Video Competitions for High School Students

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



Alliance Maps on Loan

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 to on a large scale, 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 and 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.

Read more and see a wider set of map resources available to RIGEA members at:

Pumpkin Geography

“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.”


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.   

Tagsart, K12, fun, seasonal.

URI GIS Training Opportunities

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 ®: Jan. 8, 2015:  This half-day training will introduce participants to ESRI’s online mapping applications available at 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.


Smellmap: Newport, RI

“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.”


Ocean Science Education

The 2014 Summit in Woods Hole, MA will focus on Ocean Literacy Principle 6. Don’t miss out on two fun days of science and education (Nov. 6-7). Keynote address by Deborah Cramer.

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.”


What the United States Would Look Like if State Borders Were Based on Dunkin’ Donuts Density

“On Monday, I divided the United States into 50 states of equal population. On Tuesday, I rearranged the nation’s boundaries based on where baseball players were born. Today, I’ll be looking at a topic that’s dear to my heart, if not my heart health: regional fast food.”  

Not surprisingly, Rhode Island in right in the heart of the territory  with the highest concentration of Dunkin’ Donuts.  Why are some franchise more successful in particular regions.