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Current News and Events

  • April 16, 2014
    Dr. Graham Tobin, recipient of USF's Distinguished Service Award

    Dr. Graham Tobin had been a Faculty Member and Chair of the Department of Geography, at the University of South Florida when he was first recruited in 1996. He helped to grow the Department and to expand the graduate program providing a significant boost to the overall recognition of the Department. He made outstanding contributions to the management and governance of USF at many different levels including his work as Vice Provost of USF. Dr. Tobin served on a number of important university and system wide committees as well as College committees such as, the College of Education Dean Search Committee (Chair), the Campus Leadership Council, the SACSCOS Leadership Team, the Academic Affairs Planning Group, and many others. Dr. Tobin had a major influence on USF through his service work. Because of his experience, knowledge of USF and the quality of his service, he is often selected by administration to serve on key committees in order to complete specific projects.

    Dr. Graham Tobin is one of the most recognized names in his profession, the field of Geography. This is in part due to his outstanding publication record as well as his service working on the numerous editorial boards, wide variety of national committees including USDA and NSF review panels as well as Association of American Geographers committees. Dr. Tobin also organized or is in process of organizing several important conferences in his field, such as the Association of American Geographers, the Applied Geography Conferences, the Southern Geographers Conference, and the Florida Geographers Conference.

    In summary, Dr. Graham Tobin’s service brings great distinction to his discipline, Department and the University of South Florida. He received outstanding support for this nomination from many of his distinguished peers at the University of South Florida as well as at several other universities throughout the country. In addition, many of his peers highlighted Dr. Tobin’s qualities as a colleague who supported and guided numerous faculty members seeking to earn tenure and promotion and as stated by his peers ‘...Many have benefited from his wise counsel and integrity through distinguished service”.

  • April 8-12, 2014
    Learn about the latest in research and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. Meet and network with geographers, environmental scientists, and GIS specialists. Graham Tobin and Jennifer Collins are Co-Chairs of the Local Arrangements Committee for the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Conference which will be held here in Tampa on April 8-12, 2014. All are welcomed to submit an abstract. Online registration is taking place now!

    Key Climate-Related Events:
    Tuesday, April 8
    • Field Trip: A Visit with the Hurricane Hunters and a Tour of the NOAA WP-3D Plane
      Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm
      Cost/person: $27 (includes bus transportation) (Register through REGISTRATION FOR THIS TRIP CLOSES ON MARCH 1, 2014
    • Session 1266: Climate Specialty Group Student Paper Competition
      Time: 10:00-11:40 am
      Location: Florida Salon V, Marriott, Second Floor
    • Session 1756: AAG Presidential Plenary: Geographies of Climate Change
      Time: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
      Location: Grand Salon E, Marriott, Second Floor

    Wednesday, April 9
    • Session 2218: 2014 John Russell Mather Paper of the Year Award Presentation
      Time: 10:00-11:40 am
      Location: Room 18, TCC, First Floor
      Recipient and Presenter: Laiyin Zhu (Johns Hopkins University)
      Award Paper: Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Precipitation in Texas: A Statistical Modeling Approach Based on a 60-year Climatology.
    • Session 2913: Climate Specialty Group Business Meeting
      Time: 8:30-9:30 PM
      Location: Room 13, TCC, First Floor
      The meeting is open to all members (or potential members).

    Thursday, April 10
    • Session 3226: Climate Specialty Group Plenary Speaker: Dr. Michael Mann
      “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming”
      Time: 10:00-11:40 am
      Location: Ballroom A, TCC, First Floor

    Please check the CSG website for updates.

    The conference will feature more than 5,000 presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips by leading scholars, researchers, and educators. Sessions will be organized around featured themes and relevant topics, such as Florida and the Global South, Cultural Geographies, Climate Change, Geography Education, Human Geography and GIScience, Physical Geography, Geographies of Health, Social Justice, and much more.

    If you are a student, please consult with your advisor before submitting an abstract. AAG hosts many opportunities for students including a “Jobs in Geography” session. Look into the student paper and/or poster competitions sponsored by various specialty groups (e.g. Jennifer Collins is Vice-Chair of the Climate Specialty Group ).

  • April 7, 2014
    The 27th Annual Preconference of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Political Geography Specialty Group, co-sponsored by the USF School of Geosciences, will be held at the Marshall Student Center (MSC 3708 and 3709) on Monday, April 7, 2014. Use this web link to access the conference program and abstracts.

  • March 26, 2014
    Research Computing Users Forum
    Dr. Brian Andres
    March 26th at 3:00 PM
    Advanced Visualization Center (CMC 147)

    (located in the former Physics building )
    *Pterosaurs: Old bones, new technology*

    There are ancient organisms that defy the imagination and challenge science to understand them. These extinct behemoths and leviathans have inspired many students into the sciences and pushed the boundaries of what life is capable of. Unfortunately, the most extraordinary of these creatures are the least understood. The pterosaurs were the first vertebrates in flight and the longest aloft with a fossil record of over 150 million years. They became the largest flying animals of all time; they were organisms that could have stared a giraffe in the eye and then catapult themselves into the air. However, as large fragile organisms with hollow skeletons, they did not leave us a very good fossil record. New technology such as Microfocus CT-scanners and visualization software allow us to digitally dissect fossils in ways that would have destroyed the fossils not long ago, and new techniques such as phylogenetic comparative methods and ancestral state reconstruction allow us to restore how pterosaurs lived and what they looked like.

  • March 25, 2014
    Search for Buried Treasure!
    Learn about Florida’s past hurricane record
    11:00 am Tuesday, March 25th
    CWY Bill Young Building Room 206
    USF, Tampa
    Dr. Joanne Muller
    (Florida Gulf Coast University)
    Sponsored by the
    West Central Florida Chapter of the
    American Meteorological Society
  • March 22, 2014
    Come lend a helping hand! Saturday, March 22nd, 12 - 4 pm, join the KRG (Karst Research Group), the GGSO (Geology Grad Student Organization), and the Geology Club in sprucing up the Geo Park. Included is a picnic and vertical workshop!
    Service Day
  • February 8, 2014
    The 14th Annual USF Geology Alumni Society Banquet will be February 8, 2014 at Traditions Hall, Alumni Center, USF Tampa Campus. Reception is at 6 pm, with dinner starting around 7. It is a fund-raising event to benefit the Richard A Davis, Jr, Endowed Fellowship in Geology.

    The invitation that has gone out to alumni and supporters of USF Geology includes the following information:
    • Cost: $100 for individuals, $150 for couples, and $50 for students: $1250 (or more) for sponsored tables
    • Attire: Business
    Registration information is provided online.

    As student veterans of the annual banquet know, some companies and individuals buy sponsored tables. Tables come with eight seats (meals), and in some cases, some of the seats are intended for unidentified students. These seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis according to a list that is generated based on an email request to Dr. Len Vacher. This year, in accordance to a request from the board of the Geology Alumni Society, the list will be categorized according to program (Geology, ESP, Geography) because some sponsors will have a preference.

    If you wish to attend the banquet at a sponsored seat, please send an email to (and please cc Judy McIlrath: with the following information:
    • Your name (for the name tag)
    • Your subdiscipline within the School of Geosciences (Geology, ESP, Geography)
    • Your program (graduate, undergraduate)
    • Your food preference (beef, fish, vegan) (Typically, the beef is steak, the fish is salmon or mahi mahi, and the vegan is noteworthy; the actual identities won’t be settled for a while, so let me know if you need more information to decide, but don’t let that stop you from requesting a seat if you want to go to the banquet.)

    Email replies will be ordered by time of arrival of the email and by category (subdiscipline). Sponsored seating is limited, so it is important that you get on the list soon if you do want a sponsored seat. If we run out of sponsored seats before we run out of students who would like to attend, unsponsored students are very welcome to buy a seat at $50 each until we sell out. Non-geosciences spouses of sponsored guests are also available at $50 until we sell out.

  • February 7-9, 2014
    Dear Geographers, FSG members, Students and Friends, the Florida Society of Geographers Annual Meeting is happening February 7-9, in Orlando, Florida. The abstract submission deadline has been extended. The NEW deadline for abstract submission is Jan 17th! Please submit your abstract and registration. Students, don't miss out the opportunity to practice your presentation before AAG. Conference Themes:
    • Innovative Applications of GIS: Moving into the 21st Century
    • Virtual Geography: Pedagogical Adaptations to Virtual Learning in Geography
    • Florida's Environments: the Escalating Battle over Habitat, Species and Resources
    • Florida's Water Systems: Facing the Future
    • Global Climate Change and Florida: Adaptations to Changing Weather and Sea Levels
    • Approaches to Urban Renewal and Revitalization in Florida
    • Physical Geography
    • Cultural Geography
    • Environmental Geography
    • GIS
    • Others

    Follow this link for conference information and registration --> Conference Registration and Payments

  • December 6, 2013
    Celebrate a great year with the School of Geosciences and enjoy delicious food and drinks. Cocktail hour starts at 6pm followed by dinner at 7pm. Tickets: $10 for students, $20 for faculty and alumni, $10 for friends and family. Tickets include dinner and one drink. TICKETS ARE LIMITED. Cash bar. Semi-formal attire is requested. Join us!

    The Towers of Channelside Clubhouse
    445 South 12th Street, 5th Floor

  • November, 2013
    The NOAA Preserve Initiative project seeks to preserve the history of past storms in the Tampa Bay region and protect historical documents and data collected by NOAA Hurricane Hunters and NWS. Documents, data, historical flight records and photos are being digitally preserved and made available to the public at the University of South Florida in the library’s Learning Commons in a display case and will shortly be available on the web. The records include NOAA flight crew and scientific personnel, times logged by NOAA aircraft in hurricanes, meteorological findings on each flight, news clippings, historical charts and other Weather Service memorabilia. USF graduate students,Heather Keys and Randall Hergert, are interning at AOC.

    Although NOAA Hurricane Hunters serve a community larger than the Tampa Bay region, being located at MacDill Air Force base for the past twenty years has forged NOAA’s aircraft and mission into the culture of the region. A primary goal is to highlight contributions to both the tropical weather community and to faculty hurricane research and collaboration with NOAA. Associate Professor, Jennifer Collins from the School of Geosciences is the project lead from USF, Hurricane Hunter Ian Sears is the project lead from NOAA AOC and Science and Operations Officer Charles Paxton is the project lead at NWS. Jennifer Collins flew with the hurricane hunters last year during the infamous Sandy storm, and has flown other missions with them in the past including Tropical Storm Kyle in 2008.

  • October, 2013
    Life restoration Radiodactylus langstoni Andres and
    Myers 2013 ©Ontograph Studios by John Conway.
    USF geoscientist Brian Andres Ph.D. names two new species of pterosaurs from his home state of Texas in a volume of the Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This volume was in honor of Wann Langston, Jr., who passed away last April, and who first interested Dr. Andres in pterosaurs as freshman at The University of Texas of Austin. One of these new species, Radiodactylus langstoni, was named after Dr. Langston and is a smaller and more primitive relative of his Quetzalcoatlus, the largest known flying organism with a wingspan of over 32 feet. In this article, titled Lone Star Pterosaurs, Dr. Andres described these new species and presented the largest evolutionary analysis of pterosaurs to determine where Texas pterosaurs fit in the Tree of Life.