Monday, October 31, 2011

Middle East Program: Geography Education

The BSU Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) is joining the Geography Department's efforts to promote geography education at the primary and secondary levels in Massachusetts.

The Center has hosted a number of campus visitors from various countries in the Middle East, and they are generally astonished by the lack of geographic insight among otherwise well-educated people they meet in the United States. The CMES faculty understands, as geographer Harm de Blij has stated, that ignorance of geography is a threat not only to the national security of the United States, but also the well-being of the planet as a whole.

For these reasons, CMES is sponsoring a Geography Education on Monday, November 7. The details:

Why we need to know more about the world: the geography bill in the Massachusetts legislature
Professors James Hayes-Bohanan and Vernon Domingo, Geography Department, BSU.
Monday, Nov 7 at 12:20pm
Campus Center, Small Ballroom
The event is open to the public. Please invite your classes.

Later that same day: On the evening of November 7, tune in to AM1030, WBZ radio from 10-11 pm, when Professors Domingo and Hayes-Bohanan will discuss the same topic on Dan Rae's Nightside, a nationally broadcast radio program. Feel free to call the program that evening at (617) 254-1030.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Environment and Trade in Central America: Lectures Oct 24

Julio Sanchez is a researcher at the Humboldt Center in Managua, Nicaragua, who is currently studying the introduction of genetically modified organisms through U.S. food aid into Nicaragua. Mr. Sanchez is the featured speaker in the Witness for Peace fall speaking tour, and will be appearing at Bridgewater State University on Monday, October 24.

At 1:50-3:05, Mr. Sanchez will be a guest speaker in James Hayes-Bohanan's Geography of Latin America class, which is being held in thelecture hall of the new Science & Mathematics Center for this occasion. Enter the building from the Chapel Lot side (the only available entrance), walk down the long, glass hallway, and the lecture hall will be to your right in the main lobby area.

At 5:00, members of the Social Justice League -- which is sponsoring his visit -- will be meeting with Julio Sanchez -- and the rest of the Witness for Peace tour team -- in the Bear's Den (formerly known as Commuter Cafeteria) in the basement of the Rondelau Campus Center. This is a chance to meet the team informally -- community members are welcome to bring along their own dinner or buy dinner at the cafe.

The main event will be at 6:00, when Mr. Sanchez will make a presentation at the Moakley Auditorium, regarding his work at the Humboldt Center. His presentation will trace the connections among trade policy (especially CAFTA), the introduction of food aid, and environmental consequences, particularly related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Details and background:
Facebook Event page with details of Julio's visit
Fall Tour Page with more information about Julio's work
Witness for Peace New England with information on the organization

This event is co-sponsored by La Sociedad Latina, Students for Sustainability, and the Sociology Department.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Natural Resources Internship -- Concord

The Natural Resources Division of the Town of Concord's Planning and Land Management office is seeking an intern. Deadline is October 27. Pay is up to $10/hour. See details, including application form.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Science Building Changes

Many thanks to Dr. Chifuru "Chief" Noda in the Department of Chemistry for documenting some of the dramatic changes taking place during the transformation of the Conant Science Building into the Conant Center for Science and Mathematics. Dr. Noda recently shared the October 6 video above, along with two videos (first and second) taken October 7.

Update October 12: Chief has created his own page with more photos of the ongoing transformation of the Conant Center for Science & Mathematics; bookmark it to see further progress.

The demolition in the midst of an active campus requires great care and planning -- and the cooperation of curious passersby who must resist the temptation to get even closer. The spraying hoses you see in some of the footage are to keep dust down; that work requires great skill, as the workers must be very close to the giant claw, essentially under it, but not too close.

Those looking at satellite imagery on services such as Google Maps often experience the illusion that the imagery is current. The satellite imagery found on Google Maps today (October 9, 2011) is a good example of the time lag, which can sometimes be several years. In this case, the image seems to be from about a year ago, when the 1964 wings of the building were still in use and the new wings (to the north) still under construction. The offices for the Department of Geography are found today in a wing that is still shown as vegetation in on the Google image.

Below are some more of Dr. Noda's photos, at various stages of construction and destruction -- first some panoramas and then some straight shots. Click any image to enlarge.
Panorama -- view of 1964 wing from new wing -- September 8, 2011
(Note: The building was not actually curvy!)
Same view, October 6
Same view, October 7
Main wing, May 2010
Foundation, May 2010
Foundation, May 2010. That curved area is an indoor planting area
that is now under the main stairwell.

Geologists posing in front of Park Avenue side,
just as the serious demolition had begun on the NE corner.
October 2011 -- view from the far end of the new wing; Kelly Gym to the left,
Campus Center in distance; rubble of 1964 main wing in center.
The future building, as depicted on the
Facilities Management web page, which has many
more project details and photos.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cookies for Future Teachers --

BSU-STREAMS and Dean Goldstein are sponsoring a gathering for students interested in science or math teaching careers (this includes geography!) on Tuesday, Oct 11 from 3:00-4:00 in the 3rd floor common area.  Please announce this in your classes.  Flyers should be going up soon and coming to you through email as well.
The meeting is informal.  The goals are to let new, less experienced students talk a bit with more senior students and faculty about the classes required for teaching certification, what teaching careers are lilke, etc.
There will be coffee and cookies!