The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance (RIGEA) is commited to promoting geographic education and geo-literacy in the Ocean State. You can join the Alliance for free to receive newsletters and updates. We encourage you to visit our main website as well as our various social media profiles.
"Explore ten 'big ideas' that encapsulate the technological and social trends that have pushed geographic information systems (GIS) onto the Internet in a significant way. See how to apply these ideas to your own world. Open your eyes to what is now possible with Web GIS, and put the technology and deep data resources in your hands via the Quickstarts and Learn ArcGIS lessons that are included in each chapter."
Seth Dixon's insight:
I haven't fully previewed this online textbook yet but I am VERY optimistic about this one from the ESRI library. You can also download the textbook as a PDF here. There are several other online textbooks that would interest geography teachers
If you’re searching for the real reason why the new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox padded the announcement of their acquisition earlier this year with the accompanying news that they would move the team from its longtime home at McCoy Stadium, pay a visit to the Dusza-Almeida Post 2339.
Seth Dixon's insight:
These articles from the Boston Globe and the NY Times are great explorations of the economic geography of baseball and the place-based traditions that are rooted in having a team to call your own (even if the news is painful to many long-time residents. There is a lot of anger in Pawtucketat the news that the team is planning to leave McCoy stadium. This isn’t just a devastating financial blow to the Pawtucket community; for decades, Pawtucket could hang there hat on being home to the PawSox and that communal identity was one of the defining distinctions between Pawtucket and Central Falls. Now it’ll be just another struggling town. How will this impact Pawtucket and Providence neighborhoods?
The more we slap concrete down all over the state, the more we trigger devestating consequences, like the million-dollar flooding in Cranston last September.
Seth Dixon's insight:
We often ignore the environmental impact of the cities we build. When we build a road, building or sidewalk, we usually cover the ecosystem's natural mechanisms for absorbing rainfall with impervious surfaces. This award-winning environmental article in RI Monthly was written by a geography professor with an eye on the human and environmental interactions between community land use choices and watershed quality. The RI governor announced for Earth Day that it will be investing funds to tackle the storm water pollution problem.
“For most of the world, the Armenian Genocide is the slaughter you know next to nothing about. But every year on April 24, Genocide Remembrance Day, we Armenians remember the injustice of a crime that is rarely acknowledged and often flatly denied. It was April 24, 1915, when the Armenian intellectuals, professionals, editors and religious leaders in Constantinople were rounded up by the Ottoman authorities — and almost all of them executed. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire killed three of every four of its Armenian citizens. The majority of Armenians alive today are descendants of the few survivors.”
2.5 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire--1.5 million were killed. Not just killed, but horrifically slaughtered--beheaded, crucified, burned alive in their churches, loaded like cattle onto freight trains and sent to concentration camps, raped, assaulted, sold as slaves, herded into the DerAzor desert and left to die.
The United Nations recognizes the massacres and the systematic destruction of two-thirds of the Armenian population as the first genocide of the 20th century, and has stated that the mishandling of its aftermath set the stage for future genocides, from the Holocaust to Rwanda and Sudan and everything in between. Hitler studied what happened and borrowed many of the Ottoman Empire’s techniques to use against the Jews.
And even though some countries in the world recognize and agree with the UN assessment of the fact, Turkey denies it, and the US still stands silent and refuses to officially state that what happened was genocide...because to do so would offend Turkey, and Turkey is a US political ally. Many are calling on Israel, a country founded in large part because of a genocide, to acknowledge the first genocide of the 20th century.
Learn about genocide and teach genocide--what causes it, what perpetuates it, what the cost of denial can be. Don’t remain silent. Be a peaceful person in your own life, and in all your relations with others--and speak up about any wrong or injustice.
"Where have immigrants to the U.S. come from? Natalia Bronshtein, a professor and consultant who runs the blog Insightful Interaction, created this fascinating visualization of the number of immigrants to the U.S. since 1829 by country of origin. The graph hints at tragic events in world history. The first influx of Irish occurred during the potato famine in 1845, while the massive influx of Russians in the first decade of the 20th Century was driven by anti-Semitic violence of the Russian pogroms (riots). Meanwhile in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, army conscription and the forced assimilation of minority groups drove people to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Since WWII, Central and South America and Asia have replaced Europe as the largest source of immigrants to the U.S. Immigration shrunk to almost nothing as restrictions tightened during WWII, and then gradually expanded to reach its largest extent ever in the first decade of the 21st Century."
I was just informed that our proposal to receive a Giant Traveling Map from National Geographic was accepted! Two years ago we had the South America map come to Rhode Island, and last year the Giant Traveling map of Africa came to the Ocean state and many schools found it to be a way to make an event of it. We’ll be receiving the map of North America that comes with an excellent set of resources on how to interactively teach, explore, learn and play with this specific map as a part of your curriculum. This map will soon be coming to Rhode Island; it will be available for schools and teachers to use from March 21st to April 19th. The Alliance wants to make this accessible to as many RIGEA members as possible. For schools with 4 RIGEA members, this map can be rented for a free of charge for two days (if you are interested in more days, let me know). Remember that it’s free for teachers, administrators and parents to sign up to become RIGEA members—consider this your chance to recruit them for a good cause for your school AND the Alliance. For schools without 4 RIGEA members, they can still rent the map for $200 per day, but I have faith in your recruiting skills.
SCHEDULING THE MAP:
For those interested, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information
Include the subject line “Scheduling Giant Map”
Select day(s) on or between March 21-April 19 that you would like to schedule the map with at least two alternative dates.
List the names of Alliance members (or future Alliance members) at your school. This can be a “work in progress.” You can sign them up yourself (with their consent of course).
The name and address of your school.
Contact information for the person who will be responsible for transporting the map to the subsequent school (phone and email).
By announcing they intended to abandon Pawtucket, R.I., the new owners of the Red Sox’ Class AAA team reminded fans that beyond baseball’s innate poetry, it is a cold business.
Seth Dixon's insight:
This NY Times article is a great exploration of the economic geography of baseball and the place-based traditions that are rooted in having a team to call your own. There is a lot of anger in Pawtucketat the news that the team is planning to leave McCoy stadium. This isn't just a devastating financial blow to the Pawtucket community; for decades, Pawtucket could hang there hat on being home to the PawSox and that communal identity was one of the defining distinctions between Pawtucket and Central Falls. Now it's just another struggling town. How will this impact Pawtucket and Providence neighborhoods? What if the Red Sox affiliate left the state of Rhode Island entirely for, say Fall River or New Bedford? How would that impact the Ocean State?
"Last month was the snowiest February on record, with 31.8 inches falling in just 28 days, according to the National Weather Service. That was ridiculously close to 2 feet — 23.3 inches to be exact — more than the usual snowfall in February. For December through February, the total snowfall at T.F. Green Airport was 58.3 inches, the third-snowiest winter season on record."
— 25.6 inches of snow fell in January, the fifth-snowiest on record.
— The average low temperature for February was 8.5 degrees, more than 15 degrees below normal. The average high was 28.3 degrees, which was 12 degrees below normal.
— Records low temperatures were posted on Feb. 21 (minus 5), and on Feb. 24 (minus 3)
But at least we aren't in Boston, which had 102 inches on March 1st, and it almost feels as if we are living in the Arctic Circle, but not quite.
“Maps are more about their makers than the places they describe. Map who you are. Map where you are. Fill the map with a story, or paint your favorite cup of coffee. Map the invisible. Map the obvious. Map your memories.”
Seth Dixon's insight:
The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island has put together an event that will have some obvious relevance to RIGEA members. Please consider supporting this activity.
"Updated US Topos are available for Rhode Island." These 2015 US Topo maps contain an updated symbology, enhanced railroad information, new roads source data and selected public trails. During my perusing, I've determined that the best place to download these new Topo maps for RI is here.
GeoGuessr is a geography game which takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognize your surroundings.
Seth Dixon's insight:
When I was a child I used to wonder if woke up somewhere far from home, would I be able to know where I was just by looking at the places around me (I was a geo-geek from way back when). GeoGuessr is the closest thing to finding yourself lost in the world and needing to figure out where you are without being wisked away. GeoGuessr will display 5 locations in GoogleMaps "StreetView" and you have to guess where the images are located. You can pan and zoom in the StreetView to explore the landscape and find more context clues as to where that location is. It is a fantastic exploration exercise.
"The study of geography is not concerned with memorizing the names of states, capitals and continents, said RIC Adjunct Professor of Geography Jennifer Bonin. It is a field of science dedicated to the study of everything on the earth and in the earth – the lands, features, inhabitants and geological phenomena. 'Geography is the history of the planet,' she said.
For five summers, Bonin has taught a course on coastal geography, providing students with the history of Rhode Island’s coastal regions. Her first class is held at Napatree Point in Westerly, the western-most part of Rhode Island. Located at the end of a mile-and-a-half-long stretch of beach, not even the locals tend to venture out that far.
History (and sometimes, unfortunately, current events) shows us just how easily national borders can change, but we still like to think that they are permanent fixtures. These photos of different national borders around the world show you how both friendly and hostile nations like to fence off their turf.
Borders can make for some striking manifestations of power on the landscape. On the other hand as seen in this picture of Slovakia, Austria and Hungary, friendship and cooperation can also be inscribed into the landscape. There are some great teaching images in this gallery.
Rhode Island educators interested in marine science are invited to apply to participate in a three-day oceanographic expedition aboard the University of Rhode Island’s research vessel Endeavor in August.
Up to 12 educators from kindergarten through college will live and work aboard the 185-foot ship from August 17 to 19 and learn various research techniques for studying the biology, physics, chemistry and geology of the sea.To apply to participate in the August expedition, educators should visit Rhode Island Teacher-at-Sea. For more information, contact Maryann Scholl at 401-874-6500 or email@example.com. Application deadline is May 31.
We are proud to announce our Spring 2016 High School Semester at Sea. Partnering with Ocean Classroom we have developed a one of a kind experience for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors to experience life at sea and abroad. The program begins in St. Thomas on February 6th and ends in Portland, ME on May 14th.
Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance (RIGEA) and the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) are offering a 4-day summer GIS institute for teachers called Get ConnectED! Online Mapping for New England Educators. New England K-12 teachers from upper elementary through high school are invited to apply to the Get ConnectED! institute. The institute will be held at Rhode Island College from July 27-30, 2015. Each participating teacher will receive a stipend of $300. To apply to the Get ConnectED! institute, complete the online application form. Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2015. Invitations will be sent to successful applicants by May 15, 2015.
Aerial video footage of Rhode Island in the US. Part of the Skyworks HD aerials video collection. SkyWorks films all over the world, including Wales, South Africa and Qatar...but I'm partial to their work right here in in the Ocean State.
There may be a counterintuitive explanation for the deep freeze that hit New England this winter: The rapidly warming Arctic is causing big disruptions in the jet stream, which carries weather across North America. Is this the worst winter you've experienced?
Geography has one foot firmly lodged in quantifiable sciences, and another that eludes quantification. A satellite image is loaded with spatial data, and yet this image (limited resolution but highest available) also has an artistic beauty and I hope every geographer maintains a sense of wonder at the details and beauty of the Earth.
As stated by the folks at Cape Cod weather regarding this image: "Check out the ice and snow in Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound. Look close at the southeast corner of Cape Cod Bay (north side of Yarmouth to Eastham) and eastern side of Buzzards Bay (Bourne and Falmouth shores)...you can see the ice is really packed in thick!"
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