meridian Apartments downtown and have been there since my sophomore year. I grew up in North East Philadelphia and then eventually moved to Yardley which is in the suburbs of Philadelphia. After I complete my studies I plan on pursuing a career in golf club management and merchandising. I am taking class because it satisfies a requirement for my major but I also have an interest in geography. Some other facts about me are I played hockey for almost all my life and played at the collegiate level my freshman year before injuries sidelined me and I decided to transfer to Penn State. I also avidly back country ski and snowboard, and hope to move out to the mountain west in the near future.

After reading all the material in the first module I became aware of the many ways  geography can be useful and it was definitely to my surprise. An issue that was brought up in the module that I am interested in exploring a little more is the climate change problems that our world is facing. A lot of people in the world either have no idea that climate change exists, or refuse to acknowledge it as a legitimate problem. I think that the study and practice of geography can help remedy this lack of knowledge by providing more maps that display the effects that climate change is having on our world. Hopefully these maps can change the way people think about their energy consumption and pollution practices.

Geog 30 Module 1: Getting to know you – Tyler Brackbill

Hello everyone. My name is Tyler Brackbill and I am a senior at University Park in State College. I am a telecomm major and I am also pursuing a certificate in sports journalism. I am originally from outside of Pottstown, Pennsylvania which is about an hour northwest of Philly. I am a diehard Philly sports fan and hope to work in the sports industry in some fashion. I am also a huge Breaking Bad nerd and Taylor Swift fan. (Fun fact: I went to high school with a former classmate of hers in 3rd grade). I have a dog named Riley (9) and a cat named Nittany (4) who we both rescued. Anyway, I live within the 10 mile “safe radius” of the Limerick Nuclear Generating Station which is run by Exelon (and is what the nuclear power plant in The Simpsons is based off of). Because of living in its shadows, I have always had a small interest in the power plant, but not enough to become a nuclear engineer haha. I did learn that it is one of the cleanest power sources there are, and that you can’t judge the entire field off of events like Chernobyl and Fukishima. I feel like this, with my previous class about environmental science, made me interested in this class.

With this class, I believe that visualization is the most important medium to show change in the earth from year to year. For example, the difference in the size of glaciers or ice caps from the year 1965 to 2015. Visuals like these can help drive home points because there is actual evidence if front of you. Pictures and comparisons are what help me learn and they can help everyone else too.

Getting to Know You

HI everyone my name is Benjamin Bishop and I am a freshman at Penn State UP. I’m from Doylestown Pennsylvania, which is about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. I am currently studying biomedical engineering and would like to continue that through the pre-med track. After receiving my undergraduate degree I would like to go onto dental school to become an orthodontist. My interest in this class sparks primarily from my lack of knowledge on the course content that we will go over. I hope to learn a lot throughout the course as I get to know some of you as well!


One of my main concerns with our planet today is climate change. Climate change is simply the direst result of us humans actions taken on our world. As module one said in the section titled Scale, climate change is an issue that takes place on a global scale. Therefore it must be a global attempt to fix this issue before it is too late. To fix this issue that covers a vast number of smaller issues I believe that we must first attack the smaller issues at hand such as pollution and then to get even smaller, car emissions. I believe that we must fix these issues before it gets to late. Who’s with me?

Getting to know you: Module 1

Hi everyone, my name is Johnna Puhr. I’m currently a junior studying Environmental Systems Engineering at Penn State University Park. I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana on the bayou. I grew up fishing and playing in the swamp. For a living my family in Louisiana catches and distributes crawfish and some crabs. My freshman year of high school my family relocated to Pittsburgh, PA where I currently reside. Right now I’m not entirely sure what career I want to pursue with my degree. Ideally I would like to work for a big company as their environmental consultant. I love anything science related so, my interest in this course is to learn about our impact on the environment. I’m taking this course as part of my degree requirements but excited to see what I’m going to get out of it.

An issue that I’m concerned about that geography can address is our impact on the environment and natural resources. I don’t think we realize that everything we do impacts the environment in some way. While looking through Module 1 I was really surprised by the drought in Folsom, California. The entire lake dried up in just three years. For another class I’m taking I had to watch the documentary Tapped, which is about the water bottle industry. This documentary revealed that by 2030 we won’t have any clean drinking water. I think water is something that we all take for granted, but is a necessity for life. As we learned in Module 1 human- environments interactions is how human decision making shapes the natural environment. Obviously, as seen in Folsom California we need to start making different decisions before we have no water left. Sustainability is key to every decision that we make when it comes to our impact on the environment. We need to be able to go about everyday activities without causing significant environmental changes. Every day we are depleting a number of natural resources, but what happens when they’re gone?




Hi everyone, my name is Rob Engel.  I’m a junior up here at Penn State main campus and I’m studying history and hope to one day be a social studies teacher for 9th graders.  I’m from West Grove, PA which is about 30 minutes from West Chester University.  I have taken two other geography courses throughout my time here and I hope that after taking this class I can add more knowledge about  geography.

A big issue that has been going on for quite a while is global warming.  Module 1 talks about how the interactions between humans and the environment can cause different outcomes.  Climate change can be observed at a global scale but it can also be observed at a local scale.  Module 1 applies that things done by individuals such as burning fossil fuels can cause climate change.  Climate change can impact different people and ecosystems across the globe.  I hope to learn more about this as the semester moves along and to see what can be done to help keep global warming from causing negative impacts on the planet.

Learning Activity 1

My name is Brian Barnhart, and I currently live at The Retreat at State College; about a mile from campus. I lived downtown at Campus Towers for two years prior to this year. I grew up in South River, NJ until the second grade, when I moved to Little Silver NJ. This is
a small town in Monmouth County, about 5 miles from the beach. Because of my proximity to the ocean, I like to fish quite often and just visit the beach in general. I go boating a lot in the summer as well. I’m interested in a job within the IT field, with a focus on data security. I hope to learn the historical origins of different cultural regions, specifically in the Middle East and Asia.

One issue I find myself interested in is climate change and its continued impact on Earth. There is a portion of the population that does not believe climate change due to human factors exists, or has any impact on the Earth. I think we should focus on showing more visual impacts to others, and begin to invest more money in reversing or at least maintain the current climate. This would include spreading more ways to increase sustainability in order to influence the governance people have on the environment.

Module 1 Learning Activity: About me

Hi everyone! My name is Jake Segall. Currently, I am a senior in Meteorology at Penn State. I was born and raised in State College, PA (not including the three years I spent in Washington while my dad taught for Washington State University) and still live there now. As a meteorologist, my interests lie with radar meteorology, though mesoscale dynamics (aka Severe Weather) will always be my true passion. I would love to end up storm chasing for the rest of my life, but that does not pay the bills, and for that matter I am interested in going to grad school to pursue a masters and hopefully a PhD in either radar meteorology, mesoscale dynamics, or heliophysics. I am interested to see what I can learn from this class as I have spent most of my time worrying about what is going on above the earth’s surface, and not so much time worrying about what is happening at the surface.

Geography seems to be well suited to partner with other social sciences, specifically sociology. As very effective visualization tools, maps can really hammer a put through when it is need and, in today’s world, it appears as though certain issues such as the remnants of racism or the displacement of huge populations could be effectively communicated using geographic resources. Though it was introduced to us from an environmental standpoint, governance over these issues plays a large role in our world as well. How do we handle mass migration of people to certain areas, how do we quell and put an end to racism?

Getting to Know You~ Molly McLaughlin

Hi everyone, my name is Molly McLaughlin and I am a sophomore in the College of Education. I currently live at University Park on campus but grew up in Bucks County, PA aka the typical “outside of Philly” town. I’m majoring in Early Childhood Education which is preschool to 4th grade and possibly a minor in English as a Second Language (ESL) where I would help non-English speakers learn English. For my major I need three sciences and this one will fulfill my last required class plus I’ve been wanting to take an online course. I also took a meteorology class last semester which I found very interesting and thought this one would have some similarities to it. Hopefully this one will be just as interesting and make me be more aware of our environment.

I typically do not like anything science related therefore what interests me the most is the social perspective of this class and what I find important is human’s impact on our environment. Only recently have we realized how much harm we are doing to the world by putting gases and other harmful substances into the environment. However, when we do try to help the environment there can be some consequences for that too. Sometimes when we try to alter the environment to fix what we did, it causes more damage to the earth instead of us letting it naturally fix itself. If we can just lessen the amount of pollution we put in the air instead of adding things to the earth in order to fix it, I think that the environment can naturally adapt to these changes.

Module I: Getting to Know Me

Hi, guys! My name is Tawnya and I am a Sophomore at Penn State University Park, studying Wildlife Science. I am originally from a small town outside of Williamsport, Pa and I currently live in State College, Pa. When I am not attending classes, you can typically find me volunteering at Native Path Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, taking my pups for an adventure, working at a local brewery, or tie dying for extra money. I love being outdoors, whether it be fishing, hiking, kayaking, or camping. I am also very passionate about music. I chose Wildlife Science as my major because I have always loved helping animals. There is nothing more rewarding to me than helping an injured animal, rehabilitating it and setting it free, back into the wild. I hope to eventually get a career studying wildlife and helping conserve different species. I am actually taking this course as an elective because I am very interested in sustainability and preserving natural resources.

An issue I am concerned about is the preservation of species. I believe many people are oblivious to the huge impact humanity has on the natural environment. Since humankind is negatively impacting the environment, the environment is beginning to have a negative effect on the millions of innocent species that exist on this earth. 200 to 2000 species go extinct every year, causing an alteration in biodiversity. Without the existence of numerous species, we as man, simply could not exist. I believe more people should be informed about natural and social sciences and the ethical approach that needs to be made to conserve and sustain life. Without contributing to sustainability, all life on earth with eventually go extinct. I believe if we begin to act now, there will still be hope for future generations.

Module 1: Getting to Know You

Hi everyone! My name is Karissa Kelly and I am a junior currently attending Penn State at University Park. I live with my parents in Kennett Square, PA when I am not attending school. Growing up I moved around frequently, I lived in Littleton, CO until I was ten. From that point my father’s job relocated my family to Shanghai, China which I found to be an amazing experience. After three years in China we moved back to Colorado for a year, until we found a home in Kennett Square, PA where we have lived ever since. As an Agricultural Sciences major I hope to use my degree in either conservation work overseas or in plant related research. My interest in this course stems from my desire to understand the connections between humans and their environment as well as how we can better those interactions to positively benefit the environment. A fact about me is that I love to travel the world and have already been to places such as Canada, Japan and South Africa.

One of the biggest issues that I believe Geography can address in our world today is climate change. Climate change is a direct result of human impact on the environment. As stated in the Scale section of this module, climate change is an issue on a global scale. Though I cannot argue with this point I also believe that there are smaller scales to take into consideration such as a city scale. One of the main arguments is that climate change in caused by car emissions. Higher populated cities will have more cars which will give off higher amounts of emissions. So while it is true that climate change is apparent on a global scale it is also true on a combination of smaller contributing scales. This idea of car emissions causing climate change also plays into the ideas in the Human- Environment Interactions section. Our two systems are currently not existing in a sustainable manner. Globally we need to find a way to reduce our carbon dioxide output before damaging the world any further.

Natalie Hall: Getting to know you

Hi, I’m Natalie Hall, a freshman studying Art Education and hopefully Environmental Inquiry as well. I am from West Chester, PA which is about 25-30 minutes outside of Philadelphia. I hope to be an art educator, or teach something along the lines of sustainability and conservation of the environment. However, I would like my end career to just be an artist. I took this class because I’ve always had a strong interest on the effect humans have on the environment and hope to learn more about it. I am part of club snowboarding and love art, hence Art Ed. I mostly paint, but am getting into graphic design. I enjoy basically every sport and signed up for way too much at the involvement fair, like they say not to do. Also, I’ve never taken an online course before so this is a little weird.

I found the interstellar scale video mind-blowing. I didn’t realize that just based on the power of 10 we could become so miniscule. Seeing the astronomical scale, I felt reminded of how important it is to take care of our small earth. When shrinking to earths scale, you see that it is not much different; all these small events come together to effect us globally, such as global warming and deforestation. The idea of commodity chains (links collection of goods, to production of goods, to distribution of goods) emphasizes the globalization of human interaction and our effect on the earth. The example for this was deforestation, which is negatively effecting our world because of the mass demand, thus mass destruction of much needed ecosystems. I found it interesting how political our effect on the environment can be.


Getting To Know You: Eric Acosta

Hello everyone my name is Eric Acosta and I am currently a freshman at University Park. I grew up in Kingston, Pennsylvania which is about 20 minutes from Scranton. My intended major at the moment is aerospace engineering and I am also thinking getting a minor in astronomy and astrophysics. I am leaning toward this major and minor because I have always loved studying astronomy and I would love to be an engineer for NASA one day. In high school I had an Environmental Science class and my teacher really opened my eyes to how humans are impacting the earth. I took this course because I wanted to learn even more about effects of humans. Not only did I want to learn more I believe it is extremely important to know as much as you can about the subject because the knowledge is definitely going to be necessary in the future.

One topic that interests me is the change in the earth’s climate. Its been noticeably warmer than it has been in the past and it is definitely because of human impacts. I read an article once that said that the earth’s climate naturally fluctuates between periods of warm and cold over many years, but this warm period is too extreme to be from natural causes.  I remember when I was younger it used to snow at least every week during the winter months and this year it wasn’t until January did we see our first snowfall. It may not seem like its that bad but at this rate, who know what the future is going to be like. people need to start burning fuels more responsibly, polluting less, and caring more about the environment. It might not affect us at the moment, but if we continue with our ways, our children or grandchildren will definitely feel the affects.


Module 1- Getting to Know You

My name is Joelle Marino and I’m from a town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania named Downingtown. I’ve lived in the same town my entire life, I have never moved. Although I lived in Downingtown, my grandparents and other family members live in other places close by. I have spent a lot of my time at various houses in my family around Chester County, PA and Delaware County, Pa. These houses were no more than half an hour away from where I lived. Before I came to University Park this fall for my junior year, I started my college experience at Penn State Brandywine, a commonwealth campus that is located in Media, Pennsylvania. At that campus I started my journey in becoming a teacher and I completed two years there before moving up here. I wish to teach at the elementary school level, specifically kindergarten or first grade. I’m very interested to learn more about geography and how humans have an impact on the environment through their every day actions and decisions.

While looking through the first module, I was very surprised by a picture of the drought that hit California. There were two pictures put side by side of Folsom Lake; one picture is from July of 2011 and the other was from January 2014. In the most recent picture ,the lake and all of the land around it is dried up. There are little patches of water and the grass that was once green is dried up and brown. This dryness has resulted in forest fires and water shortages all around California. It not only has an impact on animal life but on human life as well. It is important to look at this event and take into account other events like this because human decisions not only impact this change but are impacted themselves by it as well. I would like to look deeper into this in future lessons to come.




Getting to Know You: Robert Hudert

Hello everyone my name is Robert Hudert and I am a senior economics major at Penn State University Park. Currently while at school I live in State College, PA but I grew up in Wayne, NJ, about 15 miles outside Manhattan. I am very interesting in financial markets and real estate and hope to obtain an entry-level job in either real estate consulting or acquisitions/investing. My initial interest in this course was after noticing that it discussed global warming. But I am an eagle scout and as such am very interested in the outdoors and therefore want to learn about the world we live in and our impact on it. Some fun facts about me include that I love to snowboard and surf, and one day I hope to climb Mount Everest.

Human-Environment Interactions and the differing perspectives it can be learned through is not only something I find interesting but something that is very important for future generations. Looking into the first question on how does the natural environment shape, control and constrain human systems, it is important to think about the possible revolving cycle that human interaction is causing. For example look at the draught in California. It is having an effect on many things: crop production, green grass, water reserve supply, restrictions on individual water usage, etc. When we think of a draught, we think because of a lack of rain. But looking deeper, we can ask various questions regarding our human impact on our ecosystem, and the effects we have had on weather patterns over the years. Is the lack of rain due to global warming, which in part is caused by human carbon emissions? These questions spur further questions regarding how companies need to put forward policies that will promote environmental sustainability into the future. With improved governance, controls, and oversight, we can look begin to try and solve some issues in the geographic space.

Module 1 – Kevin Hosterman

        Hello everyone, my name is Kevin Hosterman. I live about ten minutes off campus at home in an area known as Lemont. I grew up right here in State College, and have lived here for my entire life. My major here at Penn State is Security Risk Analysis. Even more specifically I am in the Information and Cyber Security option for SRA. I hope to graduate and get a job working for either the government or a big business working on network security. I am interested in this course because in some of my other past classes I have taken we have talked about Geography, but have never gone in-depth on the topic. I saw this class as an opportunity to change that. An interested fact about me is that my grandfather was the Penn State men’s soccer coach in the 50’s and won two national championships.
       After being introduced to the breadth of perspectives in the field of geography it has really opened my eyes. I didn’t realize how much geography really covers as a field of study. The two that caught my attention the most was the Social Science perspective, and visualization. I think these two would be combined would be a great way to address the issue of deforestation. Deforestation is just one of the millions of ways that humans affect the environment here on Earth. Plenty of animals have lost their homes and gone extinct due to this process. Not only are we hurting other animals with this process, but hurting ourselves by taking away the trees that produce oxygen for our atmosphere. I think using visualization to show us where the remaining trees are and where trees having been cut down is a great way of informing people. Cutting down a forest doesn’t seem like much until you look at a map of the entire planet and realizing that there are hundreds of forests being cut down at the same time.

Alisha Tyler-Lohr Module 01

Hello! I’m Alisha Tyler-Lohr. I currently live right off of North Atherton Street in State College. I grew up down the road about five minutes away in Bellefonte. Currently I am pursuing a career in Stage Management. My interest in this course was from another course that I’ve taken before I transferred here to Penn State. I am really excited to be taking this course because being a theatre major isn’t easy and we don’t have the usual class schedule because we also have rehearsal in the evenings until late at night. So I’m lucky to be able to work on this course in the evenings.


I personally believe that sustainability is a huge problem now in our time. Sustainability, is all about how the world will survive in relation to what we do. I believe without the option of other ways to move our cars and heat our homes and use electricity, we will not have enough fossil fuels to survive. Along with that, we will continue to put bad things into the ozone. I also believe that this immediately coincides with environment and society. I believe that with how evolved the world is now, if we are not more aware of our footprint on the environment, the environment will not be able to sustain itself. With the help of integrating solar power as well as new technology, the sustainability of the planet itself will increase drastically. It will also increase the general well being of how we live and how it affects the world around us.

Module 1: Getting to Know You

Hello, my name is Ryan Hegedus and I am currently a junior at Penn State, University Park. I was born and raised in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a town 40 miles south east of Pittsburgh. I am an Environmental Systems Engineering major and would like to work somewhere in that field. I am interested in this course because geography overall interests me, and it is a major requirement. I think this course will be very interesting to see how geography affects the entire world and the role that it plays. Some facts about me are that I am a diehard Penn State football fan, and my family owns a gas station. I have also been an engineering intern at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the past two summers.


From reading module 1, there have already been numerous geographic matters that I did not know about. Cartographic projection is a fascinating topic to learn about. These projections are distorted all the time to make map viewing easier. If the map were true to scale, it would be very large and difficult to understand. Which is why distorting maps make them easier for people to read. An example of this was found in the module was the London Underground map. The one that’s distorted is not accurate in distance but it makes reading it and finding all the stops a lot easier compared to the other one presented. This is important because cartographic projection makes map reading a lot easier for the average person.

Getting to Know You: Gershom Espinoza

Hi, my name is Gershom Espinoza and I am a 20yr sophomore student at University Park. Most of my “long” life was spent in Oceanside, California, a suburb of San Diego before my former stepdad joined the military. Once this change came about, our family was able to travel to most of Western Europe, which was an invaluable experience and blessing for me as it influenced what I wanted to do. The major I am pursuing is Energy, Business and Finance (yes, that is one major 😉 However, due to my life’s experiences in addition to my many passionate pursuits in life, I realize that being an entrepreneur is what I will be. As someone who has had the opportunity to travel about and experience ‘life’ outside of my ‘hometown bubble,’ it has instilled in me the desire to do so ever more immersively as an adult.

My interest in this course stems from my childhood experiences growing up, personal values and also how I can apply what I learn in this course in the businesses I will and am doing whether it is finance, housing-development, agriculture, etc. One thing from the module 1 that repeatedly stuck out to me was the concept of scale. Regardless of application, when one’s actions are seeing on a grander scale, one realizes how much an effect every individual has whether for good or bad. I especially, am interested in housing development (not sure on urban, residential, commercial) but in such a way as to showcase the natural surrounding while making the least impact upon it. Lastly, another interesting tidbit about me is that I am currently learning Spanish (was my 1st language but due to circumstances forgot it) and German.

Getting to Know You: Sabrina Hecht

Hi everyone, my name is Sabrina and I am a sophomore student here at Penn State University Park.  I haven’t done much moving in my life and grew up in a town in central New Jersey called South Brunswick.  Since attending my last two years of high school in South Brunswick I have known that I wanted to pursue something within the arts.  After discovering graphic design as a career path, I knew that is what I wanted to do with my life.  I am now studying graphic design at Penn State and could not be happier.  Since I started studying graphic design, I realized how broad the field is.  Maps happen to be a big part of graphic design history and it is very interesting to me to learn about all of the different things I could possibly be running into throughout my life, geography being one of them.  Other than an interest and passion for graphic design I sometimes like to switch in between TED Talks and music in the background of my homework!

After reading through this first module the first issue I thought of that I believe geography can address is how the environment can affect the rate and amount of homeless people in a given territory.  The environment has created some drastic changes of how we live throughout history. It would be very interesting to understand the spatial scale of environmental catastrophes such as a hurricane so that I could understand just how much of an impact these kinds of disasters have on an issue such as the homeless.  Although I would assume that a disaster such as a hurricane has a concentrated area of which the people are affected I realize that those types of events can cause change in the surrounding areas as well.  It is important to understand how although some things may seem like it is only affecting a small number of people it could be the exact opposite.  I know that geography can study lots of issues that lead to chain reactions and I look forward to learning how to break down, understand and visualize the many relationships between human and environment.

Getting to Know You : Alicia Janocsko

Hello Class! My name is Alicia Janocsko and I am a senior here at Penn State Main Campus studying Supply Chain Management. I enjoy doing puzzles, bowling, being adventurous (when the weather is nice), and learning new things. I live just south of Pittsburgh and have lived there my whole life, but for the past 4 years of college I have made State College my new home. When I graduate I am moving to NorthWest Arkansas to pursue a career with Walmart doing their inventory replenishment. I was first introduced to the idea of environmental issues my junior year of high school and that’s where my interest grew. Coming into college I did a summer program where we went to Jamaica and studied if a sustainable agriculture and lifestyle was suitable for developing countries. After that opportunity I have continued to look for classes that will build my knowledge of geography and environmental issues. My hopes for this class is that I leave the semester feeling confident in holding a conversation about these rising issues.

The very first thing that I learned from this lesson was that geography was the umbrella term for all these topics that I have been fascinated by for many years such as sustainability and the human-environment interactions. The part of geography that has always been the most interesting to me is sustainability. I find it interesting because as humans interacting with the earth, it seems as though we only think about our needs. We over produce and over consumer and until the last few decades no one stopped to think what that was doing to our environment. Just this year it is becoming more clear to society that Global Warming may in fact be a real issue; it took 60 degree weather in December to make people stop and think that something wasn’t right. That scares me. Whats tough about these global issues is that the individual consumer doesn’t think they have an impact, so most people still don’t feel the need to go green or take individual steps to cut down on consumption. A lot of blame is put on large industrial factories for their green house gas emissions and so forth, but in reality we all play a part in what is being done to our environment. It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for us and if there will be new environmental policies put in place.

Module 1: Getting to Know You, Jacqueline Jimenez

Hi everyone! My name is Jacqueline Jimenez and I am a sophomore at University Park. I was born in Kennett Square, PA and lived there until I was five years old and then moved to my current hometown, Newtown, PA. I am an Elementary Education major specializing in PK-4 with a minor in Special Education. After graduation I hope to be able to teach third grade in an inclusion class. I am excited for this class because I have heard a lot of great things about it and I cannot wait to expand my knowledge on a topic that I have not had the chance to learn too much about. I absolutely love traveling and have been lucky to be able to travel to many different countries. I also work at Starbucks in the HUB.

A huge problem that we face today are human decision making and processes that are shaping and changing the natural environment.  I believe that although sustainability is a great concept, we are not trying hard enough to continue human activities without disrupting natural ecosystems. Another issue that stood out to me in Module 1 was how interconnected humans and all other animals are with the Earth. The example of the the drought in California that has devastating effects on the ecosystem as well as humans was eye opening. It began to affect agriculture and tourism as well as recreational industries. These examples of how natural events can disrupt the activities of all animals is astounding. I think that it is surprising that people can be so informed of what is going on in the natural world and still continue to not change anything in their lives to help Earth to be healthy and be able to sustain life.

Getting to Know You: Alex Deebel

Hello, my name is Alex Deebel! I grew up in Hershey, PA, and have lived there since my family moved from Washington D.C. when I was 4 years old. I am a senior majoring in Finance with a minor in International Business. I will be moving to Philadelphia, PA after I graduate this spring to peruse a career in consulting with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). My International Business minor focuses a lot on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, so I thought GEOG 030 would provide a more scientific perspective to the topics. Sustainability is something that every company should be concerned with, as consumers tend to demand better and have higher standards for the businesses in their community. I don’t consider myself to be a sustainability expert by any means, but I enjoy learning about all the innovative ways we can protect the environment while businesses are still able to make a profit.

A topic I think geography is well suited to explore is corporate sustainability. I consider this topic to be very important and time sensitive, and fits well into the category of human impact on the environment. Consumers demanding more responsible actions from corporations is a quickly growing trend around the world. Many people look immediately to major manufacturers with large power plants and harmful chemicals to change their processes and decrease their pollution. While this is a good start, we shouldn’t forget about the major businesses that are not necessarily manufacturing physical goods. The services sector makes up a larger percentage of the economy than goods, so we need to focus our attention on their processes and effects on the environment also. Globalization has caused the demand for US services to significantly increase around the world. Stricter standards of more ethical environmental protection need to be introduced quickly. Examples could include reducing the number of people and/or the amount they travel to clients, or keeping electronic copes of reports instead of printing multiple copies.

Getting to Know you: Cassie Hess

Hi everyone my name is Cassie Hess and I am a Junior at Penn State, University Park. I am currently studying Risk Management with a focus in finance in the Smeal College of Business. I am hoping to pursue a career in the financial services industry because I like how it is constantly evolving and there is always more to learn. I grew up in a small town called Colts Neck, which is located in central New Jersey. I have lived in the same house, in the same town my entire life. I am interested in this course because it fulfills a course requirement, but also because I find the concept of geography very interesting. It is so important to our society and I would really like to learn more about what goes into the study of geography. Some other things about me are that I love to run and am currently training for a half marathon. I also enjoy cooking and reading a great book.

After reading through module 1, I have already learned a lot about geography that I wasn’t aware of. I find the concept of cartographic projection to be very interesting because I think that we are so accustomed to seeing two-dimensional maps that we don’t realize the projection scheming that must go into that. It’s interesting how we sometimes distort maps because this makes it easier for us to understand some things. A map can be completely inaccurate in terms of scale, but be very helpful in a given situation. Other than that, I am also very intrigued by the concept of how humans affect geography and how geography affects us. The concepts of sustainability, governance and ethics are all very important when discussing the impact humans have on our environment and how we can improve in the future.

M01 – Getting to know you: Sara Getson introduction

Salutations everyone,

My name is Sara Getson and I was born and raised in State College, just outside of town and currently live at home with my mom and sister. I bike to campus every day from my house (I must say, it takes great perseverance sometimes when it is very cold!). I am a senior currently pursuing degrees in French language and Plant Science here at Penn State and hope to either do research on bioremediation or do some work with Plant pathology extension after graduation. For my major I needed to choose an ethics course and GEOG 030 was one of my options. “I loved geography in high school, learning about various countries and cultures,” I said to myself, consequently I chose this course for which I am super excited! As for interesting things I do, well, I kind of try to get my hands into a little bit of everything, I suppose. I work as a library assistant at the local public library; I love rock climbing and am also a part of the Penn State ballroom dance team. I love reading, cooking and classical music. Through my studies I have also learned how to cultivate edible mushrooms, and grow some pretty neat plants.

Being that I endeavor to become a plant scientist and am interested in the topic of bioremediation, I find that the concept of Human-Environment interactions to be very applicable to my subject of interest. In mining, oil drilling, and many other related areas, governance plays a major role in how people respond to various challenges, decisions, and human requirements. In some ways pollution caused by such things as mining and mine disasters may, in part, occur due to decisions made by human beings, the results of which now require remediation. I think that how humans interact with the environment is a very important issue when discussing geography and life into the future so that we can make good decisions and continue to thrive on this earth.

Module#1: getting to know you – Chanyang Kim

Hi, everyone! This is Chanyang Kim. I usually go by Gloria Kim in a class. I’m from South Korea and I grew up there in a city, Incheon. Now, I’m living in State college. Before coming to State college, I was in Seattle for 2 years and I transferred last semester. I’m studying Early Child Education as my major and trying to get a ESL certificate as well. Because I am interested in teaching and learning English, I would like to be a English teacher after I graduate. However, I am also considering studying more at a graduate school. But still I’m not sure what I am going to do after graduation.The reason why I’m taking this course this semester is that I needed to take one more GS class and my advisor  recommended to take this class. Also, I thought this fits on my schedule because it’s a web class. I’ve taken one geography class at my previous college, in Seattle. But I forgot a lot about geography, so it’s going to be new start.I’m so excited to get to know each other and learn basic geography!

The biggest issue I concern is that the human caused environmental problem is getting serious more and more. The ecosystem on Earth with wildlife, plants, mountains, oceans, etc., is drastically destructed. Because of human’s reckless destruction of nature, we see a lot of pollution in everywhere and ecological catastrophe. Like we discussed on module#1,  it is so clear that human-environment interactions shape and change the natural environment, including ecosystems, river systems, vegetation, and climate with human decision making and processes. Since environment impacts on humanity, I strongly believe that people should be more careful and cautious on nature utilization.

Module 1: Getting To Know You – Ben Ceci

Hi everybody! My name is Ben Ceci and I am a 3rd year Landscape Architecture student, minoring in horticulture, at University Park. I was born and raised in Greenwich, CT and hope to use my education to add an architectural branch to my dad’s landscaping / site development business. As a designer of the outdoors, I think that it’s very important to learn about the land, how it functions, and how I can design in the best possible way to preserve the land. With the landscape architecture department focusing on sustainability, it would also be beneficial to learn about how humans are directly affecting the environment and how I can design in a more sustainable way. Although I’m from CT, my whole family consists of die hard Steelers fans and whenever the Steelers have a home game in the playoffs, we rent a bus and 30 – 40 of us buckle up and spend the weekend in Pittsburgh. I love to travel as well so learning about the geography in different areas interests me as well.

A big issue in the world today is the increase in population and how to deal with it. Everyday more and more people are born and more and more farmland is being developed. This is a recipe for failure because eventually there will not be enough resources to feed all of these people. Once the agricultural soils are developed, they are basically destroyed and no longer ideal for farming. This has a lot to do with scale because the population is increasing both locally and worldwide while the farmland is decreasing locally and worldwide as well. It is our generation’s responsibility to plan out development and design sustainably in order to allow the future generations to live in the same way that we do now, if not better.


Module 1 Getting to Know You – Yeeren Low

Hi everyone, I’m Yeeren Low. I’m a senior majoring in physics and mathematics at Penn State University Park. I’m currently residing at State College while I have my permanent residence in eastern PA and I grew up near Raleigh, NC. My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Malaysia before I was born. I am the second of three brothers. I am thinking of pursuing a career in STEM research/development. I am using this course to fulfill a general requirement, and it appeared interesting but prior to this course I really knew nothing about geography.

One topic that has been around is human-caused climate change. This is an example of human-environment interactions. These interactions run both ways — the environmental changes we humans bring on can come back to affect us in ways we might not even know. However the ones most severely affected may not be the ones causing such changes. This issue has an economic dimension as depletion of natural resources will change trade. This means sustainability is key as our lives can change drastically if resources are depleted.

Getting to Know You: TJ Diaz

Hi, my name is TJ Diaz. I am a 3rd year student at University Park, studying Earth Science. My major is relatively geography intensive, so that is why I am enrolled in this course. I am planning on being a high school science teacher (probably a earth science teacher) once I graduate college. If this career option is not available for any reason, I have no clue what I will do! I grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland, and I still live in the area, but after I graduate, I do not plan on living there any longer. My fun fact is that I can play basically any instrument that does not require me producing air.

I believe some of the biggest issues in our future are environmental problems. We are quickly running out of fossil fuel resources (a few generations and we will have depleted them). Global climate change may be an issue, but our energy resources are much more immediate. Distribution of resources and preservation of resources is also of extreme importance. Increasing globalization increases the importance of proper resource management. All of these problems can be aided with geography. Geography will help us to better plan where we can grow our crops, how to distribute our resources, how to take advantage of our environments renewable sources of energy, how to grow in population without disturbing other life. Geography is a necessity when devising plans to overcome virtually every environmental problem we will have in the future.

Getting to Know You: Rachel Denny

Hello Geography 030,

My name is Rachel Denny and I am a Junior at University Park studying Early Childhood Education (Prek-4). I plan to eventually be a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher. I live on campus in Pollock and I am from Beaver Falls, which is about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. Go Steelers! Go Penguins! Go Pirates! I am interested in this course because it fulfills a requirement I need and it is online, which I enjoy. After reading about the course, I’m excited to learn more throughout the semester! Other things about me: I’m an RA, I’m the director of an a capella group, Blue in the FACE, and I love to play volleyball. My favorite color is purple and I thoroughly enjoy eating pizza. One of my goals is to get on the reality tv show Survivor.

After reading through Module 1, I feel that I am interested in the relationship between humans and the environment. I have always been very aware of the types of waste I create and how I can limit that waste or be more “green”. I’m a big fan of recycling! In relation to the module, this idea correlates with the concept of sustainability. As humans, what things are we doing that disrupt nature? How do we move past our needs and work to sustain and preserve the Earth for future generations? What happens when we “run out” of resources, or will we run out of resources? These are all things to consider when we talk about human-environment interactions. It’s really interesting because I just watched this video about this woman who has almost no waste. This is the link if you want to watch!

Module 1: Getting to Know You

Hello everyone! My name is Kelsey Somers and I am currently a sophomore at Penn State Schuylkill. I have spent my whole life growing up in Pottsville, PA (Home to America’s Oldest Brewery). My major is Early Childhood Education grades PreK-4, and I’m minoring in Special Education. I will be attending Penn State Berks in Fall ’16 for my last two years. I would prefer to teach first or second grade since I have observed in a first grade classroom for an entire semester. You can find me waitressing on the weekends. I took this course because it is required for my major, but I’m also interested in Geography because I want to see how humans affect the environment and what could be done differently to help our environment. One fact about me is that all of my favorite sports teams are from Philadelphia… and yes I’m still an Eagles fan after this season.

The topic issue that caught my attention the most in module one was Human-Environment Interactions. A human-environment interaction is a relationship between people and their environment. One of the main concerns with human-environment interactions is sustainability. The term sustainability is defined as to understand how human activities can exist without disrupting the ability of natural ecosystems to function. There is a great concern about whether social and ecological systems can coexist, and this has helped advance the importance of sustainability. Another important concern following sustainability is governance. Governance is how people make their decisions and how there is an external force to limit their range of options. The term sustainability is a major important focus because scientists need to be able to determine how human activity will not destroy the environment around them. Humans are always readjusting to their environment and we need to understand how we are both positive and negatively interacting.

Getting to Know: Shanda Snyder

Heyyyy everybody 🙂

My name is Shanda Snyder. I’m a senior, graduating in May. I’m a Criminology Major, Sociology Minor. Currently, I’m living in State College, at an off-campus apartment. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!! (GO STEELERS!) For those of you who aren’t that familiar with the landscape, it’s full of hills and lots of bridges, too!! I really love where I grew up, and depending on the opportunities for employment, I would like to stay there  after I graduate. In terms of what I want to do, I’m not 100% sure yet. Because Criminology is such a broad topic, it’s hard because you can see yourself being in so many different careers. So, in other words, I have no clue. I got interested in this class because I barely remember geography from middle/high school but I’m terrible at directions and describing areas and certain environments so I figured this class would be good for me. 🙂

In terms of what I’ve learned so far, I’ve already made a crucial connection between what I do as a Criminologist and what Geographers do. Under the umbrella of social sciences, we all share a common belief that the people alter the environment based on a myriad of factors. In Criminology, part of what we learn is how certain environmental or nature-based circumstances can make all of the difference in opportunity for the population socially. And with the use of geography, I will be able to extend my research to find more connections between the environment and its effects on neighborhoods. An example would be a neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina, and Manhattan. Our every day lives are influenced by the geographical landscape which we have constructed our communities on. It will be interesting to learn more about how both people and nature connect, and how we as people have influenced the environment as well!

Getting to Know You, Module 1

Hello class, my name is Katy Bordt. I am currently living in State College while I am attending PSU. I grew up outside of Pittsburgh. I am pursuing a career in Nuclear Engineering. I am interested in this course because it is extremely different than my engineering classes. Furthermore, I want to know more about the environment and what has to be done to sustain our current environment. This is my first Geography course. I have taken many other general electives in my 5 years at PSU, such as Anthropology and Kinesiology courses. Also,  I love studying different reglions and cultures. I am an animal lover, mostly a dog lover.  I have a rescue dog name Aurora currently, she used to be an Alaskan sled dog. Currently, she is in her glory with the cold weather and snow on the way.

From Module 1, I believe being able to visualize what is happening in a specific place is very important. I believe maps are a very useful tool.  However, after seeing the different tube maps in the module show how differently maps can be distorted.  It shows that maps should not be taken at face value. Also, I believe the most important concept from the first module is human-environment interactions. I believe humans are the making the most impact on today’s environment. I believe that something needs to be changed in the way we as humans abuse the environment. If any classmates have opinions or ideas on what should be changed to help make our environment more sustainable I would love to hear them.

Module 1: Getting to Know You

Hey everyone! My name is Matt and this is my first year at Penn State University. I currently live near Reading, PA, but I am originally from Allentown. As of now I’m in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, trying to explore a wide variety of majors including; business, engineering, and kinesiology. However business will be something I will pursue one way or another because I have hopes of starting my own martial arts school in the future. I was interested in taking this course because I think it incorporates a lot of different fields of study and also covers some of my general education requirements. I believe despite whether or not you are interested in a career involving geography, it is important to have an understanding of how we as humans are impacting the earth and what that means for generations to come.

The resources still available on earth are dwindling every year. Understanding geography is vital to solving the issues surrounding the sustainability of natural resources. How can we prosper as a society without disrupting the already existing ecosystems? This has always been something that has interested me and I hope to learn more about these issues in the weeks to come.


Getting to Know You

Hello everyone! My name is Christianna Woodling and I am a Sophomore at Penn State University Park. I am originally from the Williamsport, PA area. I grew up in a very small rural town on the outskirts of the city called Montgomery. I now permanently reside in State College in my own apartment with my dog, cat, and two parakeets. I am majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Spanish. As well as being a full time student, I also work part time at the State College Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary assistant. Although it has nothing to do with my major, animals are a large part of my life and I love caring for them along with my passion for teaching. My first semester at PSU  I took an Earth science class that went in depth about climate change and all of the different effects it is having on our planet. I really enjoyed learning and fully understanding this subject as it often appears in our daily lives whether it be in the media or real life. This is what drove me to select GEOG 30 as my required general education class. Since this class is going to be teaching about the ways humans interact with the environment, I thought it would be really interesting since I have a little bit of background in environmental science. Geography to me was always simply looking at things on a map and knowing where certain countries are, but now taking a college level geography class I am very excited to expand my knowledge of the subject and see what more geography has to offer!

One area that really interests me is ocean pollution. Our oceans are a major resource for life and so many times it is taken advantage of. As mentioned in the beginning of the module, I think “scale” is very important in terms of geography and more specifically matters such as water pollution. If me think of water pollution on a local scale, dumping waste into one area of a creek doesn’t seem like such a big deal. In the grand scheme of things its only one tiny creek out of the whole Earth. But if we scale this up globally, and if everyone thinks that dumping waste into one small creek is no big deal, suddenly we have millions of polluted creeks running into the oceans and thus becoming a global problem .

Learning Activity: Getting to Know You

My name is Thomas Devenney, but I prefer to be called Tom. I grew up and have my permanent residence in Lititz, Pennsylvania in Lancaster County. I am staying in State College, Pennsylvania while I am attending Pennsylvania State University Main Campus. My major is Environmental Systems Engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Science. I hope to one day pursue a career in engineering with an environmental focus. I hope to be a registered engineer to have flexibility in being able to design and help design many different things. I am interested in this course to further my understanding of the relationship between humans and our planet. I am playing varsity football at Penn State and enjoying doing this very much. My favorite hobby is playing guitar.

The two concepts that stand out to me as important issues moving forward as a society are human impacts on the environment and environment impacts on humanity. As humanity has evolved throughout our history, we have made incredible advancements in technology. The issue with this is that these advancements come at a cost. We are depleting natural resources at a rate that we will not be able to replace them for future generations. The use of these natural resources play a significant part in generating greenhouse gases that cause Global Warming. Global Warming is causing the melting of the polar ice caps which cause shifts in climate all over the world that could threaten humanity in certain places of the world. This is why we need to move to make our technology sustainable to slow the effects of Global Warming and to reduce dependence on our natural resources to preserve our planet for future generations.

Module -1: Getting to Know You – Julian Pamplin

Hello, I’m Julian. I’m a non-traditional student (read: old) originally from Pittsburgh, currently living in Plum. As I transition to a new career pursuit that will eventually take me to law school, I am finishing my undergraduate degree in Political Science. I chose this course, not only because it satisfies a required field of study for my degree, but because I feel geography is an important topic to understand for a variety of reasons. As we’ve all learned through the introduction of the course, geography, and related subjects, informs us on the impact of where we live and our intrinsic relationship with the world. I am hoping to receive an education that is well-rounded to include a deeper understanding of connections among commerce, energy conservation, and the politics surrounding both. As a former United States Marine, I’ve had the fortune to travel and see features of geographical diversity and I am eager to learn more about where we are, where we’re headed, and what we can do to preserve nature.

One area already mentioned in the course reading that is of particular interest to me involves sustainability and our overall interaction with the environment. While the political rancor in Washington and in state capitals around the country often oversimplifies the contours of environmental debate to motivate different groups of voters, I assume the actual facts are more complicated than politicians are courageous enough to champion. I intend to use this course and others to gain a more comprehensive grasp on the subject. I am hoping this class and subsequent courses will give me a depth of knowledge necessary to challenge those who would distort data to serve an agenda or minimize the actions that can be taken to solve impending trouble for the environment. Admittedly, I come to this topic from the left but I am open to objectively reviewing the information and adjusting my position to fit the science, rather than ‘cherry pick’ from the data to fit within a certain ideological predisposition. I’m excited to meet classmates who may have different opinions and I welcome the challenge I am sure they will provide.

Module #1 : Getting To Know You

Hello class my name is Lucas Skiba. I am from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania which is right outside of State College. I still currently live here and have lived here for 22 years. Some facts about me are I like to snowboard, skateboard, wakeboard, waterski, and skimboard. Pretty much if anything has something to do with a board, going fast, hitting jumps and rails you can count me in. Clearly I like the outdoors and am currently trying to pursue a career in Energy and Sustainability Policy, because  I love the environment and want to do what i can to sustain it. I am interested in Geography not because it is one of my prerequisites but because I love to travel and see the world from different points of views.

A big issue of today is world population. According to in 1970 there was roughly half as many people as there is today. In the 20th century alone we went from 1.6 billion to 6 billion people. And the population is only going to keep getting bigger. Now you ask what does this have to do with Geography? Well it has everything to do with Geography, because the Scale of the earth is only so big. So we will need to figure out where were all going to live, how we will keep people from going hungry, what countries with grow and shrink/be taken over. The globalization of the world will only keep changing and growing, as will the diversity of our people and cultures.

Module 1: Getting to Know You

Hello GEOG30 my name is Mary, but everyone calls me Katie. I’m a sophomore here at Penn State and am majoring in Early Childhood education with a minor in special education in hopes of becoming a first, second, or third grade teacher. I hope to move south after I graduate and teach in either Alabama or South Carolina. However, I currently live in Huntingdon and commute to the University Park campus. I was born and raised in Huntingdon which is a small town not far from State college. I am taking this course to satisfy a general education requirement for my major.

I think global climate change is an important topic to study in geography. Not only does it affect areas like the north pole, it has effects on a global scale. Research being done now could help save the planet we call home. If everybody found ways to reduce their carbon footprint it would make a huge difference in the future. I find this topic very interesting and am excited to learn more  about it this semester.

Module 1: Getting to Know You

Hi everyone,

My name is Sarah, and I am a sophomore at Penn State’s University Park campus. I am from Reading, PA, and this is my first year in State College. I am an Elementary Education major, and I want to be a teacher. I have enrolled in this course mainly because I need an economic geography course, although I am excited to be taking a geography course that talks a lot about human interaction and not just about landforms and weather (I had one of those last semester). I also love online courses, so when I saw this one was offered online, I couldn’t really pass it up.

One issue that I think is important to address is climate change. When reading about scale this week, it really amazed me when the passage said that “When we change the climate somewhere, we change it everywhere.” Every little impact that we have really does affect the entire planet, and it really puts things into perspective. Another passage said “we need to think about the types of impacts our individual decisions have for the natural world.” It really is a huge issue when we, as humans, don’t realize the impact we have on the earth.

Module 1 – Getting to Know You

Hello, my name is Justin Tenerowicz. I am senior studying chemical engineering at University Park. I grew up in a small town called Northern Cambria, PA which is about an hour and half west of State College. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have been introduced to many ideas and technologies that are making impacts on the Earth. In some of my classes, we discussed the future of renewable fuel sources as well as current CO2 emissions and the steps that are being taken now, and in the future, that will hopefully put a slow the process of climate change and eventually put a stop to it. I am interested in this course because I am hoping that after graduation I will be able to find a job focused on environmental engineering so that I can be a part of the process of finding more sustainable and environmental friendly solutions to some of the problems that being seen today.

The area of the class that I am most interested about is the Human – Environment Interactions. This interested me the most because I am currently taking an environmental engineering class, and one of the big topics that we are going over now is the fact that in the future, there will be a water crisis. There many reasons as to why this is happening, and the two main causes have been from pollutants entering surface and ground water as well as global warming causing droughts that have been seen before. I believe that many oil companies need to take a look at their ethics in how oil is extracted. There have been dozens of reports of gas making its way into groundwater systems leaving many residents unable to use any of their water.  I am looking forward to the future where new technologies will somehow be able to filter different sources of water that will be drinkable in sustainably ways so that we can provide water around the world without causing damage to local and global ecosystems.

Mod 1: Geographical Perspectives

Hi everyone. My name is Bryan Cammon and I am a freshman at the University Park campus. I currently live in a dorm in East Halls. I am from Doylestown, Pennsylvania which is about an hour north of Philadelphia and 3 hours from state college. My intended major is kinesiology and I hope to later pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy. I plan on becoming a physical therapist and work in the orthopedic field. I chose to take this course because I wanted to try an online class and have always been interested in smaller scale geography. This is my first geography class and I would like to know more about the field and its importance.

One environmental issue that interests me is the drought taking place in California. I have never experienced a drought before and did not really know the extent of its effects. This has negatively impacted the marine life in California while causing the land to become dry and prone to wildfires. While impacting the environment, this issue is also a human environment interaction. Those who live in California must deal with this water shortage and live with limits on how much water they can use. This also affects the economy of California because it has led to agricultural problems along with decreased tourism.

Module 1 Getting to Know You: Joseph Carlamere

Hello class, my name is Joseph Carlamere; I was born and raised in the southern part of New Jersey in the town of Hammonton. Hammonton is a farming town known for its blueberries and peaches. I currently live in Swedesboro, New Jersey, which is located approximately twenty miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and ten miles from Wilmington, Delaware. Similar to Hammonton, Swedesboro is also a farming town, but it is growing quickly. I am pursuing a degree in Energy and Sustainability Policy with a minor in Energy Financing. I am also thinking about taking a second-degree program in Energy Engineering if it becomes available through the World Campus. This degree will provide me with the knowledge to address complicated issues such as climate change, energy consumption and renewable energy technologies. Through this course I am looking forward to learning more about the natural and social conditions of the Earth. A few additional tidbits about me; I am a Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan, and my wife and I enjoy going to the beach on the weekends during the summer.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph I am interested in the third sub-discipline of geography, environment and society. This encompasses the interactions between the human world and the natural world. It is important to study this aspect of geography because our actions have a direct affect on the current and future conditions of the planet. This impact is seen globally in the form of climate change; this is not a theory rather an actual environmental event. The melting of the glacier ice caps, rising sea levels, and unique weather patterns are the evidence, which explains that climate change is in fact taking place. We all have an obligation to leave the planet, our home in better condition than when we found it; unfortunately this has not been the case for previous generations.