University of Florida Department of Geography
The Navi-Gator
OCTOBER 2019, ISSUE 2

So many new and exciting things have happened…
Check out our amazing new grad lab in 1215!
Come visit us in the geography office– lounge around in reclining chairs and grab some new GeoGator merch. We have T-shirts and sweatshirts for sale, along with other complementary goodies.

Now Accepting Applications for 2019 Graduate Student Awards!
* Top Published Student Research Article
* Little Family Student Fellowship Award
* John & Fawn Dunkle Award for Graduate Student Travel
* Evan Coe Award in Medical Geography
* David L. Niddrie Excellence Fund
* Anderson Award for International Travel
Submissions are due by 5 pm on November 15th via email to Crystal: cwilmoth@ufl.edu with award name in the subject header [required

UF Researchers Lead future GIS Project in Ghana on Deforestation and City Growth
Funded by SERVIR!
A team from the University of Florida – including Geography’s Dr. Olivier Walther – has received funding from SERVIR, a joint venture between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development for their Linking Deforestation, Urbanization, and Agricultural Expansion for Land-Use Decisions in Ghana project. The team will use Geospatial Information System (GIS) tools to assess deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion to improve land use planning in Ghana.

Colloquium
Upcoming: (Dates TBA)
Dr. Robert McCleery
Dr. Roberta Mendonça De Carvalho
Dr. Robert Walker
Ryan Good
Past:
Dr. Kim Valenta (October 3rd): The Mad Dog Initiative – Identifying and Mitigating Invasive Species Threats in Madagascar
Dr. Bo Yang (October 10th): Drone Mapping for Coastal Seagrass Monitoring and Citizen Science
Dr. Danielle Jake-Schoffman (October 16th): Technology-Based Interventions to Promote Physical Activity and Healthy Eating
Dr. Michael Gavin (October 24th): The Geography and Conservation of Biocultural Diversity
Dr. Seth Cavello (October 31st): Rust Belt Renaissance? The Experience of Refugees from Burma in Buffalo, NY

Kim Valenta (October 3rd): The Mad Dog Initiative – Identifying and Mitigating Invasive Species Threats in Madagascar
Dr. Bo Yang (October 10th): Drone Mapping for Coastal Seagrass Monitoring and Citizen Science
Dr. Danielle Jake-Schoffman (October 16th): Technology-Based Interventions to Promote Physical Activity and Healthy Eating
Dr. Michael Gavin (October 24th): The Geography and Conservation of Biocultural Diversity
Dr. Seth Cavello (October 31st): Rust Belt Renaissance? The Experience of Refugees from Burma in Buffalo, NY

Where Are they now?
Our recent grads have found themselves in some interesting places!
Chia Yu (Charles) Wu, class of 2019, graduated with his Doctorate in Geography. He is currently researching River-Coastal Science and Engineering as a postdoctoral fellow at Tulane University.

Doctoral students, Carly Muir and Ryan Good, have been selected to participate in the NASA DEVELOP Program during summer 2019 through Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Part of NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, DEVELOP addresses environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply the lens of NASA Earth observations to community concerns around the globe. Bridging the gap between NASA Earth Science and society, DEVELOP builds capacity in both participants and partner organizations to better prepare them to address the challenges that face our society and future generations.

Ryan and Carly are both working at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, this summer. Ryan’s project focuses on evaluating drought indices to enhance early warning systems in Kenya, and Carly’s project is analyzing flood risk in coastal communities of Central America after natural disasters, such as tropical storms, tidal flooding, and tsunamis.

To learn more about NASA DEVELOP, visit https://develop.larc.nasa.gov.

Tropical Cyclone Idai Aims at Mozambique. Terra-MODIS image credit NASA Earth Observatory

The March12th NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day was a Terra-MODIS image of Tropical Cyclone Idai, preparing to make landfall on Mozamique.

For help interpreting the image, NASA asked UF Geography Professor Dr. Corene Matyas to explain what was in the image:

“Several cyclones in the past have started over Mozambique and then moved over water and intensified into more organized systems, although this type of situation is not common,” said Corene Matyas, a researcher at University of Florida who has studied cyclones in this area. It is relatively common, however, to see cyclone tracks in the Mozambique Channel that meander and loop, due to weak steering currents.

Cyclones that form in the channel tend to be weaker than those that form over the Southwest Indian Ocean, north and east of Madagascar. But Matyas points out that regardless of where a cyclone forms, some have reached their highest intensity within a day before landfall. Tropical Cyclone Eline in February 2000, for example, passed over Madagascar and the Mozambique Channel, and then quickly intensified just before landfall in Mozambique.

“Keys to intensification are warm ocean waters to sufficient depth, the absence of strong winds in the upper troposphere, and being contained inside of a moist air mass,” Matyas said. “These conditions are all present right now.”

If you want to become an expert in weather and climate, check out our Certificate in Meteorology and Climatology.