Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fun and (Geo)Games

During the summer, the Boston Globe Magazine included a feature article about online educational games, particularly those related to geography. Naturally the BSC Department of Geography was consulted. The article begins with a discussion of our student Megg Goodrich and her Sporcle obsession. Dr. Hayes-Bohanan (who has a modest game page of his own), is also quoted about the mixed merits of geographic trivia.

EarthView Coverage continues

In addition to reaching thousands of students directly, the department's Project EarthView is really intended to help students throughout the Commonwealth by promoting the idea of geographic education across all grade levels. It is a long and slow struggle, but the EarthView Team is committed. Fortunately, the program is both effective and attention-getting, so that local media outlets often run stories about it.

Two recent examples are an article in Waltham's Daily News Tribune and an entry in the blog of the Citizens for Citizens program in Fall River. Dr. Hayes-Bohanan led a summer program at that program with geography major Nathan Couto.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Recession? Let's Get A Job

Matt Desmarais
GIS/IT Director for the Town of Hopkinton RI
and 2007 Geography Department Graduate

Wednesday, Sept. 23rd

12:20pm – 1:30pm
Science Building, Room 304

This is the first in a series of presentations by graduates of the geography program. Stay tuned to this blog and hallway postings for more!

South Coast Rail -- Open Forum Thursday

Nothing could be more geographic than a new rail line! Notice is short, but students and friends of the department who can get to Fall River on Thursday evening, September 16, will have a chance to hear and be heard regarding potential routes for new rail lines. Let Dr. Hayes-Bohanan know if you decide to attend. Find details by clicking onthe title above. The meeting will be 6-8 pm.

Dr. Manny Maier

The Geography Department has learned of the passing of Dr. Manny Maier, who was chair of the combined Earth Sciences and Geography Department prior to his retirement in 1985. A semi-professional wrestler with two doctoral degrees, Dr. Maier was a rigorous scholar and a passionate geographer who continued his professional activities long into his retirement. Even those who met him after he formally left the college will remember boisterous discussions about research and teaching. His intensity will be missed. Watch this space for more details and remembrances.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Landmines in Cambodia

Mr. Tony Hauser will speak about his exhibit -- currently in the Maxwell Library, 3rd floor -- of photographs documenting landmines in Cambodia. The Geography Department and Global Education Center are co-sponsoring the panel discussion, which will be Wednesday, September 15 at 4:00 p.m. in the Library Lecture Hall.

Mr. Hauser will also be speaking in Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's Geography of Latin America class on Thursday, September 16. That class is at 9:30-10:45 in Science 128. Visitors -- particularly geography students who aer not available Wednesday evening -- are welcome to attend.

Landmines affect millions of people worldwide, and our department is begining to be involved, particularly with victims in coffee-growing areas. The department's January 2010 study tour in Nicaragua will include visits to development projects run by and for landmine victims.

Alumna in South Africa

BSC Graduate (and Rao Scholarship recipient) Monique Buckley has returned to South Africa, this time to work on a photography and conservation project.
We will have to wait for her return to see most of the photographs, as internet connections are slow and infrequent. Judging by the quality of what she has shared so far, however, the project seems to be going very well. Here are low-resolution versions of just a few.

In addition to the photography, Monique will be updating maps of some hiking areas. That was not part of the assignment, but like any good geographer, she cannot leave inadequate maps alone.

Geography ... it can take you places!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cape Trek 2009 // HumPhy

HumPhy is a tradition that is being revived in the Geography Department after a hiaitus. For several years, we considered travel to conferences (especially if they were far away in Maine) as a substitute for HumPhy. But there is no substitute for spending a couple of days in the company of geographers, dedicated only to the exploration of a landscape.

So, HumPhy returns! We will depart early afternoon on Friday, October 7, and return by 4 pm on Sunday, October 9.

HumPhy is an exploration of the HUMan and PHYsical landscape, in this case of Cape Cod. Look for flyers in the department for details, and sign up in the office as soon as possible. Seating may be limited. We will be staying in Gibson Cottages in Eastham, since the elbow is a great location for exploring both the outer and mid-Cape areas.

Have a look at Dr. Hayes-boh's article about the Cape in Focus on Geography 46(1): 4-7. Some of the photos in that article were taken during previous HumPhy outings.

Also, start thinking about next year. The Blackstone Valley has been another excellent HumPhy destination.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NESTVAL 2009 - Salem

Students and faculty members from BSC will join fellow geographers from New England and the St. Lawrence Valley for the annual meeting of NESTVAL on November 6-7. Dr. Domingo and Dr. Hayes-Bohanan will take a day off from EarthView to ensure that interested GeoBears get to the meeting in time for the annual Geography Bowl competition. With the help of games at GEO meetings, BSC came very close to winning the title last year. This is the time to start working out for the gold!

The department has arranged for lodging for students who wish to attend, as well as transportation. Space may be limited, so please sign up in the department office and register with NESTVAL if you wish to attend. The conference ends Saturday evening; students who wish to stay through Sunday should mention that when signing up. If there is enough interest, return rides may be available on both days.

Meanwhile, explore the meeting web site for information about student events, registration, and abstract submission. NESTVAL meetings are the perfect place to present preliminary research.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stewart Sundial Refurbished

The next time you visit the department, have a look at the Reed Stewart sundial near the front doors of the Conant Science Building. The nameplate was recently replaced, as weather had not been kind to the original. Dr. Stewart retired from the department in 1998 and continues to be recognized for his many contributions to the study and practice of geography, anthropology, and conservation.

Department welcomes Brazilian Exchange Students

At its first faculty meeting of the semester, geography faculty members welcomed three new participants in the US-Brazil Consortium on Urban Development (UBCUD). From left, the students are Paulo Vela from UDESC, Isabel Rekowsky from UFRGS, and Ana Franco from UDESC. They are surrounded by (l-r) Dr. Domingo, Dr. Rao, Dr. Hellstrom, Dr. Hayes-Bohanan, and Professor Pannuto. The department also welcomes Professor Bob Pannuto, who brings years of experience with the National Weather Service to his teaching of physical geography this fall.

The department is in its four year of the consortium, which also includes geography departments at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), Universidad do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC) and Univesidad Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Students from all four schools are able to attend semester-long exchanges in international exchanges, with support from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education and CAPES, its Brazilian counterpart. The prestigious exchanges were established by an agreement between President Clinton and President Cardoso in the 1990s.