Concrete Consequences

The more we slap concrete down all over the state, the more we trigger devestating consequences, like the million-dollar flooding in Cranston last September.


We often ignore the environmental impact of the cities we build.  When we build a road, building or sidewalk, we usually cover the ecosystem’s natural mechanisms for absorbing rainfall with impervious surfaces.  This award-winning environmental article in RI Monthly was written by a geography professor with an eye on the human and environmental interactions between community land use choices and watershed quality.  The RI governor announced for Earth Day that it will be investing funds to tackle the storm water pollution problem.     

Tagsurban, watercoastal, urban ecology, Rhode Island.


A Semester at Sea aboard Oliver Hazard Perry

We are proud to announce our Spring 2016 High School Semester at Sea. Partnering with Ocean Classroom we have developed a one of a kind experience for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors to experience life at sea and abroad. The program begins in St. Thomas on February 6th and ends in Portland, ME on May 14th.

To find out more, click here.
For more information on Ocean Classroom click here.


Events Commemorating Genocide Centennial Begin in Providence

“For most of the world, the Armenian Genocide is the slaughter you know next to nothing about. But every year on April 24, Genocide Remembrance Day, we Armenians remember the injustice of a crime that is rarely acknowledged and often flatly denied. It was April 24, 1915, when the Armenian intellectuals, professionals, editors and religious leaders in Constantinople were rounded up by the Ottoman authorities — and almost all of them executed. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire killed three of every four of its Armenian citizens. The majority of Armenians alive today are descendants of the few survivors.”


Rhode Island is acknowledging and commemorating the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenia people 100 years ago.  The State House Dome is currently illuminated in red, blue, and orange in commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide–it will remain lit in these colors until April 24. Many events are happening throughout the state, including one at Rhode Island College, which will host some musical performances on Wednesday

2.5 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire–1.5 million were killed. Not just killed, but horrifically slaughtered–beheaded, crucified, burned alive in their churches, loaded like cattle onto freight trains and sent to concentration camps, raped, assaulted, sold as slaves, herded into the DerAzor desert and left to die.

The United Nations recognizes the massacres and the systematic destruction of two-thirds of the Armenian population as the first genocide of the 20th century, and has stated that the mishandling of its aftermath set the stage for future genocides, from the Holocaust to Rwanda and Sudan and everything in between. Hitler studied what happened and borrowed many of the Ottoman Empire’s techniques to use against the Jews.

And even though some countries in the world recognize and agree with the UN assessment of the fact, Turkey denies it, and the US still stands silent and refuses to officially state that what happened was genocide…because to do so would offend Turkey, and Turkey is a US political ally.  Many are calling on Israel, a country founded in large part because of a genocide, to acknowledge the first genocide of the 20th century.  

Learn about genocide and teach genocide–what causes it, what perpetuates it, what the cost of denial can be. Don’t remain silent. Be a peaceful person in your own life, and in all your relations with others–and speak up about any wrong or injustice. 

*Most of this post is courtesy of Janet Rith-Najarian, professional geographer and member of the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education.

TagsArmenia, genocidepolitical, conflict, Turkey, war, refugees, empirecolonialism, historical.

2015 Summer Institute

Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance (RIGEA) and the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) are offering a 4-day summer GIS institute for teachers called Get ConnectED! Online Mapping for New England Educators. New England K-12 teachers from upper elementary through high school are invited to apply to the Get ConnectED! institute. The institute will be held at Rhode Island College from July 27-30, 2015. Each participating teacher will receive a stipend of $300.  To apply to the Get ConnectED! institute, complete the online application form.  Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2015. Invitations will be sent to successful applicants by May 15, 2015.