Rob Brooks


As Professor of Geography and Ecology in the Department of Geography at the Pennsylvania State University, and Director and Founder of Riparia, a Center where science informs policy and practice, I have worked in wetlands science and wildlife ecology for over 30 years, developing a widely recognized and integrated program of education, research and outreach. I have taught over a dozen different undergraduate wildlife courses and graduate courses in the ecology and management of wetlands, physical geography, field geography, wildlife management and conservation, and restoration ecology. Since 1978, I have published over 125 technical papers, books, and book chapters and presented over 165 technical presentations at conferences and meetings. I have been the senior principal investigator on over 100 grants and contracts totaling nearly $30M. I have served as the Director of several interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research projects, including the Atlantic Slope Consortium, Watershed Characterization and Prioritization, Bog Turtle Habitat Conservation Plan, and Best Management Practices for Agricultural Watersheds. I attend 3-4 national and regional wetlands meetings per year, and IOm familiar with current federal and state regulations regarding the policy, protection, and mitigation of rivers and wetlands. I have worked with agencies, industries, plus schools and non-profit organizations. As a member of the Otter Specialist Group of the IUCN, I help to protect otters and their aquatic habitats worldwide. I have been a consultant and collaborator on wetlands for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 1987, and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Wetlands Working Group, sponsored by USEPA and the states. IOm also a member of PennsylvaniaOs DCNR Ecosystem Management Committee, the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Advisory Committee, and spent 16 years on a municipal planning commission. Currently, I serve as the Penn State Trustee for the Chesapeake Research Consortium, and was a member of the Louisiana Coastal Area Science Board.

Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Fritz Kessler

Dr. Fritz Kessler has taught various online courses in the Master's of Geographic Information Systems at Penn State since 2007. He's also an avid cyclist and musician. Learn more about Dr. Kessler, see what he has to say about online education, and hear him play a tune on the mandolin.