Brent Yarnal


Brent Yarnal grew up north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, California. He got his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis, master's degree from the University of Calgary, Alberta, and doctorate from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although his graduate training was in physical geography focusing on climatology, geomorphology, and glaciology, today his research bridges the physical and social sciences and integrates climate change, natural hazards, and the use of environmental information in decision-making. He is especially interested in what makes individuals, groups, and communities vulnerable to climate extremes and coastal hazards. His recent work has focused on planning for present and future hurricane storm surges in Florida, local and regional climate action planning in Pennsylvania, and the role of climate information in water resource management in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Brent is Penn State's Will and Ruby Miller Professor of Physical Geography. He is also North American Editor of Progress in Physical Geography, and Associate Editor of Physical Geography. Brent teaches undergraduate courses in physical geography, climate change, and natural hazards. He has served as Director of Penn State's Center for Integrated Regional Assessment, and as Undergraduate Officer, Graduate Officer, and Associate Head of Geography. He is past Chair of Penn State's University Faculty Senate.

Course Spotlight

From Advanced Python Programming for GIS (GEOG 489), learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source.Visit the course.

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