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 Giant Map of Rhode Island is officially in the schools now! A huge thanks goes out to Artena Fairbairn of Robertson Elementary School (Warwick) for leading the alliance initiative to bring this 16x24 foot map to Rhode Island Schools. If you are interested in getting the map, please email sdixon [at] ric [dot] edu with the subject line “Giant RI map” to request the map to come to your school. Please include 3 weeks that would work best for your school schedule.
Due to popular demand and support from ESRI, the RI Geography Education Alliance will have another series of workshops to help educators learn how to bring online mapping skills into the classroom. In 2015, Lyn Malone and Seth Dixon ran this as a week-long summer institute. Not everyone has a week in summer, so some have asked to have this presented on the weekends. These sessions will be condensed to two separate 2-day workshops this fall. Session 1 will be held on October 22 and 29. Session 2 will be held on November 12 and 19. Participants that complete either of the two 2-day workshops will receive a $100 stipend as well educational materials that will help bring GIS into the classroom. Lunch and some light breakfast refreshments will be provided. If you want to receive more information about these workshops or register, click the following link to fill out your application and reserve your spot: http://eepurl.com/cawr7D
There are few sights more heartening than that of an elementary school whose classrooms and hallways are decorated with world maps. Yet teachers should be careful to make sure that the standard depiction of the world map is not the only map their students encounter. Otherwise, they run the risk that children will assume “this is the way the world looks,” rather than the more complicated reality that “this is one of many ways of representing our world.” One useful antidote to this way of thinking is for students to explore cartograms, which are maps that use the relative area of places to present statistical data.
Saturday, July 9, 2016 8:30am - 5:30pm Don't worry, you don't need to Nature Watch for the entire duration (or have any special wildlife skills) - this isn't an endurance challenge, just some wildlife fun!
Do you love to explore and examine the natural world? Want to be a citizen scientist? Join the Museum of Natural History on Saturday, July 9, for our first annual Roger Williams Park Nature Watch, a fun ecological monitoring initiative aimed to gather information about Roger Williams Park and its inhabitants. Designed to develop scientific observation and data collection skills, Nature Watch is suitable for all levels and interests. Help contribute to the pursuit of knowledge and sign up today! Special orientation on Saturday, June 25, 11am-12pm. There is no fee to participate in the RWP Nature Watch or orientation.
More information coming soon! Contact the museum, 401.680.7221, to learn more about this special event!
""The 2015 Global Peace Index reveals a divided world, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries spiral into violence and conflict. Explore the state of world peace on the interactive Global Peace Index map. www.visionofhumanity.org "
Seth Dixon's insight:
The Middle East and North Africa is now the world’s least peaceful region for the first time since the Index began, due to an increase in civil unrest and terrorist activity while Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, has reached historically high levels of peace. This might not seem shocking, but there is a great richness to this dataset that can provide detailed regional information as well as answer some big questions about global security. Explore the data on your own with this interactive map of Global Peace or also of the states within the United States.
"Individuals who join or renew their NCGE memberships through this new program will receive all the benefits of membership plus an additional conference registration discount, all for the low annual membership rate of $50 for as long as the partnership remains in effect. Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance (RIGEA) members are all automatically members of the New England Geography Education Network (NEGEN)."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Partnership enables the New England Geography Education Network and the National Council for Geographic Education to combine unique strengths to develop a more focused approach to support the status and quality of geography education throughout the New England region (all RIGEA members are all automatically members of NEGEN). The NCGE-NEGEN partnership recognizes our common goals, and through our joint membership program, we provide complementary support, benefits and opportunities for geography educators in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The partnership provides an opportunity for collaboration on major advancements in curricula and classroom resources, professional development, professional recognition, research, and outreach.
I was just informed that our proposal to receive a Giant Traveling Map from National Geographic was accepted! This year, we will be receiving Pacific Ocean Map Many schools find this a great way to make a fun event for the whole school; it will be available for schools and teachers to use fromMarch 11th to April 4th.
If you would like to simply attend an event with the Giant Traveling map, RIGEA will be hosting a event, free to the public that will feature, use, and explore this map in great detail. This will be on March 31st (4-6pm) at Rhode Island College in the Student Union Ballroom. There will be some food, presentations, and a whole lot of map exploration…bring clean socks and a desire to explore!
This past summer, Sandra Makielski, seventh grade social studies teacher from Davisville Middle School, North Kingstown, traveled to the Philippines for an eighteen day educators’ trip. She was selected by Teachers for Global Classrooms, a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program, to participate in their 2015 Educators’ Trip. Global education is integral to building 21st century skills, and this opportunity was designed to jump start a teacher’s classroom. The trip was punctuated with many, many selfies with students, delicious food, and the hospitality of schools, faculty, and strangers. Ms. Makielski learned about the educational system, Filipino history, and the important role the Philippines is currently playing in global politics. Ms. Makielski looks forward to incorporating her new knowledge of the Philippines into her social studies lessons.
The registration form for the May 17, 2016 CT HS Geography Challenge will be going out to all CT high school social studies department chairmen in November. We're excited to announce the theme for the 2016 statewide interscholastic academic team competition is AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS!
Seth Dixon's insight:
The Connecticut Geographic Alliance has expanded their annual High School Geography Challenge to include some other teams in southern New England. Any RIGEA member that would like to enter their high school to have a team participate in this competition can register here (2016 CT Registration form).
This map is a great archive of historic satellite imagery of the Ocean State, with a special nod to Providence. This is a great tool that can be used to show how and particular place in Rhode Island has changed over the years at the neighborhood scale. At the metropolitan scale, it is easy to see the population grown, development expansion, and urban sprawl. The years of data coverage are 1939, 1952, 1962, 1972, 1981, 1985, 2003, 2008, 2011, and 2014.
Check out Election Central from PBS with tools, resources & solutions to engage students in the political process.
Seth Dixon's insight:
The first presidential election last night has intensified the already polarized political conversation in the United States. This is a great resource to explore historic political maps and cartograms. It also has rich tools to project the possibilities for the 2016 election with ready-made lesson plans.
"Coming in dead last on the 200 cities measured: Boston, for the second year in a row. Boston has company. Worcester came in at No. 199, second up from Boston's position in the 200th slot. Boston and Worcester have basically been battling it out for last place in Allstate's rankings since 2014. Springfield makes a poor showing, too, at No. 196."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Don't get too excited by the news Rhode Islanders...Providence was the 194th ranked city and the state is typically the 49th ranked state. Given some on my experiences in the Ocean State, 49th might be a generous ranking.
Free Educational Seminar and RIGIS User Group Meeting
There is a wealth of aerial and satellite images of Rhode Island that are freely available online. Tapping into them can be challenging if you're unsure where to look and if you're not familiar with some basic tools and techniques to view them.
This half-day seminar will introduce you to a number of online sources of image data for Rhode Island, with a special emphasis on data available from the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) consortium, USGS, and NOAA. We will also highlight a suite of new image services featuring RIGIS data that are now under development by Rhode IslandView.
YOU will guide the techniques highlighted in this seminar. Vote for the technique you are most interested in learning about by registering for this event now: http://bit.ly/RIimagery_Aug19
If you’re interested, you’ll need a really big wall.
Just inside the grand, arched entryway to The Boston Globe’s headquarters, there is a map like no other. It’s a two-story-tall, three-dimensional relief map of New England carved out of huge slabs of white marble. And it’s gorgeous.
The map was commissioned for a 1953 addition to the Boston Fed’s headquarters on Pearl Street. The Boston Fed building was razed in 1978 after the bank moved. This is when the map came to TheGlobe’s headquarters, where it has greeted journalists on their way to the newsroom for the last 38 years.
"Andrea Wulf's new book The Invention of Nature reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin. Humboldt was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, Humboldt discovered similarities between climate zones across the world and predicted human-induced climate change. Wulf traces Humboldt’s influences through the great minds he inspired in revolution, evolution, ecology, conservation, art and literature. In The Invention of Nature Wulf brings this lost hero to science and the forgotten father of environmentalism back to life."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Alexander von Humboldt's biographer Andrea Wulf is coming to Rhode Island on May 9th to speak about the greatest scientist that people don't know about. Alexander von Humboldt has been described as the last great ancient geographer concerned with understanding an eclectic cosmography as well as the first modern geographer. He is honored far and wide throughout Europe and especially Latin America for his explorations, but given that people are confused as how to categorize him and classify his contributions, today he is under-appreciated. Geographers need to reclaim his memory and call his extensive, globetrotting work on a wide range of subjects ‘geography.’ Here are more articles and videos on the man that I feel geographers should publicly champion as their intellectual ancestor the way that biologists point to Darwin.
The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance, will be receiving a Giant Traveling map from @NatGeoEducation! This is a preview of the future 16 x 24 foot map designed for elementary and middle school students. I'm excited for little feet to explore the smallest state in a big way. As I get more details, I will share them, but I foresee this rolling out in the 2016-2017 school year.
Are you new to the idea of a BioBlitz? On April 30th, RIGEA will host an event at Rocky Hill’s amazing Land of Fires outdoor classroom. We will get to explore, develop field experience, learn more about Rhode Island environments, map our findings, and share strategies to bring these programs to our students, classrooms and communities. We will work on skills and content to understand our local environments more intimately. What could be more geographic than that?!?
The 2015 Summer Institute on online mapping and geospatial technologies for educators was a great success. We want to invite everyone back to follow-up on some projects and activities since then (the great inspirational logo above is from GIS ETC.)
WHEN: April 2nd, 9am (breakfast and coffee will be provided). The pre-meeting and breakfast begins at 8am.
WHERE: RIC campus 101 Alger Hall (computer lab)
WHO: all 2015 summer institute participants and anyone wish to join mid-stream.
Explore Iceland's Changing Landscapes and diverse environments with the National Council for Geographic Education- Don't miss the Professional Development Travel Experience of a Lifetime! Watch the video to learn more about Geocamp Iceland and visit ncge.org/geocamp for details. Deadline is March 15, 2016.
"A geographic perspective is a way of looking at and understanding our world. When you view the world through the lens of geography, you are asking who, what, where, when, and how people, places, and things are distributed across the surface of the earth, and why/how they got there. In other words, it means that you are analyzing something with a geographic perspective. The understanding and use of a geographic perspective is critical for decision making skills in the 21st century. Using spatial concepts such as location, region, movement, and scale to help us understand:
Interactions - How the world works
Interconnections - How systems in our world are connected
Implications - How to make well-reasoned decisions"
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