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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for coming to Mashpee. Hope to see you all again at our Annual 4th of July weekend powwow