Archive for March, 2013


15 Years Ago Today: The Saint Peter Tornado

A F-3 tornado struck on March 29, 1998, killing a young boy and destroying over two hundred homes plus two historic schools, two historic churches, Gustavus’ oldest dormitory, and thousands of trees. Remarkably, the tornado spared the town’s three trailer parks, lessening the toll. Below is a map created in MapInfo by Gustavus geography students […]


The 15th Anniversary of the 1998 Saint Peter Tornado

Fifteen years ago, on 29 March 1998, a 67-mile-track F3-F4 tornado passed through Saint Peter. Two people were killed and over 200 houses in Saint Peter were destroyed. Fifty-nine buildings on the Gustavus campus were damaged, and the campus and rest of Saint Peter lost many of their trees. “Tens of thousands of trees were […]


The Midwest’s Identity Crisis

A provocative article in MinnPost points out the Midwest’s feelings of inferiority relative to the East Coast and West Coast. Frank Bures describes the many architectural and literary treasures of the Midwest and notes that back a few generations, there wasn’t the same feeling of inferiority. Mark Twain, Cass Gilbert, Grant Wood, Frank Lloyd Wright […]


Renowned Climate Scientist Visits the Department of Geography

Dr. James White, Professor of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, and Director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at Colorado University-Boulder, spent the past two days at Gustavus as part of a National Science Foundation grant (Integrating Sustainability Across and Within the Science Curriculum).  As part of his visit, Dr. White gave two […]


Brown Bag Lunch Seminar

The Department of Geography is proud to announce the first in a series of Brown Bag Lunch seminars.  The goal of the series is to promote the discipline of geography, hear speakers, and exchange ideas, while enjoying lunch or a snack.  Seminars will be held at the Robert Moline Map Library in Nobel Hall. Please […]


GIS: Changing History One Map at a Time

A recent article at, highlights Anne Knowles, professor of Geography at Middlebury College, and how she uses Geographic Information Science (systems) to literally make history come alive.  In the process, she challenges long-standing academic views of noteworthy historical events by “putting place at the center of history.”  Take for example the often-questioned decision by […]


What a Difference a Year Makes!

It was a year ago this week that I decided to drive the 500 miles from Manhattan, Kansas to Minnesota to spend time with my family for spring break.  On St. Patrick’s Day, we spent the afternoon on the patio at the Brookside Bar and Grill in Marine on the St. Croix, enjoying summer-like weather […]


Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial North America 2013

The 2013 Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial North America (FOSS4G-NA) conference will be be held May 22-24 in Minneapolis, MN. Two of the keynote speakers are: Eric Gundersen, CEO, MapBox.  With big names converting from Google Maps to MapBox (USA Today, Foursquare, etc.), Eric will be discussing the business proposition/value of open source […]


This Saturday: Building Bridges

Sentenced For Life: Confronting the Calamity of Mass Incarceration 2013 Building Bridges Conference Geography Major Jasmine Porter is the co-chair of this year’s Building Bridges Conference on the injustices of the U.S. prison system. The conference begins at 9:30am on Saturday, March 9, in Gustavus Adolphus College’s Christ Chapel. Learn more and register for the […]


Quirk Becker assists Minneapolis neighborhood organization

Gustavus Geography major Miranda Quirk Becker recently completed an internship with the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization in south Minneapolis. During January 2013, Miranda undertook a project to study the the spatial distribution of conditions and rents of multifamily housing in the neighborhood. Miranda was responsible for creating high quality maps and data tables describing and analyzing […]