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.
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"
"On why a Prussian scientific visionary should be studied afresh…In a superb biography, Andrea Wulf makes an inspired case for Alexander von Humboldt to be considered the greatest scientist of the 19th century. Certainly he was the last great polymath in a scientific world which, by the time he died in Berlin in 1859, aged 89, was fast hardening into the narrow specializations that typify science to this day. Yet in the English-speaking world, Humboldt is strangely little-known."
Seth Dixon's insight:
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 is another article and TED-ED video on the most influential scientist that you might not have heard of (at least until today).
Engaging Students in International Issues with Model UN and the Choices Program
Friday, January 22, 2016 9:00am - 3:00pm MCLE Building, 10 Winter Place Boston, MA
This is a participatory workshop, so come ready to be engaged and inspired! All materials, including the two curriculum units, lunch, and a 7-hour certificate of participation, are provided.
The cost is $145 ($75 for pre-service teachers) but I am working to get alliance members in for a nominal fee. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested with the subject line "Middle East in Transition."
During the workshop, you will:
Be introduced to the Choices Program's award-winning resources and approach to teaching about contested international issues;
Network with exemplar colleagues in social studies education from across the region.
Who Should Attend: History, geography, government, civics, AP, IB, humanities and other social studies teachers are the target audience. Materials are appropriate for grades 7-12. We welcome teamed ELA and social studies teachers to attend together.
"Aldhous, who teaches data visualization at University of California, Berkeley’s School of Journalism and science communication at University of California, Santa Cruz, joined BuzzFeed’s science desk after working for Nature, Science and New Scientist magazines.
At BuzzFeed he has been honing his digital storytelling with a focus on pairing maps and charts with his stories. He’s using frameworks for storytelling that BuzzFeed is well known for, but leveraging them to experiment with visual science journalism. Recently, for instance, he effectively used BuzzFeed’s signature listicle format to explain the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina."
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).
"For the first time, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have documented migratory movements of bird populations spanning the entire year for 118 species throughout the Western Hemisphere. The study finds broad similarity in the routes used by specific groups of species—vividly demonstrated by animated maps showing patterns of movement across the annual cycle. The results of these analyses were published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B."
Seth Dixon's insight:
This still image above doesn't do justice to this animated map of bird migrations (species key here). While modern humans by and large are tied to particular plots of land, not all species have that same approach to gathering and using resources.
"The black and white pictures, below, are taken from 'Providence', published for the Shepard Company, Providence, R.I. 1908. The color pictures are from my early postcard collection. The Old State House between Benefit and North Main Street looks much the same now as it did 100 years ago."
Launched in 1987 by presidential proclamation, Geography Awareness Week is an annual opportunity for families and schools to engage in fun, educational experiences that draw attention to the importance of geographic understanding.
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