Through Years of Change, Pawtucket, R.I., Always Had McCoy Stadium

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.


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 Pawtucket at 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?        

R.I. snowed under in record-setting February

“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.


Mapping Rhode Island

“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.”


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. 

Winter from Satellite Imagery


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 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!”


Images of Human/Environmental Interactions

The blizzard of 2015 blasted the region with wind-whipped snow that piled nearly 3-feet high in some places.

As of 1 p.m. Monday, Boston set a new record for snowiest seven-day period in the city’s history with 34.2 inches.


Weather is one of the most tangible ways in which the physical environment impacts society.  We depend on sunlight and rainfall, we adapt our behaviors to harsh conditions and we are constantly modifying the our environments by heating and cooling our buildings.  This Henry David Thoreau quote reminds us to acknowledge the powerful influence of the environment and to recognize that technological fixes have their limitations.  “Live in each season as it passes…and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” –Henry David Thoreau

Question to Ponder: In what ways does the weather shape and influence culture and spatial patterns in your region?  How can we make our communities more handicap accessible during winter storms and other extreme conditions?

Tags: environmentweather and climateenvironment depend, environment adapt, environment modify, disasters.

‘Potentially historic’ snow storm takes aim at Northeast this week

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.


Geography Workshops at Salve Regina

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 (  I envision this as a way to help some aspiring teachers and the intellecutally curious to strengthen their intellectual geographic foundation.


2015 Summer Leadership Institute: Middle East in Transition

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, 2015Click here to apply.