University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Spring - Summer 2005

MODELING THE EFFECTS OF GLACIAL ISOSTASY ON STREAM TERRACE FORMATION

Brent J. Zaprowski and Joshua Floyd, Department of Geography and Geosciences
Salisbury University

Abstract

Field studies of streams and stream terraces in the northern High Plains show that the area has undergone several phases of base level adjustment during the Pleistocene resulting in the formation of multiple terraces in those drainage basins. It was hypothesized that the streams were responding to crustal adjustments caused by the advance and retreat of nearby continental ice sheets. Using a hinged stream table, experiments were run to see if glacial isostacy could cause permanent base level lowering and stream terrace formation. These experiments successfully demonstrated that downwarping of a stream can lead to base level change and terrace formation. Although several design factors may have played a role in the results, it is believed that the results of these experiments show that glaciers can affect landscapes in non-glaciated areas adjacent to glaciated areas through the formation and migration of knickpoints.


AN ANALYSIS OF 3-HOUR AND 24-HOUR EXTREME RAINFALL IN EL PASO, TX

Gregory E. Faiers, Department of Geography
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Barry D. Keim,Department of Geography and Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Kalyan Jammigumpula and David Sathiaraj, Southern Regional Climate Center
Louisiana State University

Abstract

El Paso, Texas averages just under nine inches of rainfall a year, but occasionally experiences unusually heavy rainfall events that trigger localized flooding and related impacts.  To better understand the characteristics of extreme rainfall in the area, duration series of extreme 3-hour and 24-hour storms were extracted from the official weather records from the National Weather Service El Paso station for the period of 1948-2003.  The majority of events at both durations took place between the months of June and September.  Over three quarters of events of both durations occurred with frontal boundaries in the area serving as triggering mechanisms for the storms.  The majority of time frames during which these extreme events transpired were nocturnal.  The latter part of the study period saw a decrease in the frequency of these extreme events, especially the 24-hour storms.


WAREHOUSING IN SOUTH-CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA’S I-81 CORRIDOR:  A CASE STUDY OF EXIT 29

Paul Marr, Department of Geography-Earth Science
Shippensburg University

Eric Mock, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Abstract

Municipalities along Interstate 81 in south-central Pennsylvania have experienced a significant increase in warehousing and distribution facilities over the past decade. Several municipalities along this stretch of interstate do not currently have land use controls, while others are adopting strict zoning policies. As competition for warehousing and distribution space increases, the municipalities which lack zoning will likely experience increasing warehouse developmental pressures, resulting in a degradation of their small town character. The town of Shippensburg had remained relatively untouched by warehouse development in comparison to locations with highway interchanges to the north and south. However, within the past year several large distribution centers have moved into the area, with more in the planning stages. This research will describe the current situation in Shippensburg relative to the growth of warehousing and distribution, paying particular attention to the development at Exit 29 east of town.


THE CHANGING NATURE OF RELIGION IN AFRICA

James C. Saku, Department of Geography
Frostburg State University

Abstract

Religion plays an important role in the socio-cultural lives of Africans. It permeates every aspect of their daily existence.  Prior to the arrival of Europeans and Arabs on the continent, Africans adhered to Traditional African Religion.  At that time, Traditional African Religion adequately served the religious needs of Africans.  The introduction of Christianity and Islam on the continent changed the dynamics of religion in Africa forever. An area of change is the decline in the number of people adhering to Traditional African Religion. While Traditional African Religion has declined in popularity, Christianity and Islam have gained tremendous numbers of adherents in Africa.


PRINCE MAXIMILIAN’S OTHER WORLDS

Michael G. Noll, Valdosta State University
Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences

Abstract

In 1832 Prince Maximilian of Wied made his epic journey to the United States in order to study its natural history and indigenous population. When he left North America in 1834, he took with him extensive field notes on the physical and cultural landscapes he encountered and hundreds of paintings by the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer who accompanied him on this journey. Upon his return to Germany, Maximilian began the analysis of his North American experience, which culminated in the two-volume Reise in das Innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834 (Wied 1839-41). Ever since, Prince Maximilian’s opus has been praised for its objectivity and harvested for its factual information. However, a deconstruction of his travel report reveals that his narrated landscapes present more than just an array of factual information. Instead, they expose an interpolation of a variety of competing discourses and open a window into the inner worlds of its narrator.


GEOGRAPHY WITH A DIFFERENCE: GRANÖ’S PURE GEOGRAPHY COMPARED TO CURRY AND MCGUIRE’S COMMUNITY ON LAND WITH ADDITIONAL REFLECTIONS FROM POST-MODERN CRITICAL THEORY

Vincent P. Miller, Jr., Department of Geography and Regional Planning
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

In speaking first to the issue Post-Modern Critical Theory it is necessary to go back in time a number of decades. The decade of its birth was in the 1960s, most particularly the year 1968, which was both frightening and liberating, upsetting and besetting. It was the time of the Prague Spring. My wife and I remember that well. We sat on the bed late night after night listening to our little Grundig’s short wave band as the Soviet tanks rolled towards and finally into Prague. We heard the final interrupted comments as free Radio Prague went off the air for the last time as a voice of protest. While we knew no one in Prague, there was remorse in our hearts for the brave keepers of the flame of human dignity, let alone the individuals who manned the radio transmitter until the bitter end. Head of state Alexandr Dubèek was somehow mercifully banished to a rural agricultural post in the hinterlands and Soviet military power was at its peak in the East. Being at its peak it had nowhere to go but down, just as the flexing of military might anywhere illustrates the contention that some states no longer know how to cope except through force.