Department of Geography News

UT Geography Expert: Gatlinburg Tragic Fire Was ‘A Safe Prediction’

Henri Grissino-Mayer

When Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, a UT professor of geography, heard about the forest fires threatening Gatlinburg, he was not surprised. For years, Grissino-Mayer has been giving talks throughout Tennessee and the Southeast on the subject “Will Our Great Smoky Mountains One Day Go Up in Flames?”

Professor Develops Algorithm to Improve Online Mapping of Disaster Areas

When an 8-magnitude earthquake struck Yingjie Hu’s home province of Sichuan, China, in 2008, he was more than 1,000 miles away attending college in Shanghai. While Hu wanted to help, there wasn’t much he could do due to the long distance. Since then, web-based mapping platforms have been developed that enable volunteers to participate in remote disaster response. Hu, now an assistant professor of geography at UT, and his colleagues have found a way to make the process more effective by developing an algorithm that indicates which areas need detailed mapping first.

Alderman, Butefish Pen News Sentinel Op-Ed about Importance of Geography in State Social Studies Standards

NEWS SENTINEL

Derek Alderman, head of the UT Department of Geography, and Kurt Butefish, coordinator of the Tennessee Geographic Alliance, wrote an opinion editorial for the Knoxville News Sentinel about the importance of geography in state social studies curriculum as officials seek to revise the standards. They noted that geography is increasingly becoming a smaller part of the curriculum–which is a disadvantage to K-12 students.