University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Spring - Summer 2007

MEXICAN-AMERICAN ASSIMILATION IN U.S.
METROPOLITAN AREAS

Peter Hayward, Department of Geography
University of Connecticut

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore the assimilation among Mexican-Americans, individuals with Hispanic ethnicity, in ten metropolitan areas in the United States.  Specifically, a research objective was put forth which sought to determine if being spatially assimilated ensured that Mexican-Americans were, on average, culturally and economically assimilated.  The results show that across eight of the ten metropolitan areas (two areas were excluded for statistical reasons), there were significant differences in earnings and education between Mexican-Americans residing within ethnic concentrations and those living in more spatially assimilated areas.  However, these differences were not recognized in the English language abilities and the citizenship status among the samples studied.   


DETERMINING THE ROLE OF CHINATOWN IN THE LIVES OF PHILADELPHIA’S FOREIGN-BORN ETHNIC CHINESE POPULATION

Michael Rovito, Department of Public Health
Temple University

Abstract

A lack of current case study evidence from large urban enclaves of ethnic Chinese exists in contrast to the continued importance of such centers in shaping immigrants’ acculturation experiences.  The trend of contemporary studies regarding immigration focuses more on suburban immigration, however, this study redirects focus back to the urban realm and how it still serves as the genesis for ethnic minority solidarity in Philadelphia. 
The methodology centers on ethnographic interviews conducted with members of the foreign-born ethnic Chinese in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.   Data is qualitatively summarized to determine the processes of acculturation and how these characteristics are intertwined with Chinatown’s influence over Philadelphia’s ethnic Chinese population.
Chinatown is the primary entity that shapes the lives for the Chinese population in Philadelphia.  Although there are micro- and macrogeographic shifts in population migration compared to traditional immigrant settlement, Philadelphia’s urban core serves as the glue for the ethnic Chinese community.


ETHNIC AND RACIAL GROWTH PATTERNS IN THE COUNTIES OF PENNSYLVANIA, 1990-2000

Evelyn Ravuri, Department of History and Geography
Saginaw Valley State University

Abstract

This paper examines the rate of population growth of five racial/ethnic groups in Pennsylvania between 1990 and 2000. Non-Hispanic white population loss occurred in 33 counties in Western Pennsylvania and the Anthracite region, a continued result of the deindustrialization process, while growth rates of this group were highest in counties of the Poconos and shows the importance of retirement migration. Asians had the greatest growth in the Philadelphia MSA, likely a result of the economic transformation of this region from industrial to post-industrial which requires a labor force with higher educational skills. Non-Hispanic blacks and Puerto Ricans experienced high growth rates in not only Philadelphia County, the location of ethnic enclaves for both populations, but in other eastern Pennsylvania counties with a central city. Mexican growth was concentrated in counties around Philadelphia County and is likely a result of employment opportunities in agriculture and low-wage manufacturing.


THE GEOGRAPHY OF KNITTING: NEW TRENDS OF AN OLD HOBBY

Alison E. Feeney, Department of Geography and Earth Science
Shippensburg University

Abstract

Reports in trade magazines suggest that the demography of those who knit are changing. Often associated with elderly women from northern European countries, knitting is becoming a hobby for a more fashion-conscience, younger generation.  Through the use of surveys, this study assessed the reported increase in the number of people knitting at the market/sales level and examined whether there is a geographic pattern in either the location of knitting stores or the types of people who are knitting.  Returned surveys from 474 U.S. knitting shops demonstrates that the knitting business is thriving, sales are increasing, and it still is predominantly a female hobby.


PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH AMENITY-BASED SUBDIVISIONS IN THE POCONOS: THE CASE OF PIKE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
 
Hubert B. Stroud, Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Geography
Arkansas State University

Abstract

Pike County, Pennsylvania, has a high concentration of amenity-based subdivisions and a rapidly expanding population.  Along with rapid growth and development come many enduring problems.  These problems are intensified by the large number of subdivided lots that have been created within amenity-based subdivisions.  Many of these potential home sites are in locations not suitable for development.  A case study is used to provide specific examples of problems that have been created and possible solutions to some of the more vexing issues.  Options for resolving problems include acquiring tax delinquent lots, establishing an architectural review process, and placing a cap on growth by limiting the total population within amenity-based subdivisions.  These and other land use management techniques must be implemented if the county is to establish more sustainable patterns of growth in the future.


LAND USE PATTERNS AND THEIR PROXIMITY TO ABANDONED MINE LANDS IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA

Timothy J. Dolney, Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Penn State-Altoona

Abstract

Coal mining began in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700s and over the next two centuries, little thought was given to how extracting several billion tons of coal from the Earth’s surface would impact the environment.  Today’s landscape is now scarred with environmental and safety hazards from past mining activities as coal operators failed to return land to its pre-mining conditions.  The state has initiated clean-up efforts but has only eliminated a small portion of their some 30,000 abandoned mine land (AML) problems.  Using GIS, this study presents the results of analyzing the distribution of AMLs and their relation to land use in Pennsylvania.  Calculating the type and amount of land use in close proximity to AMLs demonstrates the environmental and safety hazards posed by these areas.


HYDROLOGIC ANALYSIS OF LOCALIZED PROPERTY FLOODING IN SOUTH CENTRAL, PENNSYLVANIA

Timothy W. Hawkins, Department of Geography and Earth Science
Shippensburg University

Abstract

A hydrologic analysis was undertaken to determine the cause of localized property flooding for a residence in Franklin County, Pennsylvania during two storm events in June, 2003.   Field surveys revealed that the lowest part of the housing development storm water management field is 1.17 feet higher than the floor of the residence’s basement.  Using model simulations of surface runoff and analysis of the soils within the contributing area to the storm water management field, it was determined however, that despite the elevation of the storm water management field, 25 times more water would enter the residence’s basement due to interflow in the soil of the contributing area than due to flow from the storm water management field.  The primary reason is the positioning of different soil series that effectively funnels subsurface water towards the residence and dams the subsurface flow at the residence.  Visual evidence corroborates these assertions.


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF SHIP SCRAPPING IN BANGLADESH

Shahalam M.N. Amin, Department of Geography and Geosciences
Bloomsburg University
and
Mostaem Billah, Department of Geography and Environment
University of Dhaka

Abstract

Bangladesh ranks second in ship scrapping in the world.  On average, about 100 ships are scrapped every year along a 20 km shoreline on the Bay of Bengal.  Due to the high demand for scrap metal, low labor cost, presence of large inter-tidal zone, and disregard for environmental pollution, ship dismantling activities are growing at a faster pace in Bangladesh.  Ship scrapping produces enormous amounts of waste.  Huge amounts of oil, toxic chemicals, and asbestos are released during the scrapping process.  These cause air, water, and soil pollution, and also put enormous stress on the marine ecosystem.  In absence of proper ship scrapping plans and environmental regulations, this important industry has developed in a most haphazard manner, causing environmental degradation of the coastal region.  Based on field observations, questionnaire surveys, and secondary information, this paper focuses on the environmental impacts associated with ship scrapping and identifies means of sustainable management.