Grad Studies Random 1 

Practical Exams

The practical exam is designed to assess whether a student has accomplished the MS program goals: 

  • Mastery of substantive knowledge
  • Proficiency in geotechniques
  • Development of analytical and communication skills

The exam will last exactly one week during which time students are expected to better define their research question, collect appropriate data to answer their question, analyze the data, and write up the results.  Final reports should be no longer than 20 pages, double spaced.  More detailed information about the practical exam can be found in the Guide to Graduate Studies.  Below is a selection of practical exam questions and answers. 


Ashley Moyer.  Analysis of Elevation Effects on Various Weather Conditions. Question Answer

Brianne Campbell.  Evaluation and Protection of the Tomstown Aquifer in Western Cumberland County, PA. Question Answer

Emily Grabenstein.  Developing and Agricultural Land Preservation Priority Map for Southampton Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania using Land Evaluation and Site Assessment. Question Answer

Brett Gildner.  Investigating the Impacts of Hurricane Sandy on Maritime Forests, Chincoteague Bay Region, Virginia. Question Answer

Matthew Kime.  Developing a Monitoring Plan for Phosphorus Load Reductions in the Rowe Run Watershed, South-Central Pennsylvania. Question Answer

Dana Heston.  Total Carbonate Hardness in Cumberland Valley Groundwater. Question Answer

Gary Greening.  Evaluating the Impacts of Parks, Recreation, and Other Open Space Areas on Property Values: A Case Study of South Middleton Township. Question Answer

Cody Frick.  An Updated Analysis of Shippensburg University's COOP and Automated Weather Station Datasets. Question Answer

Joe Galella.  Urbanization of Carlisle, Pennsylvania and its Environmental Effects. Question Answer


Molly Moore.  Exploring the Impacts of Urban Development on Fluvial Systems in a Karst Landscape, Burd Run Watershed, South-Central Pennsylvania. Question Answer

Gon Park.  Variable Rankings in Cost-Benefits from Installing Green Roofs in Ten Cities in the United States. Question Answer

Corey Pelow.  Preparation of an Advanced High School Lesson Plan for Global Climate Change. Question Answer

Gus Frederick.  An Evaluation of the Demographic and Economic Components of Franklin County ForwardQuestion Answer

Michael Griesemer.  Assessment of the Urban Heat Island in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Question Answer

Alyssa Lynd.  Rainfall Runoff Modeling for a Small Urbanizing Sub-Watershed in the Upper Delaware River Basin. Question Answer

Graham Markowitz.  Examining Streamflow Variations and Controlling Geologic Factors of Big Spring Creek. Question Answer


Kristina Everetts.  Hydrologic Impacts of Exceeding Zoning Ordinances on Impervious Lot Coverage: TR-55 Modeling of Three Zoning Districts in Shippensburg Borough. Question Answer

Olivia Mowery.  Open Access Resources, the Urban Heat Island Effect and Implementation of Mitigation Stategies in the City of Harrisburg, City of Philadelphia, and the Borough of Shippensburg. Question Answer

Stephanie Kieffer.  Comparison of Discharge Characteristics at Three Stream Gauge Sites along the Susquehann River Using Mulitple Statistical Techniques. Question Answer

Rachel Ralls. Spatial Analysis of Land Trust Activities in the United States. Question Answer

Marlin Gruver.  Analysis of Urban Tree Ordinances through a Tree Ordinance Audit System. Question Answer 

Scott Harris.  Current Land Use Patterns and Urban and Agricultural Land Use Change from 1989 to 2011 in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and Surrounding Municipalities. Question Answer 

Kevin Eaton.  Incorporating the Adaptive Model of Human Thermal Comfort into HVAC Protocols and Efficiency at Shippensburg University: A Case Study. Question Answer 


Michael Stefanic.  Mapping Ghost Forest Development on Assateague Island; Eastern Shore, Virginia.  Question Answer 

Keri Simmons.  A Hydrologic Study of the Middle Spring Creek near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Question Answer 

Rick Kaiser.  A Hydrologic Study of Shippensburg University Campus: Preparations for a New Irrigation Well. Question Answer 

Neal Kerrigan.  Assessing the Proper Theory in Relation to Using Chosen Methodology of Geophysical Surveys at Three Sites. Question Answer 

Trent Otis. Evaluating the Influence of Population and Job Growth on Urban Change within Four Counties in Maryland. Question Answer 

Matthew Krapf. Evaluation GIS for Municipality Management. Question Answer 

Hannah Kubach. Wine Grape Suitability and Quality in a Changing Climate: An Assessment of Adams County, Pennsylvania (1950-2099). Question Answer 

Brandon Duxbury. Planning for the Olympics: A Transportation SWOT Analysis of Vancouver. Question Answer 

Christina Bohensky. An Evaluation of the Demographic and Economic Components of Moving Fulton Forward: A Joint Comprehensive Plan. Question Answer 

Laurie Young. Climate and Hydrology of Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Question  Answer 


Scott Evans.  Current Trends among Imigrant Populations in the U.S.  Question    Answer 

Jacob Ward.  Critical Habitat for the Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel.  Question    Answer 

Michael Maret.  Priority Funding Area Effectiveness with Prince George's County, Maryland.  Question    Answer 

Mark Jackson.  Using the Stream Visual Assessment Protocol for Middle Spring Creek.  Question    Answer 

Mark Mishler.  Link between Surface Runoff and Groundwater Discharge.  Question    Answer 


Eric Atkins.  Landscape changes around Gunpowder State park.  Question    Answer 

William Pompeii.  Assessment of the urban heat island for the borough of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.  Question    Answer  

Karen Stretton.  Evaluation of land use change in the Little Conestoga Watershed, 1984 to 2006.  Question    Answer 


Albert Beck.  An analysis of Shippensburg University’s COOP and automated weather station datasets.  Question    Answer 

Scott Donohue.  A local case study of area-wide conservation mapping.  Question    Answer 

Jeremiah Greenland.  Simulated gasoline release.  Question    Answer 

Kathleen Kelliher.  The spatial pattern and diffusion of land trusts in the United States.  Question    Answer 

Russel Robertson.  Comparing the success and/or failure of two urban renewal efforts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Question    Answer 

Saidet Saldutti.  Spatial trends of groundwater quality in Cumberland County, PA.  Question    Answer 

Kathleen Seiler.  The evolving missions of land trusts.  Question    Answer 

Katherine Shuren.  An analysis of climate trends along the Appalachian Trail and its potential effects on thru-hiking.  Question    Answer 


Noah D'Antonio.  A Preliminary assessment of ten watersheds intersecting Albemarle County, Virginia.  Question    Answer 

Megersa Deyessa.  A geospatial anaylsis of Kmart and Sears.  Question    Answer 

Danielle Doyle.  A thermal analysis of a small apartment.  Question    Answer 

Melissa Mimna.  Modeling the effects of increasing impervious surface allowances on stormwater runoff: Shippensburg Borough, Pennsylvania.  Question    Answer 

Highlights & Reminders

The faculty in Geography-Earth Science wish all of you a productive and safe fall!  For those of you working at your internships, keep up the hard work. Make us proud!  Click here to share some photos with the department Facebook page and let us know what you are up to.


2015 Photo Contest

Voting is now closed for our 2015 photo contest and the votes are being tallied. Stay tuned for an announcement with the winning photos!

2015 Department Career Day: 

Don't forget, each fall we host a department career day in November!  This is a great opportunity to gain professional contacts and learn more about the field. Click here for more information.


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