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

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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.