Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Acid rain monitoring volunteers -- April 11

Dr. Clark recently received this message from Water Resources Research

Center, University of Massachusetts, requesting help in an environmental monitoring project.. Please see the contact information below if you are able to participate.
We need your help. There are several sites that still need volunteers for ARM Sunday, April 11th, 2010 throughout Massachusetts. It's a great way to explore Massachusetts water bodies and help with valuable research at the same time.

What does sampling entail? We will send you a sampling bottle with instructions on how to get to your site and how to collect the sample, and then you will deliver the sample to the nearest volunteer sampling lab. That's
it! Please contact Beckie Finn, esfinn AT, 413.545.5979, for a list of sites that need coverage.

What does sampling entail? We will send you a sampling bottle with instructions on how to get to your site and how to collect the sample, and then you will deliver the sample to the nearest volunteer sampling lab. That's

The Acid Rain Monitoring Project (ARM) began at the Water Resources Research Center, University of Massachusetts, in 1983. The project's mission was initially to develop a comprehensive picture of the sensitivity of Massachusetts surface waters to acid deposition, and later evolved to determine long-term trends in this sensitivity.

Our database represents the full water chemistry record beginning with the start of the project in March 1983. Samples were collected monthly in 1983 and 1984, semiannually in 1985 and 1986, and quarterly from 1986 to 1993.  Current samples are collected semiannually. More than 40,000 records from nearly 5,600 lakes and streams are contained in the database. For more information, visit our website:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Morocco field course -- Oklahoma State

The Cultural and Natural Resources of Morocco
GEOG 4910/5510 (3 credit hours, undergraduate and graduate credit options)
Oklahoma State University
May 22 to June 6, 2010

This study abroad summer course, offered through Oklahoma State University, College of A&S Outreach, will focus on themes of cultural and natural resources in Morocco and include fascinating and exciting experiences along the way.  The course instructors are Dale Lightfoot and Thomas Wikle, both in the Department of Geography at OSU.  Dr. Lightfoot has more than 15 years of experience with research and outreach projects in Morocco and the wider Middle East and North Africa region.  His co-instructor, Dr. Wikle has traveled throughout North Africa and the Middle East and has directed more than a dozen summer travel courses since 1994. 

The cost of the trip will be $4,181 for undergraduate students and $4,251 for graduate students and non-credit participants.

For more information please contact Tom Wikle ( or 405 744-7978).

Conservation Conference - March 27 - student rates

Governor Deval Patrick will be the featured speaker at this year's Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference on March 27 in Worcester! The daylong conference, cosponsored by The Trustees of Reservations' Putnam Conservation Institute and the MA Land Trust Coalition, will also feature 30+ workshops on topics ranging from fundraising to land protection and management.

A complete list of workshops and registration information is available at You can still get the early-bird rate of $42 if you register by March 12 (afterwards it's $62; student rate, $20). Have questions or want to volunteer? Email or call 978.840.4446 x1905. 

Although Dr. Hayes-Bohanan is not attending this year, he has done so many times in the past, and can attest to the value of this conference for learning and networking. You are quite likely to see some of our alumni there as well!

Bizarre Map Challenge

The Bizarre Map Challenge is a map design competition open to high school, college, and university students in the United States. The goals of this challenge are: to promote spatial thinking; increase awareness of geospatial technology; and inspire curiosity about geographic patterns and map representation in students and the broader public. “Bizarre” in this competition refers to maps that are strikingly out of the ordinary. Though all maps must use real-world data, successful entries might employ unusual techniques, illustrate bizarre topics, or exhibit striking patterns.

All entries must be submitted in a static PDF format (no interactive or animated maps) using the on-line registration form. The complete map should be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches (letter size) with a minimum of half-inch margins. A summary description, 500 words maximum, will also be required at the time of submission. The summary should describe why this map is bizarre, how it was created, the tools used, data sources, coordinate systems, projection methods, etc.

This competition is supported by the National Geospatial Technology Center and San Diego State University and prizes will be awarded to the top entries as voted on by a round of judges and then by the public. The First Place prize is $5,000.

Map submissions are due March 22.

Row for Water nearing the shore

Hundreds of students in our department's EarthView program have been impressed by the effort of Katie Spotz to raise money for fresh water by rowing across salt water. She left Dakar in early January in a row boat, armed with a lot of geographic knowledge. She will be arriving in Georgetown, Guyana soon, and is looking for donors to support her cause. Read more on our EarthView blog posting about nearing the shore, which has links to Katie's story, her maps, and donation tools.

NASA opportunity -- deadline March 16

NASA seeks highly motivated, advanced undergraduate and early graduate students to participate in a summer 2010 research program in Earth system science using a DC-8 flying laboratory. The Student Airborne Research Program, or SARP, is managed by the National Suborbital Education and Research Center.
Selected students will acquire hands-on research experience in all aspects of a scientific campaign, using a major NASA resource for studying Earth system processes, calibration and validation of space-borne observations and prototyping instruments for possible satellite missions. Students will operate instruments aboard the DC-8 aircraft to sample atmospheric gases and to image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands.
Applicants should have a strong academic background in disciplines relevant to the Earth system, including the physical, chemical or biological sciences, or engineering. Applicants must have full-time student status at an accredited U.S. college or university. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Successful applicants will be awarded a $2500 stipend for participation in the 6-week program in Southern California for classroom, laboratory and aircraft experience. NSERC will provide travel to and from California and living expenses while in California.
Applications are due March 16, 2010.
For more information about this competition, visit
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Rick Shetter at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shaima Khinjani -- schools for girls in Afghanistan

BSC Moakley Auditorium, Monday March 15: 7:30 pm

Shaima Khinjani, a woman from Afghanistan, will be  speaking about the school she started, in a time and place where this could have gotten her killed.

During the years prior to 9/11/2001, when girls could not be educated in Afghanistan because of the Taliban, Shaima and her sister ran a secret school for girls. They started out with just a few girls in their neighborhood and it grew to over 100 girls. Her father was very afraid that they would be caught. One day there was a knock at the door and they all thought---this is it----but instead it was UNICEF delivering them supplies of paper and pencils for the girls, encouraging them to keep it up.

March 4: Michel Chikwanine, former child soldier

The BSC students invite community members to a special evening with Michel Chikwanine.  Michel is a former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and currently a much sought after speaker with Free the Children and Me to We.  For more information and a short video clip of Michel, see:

WHAT: Michel Chikwanine "Journey to Hope"
WHEN: Thursday, March 4, 7:00PM
WHERE: RCC Auditorium
WHAT ELSE: This event is sponsored by the Free the Children Chapter at BSC, the Social Justice League, and the Student Government Association.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Focus Group for Geography Students -- March 15

The Geography Department is seeking the help of current students as part of a program review we are currently undertaking. The purpose of the review is to make sure our programs are as effective as they can be, and to ensure that we have ways of assessing our effectiveness into the future.

For this reason, we are seeking the participation of geography students -- majors, minors, or those for whom geography courses are otherwise significant -- in a focus group to be held on Monday, March 15 at 5:00 pm. We will be putting together a method of assessing the success of your department. We will be developing an alumni survey, and we are asking future alumni (that is, current students) for help in making sure that the questions on those surveys will actually lead to useful information. (We will be asking some actual alumni for similar input.)

Between now and the Ides of March, please think about what we should be asking you! (Maybe those of you who can meet later today can toss around a few ideas to start with.) Drs. Amey and Hayes-Bohanan will lead the conversation, but the entire faculty would really appreciate your input on this. We hope to arrive at a way of assessing ourselves that keeps our programs and courses as relevant, effective, and adaptive as possible, well into the future.
Thanks, and we hope to see lots of you on the 15th! Thanks to GEO for letting us commandeer a club meeting for this purpose. We will meet in Science 208 and, yes, very good coffee will be served, along with other snacks.

Cartographer Position, USGS

Thanks to Dr. Krol in the Earth Sciences Department for bringing this job opening to our attention. It is for a cartographer to work at the USGS, which employs a lot of geographers and geologists, among other scientists. Although this particular position, at the GS-11 level, is probably not suitable for most new graduates, some of our alumni from recent years are most certainly qualified.

This position announcement should be studied by anybody interested in federal employment, because it provides insight into how one can gain relevant credentials and approach this kind of career. Also, it may be very useful to browse the USGS site for positions at other levels, particularly GS-09, which are more suitable for new graduates.

Winter Olympics - Very Dynamic Map

The New York Times provides an amazingly dynamic map of Winter Olympics medals in several dimensions of space and time. Users can choose to view medal-winning countries in their relative geographic positions or in rank order. Most amazingly, a slide bar across the top allows one to view shifts in these patterns. Move back in four-year increments to see some countries wax and wane in the standings -- and some will even disappear!

MS Assistantship opportunities for fall 2010

There are several graduate assistantships available for Fall 2010 in the Geospatial Science MS program at Missouri State University in Springfield. The program involves training and applications in geospatial technologies to address problems in physical geography, geology, and planning (

Teaching assistantships are in the areas of physical geography and geology labs, GIS labs, and human/culture geography.

Research assistantships in Geology may be available in carbon sequestration, geophysical investigations, and hydrogeology.

Research assistantships in Geography may be available in climatology, water quality, soil geomorphology, and fluvial geomorphology.

Opportunities area available to work within or collaborate with the Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute at Missouri State University (

Please pass this message on to interested students.


Robet T. Pavlowsky

Missouri State University

Office: 417-836-8473