Ron Santini


So, who am I? I am an instructor for the Penn State World Campus and come to the World Campus from a different path than your typical instructor. I worked for 30+ years in the environmental field, 18 with a major southeastern United States energy utility. During my years at the utility, I was a project scientist and then a manager of a group of scientists and technicians responsible for the environmental assessment and monitoring of soil, surface water, and groundwater from utility discharges, waste ponds, ash basins, and landfills at fossil-, nuclear-, and hydroelectric-generating facilities. In addition, my team conducted environmental assessments for proposed overhead electric transmission lines, proposed generating facilities, and of contaminated legacy sites. In 1994, I was part of an environmental exchange team that visited a nuclear-generating facility in Ukraine. The task of the team was to evaluate and make recommendations to the nuclear station management on how to improve station environmental protection programs. I bring a unique online learning perspective to you. I was part of the first graduating class of the Geographic Information Systems Certificate Program offered through the Penn State World Campus. Having that under my belt, I enrolled in the online Master of Engineering in GIS program from the University of Colorado, Denver, and graduated in 2009. In addition, I hold an Master of Environmental Pollution Control degree, as well as a BS degree in biological health and an AAS. degree in business administration, all from Penn State. I am also a board-certified environmental professional, certified by the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals.

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.