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.
The next three Saturdays (1/24, 1/31 and 2/7), our alliance coordinator will be hosting a series of workshops at Salve Regina from 9am to 1pm in the McKillop Library (Room 006). This partnership with their history department is designed to help prepare pre-service teachers to become certified and pass the geography portion of the Praxis Exam. If you are interested in attending for credit you can register through Salve Regina; if you would like to simply attend one or all of the workshops, drop a line to see what can be arranged (firstname.lastname@example.org). I envision this as a way to help some aspiring teachers and the intellecutally curious to strengthen their intellectual geographic foundation.
'Tis the season to look back on the year that was. There are some 'Best of' lists with great teaching applications produced this week such as the best satellite images of 2014, the worst natural disasters of 2014, and 50 states in 50 pictures. Our Alliance Coordinator has analyzed all the Geography Education resources he shared this year and selected these 30 as the best, most important, or most useful resources from 2014.
"Summer 2014 brought a sight that had not been seen since 1941: the Charles W. Morgan leaving the Mystic River for the Atlantic Ocean, stopping at several New England harbors before eventually arriving in New Bedford, Massachusetts where the ship was built in 1841. The Charles W. Morgan is the last remaining wooden whaling ship in the world, and a National Historic Landmark."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Only two countries today are stilling whaling (Japan and Norway), but the whaling industry was a critical component to the settling of New England. Check out this Maps 101 podcast for short introduction to the historical geography of New England whaling.
"The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is dedicated to the creative educational use of its cartographic holdings, which extend from the 15th century to the present. The Center has a particular interest in developing innovative uses of maps and geographic materials to engage young people’s curiosity about the world, thereby enhancing their understanding of geography, history, world cultures, and citizenship."
We are pleased to announce an exciting professional development opportunity for both this upcoming Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 16-22) and GIS Day (Nov 19). This year’s Geography Awareness Week has the theme of “The Future of Food.” Given that the global population predictions have recently been revised upward to reach 11 billion, the geography of food becomes all the more critical. We will have speakers and presenters sharing a variety of perspectives on the geography of food, local food issues, GIS, Google Earth resources, and other topics to celebrate Geography Awareness Week. We’ll have a big announcement about Rhode Island lesson plans, some pizza to munch on, and as a special bonus for Geography Awareness Week, the Alliance would like to donate a class set of reversible world maps (see below) for all Alliance members who attend this event. Come join us and reserve your class set of maps! RSVP by sending an email to email@example.com with the subject title “GAWeek event.”
High school students: Enter our short video competition about how human population growth impacts a global issue and at least one way it can be solved.
Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your high school geography classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges dealing with either the sixth extinction, available farmland, or global education. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 19, 2015. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found at www.worldof7billion.org/student-video-contest.
Classes scheduled for January 2015 GIS training at URI. All classes held at URI's Kingston Campus. All classes are hands-on computer training and require no prior knowledge of GIS.
Using ArcGIS.com ®: Jan. 8, 2015: This half-day training will introduce participants to ESRI's online mapping applications available at ArcGIS.com. The training will explore "ready to use" maps and also explore the basic functionality of the applications. Particular attention will be paid to the datasets available through RIGIS.
Introduction to GIS: Jan. 13 - 15, 2015: This three-day training program has been written in collaboration with the University of Connecticut. In this course you will learn some GIS concepts and become very familiar with the extensive Rhode Island GIS database (RIGIS) while using ESRI's ArcGIS Desktop 10.2 ® software.
Use the quick link buttons below to directly register for the summit or a room at MBL. Don’t forget to read the session descriptions and make your selections before registering. Use the link above to visit the summit website."
New York City could see 20 inches of snow when all is said and done. Snow totals in Boston could rival the snowiest storm the city has ever seen: 27.6 inches on Feb. 17-18, 2003.
The Weather Service in New York City has dubbed it a “potentially historic nor’easter.” Forecasters in Boston are calling it a “text book case” for a New England blizzard. And residents from Philadelphia to New York are being advised to change their travel plans for the blockbuster winter storm that will impact the Northeast on Monday and Tuesday.
The Choices Leadership Institute is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the Choices Program’s award-winning curriculum materials and approach, and to plan strategies for introducing the Choices Program to your colleagues. Participants will examine strategies for engaging secondary students in the study of contested international issues, share best practices with other dedicated teachers, and explore methods for conducting effective professional development. The Institute will be held July 13-17, 2015 in Providence RI and the deadline to apply will be March 16, 2015. Click here to apply.
Rhode Islanders might be used to places with names like “Chepiwanoxet” and “Scituate” but these eight West Coasters are DEFINITELY not. Their first attempt to pronounce these words is one hilarious trainwreck that you just can’t take your eyes off of.
If enacted, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, its official name, will be Rhode Island’s first national park. The state currently has a national memorial, which marks the settlement of Providence founded by Roger Williams, at the foot of College Hill; a national historical site, Touro Synagogue, in Newport; and a national historic trail, the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route that travels through nine states, including Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. “The Blackstone Valley is a national treasure that deserves to be preserved,” Reed said in a news release. “It is the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and includes thousands of acres of beautiful, undeveloped land, and waterways that are home to diverse wildlife, cultural sites, and numerous recreational opportunities for Rhode Islanders."
There are some beautiful images and places to be discovered through this quiz. This set of aerial photographs challenges the reader to guess the country where the image was taken; even with two options, it's quite challenging. This forces the reader to use context clues in the physical and human landscapes to make an education guess. If you are looking for more, here is an additional quiz. To explore more Google Earth images, Stratocam is a great place to start.
PVD Aerial's use of piloted quad-copters creates amazing footage for the viewer and captures what the average photographer cannot; shots at eye-level with structural bridges, looking down at the Battleship Cove, and even soaring above the Rhode Island Statehouse create an immersive viewing experience."
In anticipation of this month’s (Nov 16-22) Geography Awareness Week’s focus on 'the Future of Food," I thought I would start of by sharing 10 of my personal favorite resources to use to understand our changing global food systems.
Committed to uniting fresh, locally grown produce with farm-raised and wild-caught seafood to make the freshest dishes you’ll find anywhere. Our signature raw bar offers a variety of Rhode Island oysters, crisp cherrystones, littleneck clams, and jumbo shrimp. Our Matunuck Oysters are grown in Potter Pond right off our waterfront patio and many of our herbs and vegetables are grown in our vegetable farm on the north end of the pond.
With Geography Awareness Week coming up, I wanted to share local applications of the focus, "the Future of Food." Matunuck Oyster Bar is an interesting local restaurant that is obviously enmeshed with our local marine environment with an interesting ecological philosophy.
"During the month of October, I take advantage of the pumpkin harvest to bring hands-on geography to my students. After spending a month becoming familiar with the location of the seven continents and the major bodies of water, each student is given a pumpkin to turn into a globe. Students paint the entire surface of the pumpkin blue to represent water. Next, they use pushpins to position and trace the outline of each continent onto their pumpkins. They use actual globes as models and are careful to place the continents in the correct hemisphere. Then, they paint and label each continent a different color. They label the major bodies of water and use white paint to represent the North and South Poles."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Happy October everyone! The pictures above (from a friend's website) show how teachers and parents alike can get children involved in a fun craft that will strengthen kids' mental maps--all with a seasonal twist. If you really love idea of pumpkin globes, you should also see this one. Besides the fun and games here are some resources to teach the geography behind Thanksgiving.
Hello Alliance Members. At virtually all RIGEA events, I try to hand out some map resources. Soon I will have enough of the World Explorer/World Satellite maps to give every RI teacher a CLASS SET of them (pictured below) as well as a large number of wall maps. This is the perfect size for 4 students to put their desks together and work on any number of spatial projects. Any teacher that recruits a new RIGEA member (or is a new RIGEA member) can have a class set at our next event (I believe this would be a great way to kick off Geography Awareness Week).
There are some maps that the alliance has that we can’t give out, but are certainly available to any RIGEA member that would like to borrow them. I have several that are available on a "first come first serve" basis, but I will always retain a few to circulate around the state. I will put the dimensions and a picture some of these maps below. If you would like to borrow any of them for an extended period of time, send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with the subject title “RIGEA maps on loan: [map title]” and we’ll try to make arrangements so you can use these in the classroom.
"Newport’s scents are largely ocean-based; the ocean itself, the lobster bait, suntan oil from the bathing tourists, beach roses that brighten the low lying sand dunes. In contrast country smells of hay and juniper speak to the rural aspect of this diverse city. To be seen and sniffed at the Discover Newport Visitor Center from August 20, 2012.
Smells share an attribute with soundings in that they are constantly shifting. Combined with Newport’s sailing legacy this was enough for me to base the visual lexicon on an NOAA chart.
Odor intensity is included for the first time one of my smell maps.
A detail of the downtown area as the smells congregate along Thames Street, Broadway and the Wharfs.
The Newport Smell Map exhibited at the Newport Visitor Centre, Rhode Island in August 2012 reaching up to 6000 visitors per day."
"A great resource full of great links to accompany the Geography Soup channel on Vimeo."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Geography Soup is a Vimeo channel designed to include interesting videos that are laden with geographic content in them. This powerpoint slideshow has resources designed to help you get the most flavor and substance out of these (and any other) video resources. This is especially great for K-12 students, physical and regional geography.