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