Getting to Know You-Madison Halbom

Hello fellow Geog 030 students!

My name is Madison Halbom, I am a junior studying Environmental Systems Engineering at University Park. I transferred here this school year from the Abington campus. I was born and raised in Perkasie, PA about an hour outside of Philly. I plan on pursuing a job in the field of environmental engineering hopefully working in the area of water treatment. My interest in this course is to learn about the other nations and societies in the world and differences between my culture and theirs. I have only been out of the country to Mexico so I find other countries very interesting and would really love to travel to many places when I get older. Some fun facts about me is that I am a twin, my sisters name is Darby and she goes to Kutztown University located also in PA. I also have an older sister that teaches first grade in a low income area in North Carolina and a brother who is studying Civil Engineering at San Jose State in California.

Now with an introduction to various perspectives of geography, I consider a very interesting topic in the area of geography to be the interactions of the environment on humanity and the effect of humanity on the environment. A concept to consider is Governance, how people are forced to take into consideration the environment and how it may limit there choices. An example of this is the water resources in California, they are very limited, this being the case residents in areas of California needs to consider the risk of wild fires and lack of water in the earth and available to them. Also another concept is how human activities and humanity can exist and prosper without hurting or taking negative effects on the environment is known as the concept of sustainability. When I consider this concept I think of the efforts in rural PA working to preserve farmlands from being bought and developed with town-homes. This is a big issue in my home county of Bucks and we are constantly working to preserve the farmlands as much as possible to we maintain so of the environments integrity while living in the same community.

Getting To Know You: M01, GEOG 30


Hello Class! My name is Jordan Dodderer. I am originally from Johnstown, Ohio but have since moved to Los Angeles, CA where I am a professional dancer for television, movies and music artists. It was always a dream of mine to pursue a dance career and the past 7 years have afforded me a great career in the entertainment industry. Another lifelong dream of mine was to receive my college diploma and so, I am pursuing my degree in Political Science through Penn State University World Campus. My pursuit of the degree at this point in time is really just to enhance my knowledge of the world at large and engage in thoughtful discussions in an academic setting. However, I am open to a future career change that is engaged in the political spectrum. I am taking this course in connection with understanding the political nature of human-environment interactions. I am excited to explore this area of study with you all!


The issue of governance resonates strongly with me as a resident of Southern California. The policy decisions made by governance have greatly affected our water resources and lead the region into a major drought in recent years. Many cities have enforced strict regulations on water usage, while others have enforced greater taxes on water consumption. Politically, the state has refused to impose these same regulations on farmers. I find this of particular interest in regards to the social aspect of human environment interactions and governance. Policy makers clearly regard that water is vital to the agriculture industry and keeping the land fertile with unrestricted water usage continues to drain the state water supply even as city residents continue to reduce their consumption effectively. Of course, there are no right and wrong answers to the policy debate, but I this specific example from my own experience came to mind as I read the descriptions of the importance of governance within Geography.

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.