The ArcGIS Book

“Explore ten ‘big ideas’ that encapsulate the technological and social trends that have pushed geographic information systems (GIS) onto the Internet in a significant way. See how to apply these ideas to your own world. Open your eyes to what is now possible with Web GIS, and put the technology and deep data resources in your hands via the Quickstarts and Learn ArcGIS lessons that are included in each chapter.”


I haven’t fully previewed this online textbook yet but I am VERY optimistic about this one from the ESRI library.  You can also download the textbook as a PDF here.  There are several other online textbooks that would interest geography teachers     

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, geography education, unit 1 GeoPrinciples, textbook.


Coastal Geography Field Trips

“The study of geography is not concerned with memorizing the names of states, capitals and continents, said RIC Adjunct Professor of Geography Jennifer Bonin. It is a field of science dedicated to the study of everything on the earth and in the earth – the lands, features, inhabitants and geological phenomena. ‘Geography is the history of the planet,’ she said.

For five summers, Bonin has taught a course on coastal geography, providing students with the history of Rhode Island’s coastal regions. Her first class is held at Napatree Point in Westerly, the western-most part of Rhode Island. Located at the end of a mile-and-a-half-long stretch of beach, not even the locals tend to venture out that far.


Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium endangered for no good reason

If you’re searching for the real reason why the new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox padded the announcement of their acquisition earlier this year with the accompanying news that they would move the team from its longtime home at McCoy Stadium, pay a visit to the Dusza-Almeida Post 2339.


These articles from the Boston Globe and the NY Times are great explorations of the economic geography of baseball and the place-based traditions that are rooted in having a team to call your own (even if the news is painful to many long-time residents.  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’ll be just another struggling town.  How will this impact Pawtucket and Providence neighborhoods? 

22+ International Borders Around The World

History (and sometimes, unfortunately, current events) shows us just how easily national borders can change, but we still like to think that they are permanent fixtures. These photos of different national borders around the world show you how both friendly and hostile nations like to fence off their turf.

Borders can make for some striking manifestations of power on the landscape.  On the other hand as seen in this picture of Slovakia, Austria and Hungary, friendship and cooperation can also be inscribed into the landscape.  There are some great teaching images in this gallery. 

Tags: border, political, territoriality, sovereignty,  images, land use, landscape.


Rhode Island educators invited to participate in expedition aboard URI ship Endeavor

Rhode Island educators interested in marine science are invited to apply to participate in a three-day oceanographic expedition aboard the University of Rhode Island’s research vessel Endeavor in August.

Up to 12 educators from kindergarten through college will live and work aboard the 185-foot ship from August 17 to 19 and learn various research techniques for studying the biology, physics, chemistry and geology of the sea.To apply to participate in the August expedition, educators should visit Rhode Island Teacher-at-Sea. For more information, contact Maryann Scholl at 401-874-6500 or Application deadline is May 31.


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.