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Science publication highlights geographer's research on impact of war on the earth's landscape

| Judy Berthiaume

At UW-Eau Claire we are all about encouraging people to pursue multiple passions, knowing that sometimes seemingly diverse interests can eventually intersect, with the results being both fascinating and often unexpected.

That’s certainly true for Dr. Joseph Hupy, who years ago brought his passion for military history and his interest in geography together in a way that resulted in the establishment of a new branch of science.

Now an associate professor of geography at UW-Eau Claire, Hupy is credited with establishing the field of bombturbation.

Bombturbation — a subfield of geomorphology — is the cratering of a land surface and mixing of the soil by an explosive device, such as an aerial bomb, a propelled explosive or a landmine.

Hupy’s innovative work in the field of bombturbation is highlighted in Undark Magazine, a new digital science publication funded by the Knight Science Journalism Foundation.

The Undark profile tells the story of how, as a college student, Hupy was frustrated by the lack of information about the ways military battles change and shape the landscape and environment.  

Intrigued by the long-term implications of heavy artillery on landscape, he did his own research, and eventually wrote a groundbreaking introductory paper on the topic.

As a result, the field of bombturbation was born.

Read the Undark Magazine story to learn more about Dr. Hupy’s work and accomplishments.