Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Zombie Apocalypse

The Transportation Department at BSU is careful to provide us with clean, well-maintained vehicles for university-related travel. So it really makes no sense to wash a university van off-campus. Unless ZOMBIES are involved, that is!

While driving back from the NESTVAL 2012 conference in Farmington, Maine, we drove through the mill town of  Livermore Falls, where we noticed teenagers in various stages of decay. With vacant looks in their eyes, they slumped along the side of the road with signs imploring us to support a car wash.

We drove on for a short distance before deciding that this was an opportunity that we would surely regret missing, so we returned to the local fire station, where the van was surrounded by a slow-moving crew that worked around the van with deliberation -- never breaking character as the resentful undead. (See more photos from the conference and the car wash on Flickr, and more about the giant globe we brought to the conference on BSU-EarthView.)

In reality, these are teenagers who are very much alive, participating with their parents and teachers in STEM education as part of the Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Team (SMART 3930). The fundraiser at the fire station was in partnership with the American Red Cross and the Zombie Apocalypse preparedness program of the Centers for Disease Control.

While waiting for the van to be washed, we had the opportunity to talk with some of the community members about the geography conference we had just attended, and about some of the careers available to those studying geography. Disaster preparedness is, of course, one of the many areas to which geographers are well suited, especially as the spatial planning for emergency response increasingly relies on such geotechnologies as GIS, GPS, and climate modeling.

We would love to see some of these S.M.A.R.T. students in our geography classes at Bridgewater in the next couple of years!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Graduate Study in Tennessee

Professor Birge-Liberman recently shared this announcement for those students or graduates interested in further education in human geography.

Opportunities for Graduate Study in Human Geography
The Department of Geography, University of Tennessee is seeking Masters and PhD students to contribute to a burgeoning research focus in human geography, specifically work on social justice, subjectivities and the contemporary struggle for civil and social rights that challenges traditional paradigms in geographical research.  Over the course of the last few years the Department of Geography has added five new faculty members in human geography.  Their research addresses identity issues, with special attention devoted to race, ethnicity, migration, and the politics of place.  We are keen to build up our human geography program and students entering the program will have the opportunity to workwith young, energetic faculty.   Successful graduate students will have a strong background in one or more areas of cultural, political, economic, and urban geography (or related discipline such as sociology, anthropology, or Black studies).  Competitive students will have the chance to earn departmental funding that includes tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend.
The University of Tennessee is a research intensive institution nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and the Department is well positioned within the university.    

For more information please contact: Dr. Derek Alderman (Department Head) at: or, one of the other human geography faculty (  If you will be attending the Race, Ethnicity, and Place VI Conference in Puerto Rico in October or the Southeastern Division of the AAG meeting in Asheville, NC in November, please take a moment to chat with Dr. Alderman or another Human Geography faculty member about your interests. The Department is a lively, talented, and congenial community devoted to nurturing students, serving their intellectual passions and vocational goals, and providing them the best learning environment possible—all while advancing the frontiers of geographical knowledge. UTK Geography is devoted to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and students as well expanding opportunities for under-represented groups.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

EarthView Gets Around

View EarthView Experience in a larger map

Purple pins = at least one EarthView visit // Yellow pins = upcoming EarthView visit
Sun = EarthView home base // Balloons = Travels of the EarthView team members

Welcome to the new EarthView Experience map. The view above shows most of the places we have taken EarthView, allowing us to reach nearly 40,000 people since the program started in 2008. Zoom out a bit to see some out-of-state visits, the next of which will be in Farmington, Maine. The full map will include several other themes, including the travel and study experiences of EarthView team members and a way for students we visit to mark places of origin outside of Massachusetts.

Perhaps most exciting will be the addition of new points this academic year, as teachers who have completed our EarthView Institute will begin offering programs in their own communities.

Many of these are schools that we visit each year and we have not yet added a few of the schools we visited in the first year, so EarthView has been even busier than it looks. If you have notice a missing visit, please alert Dr. Hayes-Bohanan right away!