The 2017 Fall NEARC Conference will be held Sunday, November 5 – Wednesday, November 8 at the Newport Marriott in Newport, Rhode Island. The preliminary conference schedule is now available to review. Mark your calendar and join our mailing list to receive notifications as more information becomes available. Download the postcard to share with a colleague
NEARC is not just for the GIS faithful. Yes, NEARC is for GIS practitioners, but NEARC is for anyone who wants to see the value GIS technology brings to their own environment and the world. This conference is very valuable for new users as well as those who have been using GIS for many years.

Source: www.northeastarc.org

The GIS Educators day is always a treat–and it’s so close to home this year!!  I hope you all consider attending.  If you are interested in getting a “scholarship” for the conference attendance fee for GIS Educators Day, let me (Seth Dixon) know!  Email Lyn Malone (lmalone @ worldviewsgis.com) if you are interested in presenting.   


Smallest state goes ‘giant’ with interactive map for students

The smallest state seemed larger for students at Northern Lincoln Elementary School, after a giant, interactive map of Rhode Island, equipped with QR codes, was delivered to the school.

Margaret Rock, a 5th-grade teacher at Northern, explained that the map, which measures 16 feet by 24 feet, was loaned to the school by the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance, and classes had the opportunity recently to use the “traveling map,” which makes its rounds through Rhode Island schools, for two weeks.

While Rhode Island is tiny, Rock explained, she hoped this map and associated QR codes showed students “there really is a lot outside Lincoln and Manville,” inspired them to travel and encouraged their families to travel with them to different areas of the state. Each grade was able to use the map, Rock explained, and teachers selected different instructional activities appropriate for their students’ ages.

The map came with a trunk of additional materials, she said, including copies of the book “Rhode Island – The Ocean State” by Donald D’Amato, inflatable globes, geography and social studies picture vocabulary cards, a Rhode Island flag and other items, such as small traffic cones, scavenger hunt cards, bingo chips and a binder with organized lesson plans and more information for teachers.  Having these visuals and hands-on experience, Rock said, will boost students’ understanding of not only their specific location, but where they are in relation to other regions of Rhode Island.

“Sometimes people think with GPS, you don’t need maps anymore, but you really do,” the 5th-grade teacher explained.

Students in her class dove into geography lessons, analyzing physical, political and cultural maps, as well as time zone maps and specific area charts that outline landmarks in Washington, D.C.

Source: www.valleybreeze.com

Water Is Life

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled South Sudan to escape the civil war. When they arrive in Uganda, water is what they need most. Without it, they will die.

Source: www.youtube.com

Next to nothing in this video will make you happy about the way things operate for refugees in Northern Uganda who have fled from South Sudan.  We all know the about the dire conditions that refugees face, but knowing about the specifics, and hearing stories from the refugees about their lives and living conditions is powerful.  A huge influx of refugees can tax local resources, especially water.  Food can be shipped in, but water a much more locally variable resource.   The UN refugee camps recommend at least 15 liters of water per person be made available each day, but often it is more like 4-8 liters in these camps.  Dedicated wells (or boreholes) are more effective, but costly.  Trucking in water from the Nile River is the preferred method to simply keep these drowning people’s heads above water.    


Questions to Ponder: Consider how much water you drink, use for cooking, bathing, etc. per day in your household.  How difficult would it be to live on 4 liters of water a day?  What about your lifestyle would be changed? 


TagsAfrica, development, Uganda, South Sudan, migrationrefugees, environment, water,  environment depend, sustainability, resources.

Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why [Updated]

“After four-plus years of fighting, Syria’s war has killed at least hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. And, though it started as a civil war, it’s become much more than that. It’s a proxy war that has divided much of the Middle East, and has drawn in both Russia and the United States. To understand how Syria got to this place, it helps to start at the beginning and watch it unfold.”

Source: www.youtube.com

Over a year ago I posted a previous version of this video highlighting the complexities behind the Syrian war.  Much has happened since then and this updated version adds more detail and includes a very helpful timeline to show how more internal and external forces became involved in the fighting.  This is an incredibly complicated geopolitical situation because of all the regional and international players involved.  


TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

Why geography matters for students now more than ever

Students need to know human geography; they need to understand the relationships that exist between cultures.

Source: www.pbs.org

This is one more example of me preaching to the choir, but I hope that this will arm you with resources to use in discussions with administrators and colleagues in the fight against geographic ignorance.  This is a great article to put into my new tag of article that discuss why geography matters.   


Tagseducation, K12geography education, geography matters.

2017 Fall GeoFest

The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance is very excited to announce that on Saturday, September 9th, 2017, we will be having a Fall GeoFest conference at the Whispering Pines Conference Center (an incredibly beautiful location!).


We are looking forward to a tremendous slate of speakers and presenters; featuring experts on the geography of coffee, veterans of AP Human Geography, and many more.  Alliance T-shirts, books, map giveaways, great dining—all in a beautiful location amidst great colleagues.  There will be more details forthcoming, but in the meantime, please mark your calendars and invite colleagues to join us!  REGISTER HERE to reserve your spot at the event.


Date: September 9, 2017
Time: 9am-3pm
Location: Whispering Pines Conference Center
URI W. Alton Jones Campus
401 Victory Highway
West Greenwich, RI  02817

Source: rigea.org