Friday, December 23, 2011

Native American Consultation for Environmental Professionals

Note from Dr. Hayes-Boh: Many of our majors end up working in environmental professions, and we teach several courses specifically intended to prepare our students for such careers. Each student should take responsibility, however, to cultivate interests and develop skills that will build both competence and credentials. Membership in organizations such as NAEP or MACC can be part of such preparation, as can carefully-selected courses in mathematics, foreign languages, and other sciences.

The webinar described below is one example of the learning opportunities available.

Native American Consultation for Environmental Professionals
Native American or Tribal consultation is a key element of many types of projects that an environmental professional might encounter.  Federal, state, and private project can all benefit from effective consultation.  Implementing Native American consultation early in the process can identify potential stumbling blocks (or worse) and facilitate a smoother planning process moving forward.
The NAEP Education Research & Science Working Group is organizing an informative webinar to provide background information about the benefits and application of Native American consultation in the planning process, including why it is advisable and how to avoid pitfalls in the consultation process.  NAEP’s goal is to provide members and other environmental professionals in the nation with a good understanding of what is and what is not consultation, as well as how to initiate consultation to the benefit off the full project planning team and public.
Thomas F. King, Ph.D. will lead an informative webinar discussing Native American consultation.  Dr. King will discuss why consultation is advisable with reference both to legal requirements and the practicalities of impact assessment and planning.  He will also outline some of the main issues that often trigger Native American or Tribal consultation, the etiquette surrounding consultation and what is and is not often considered correct consultation from the Native American perspective.  Dr. King will also highlight the common causes of project delays and difficulties associated with Native American consultation.  In addition to Dr. King, this webinar will include perspectives from a Tribal representative when discussing consultation concerns.
Dr. King has spent 45 years working in cultural resource management, historic preservation, and environmental impact assessment.  He is the author of eight textbooks and one tradebook (as of 2010) on cultural resource management through Left Coast Press and Altamira Press, and editor of Wiley-Blackwell's "Companion to Cultural Resource Management" (2011).  Dr. King currently provides consultation assistance to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, and other clients.  Dr. King has also been an active member of the NAEP NEPA Working Group.
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 1pm ET (12pm CT, 11am MT, 10am PT)
Duration: Event will last 90 minute
Location: Wherever it is convenient for you
Questions: Please contact Tim Bower at 856-283-7816 or email him at 
Registration Fees:
* NAEP members — $79.00
* NAEP Affiliate Chapter members that are not NAEP members — $98.00
* Non-members (NAEP or Affiliated Chapters) - $109.00 (Save $30—please consider joining to receive the member rate for this and future events)
* Full time Students can participate at a reduced fee of $39.00

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Why Geography?

The film Why Geography? from Cambridge Educational is a 35-minute introduction to the kinds of inquiry that define the integrative discipline of geography. The narrator begins with his own home region in the American Southwest, asking questions about where he is and what is around him. In the process he reveals the analytic power of geography for understanding both human and natural distributions.

Thanks to the Maxwell Library for making this educational video available to the BSU community. Because of copyright restrictions, a BSU login is required to view this film.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mainha Restaurant

One advantage of studying geography in southeastern Massachusetts is that it is often possible to get a close-up glimpse of another part of the world by visiting restaurants that are operated by and and primarily cater to migrants from many parts of the world. This is particularly true of Brazil, a country whose connections to the region are expanding year by year.

Some students in our Geography of Latin America class learned a bit about the cultural geography of Brazil by visiting  Mainha Restaurant in Avon (on Route 28, adjacent to the northern boundary of Brockton). "Mainha" is a Brazilian term of endearment meaning "Little Mother."

The food was delicious and authentic. Prior experience in the group ranged from none to native, and all enjoyed both the meal and the experience. For anybody curious about Brazilian food, this restaurant is an excellent choice, because the serving staff are fully bilingual and ready to help with any questions. The walls of the restaurant are covered with signs representing many of Brazil's major and minor cities, so we will be bringing a map on the next departmental visit!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

EarthView Schedule Updated

Close to 30,000 students -- mostly in eastern Massachusetts -- have participated directly in the Geography Department's EarthView outreach program since we began it in 2007. We visit schools almost every Friday, with occasional special programs at other times. The spring 2012 schedule is starting to take shape, and is posted on the EarthView blog at

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Tis the Season

Materials and Methods is one of two courses in our department that is dedicated to preparing future teachers of geography. In the course, students learn how to find and use a wide variety of maps, models, and other tools that can keep learners of all ages engaged in the many aspects of geography. Dr. Domingo also inspires students to develop their own teaching tools, and to teach their classmates how to make and use them.

The last day of the semester featured Kimberly Frisoli's seasonally appropriate contribution: Earthly Ornaments. What seems like a simple craft project is actually much more. It is a lesson in scale; in the adjustments to scale needed in cartography; in projections (none is needed, but that is the point); and in the relative importance of land and water (29/71, respectively, with the majority of land in the Northern Hemisphere). The detailed lesson plan describes several additional lessons to be gleaned from this fun activity. Learners of all kinds benefit from applying these global geography lessons on a very small object.

The ornament project began with some basic materials from a craft store:
Photo: Nicci Petit
It continued with the application of craft and geographic know-how:

Photo: Nicci Petit
Drying is cleverly facilitated by Popsicle sticks.
Photo: Kim Frisoli
 The result is some useful practice in the skills described above, and nifty holiday gifts that themselves can be used for holiday geography lessons!

Photo: Nicci Petit

Photo: Korin Zigler
The department's other undergraduate course for educators is Geographic Frameworks, in which Dr. Hayes-Bohanan helps students to identify educational standards in geography and to find ways to apply them to all kinds of source materials. In addition, the department offers -- in partnership with the Massachusetts Geographic Alliances and its various partners -- a variety of graduate courses and workshops for in-service teachers. See the Globe Art entry on the EarthView blog for description of his own hand-on geography project.

Global Break

Although final exams are still to be given and received, the end of the last day of classes gave a few geography students -- along with one alum, a couple professors, and the library's geography liaison -- a chance for a brief respite and repast. Of course, we could not go long without our globes, so we brought a few along!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Students in GEOG 490: Seminar in Geography did not know that today was Picture Day, but they were good sports, since they also did not know that it would be Cake Day. A few meridional segments remain, in the Global Education Center (room 272).

Polus Center Guests

The Geography Department is hosting two very special guests who will be visiting BSU this Wednesday, December 14.

Michael Lundquist Michael holds a CAGS in education from BSU (then BSC), and has made several campus visits, including one supported by a social entrepreneurship secured by the Maxwell Library. He has also supported our Geography of Coffee study tour in Nicaragua, most notably by introducing us to projects in which coffeeland landmine victims develop their own communities, through a clinic, a wheelchair factory, and a cafe. He is also the Executive Director of the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, based in Massachusetts but serving communities both locally and throughout the world. (

The Center's newest project is the Coffeelands World Gifts Espresso Cafe in Clinton, Massachusetts. This is both a storefront and online store ( that employs universal design and provides an outlet for fairly and directly traded products from throughout the world, mostly in coffeelands. It also provides employment opportunities for people in and near Clinton who have disabilities.

I encourage you to spend a minute browsing the web sites above to see some of the many ways in which the Polus Center is helping communities to develop their own capacity to address what are often dire needs. Aside from compassion, the theme that unites all of the work of the Polus Center is deep listening to help communities identify their own most important needs. Michael's presentation on Wednesday will focus on just such a fact-finding mission, examining the provision of health care among spatially dispersed riverfront communities in Amazonas, Peru.

Michael will be accompanied by renowned Massachusetts artist Gregory Stone (, whose many works include the Polus Center cafe projects in both Clinton and Leon, Nicaragua. Greg will be here as part of the process of deciding on educational public art for the Science and Mathematics Building.

Both Michael and Greg will be available in the Global Education conference room (#272) on the second floor of the new Science and Mathematics Building, from 11:30-1:30. Feel free to drop in for any part of that time for casual conversation about their work. Light refreshments will be available.

Michael's more formal presentation about his recent visit to Peru will follow at 1:50 in the Science & Math Lecture Hall, room 122.

Geography on Dan Rea Program

A few weeks ago, Professors Domingo and Hayes-Bohanan took their traveling geography-education road show on the air nationwide, as guests on Nightside with Dan Rea. An entire hour of the four-hour call-in program -- which originates at WBZ in Boston but airs in 38 states -- was dedicated to the need to return geography to a place of primacy in education at all levels. All of the station's call-in lines were lit up throughout the program, as callers shared their fondness for learning geography and their alarm at its removal from many schools.

Many thanks to Dan Rea and his producers for inviting geographers into the studio, and for archiving the program on the WBZ site, where it can still be heard. This broadcast has started a lot of conversations!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Faculty and Alumna on Bridgewater Television

Dr. Jabbar al-Obaidi of Bridgewater State University is host of the Bridgewater Television 9 program InFocus. Recently, he hosted BSU geography professors Vernon Domingo and James Hayes-Bohanan, along with BSU geography alumna ('07) Laura Howard for a half-hour discussion of the importance of geography education, particularly in Massachusetts.