Jennifer Smith Mason


"I am Jennifer (Jenny) Smith Mason, a PhD ABD candidate in the GeoVISTA Center and ChoroPhronesis research unit (formerly Human Factors Lab) in the geography department at Pennsylvania State University. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California by my parents James and Marilyn Smith with my older brother Sean. I currently reside in Los Angeles while finishing my dissertation. I love to ski, snowboard, play soccer, and do most outdoor activities. I graduated from Culver City High School in 2003. I attended Long Beach City College in the fall of 2003 and won a national championship playing soccer. Following my coach to Long Beach State University, I played another year of college soccer. Next, I pursued my academic interests at UCLA and received a bachelor's in Geography (focus in biogeography) and a minor in Geospatial Information Technologies in 2009. After finding a passion in Cartography and GIScience, I attended San Diego State University and received my master's degree in GIScience in 2011. I am now a PhD student in the geography department at Pennsylavia State University under my advisor, Dr. Alexander Klippel. I recently completed a traineeship in the Big Data Social Science IGERT program and a Bunton-Waller Fellowship for diversity. My major research interests include topics surrounding uncertainty visualization, spatial cognition, geovisualization, cartography, and geographic information science."

Course Programs

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

Maria Wherley

Maria Scalzi Wherley (she, her) is a Learning Designer and Writer-in-Residence with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. Learn more about Maria to see what she has to say about online education.