Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY available in the spring

Note from Dr. Hayes-Boh:
Are you looking for a spring-semester course that counts toward the geography departmental electives? Are you interested in how economies work? Do you want to recommend a truly excellent course to a friend from another discipline? One of our very talented visiting lecturers (and a BSU geography graduate) Prof. Phil Birge-Liberman is offering a dynamic, challenging, and informative course in economic geography.

The description and objectives from his syllabus are provided below. Here is Hayes-Boh's shorter definition: Economics without the limiting assumptions.

Sign up today, and learn how the world really works.

GEOG 350: Economic Geography
Professor Phil Birge-Liberman

Class Meetings: Wednesday 1:50pm-4:30pm
Spring 2011

This course examines some of the historical and contemporary factors that shape the global economy and current spatial economic order. This entails studying processes—such as economic restructuring, changing production systems, and the internationalization of trade and industry as well as studying the role of various actors in the economy— including states, producers, organized labor and consumers. We will unpack the term ‘globalization,’ which is so widely used to explain contemporary economic relations and explore the causes, effects, representations, contradictions, costs and benefits of globalization.  We will begin the course by discussing economic geography as a concept, sub-discipline and discourse. We will then study the historical development of the capitalist economy, including the role of new technology in changing production systems and the geography of firms. We will learn that economic change is accompanied by increasing inequality both across and within regions. This will lead to a discussion of economic development as a product of globalization. According to the World Bank, 2.8 billion people live on less than $2 a day. We will explore the contradictions of globalization marked by record corporate executive earnings at the same time as falling real wages for the average worker; new technologies that improve production and yet inefficient and uneven distribution; U.S. economic dominance and yet a shortage of secure well- paid jobs in the United States. The course will conclude with an examination of the current challenges facing the global economy including the greening of the economy and the role of consumption in changing our society.

To develop an understanding of the political economy approach within economic geography.
To connect the historical development of the capitalist economy to contemporary shifts in the spatial organization of production and consumption.
To critically analyze globalization and be able to explore the connections between economic,
political and social processes shaping our globe.
To examine how local and regional economies are implicated in global economic restructuring.
To investigate the causes and patterns of spatial inequality.
To develop critical thinking skills to examine the world around us and representations thereof.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Student Help w/ US Environmental Protection Agency - Narragansett, RI

Current Status: Solicitation posted December 14, 2010. All responses are due 01/03/11, 12:00 p.m., ET. See the Announcement file at the website for more information.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brazil's Rising Star

Nobody who has been around the BSU Geography Department the past few years is likely to be surprised by the 60 Minutes segment on Brazil that aired yesterday, in which Steve Kroft described the achievements -- and challenges -- of this rising power. From its remarkable economic growth and narrowing social chasm to its upcoming role as host of the World Cup and Olympics, this 13-minute video makes the case that we already understand in the BSU Geography Department: learning about Brazil is as important as it is enjoyable.

In the past decade, BSU has received two grants from the prestigious Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education and CAPES, its Brazilian counterpart. The first of these was in the area of special education (under the leadership of Dr. Lidia Silveira) and the second in geography (with Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan). The grants allowed for in-coming and out-going, semester-long exchanges with university partners in southern Brazil, and greatly enriched our campus.

In June 2011, we will build on this experience to provide BSU's first short-term study tour to Brazil. Dr. Hayes-Bohanan will lead a tour that explores the changes taking place in several key areas of Brazil, from coffee (in which "Brazilian gourmet coffee" is no longer a joke) to modern manufacturing and from transportation planning to hydroelectric power. More details about this trip will be available from the Office of Study Abroad in early January.

If the 60 Minutes segment whets your appetite to learn more about the dynamism that is today's Brazil, check out the Discovery Atlas DVD set that is available at the Maxwell Library Circulation Desk. It includes one DVD each on Brazil, China, Australia, and Italy. The Brazil volume illustrates the geographic variety of the country by focusing on the stories of seven very different individuals from disparate corners of the country. (Call number: PN1995.9.T73 D57 2007)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Paulo Vela is one of eleven Brazilian students to have spent a semester at BSC (now BSU) as part of the department's US-Brazil Consortium on Urban Development, which was jointly supported by the United States Department of Education FIPSE program and CAPES, its Brazilian counterpart. Dr. Hayes-Bohanan will be leading a short-term study tour in Brazil next June. Details will be posted here in coming weeks.

The academic results of these exchanges (in which many of BSC students also spent semesters in Brazil) have been numerous, including regional and national conference presentations in both countries. Today we learned of an artistic legacy as well, as Paulo posted a music video based on his experience. The title can be translated as "Where I Walked" and it captures beautifully the joy of learning a new place.

(Go to YouTube for larger image.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Geography Fair Success

The 24th Annual Geography Fair was a terrific success, with hundreds of students and family members learning about the geography of water. BSU students in Dr. Clark's Water Resources were among the volunteers who judged a hundred student projects.

While the judging took place, humanitarian Michael Cambra told the story of Mission to Liberia, an organization that he and Joseph Naranamie have created over the past several years to support recovery and development projects in Liberia, West Africa. This was the first time that the Geography Fair had such a focus on service learning, with t-shirt sales and donations being directed toward the creation of a fresh-water well in Liberia.

Near the end of the program, students and their families enjoyed the music of Khakatay, BSU's amazing West African Drumming ensemble. West Africa, of course, comprises many cultures and musical traditions, but the region as a whole is well-represented by the music of Khakatay (which means "laughing out loud"). This excellent connection was made even stronger by the appearance of educator Brigitte Ndikum-Nyada of Cameroon, whose grace and strength was a vivid reminder of something Michael Cambra had discussed earlier: in Cameroon, as in Liberia and much of the rest of the world, girls and women spend hours each day carrying water great distances, often on their heads.

Photo: Danielle Robidoux
All of the volunteers and students -- and particularly Dr. Domingo and the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance -- are to be commended for a program that was not only enjoyable and informative, but also of direct benefit to the people of Liberia.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Help with Grad School Letters

For many students, the most difficult part of applying to graduate or professional school is writing the dreaded "personal statement." What should be included? What is the appropriate style and tone? And how can you make the best use of this opportunity to sell yourself to admissions committees? 

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is here to help! "Writing an Impressive Personal Statement," a workshop for students, will be offered:

Tues, Nov 30, 3:15-4:30 in ECC 112 (appetizers served) and again on
Wed, Dec 8, 12:15-1:15 in the Heritage Room (lunch served). 
Students will learn practical guidelines for writing personal statements and see models of successful statements by recent BSU graduates who are now in law school, medical school, and master's and doctoral programs in various disciplines.

Food will be served at each workshop. A response is requested but not required. RSVP to Kathy Frederick in the Office of Undergraduate Research (

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Focus on Sudan: December 3, 12 noon

Focus on Southern Sudan: January  Independence Referendum
 Friday December 3rd, 12 PM—2 PM
 Heritage Room, BSU Maxwell Library

Political boundaries in Africa could change again very soon, due to the independence referendum in Southern Sudan. Come learn about the important upcoming referendum in southern Sudan that will decide whether southern Sudan will become an independent country. “The future of Sudan is hanging in the balance,” Salva Kiir, president of southern Sudan .

Meanwhile, to learn more:
See the Washington Post article about the possibility that the vote will be delayed, a video from Al Jazeera English about preparations for the vote, and a second Al Jazeera video about fears of war in South Sudan.

Sponsored by the African Studies Program, BSU Chapter of  Free the Children, African Student Association, and Middle Eastern Culture Connection Association.
Light refreshments will be served.

Graduate Assistantships at Central Washington

Graduate Assistants in Resource Management. Central Washington University’s Resource Management (REM) Graduate Program will offer approximately ten (10) graduate assistantships for the 2011-2012 academic year. REM is an applied, interdisciplinary program that includes the Geography Department as a major participant. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in Geography, or related field at the time of enrollment. Assistantships will involve a combination of research and teaching in the Geography Department.
Apply online at: Applications submitted before February 1 receive maximum consideration. For more information, please see or contact co-director Karl Lillquist at
CWU is an AA/EEO/Title IX Institution.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Graduate Opportunity at UNH

Funded Research Seeking Graduate Students Interested in Human-Environment Interactions

The University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH invites applications for a highly-motivated graduate student interested in linking human dimensions to ecosystem change to work on a new interdisciplinary project in northeastern Oregon.  This project, "Community and Forest:  Linked Human-Ecosystem Responses to Natural Disturbances in Oregon" is funded through the USDA's Disaster Resilience for Rural Communities Program.  In addition to thesis/dissertation research, this student will work closely with project directors in designing, implementing, and analyzing a household survey, will conduct field work in northeastern Oregon, and will work alongside other graduate students and community and agency partners in providing appropriate deliverables throughout the project (e.g., extension publications, briefs, conference papers, community presentations, refereed articles).  Funding is available - 2 years funding for a MS student and 3 years funding for a PhD student.

Project synopsis:
Forests in the Wallowa-Whitman Ecosystem (WWE) are threatened by the risk of catastrophic insect outbreaks and wildfire. Forecasted growth in these natural hazards implies dramatic socio-economic costs to communities that are dependent on forests and their ecosystems. Coupled with that risk is ongoing ecological deterioration concurrent with declining commodity timber-production and changing management goals on public lands, all of which has completely transformed the ways that forests are perceived, valued, and managed.  This research uses a multi-scalar, multi-disciplinary approach to examine risk perceptions and behavioral reactions to forest management with implications on land use and housing. Further, this work focuses on the dynamic feedbacks between landscape changes, land use conversion, parcelization, and the strategies people use to respond to risk in the WWE.

Application procedure:
Application is open to students from social science disciplines (e.g., sociology, geography), natural resources, landscape ecology, and related professional fields who will make significant contributions to linking social dynamics of land management and risk perception with ecological change the research project in the form of a master's thesis or PhD dissertation.  Preference will be given to individuals who have experience in statistics and GIS.  Optional qualifications include an interest in working in rural communities of the US West, rural sociology, landscape ecology, experience in satellite imagery analysis, and modeling.

Potential PhD students can apply to either to the Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science ( or Sociology ( and potential MS students can apply to either the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment ( or Sociology at UNH.  The student has the option to begin study in late January 2011 or September 2011.

Graduate students will also work closely with the Carsey Institute ( while at UNH.

Send a CV and letter of application by December 15, 2010 to:

Joel Hartter
Department of Geography
University of New Hampshire
102 Huddleston Hall
73 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824  USA
Tel: 603-862-7052

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two Geography Adventures -- Monday Nov 15

Dr. Domingo and Dr. Hayes-Bohanan are taking students on two adventures on Monday, November 15, and we have room in the van for additional students to join us.

First, we will be taking EarthView on a special, short program in Lexington. We will leave from the front of the Science Building at 7:00 a.m. in order to allow for traffic on our way to the Armenian Sisters' Academy for a morning-only program for grades 1-4. We will be back at BSU by noon. Read more about this visit on the EarthView blog. State Rep. Peter Koutoujian will be joining the EarthView team for this program.

Our second adventure is in conjunction with the GEOG 490 senior seminar, whose students are required to research graduate schools. We are taking advantage of the fact that perhaps the most prestigious geography program in the United States (the world? the universe?) is just an hour away, at Clark University. Our own Dr. Domingo, who got the "Dr." part of his name at Clark, has arranged for a meeting with Dr. Bebbington, Director of the School of Geography (like a department, but bigger!) and a tour of the geography facilities, which include the birthplace of IDRISI. We will then find dinner (bring some cash) at one of Worcester's many authentic, ethnic restaurants. For this outing, we will leave from the front of the Science Building at 1:30 p.m. and return sometime in the early evening.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ben Linder Film Viewing -- Thursday November 4

Thursday, November 4
Library Lecture Hall, 7:00 PM
Fair trade, organic coffee from Nicaragua and light refreshments will be served.

Please join us for a viewing of the acclaimed short documentary American/Sandinista, followed by discussion and presentations by BSU faculty and students regarding US-Latin American relations, Nicaragua, and the experience of BSU students as they engage with a global world.


In the 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, a bloody civil war between the socialist-influenced Sandinistas and U.S.- backed Contras ravaged Nicaragua. Despite the danger, thousands of Americans disobeyed White House warnings and descended upon the Central American nation, determined to lend their skills and labor to the revolutionary Sandinista cause. Using an eclectic mixture of rare archival footage, arresting still photography, and contemporary interviews, American/Sandinista tells the story of a small group of controversial U.S. engineers who went further than anyone expected, and paid the ultimate price.

This event is co-sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, the Foreign Languages Department, the Geography Department, and the Social Justice League.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Geography Tutors Needed

The Academic Achievement Center needs at least one tutor for introductory physical geography. This is an excellent opportunity for upper-level geography majors, particularly those interested in education careers. Meeting times are flexible and tutors are paid for their tutoring and preparation time. It is an immensely rewarding experience that will also contribute to a strong resume.

Harvard Forest

The Fisher Museum includes the famous
landscape dioramas. Built in the 1930s, they
have stood the test of time both physically
and intellectually.
On Saturday, October 30, students in Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's GEOG 332 course on land protection embarked on what has become a nearly annual tradition in the department: a field trip to Harvard Forest.

The course begins with readings of Henry David Thoreau's diaries, as analyzed by Harvard Forest director David Foster in his book Thoreau's Country. Foster mines Thoreau's writings for lessons about changes in the New England landscape. By the time of this field trip, students are well aware that the landscape shown at right would be typical of most of New England in Thoreau's lifetime, when forest cover reached its low point at 20 percent of the region. As Dr. John O'Keefe -- former director of the Fisher Museum at the forest -- explained to our group, the forest cover would have been even lower, but roughly 20 percent had to remain in forest to provide the 30 cords of wood needed each year for cooking and heating on an average farm.

The remainder of the semester will be spent studying the management implications of these lessons, as students learn about the work of land trusts, conservation commissioners, and other institutions involved in protecting the various values of open space. The visit to Harvard Forest and the related readings on forest ecology make the importance and challenges of land protection much easier to understand.
John O'Keefe's guided tour of the forest literally breathes life
into many of the readings about forest ecology. 
Photo credit: Nicole Sauber
Students in GEOG 332 never forget two important lessons about
New England forests. Forests are always in a state of change and
stone walls (lower-right of photo) are clues to forest history.

Photo credit: Nicole Sauber


Dr. Domingo (2nd-right) poses with members of the winning
 BSU Geography Bowl team.

Dr. Domingo took a group of BSU geography students to the annual meeting of NESTVAL (New England and St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society), hosted this year by the Geography Department at UConn in Storrs, Connecticut.

Always strong contenders, this year's BSU team did exceptionally well in the annual Geography Bowl competition, coming in second only to UConn's own team of graduate students, but coming in first among undergraduate teams. Congratulations to all five of the BSU Geography Bowl participants, who also enjoyed the conference itself and a tour of the UConn department, one of only a handful offering a graduate degree in geography in New England.

The department is already planning for NESTVAL 2011, being held October 7 & 8 (very early in the semester) at Concordia University in Montreal. Students are urged to mark their calendars and secure their passports early! Funding will be available for students who plan to present research at that conference. The department will likely forgo the annual HumPhy trip in order to focus energy (and funding) on the Montreal excursion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apply Now for Geography Awards

The BSU Geography Department offers two presitigious awards each year: , both of which are presented at the Spring Student Honors and Awards ceremony. Each award encourages excellence in geography by providing both public recognition and a monetary prize.

Complete applications are due February 11, 2011, but the department is encouraging submissions by the middle of December 2010, so students can secure letters of recommendation from faculty and/or employers. All applications and letters should be delivered to Dr. Rob Hellstrom.
The two awards are (click for full details):
Dr. Madhu N. Rao Scholarship
Chester '51 & Theresa Smolski Endowed Geography Fund

Not all of the BSU annual awards are departmental; students can search the scholarship database for other awards for which they may be eligible.
Geography students may also eligible for induction to the Eta Nu Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the honorary society for our discipline, in a departmental ceremony to take place in the spring. Current GTU members interested in helping to organize the ceremony should contact Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan, GTU advisor.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Belize Culture Series -- Thursday Oct 21

Belize Culture Series
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Heritage Room, Maxwell Library
Hosted by International Culture Club

Thursday, October 21st, the International Culture Club is hosting our Belizean exchange students as part of the club's Culture Series.The students will be giving a presentation about their home country and native food will be served. The event flyer is attached.
Please sign up via the Involvement Network ( -- International Culture Club (ICC) -- Upcoming Events -- Belize Culture Series

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kiado Cruz & Sustainable Farming in Mexico

Sustainable Agriculture and Social Justice: Cultivating Peace, One Garden at a Time

Thursday, October 21  7:00 PM
Moakley Center Auditorium

SeƱor Cruz will speak on sustainable agriculture as well as the community organizing that has been instrumental in the current autonomous movements in Oaxaca and Chiapas, southern Mexico. He will also address questions about the effects of U.S. trade policies and increasing privatization that have been damaging to Mexico, and about related migration issues.

With this presentation, Witness for Peace New England and the partners at Bridgewater State aim to enrich the cross-borders dialogue between those who are creating and supporting local food systems and local economies; engaging in education reform; advocating for immigration reform; and/or promoting fair and just international trade, both in Latin America and in the U.S.

(See more on the SJL Facebook listing for this event.)
Co-Sponsored by: The Anthropology Department, The Sociology Department, The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, and The Center for Sustainability

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mapmaking Seminar in Boston, Oct 28

Thanks to Professor Birge-Liberman for this announcement.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston Immigration and Urban History Seminar
Thursday, October 28, 2010, 5:15 p.m.

Michael H. Ebner, Lake Forest College: "Motives, Interests, and Mapmakers: Storylines about the Drawing of Boundaries in Metropolitan America"

Comment: Sam Bass Warner, MIT

All seminars take place at the Society, 1154 Boylston St., Boston, MA, and commence at 5:15 p.m. Each seminar consists of a discussion of a pre-circulated paper provided to our subscribers. (Papers will be available at the event for those who choose not to subscribe.) Afterwards the Society will provide a light buffet supper.

All seminars are free and open to the public. As in the past, we are making the essays available to subscribers as .pdfs through the seminar's webpage, Subscribe to the 2010-2011 series online via this page. A $25 subscription will entitle you to the full series of papers. Questions? Contact Kate Viens at 617-646-0568 or

RSVP so organizers know how many will attend. To respond, email or call 617-646-0568.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cape Trek 2010 Success!

GEOGRAPHY field vehicle parked at base
 of Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown.
Another autumn, another successful HumPhy! A few highlights are presented here. Join us for Cape Trek 2011 to experience a whole new version of this annual adventure!

For many years, the Geography Department organized a weekend field camp somewhere in the southeastern New England region each autumn. Throughout the early 2000s, we tried to combine these trips with NESTVAL conferences, in order to promote student participation in the regional conference and Geography Bowl. As successful as the results were in that regard, we found that the goals of the field camp were under-served, and reinstated the annual journey, independent of any conference.

In the past, HumPhy has gone to the Blackstone Valley and other fascinating locations, but we have found Cape Cod to be the ideal destination for many reasons, not least of which is the availability of Gibson Cottages, just at the "elbow" of the Cape in Eastham. The Cape is sufficiently dynamic in both its HUMan and PHYsical geography to sustain our interest for many years to come, and to offer a different itinerary for each group of students.

This year, HumPhy began at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, part of the Massachusetts State University system. Our excellent guides included both staff members and students, who familiarized us with the history and mission of the academy as well as its significant innovations in the generation and conservation of energy. Mass Maritime is a true leader in green technologies throughout its beautiful campus. We also head the privilege of touring the teaching vessel Kennedy, which carries 600 students (and a crew of 150) for a two-month voyage each year.
The journey also included several hours seeing the human and physical landscape of the town of Mashpee, which was established as an Indian "praying town" and continues to have a unique status relative to the land rights of the indigenous Mashpee Wampanoag. We had the great privilege of learning some of the history -- but more importantly the values -- of the Wampanoag from Annawon Weeden, a Wampanoag educator who is equally hip and traditional. We started at Masphee Pond, the heart of the community, and visited the site of the original Meeting House as well as the estuary where the Mashpee River mingles with ocean waters. It was a tremendous privilege to spend part of Columbus Day weekend learning how indigenous people discovered Europeans on these shores!

Though at a different scale, this map resembles one worn by
Annawon Weeden during his presentation to us.
 It is taken from
Celebrate: Song, Dance and Story from ECHO Space.

From Mashpee, we went to Provincetown, both for the spectacular views and for its rich cultural geography that encompasses settlement from pilgrims to fishing communities to writers and artists, all on the way to P-town's current status as safe haven and virtual cultural capital for GLBT communities and their allies and families.

Finally, we discussed sediment transport processes at the Cape Cod National Seashore (where a few in our party spotted a sea lion among the morning's human surfers) before heading to the town of Falmouth, where BSU geography alumna Jen McKay described how such processes affect her work with the local Conservation Commission.

The photos show here are just a few of nearly 300 that Dr. Domingo and Dr. Hayes-Bohanan have posted on Flickr. See the two Cape Trek sets in Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's GEOGRAPHY collection to see them all.
For some reason, Dr. Domingo thought it important to get a photo of
Dr. Hayes-Bohanan (aka Dr. Java) under the
 Coffee Obsession sign in Woods Hole.

Fuel, the Film. Wednesday night.

On October 13th at 7:00PM in the Library Lecture Hall (note: this is a new location), the Social Justice League will be hosting our monthly Movie Night- and this month the powerful movie we have chosen considers issues of environment, sustainability, global political economy, and social justice!

The documentary we have chosen is Fuel, an in-depth personal journey of filmmaker and eco-evangelist Josh Tickell, who takes us on a hip, fast paced road trip into America's dependence on foreign oil. The film combines a history lesson of the US auto and petroleum industries and interviews with a wide range of policy makers, educators, and activists such as Woody Harrelson, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young and Willie Nelson. Animated by powerful graphics, Fuel looks into our future, offering hope via a wide-range of renewable energy and bio-fuels. Fuel is a thought-provoking film and a recent recipient of the Sundance Audience Award. 

See the trailer and more information at

Gubernatorial Candidate Baker visiting campus October 22

The Center for Legislative Studies Distinguished Speaker Series presents:  Charlie Baker, Candidate for Governor 2010.

Date:               Friday, October 22
Time:               2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Location:         RCC Large Ballroom

The Center for Legislative Studies has invited the four candidates competing in the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial election to present at BSU as part of a special Gubernatorial Edition of their Distinguished Speaker Series. The Center is pleased to announce that Charlie Baker has graciously agreed to participate. Candidate Baker will discuss major policy issues with which the state is struggling, as well as how he would address those issues if he were elected governor. Please join us on Friday, October 22 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm in the Large Ballroom of the RCC. 
Professors are welcome to bring their classes!

Please note:  Unfortunately due to time constraints in Governor Deval Patrick’s campaign schedule, he will be unable to participate in this special Gubernatorial Series.  Timothy Cahill presented on 9/22 and Jill Stein presented on 10/4.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nicholas School of the Environment -- Open House in Cambridge

The Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina) will be hosting an Open House at Haller Hall Harvard Museum of Natural History 26 Oxford Street Cambridge, MA 02138 (phone:617-495-3045) on Tuesday, October 19th.  

This will be a great opportunity for them to get to meet Nicholas School staff from Academic and Enrollment Services, Career Services, Nicholas School Alumni and the Dean.  They will be able to get any questionsabout the program answered and receive as much information on what The Nicholas School has to offer.  

RSVP and learn more at the following site:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Updating the Campus Map

The current map -- see pdf version for more detail
or see the Google Maps version currently in use.
The transition to university status has given Bridgewater State a number of opportunities, large and small. Of particular interest to geographers is the opportunity to update the campus maps, both in print and on way-finding kiosks. University status coincides with several other changes that have implications for the design and development of these maps. The change comes amid an unprecedented series of major building projects and during a period of particular interest in university/town connections. (See the current print and web-based maps.)

On September 29, students in the department's senior seminar course met with several university officials for a discussion of mapping for these exciting times and complex conditions. Bridgewater's campus has evolved in a piece-meal fashion over the past 165 years in the center of 300-year-old town, and it has a railroad running through it. In a brief meeting, students learned a lot about the need to balance these challenges and the needs of various map consumers. 

Meanwhile, they applied their geographic insights to the current draft maps, and offered numerous suggestions for improvements based on cartographic conventions and their growing spatial instincts. A large printout of the map will be available in the hallway outside the geography department offices for the next two weeks, for further suggestions to be made (in pencil, please!). Suggestions can also be shared with Dr. Hellstrom or Dr. Hayes-Bohanan, who will convey them to the university officials responsible for the project.

In addition to fine-tuning the current map, we began discussions of other ways in which the department can contribute to mapping and way-finding. These include materials for future kiosks and visitors' centers on or near campus and, eventually, to employing GIS for state-of-the-art online versions of campus and downtown maps.

The Fall 2010 mapping discussion builds directly on the final report of students who completed the same course with Dr. Clark in 2007. The legacy of those students will live on in new and future maps.
Building on the earlier work Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's 2010 seminar students met with university officials to share their expert insights on the campus map, which is being redesigned in connection with the institution's name change.

Global Latin America, Interrogating Columbus Day

Hosted by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program
October 5, 3:30-5:00, Small Ballroom, RCC.
Refreshments will be served.

Columbus and his voyage have starred in grade school ditties and inspired infamous national holidays and even sales, but how can we more productively engage with past, present, and future global concerns raised by “Columbus Day”? Please join us for a scintillating, cross-disciplinary colloquium with a spectrum of BSU faculty experts! Food for thought as well as body will be provided!

”Post Columbus, Post United States – A New Latin America” - Dr. Michael Kryzanek, Dept. of Political Science, and Executive Director, Center for International Engagement

“Latin America: Local Legacies/Global Futures” – Dr. Sandra Faiman-Silva, Chair of the Department of Anthropology

"Finding Roses in December: Chicana (Re)Visions of European Conquest" – Dr. Jenny Shanahan, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research

“Encounter-ing Columbus: Telling Indigenous Stories” - Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson, Dept. of English, Coordinator of Ethnic Studies

Moderator: Dr. Leora Lev, Dept. of Foreign Languages, Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sweatshops in the United States? - Oh yes there are.

On October 6, 2010, the BSU Social Justice League will be having a guest speaker from the Global Exchange organization come to campus. Her name is Chie Abad, and she is a former sweatshop worker who worked for the garment industry in Saipan (an island in the western Pacific that is part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) for 6 years. After trying to organize a union within her workplace and getting fired from her job, Chie is now a global social activist who speaks on the issues with sweatshops and the human rights violations that accompany them. 

The Department of Geography is proud to co-sponsor this event with SJL and other campus organizations.

Chie will be speaking at the BSU Library Lecture Hall from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6th. More information can be found at

View Larger Map

Geography on the BSU NewsLog

The Bridgewater State University NewsLog includes short stories about activities of the university on campus and in the community. A mid-September article -- currently featured on the university home page -- includes two short items about the Geography Department.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jill Stein, Candidate for Governor

The Center for Legislative Studies has invited the four candidates competing in the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial election to present at BSU as part of a special Gubernatorial Edition of their Distinguished Speaker Series.  The Center is pleased to announce that Jill Stein has graciously agreed to participate.  Candidate Jill Stein will discuss major policy issues with which the state is struggling, as well as how she would address those issues if she were elected governor.  Please join us on Monday, October 4th from 1-2 pm in the Large Ballroom of the RCC.  

Professors are welcome to bring their classes!

Monday, September 27, 2010

MACC Fall Conference -- Oct 23 & Nov 6

In Massachusetts, much of the responsibility for enforcement of the Clean Water Act -- particularly the wetlands provisions -- rests with local, volunteer boards known as conservation commissioners. Appointed by town governments, ConCom members (as they are known) are not required to have any professional training to do this important work. In some towns, they employ conservation agents, who generally have degrees in biology, geography, or a related field. (On conservation agent has a double-major from BSC -- biology and geography. We're very proud of that alum!)

Fortunately, most conservation commissioners in the state take their work quite seriously, and take advantage of the rich opportunities for professional development afforded by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissioners (MACC). These include an eight-part fundamentals certification program that most commissioners try to complete (as has Dr. Hayes-Bohanan), an advanced certification, and various other workshops on environmental science, public policy, administration, and resource management.

Workshops and certification programs are offered throughout the year in various locations around Massachusetts, but the greatest variety can be found in a single day at the fall and spring conferences. This year, the fall conference is being held on two separate dates in two locations, to be more accessible to the entire state. Check the fall conference page for details, and compare workshop offerings to the fundamentals page if you are interested in getting started on that certification (which requires a total of eight, half-day workshops).

At the conference, you will meet concom volunteers, conservation agents, and representatives from various companies that provide related products and services (from consulting to high-infiltration paving materials). For anybody interested in volunteer or professional environmental work, this is one of the best opportunities for networking in Massachusetts. And if you go, wear a BSU t-shirt, so that some of our alumni in attendance can find you! Dr. Hayes-Bohanan is probably not attending, but has done so many times in the past; feel free to ask him questions.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nicaragua & The Coffee Brigades -- Lecture Thursday morning, Sept 23

Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's Geography of Latin America class will have a special guest this Thursday: Cornell librarian Sally Lockwood. She was one of many volunteers who went to Nicaragua during the 1980s, following the collapse of the Samoza dictatorship and the victory of the Sandinista Revolution. She will be speaking about that experience and about her acquaintance with Ben Linder, a U.S. engineer and fellow volunteer, in whose honor a cafe has been proposed for the new science building.

The event is in the Moakley Auditorium, Thursday September 23 from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Fresh-roasted Nicaraguan coffee will be served.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

HumPhy 2010

These smiling geographers posed below the "Bridgewater" stone in the Pilgrim Monument at HumPhy 2009. Each year the Geography Department takes a HUMan and PHYsical geography field trip to Cape Cod. The itinerary will vary somewhat year to year, but we always enjoy learning about the human and physical landscape in the company of fellow geographers -- and sustained by food we prepare as a group.

HUMPHY -  a FieldCamp for Geographers
Oct 8 - Oct 10th, 2010 - save the date

Theme: Change in the Physical and Cultural Landscape

Goal: To apply geographic thinking in the field and to spend some time exploring the landscape in the company of geographers!

Leaving  BSC  - About noon on Friday Oct 8th
Returning to BSC - about 4pm Sunday Oct 10th
Accomodations provided - Gibson Cabins, Eastham

A small fee will be charged to help with breakfasts and dinners.
Bring cash for lunch on the road.

Open to all geography majors and minors 
Space is limited by the number of van seats

So sign up early with Ms. Brenda Flint, Department Secretary
There will be an informational session, date and time to be announced – with further details – on this blog. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Join us on Facebook

The Geography Department at Bridgewater State University now has a Facebook page, so that we can readily share department news with students, alumni, and friends of the department. Please visit the page and sign on to stay connected with the department and fellow Geography Bears.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Job opening: GIS Analyst

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is looking for a GIS Analyst with a degree in geography or a related field, one year of experience, and strong communication skills, to work on an exciting initiative involving the deployment of broadband access in western Massachusetts. The position may be ideal for a recent graduate from our department. Current students might wish to review this and other announcements to see what kinds of skills and experience are in demand. Prospective students are invited to look at the kinds of jobs for which  geographers tend to be qualified.

Please see the position announcement for details; review of applications began on August 6.