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K-State Today

August 13, 2014

Harrington selected for Summer at Census program

Submitted by John Harrington

John Harrington Jr., geography professor, has been selected to engage in collaborative scholarship with research geographers at the U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland, from Aug. 18-20.

The emphasis of the work will be on the use of geographic information systems to examine the rural/urban dichotomy in the High Plains. Currently, a place with 2,500 people is considered urban, without consideration of how low the population density is in the surrounding area.

Harrington will team up with Christopher J. Henrie to study how additional data might be used to advance understanding of what characteristics make a small community qualify for the designation as an urban place. Henrie earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree in geography from K-State. Henrie worked with Steve White, former dean of the K-State College of Arts & Sciences, to complete his 1999 master's degree thesis, "Small Town Viability in the High Plains Ogallala Region of Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas: 1950-1990."

Harrington will spend three days at the Census Bureau developing and testing ideas that will lead to future collaborative scholarly presentations and publications. As part of his visit, Harrington will share finding from some of his prior research in a seminar, "Spaces Between Places: Understanding the changing character of the High Plains of western Kansas," on Monday, Aug. 18.