EarthView team bios, guidelines, and more.

Friday, February 5, 2016

True Sizes

EarthView co-coordinator Dr. Hayes-Bohanan (first name James) saw this Bitstrip cartoon recently, and added the caption about Greenland. He is not really mad at Greenland of course; it is a geographer's joke about map projections.
Many people who enter EarthView are surprised to see that Greenland is not nearly as large as they had thought, and at first many think it must be a mistake. Globes, however, are the only kinds of maps that maintain the size, shape, direction, AND distance correctly. Flattening all or part of a map requires a projection, and one or more of these spatial properties is always sacrificed to emphasize the others.

Unfortunately, the very most common projection is the Mercator, which maintains direction correctly, but distorts size, shape, and distance, especially at high latitudes (near the north and south poles). The projection is ideal for navigation, but it is not good for understanding geographic patterns, especially at a global scale. Still, it appears most commonly in schools, textbooks, and on television news.

Fortunately, The True Size is a fun way to overcome this problem. This composite shows Greenland as it appears on Mercator maps and Greenland as it would appear if moved to Argentina.
This map is also an excellent way for learners of any age to develop spatial thinking. If we are studying a country that is not familiar, we can "pull" it to a more familiar area to get a better sense of its size and shape. The country of Syria, for example, is about the size and shape of New England, excluding northern Maine.

Another way, of course, is to learn more about projections and to select a projection that is appropriate for a particular use. The Map Projections page at Geography@About.com is a great place to start.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Richardson Olmsted School, Easton- January 29th

42° 03' 28" N
71° 06' 40" W 
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 



We're back! Last night we had a wonderful family EarthView night with the students and families from Center School and Moreau Hall. Today we are back at Richardson Olmsted for more fun! Today, students from the nearby ParkView Elementary school will be seeing EarthView.

We visited the school last Friday and got to display our lovely new welcome mat!


As seen from our blog post last week, we were expected to get snow last Saturday (1/23) but at the time the weather forecast was still unsure of how much snow we would get. We certainly got lucky and did not get the worst of the storm but the Bridgewater area did receive about 6 inches of snow according to the National Weather Service. While we did not hit the jackpot for this past snowstorm, areas in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. sure did! Snowfall records were beaten at all three New York City airports, Newark reported 28.1", LaGuardia reported 27.9", and JFK reported 30.5"!!

We aren't the only ones who like to have fun in the snow! Check out this video of Tian Tian, a Giant Panda at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. having loads of fun in the snow!




We hope that the students (and families) of Richardson Olmsted, Center School, and Moreau Hall all enjoyed their visits with Earthview these last two weeks! We hope to be back again soon!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Family Geography Night at Richardson Olmsted School, Easton- January 28th

42° 03' 28" N
71° 06' 40" W 
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 



This week EarthView is brought back to the Richardson Olmsted School in Easton! We are very excited for tonight as it is the first time that we'll be having an EarthView Family Night at the school!

Tonight, students and their families from two of the other elementary schools in town, Center School and Moreau Hall will be able to experience EarthView!

We love when families are able to come and see EarthView for themselves, the adults are almost always in the same awe that the children are when seeing it for the first time!  

Tonight is going to be a fun night of geography, education, community, and family! We look forward to a great night! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

We're Number 18! Or Are We?

During our visit to the Richardson-Olmsted School, the EarthView team went to lunch at the nearby Andrew's Bakery, also in Easton. Among the many great things about this bakery is its use of randomly-assigned numbers to match customers to their orders. Our group got number 18:
Or was it 81?

Or was it infinity?
Or maybe infinity, infinitely
We are geographers, but we can have fun with math, too!

Incidentally, our new EarthView Welcome Mat includes the word welcome in 18 languages. Coincidence? You decide!

Seja Welcome

We always welcome students to EarthView. Now we welcome them with our terrific new welcome mat, found by one of our EarthView Wranglers. Humans speak thousands of languages -- a few of them are represented here.
HEBREW - SPANISH
FRENCH - THAI
TELUGU - DUTCH - MANDARIN
ENGLISH - IRISH GAELIC
RUSSIAN - KOREAN
HINDI - ARABIC - SWEDISH
GERMAN - JAPANESE

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Richardson Olmsted School, Easton- January 22nd

42° 03' 28" N
71° 06' 40" W 
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 




Today's EarthView visit brings us to the Richardson Olmsted School in Easton! This is our first visit back to the school since February of 2012! We are excited to be back!

Our last visit to the school was back when it was considered to be two different schools, H.H. Richardson and F.L. Olmsted. The schools were named for a building architect (Richardson) and a landscape architect (Olmsted) when they were built in 1996. In July of 2014, the school committee decided to change the name of the school to Richardson Olmsted as the "two" schools had been operating as one with only one principal and one PTA for a number of years. So we are thrilled to be visiting Richardson Olmsted for the next two Fridays and attending their Geography Night next Thursday (1/28)!

On our last visit to the school, a curious 4th grade student asked Dr. Hayes-Bohanan, "If coffee isn't in the chocolate family, what is?". He answered that question in a blog post that you can find here. Some quick fun information about the town of Easton can be found in our other blog post for that same visit here


Hurricane Alex
In an update to last week's blog post, Hurricane Alex did make landfall in the Azores off of Portugal but as a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70mph. The damage from the storm was a lot less than what the residents are prepared for luckily. 

Locally, we are threatened with a Blizzard this weekend. Luckily for us, we are not in the threat of the most snowfall. Which is good because we got our fill of snow last winter! The areas that are most threatened by the storm are further south of us, in the Washington D.C. area. They could see up to 2 feet of snow! For us, the storm is not supposed to reach here until afternoon Saturday but would last through to Sunday morning leaving behind 6-12 inches possibly. While Saturday is only a day away it is still too early to tell where the storm will go exactly, things could change! 


Blizzard Potential Snow 1/21-1/24

But we are tough New Englanders, we can handle whatever this snowstorm brings us.



FUN FACT:

The EarthView team learned that when she was in fourth grade, Ms. Athanasiou (3rd-grade teacher at Richardson-Olmsted) won the GEOGRAPHY BEE at her school in Rhode Island!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School, Johnston, RI- January 15th

41° 49' 47" N
71° 30' 07" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!





Welcome back to our regular Friday school visits Earthlings! We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and are happy to be back in the routine again. 

Our first visit of the new year brings us to Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School in Johnston, Rhode Island! This is our second visit ever to the school! We last visited Ferri Middle on April 10th while the students were learning about Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Our blog post for that visit includes a link to a special online typewriter that converts writing into hieroglyphs! You will have to check it out here

Today's visit comes just a few days after Dr. Hayes-Bohanan and Dr. Domingo visited the WBZ1030 AM radio station on Monday January 11th for their Geography education discussion with Dan Rae on his nightly talk show, NightSide. They had a nice discussion about why geography education is so important and what kind of jobs you can end up with if you study geography at the college level. Geography is such an important area to study, we use it everyday and we usually do not even realize it. The link to the podcast for their showcase on NightSide can be found here: NightSide - Where In The World Did Geography Class Go?

aspects of geography

In other news, there's a hurricane brewing in the Atlantic! While January is known for it's blizzards and nor'easters, a different weather event is forming and threatening the Azores off of the coast of Portugal. Hurricane Alex developed on Wednesday and is the first Atlantic Hurricane to form during the month of January since Hurricane Alice formed in January of 1955. The Atlantic Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th but that doesn't stop hurricanes from forming outside of their typical season. Hurricane Alex is expected to impact the Azores Friday morning with at least 85mph winds and will drop up to 7 inches of rain in some spots. Flash floods and mudslides could result from the storm. Alex is not expected to threaten the United States or other parts of Europe but will most likely track towards Greenland. 

National Hurricane Center



Today is also the 97th anniversary of Boston's Great Molasses Flood. It sounds humorous, but it was actually a very serious tragedy that took place in the North End. To learn more, read the story from Mass Moments and then see the geography lessons about the flood that BSU education students developed, based on the book Dark Tide.

We hope that the students of Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School enjoy their visit with EarthView and we hope to be back again soon! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Captain Samuel Brown Elementary, Peabody- December 11th

42° 30' 25" N
70° 57' 02" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 



The EarthView team is excited to be back visiting Captain Samuel Brown Elementary in Peabody today! This is our second visit to the school, our first visit was in this past March. Our last blog post for the school talked about snow...luckily there is no snow in the forecast for today's visit! 


Since the blog post for the first visit to the school did not offer any fun facts on Peabody here are some!

  • Peabody is located in Essex County 
  • Had a population of 51,251 in the 2010 Census
  • Was first settled in 1626 as a part of Salem
  • In 1752, the area set off and became Danvers
  • In 1855 the community broke away and became South Danvers
  • On April 30th, 1868 South Danvers became Peabody 
  • Peabody was incorporated as a city in 1916
  • Peabody was a farm community but became the center of New England's Leather Industry
  • The city is referred to as Leather City or Tanner City by locals
  • Peabody is 16.8 square miles and is located just 15 miles northeast of Boston
This is our last EarthView visit of 2015! We hope that all of the students who have visited EarthView this year have had a wonderful experience and we hope that they'll cherish the memories that they've made for a lifetime! We will start off EarthView in 2016 on January 15th when we visit Johnston, Rhode Island! 

We wish all of our Earthviewers a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy new year! 

Friday, December 4, 2015

EarthView in the National Spotlight!






An article on EarthView and our work made it into a national newspaper!!

A couple of weeks back when we visited Wynn Middle School in Tewksbury on November 13th, reporters from The Town Crier and The Lowell Sun came and interviewed Dr. Hayes-Bohanan, Dr. Domingo and The Globelady Ms. Rosalie Sokol about the program. Somehow our article in The Lowell Sun made it's way to the Associated Press and we were featured in the U.S. News and World Report!

We are thrilled that Bridgewater State University's involvement in STEM and Geography Education has been mentioned on the national level! 

To read the full article please click here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tenney Grammar School, Methuen- December 4th

42° 43' 55" N
71° 10' 40" W 
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 



The EarthView team is happy to be back visiting the sixth grade students at Tenney Grammar in Methuen. This is our fourth time visiting the school. Our last visit was on March 27th and the blog post for that visit can be found here

Update from the day:
This was the fist visit to the school for EarthView Wranglers Karen and Eva. They were both surprised to find that the gymnasium is located on the second floor of the school! Dr. Domingo informed us of how the school got it's name...a man named Charles Tenney who was born in Salem, New Hampshire but moved to Methuen, Ma established a hat manufacturing business in the 1860's. He became very rich through the selling of his hats and when he died in 1919 he left money to the town of Methuen. Charles Tenney along with his brothers were a well-off family in Methuen and their legacy continues to live on today. 

We hope that the students of Tenney Grammar enjoyed their visit with EarthView and we hope to be back again next year!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lt. Peter M. Hansen Elementary School, Canton- November 20th

42° 11' 00" N
71° 07' 44" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 



The EarthView team is excited to be visiting Lieutenant Peter M Hansen Elementary School in Canton today! This is our first ever visit to the town of Canton!

Since this is our first trip to Canton, here are some fun facts about the town:
-Canton was originally part of the neighboring town Stoughton
-Canton became incorporated as a town in 1797
-Paul Revere built the first Copper Rolling Mill here in 1801
-Today, Canton is home to the headquarters of Reebok and Dunkin Donuts

An interesting thing to note is how Canton got its name...a prominent Canton citizen, Elijah Dunbar, suggested that the town be named Canton because he believed that Canton, China was it's antipode, meaning that he believed Canton, China was directly opposite them on Earth. Today we know that this is untrue as the antipode of an area cannot be in the same hemisphere as the one that you are in. The true antipode of Canton, Massachusetts is somewhere off of the southwestern coast of Australia. We discovered a fun interactive website where you can find your location on the map and it will show you your antipode!


To look up your locations antipode, visit this website here!

There are a lot more fun facts on the town of Canton that can be found by visiting the Canton Citizen's website or by going here.

We hope that the students of Lt. Peter M. Hansen Elementary School enjoy their visit with EarthView today and we hope to be back again soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

John W. Wynn Middle School, Tewksbury-November 13th

42º 37' 48" N
71º 18' 08" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 



We're back! On Friday November 13th we are back visiting John W. Wynn Middle School in Tewksbury! 

Last week was quite the adventure for us EarthView wranglers...we got lost on the way to the school! Which was quite hilarious actually since there were 3 geographers in the van and another geography knowledgeable student. Our GPS devices failed us as we had to use 4 of them before we were finally directed to the school. 

The first GPS brought us to Griffin Street in Lowell, while the next GPS device brought us to Griffin Road in Tewksbury. The map of the school location a the top of this post is wrong as John W. Wynn Middle School is actually located on Griffin Way not Griffin Road. No wonder there was such confusion!



 
Luckily Griffin Road is right down the street from Griffin Way and we were able to make it to the school. For this week we have certainly learned our lesson and will remember to pack a paper map! We can't rely on technology for everything because they are not always right!


We hope the students at John W. Wynn Middle School enjoy their visit with EarthView today!

Update: This EarthView visit to Wynn Middle made national news

Thursday, November 5, 2015

John W. Wynn Middle School, Tewksbury- November 6th

42º 37' 48" N
71º 18' 08" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 




The EarthView team is happy to be visiting Wynn Middle School in Tewksbury! This is our second year visiting the school and we will be there both this Friday November 6th and next Friday November 13th. 

Our last visits took place in March and the blog post for those visits can be found here.

We hope that the seventh grade students at Wynn Middle enjoy their visit inside of EarthView! 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

On Top of the Ocean



From Public Radio International comes the amazing story of surfing at Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal. Nazare means Nazareth, and the North Beach of this town near the capital Lisbon experiences unusually large waves that attract the world's most expert surfers.

As explained in the radio story about surfing at Nazare this week, canyons in the continental shelf near Nazare are long and deep, and when currents push through them in just the right way, enormous swells result.

This is not a tsunami, however. It is a recurring wave in a very specific area, rather than a single wave over a very broad area that would come ashore in a dangerous way.

The jet-ski operator in the video above shows just as much skill as the surfer. Jet skis are necessary, because no surfer can swim out through such enormous, fast-moving breakers.


As with people with a strong interest in any subject, some surfers have developed a keen interest in the geography of their sport. For this reason, one of the most detailed explanations of the geography of the Nazare Swell comes from thousands of miles away, on the blog of a surf shop in San Clemente, California.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ahern Middle School, Foxboro, Ma- October 29th

42° 4' 27" N
71° 14' 18" W

Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!




The EarthView team is excited to be visiting Ahern Middle School in Foxboro today! We have visited Ahern almost every year since EarthView began! Our last visit was on November 14th of last year and the blog post for that visit can be found here

The current 6th graders are learning about the five themes of geography and how geographical features such as rivers and mountains affect population patterns.  

The Five Themes of Geography encompass Location, Place, Region, Movement, and Human-Environment interaction. 

Location refers to where a place is located on the Earth. It can either be absolute, like latitude and longitude or relative like "next door".

A Place is an area that is defined by everything in it while a Region is an area that is defined by similar characteristics.

Movement describes the way that people, information & ideas move from one place to another while Human-Environment Interaction look at the relationships between people and their environment: how they adapt to it, change it, etc.

Almost anything in any discipline can be looked at Geographically. Geography education is key! It is not just about knowing state capitals and countries, it's about learning how to look at and understand the world!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Carlos Pacheco Elementary, New Bedford- October 23rd

41° 39' 24" N
70° 56' 25" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!




The EarthView team was happy to be back visiting Carlos Pacheco school in New Bedford today. We had visited the school earlier in the month to visit with the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Today we had the opportunity to visit with the pre-k, kindergartners and 1st graders! They were so excited to have us visit and we were thrilled to have brought them this opportunity. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wedding of the Waters

When traveling with EarthView, we often point out an intriguing geographic oddity in the middle of the world's largest rain forest -- the "wedding of the waters" at Manaus, in the center of the Amazon Basin.  Two members of the EarthView team have actually visited this amazing feature.
It is part of our more general lesson about the importance of rivers and the fact that rivers are actually river systems. What we know by a single name -- such as the Charles, the Nile, the Mississippi, or the Hudson -- is actually a network of streams that flow toward each other and toward a common discharge into a larger river, sea, or ocean. These river networks are said to drain a river basin or drainage basin.

In the case of the Amazon Basin, an extraordinary river has some extraordinary characteristics. A dozen of its tributaries are each over 1,000 miles long -- the Xingu, the Madeira, and many others would be significant river systems on their own. And more than 1,000 tributaries have been named -- smaller systems such as the Rio Candeias (Candles River) in Rondonia. Many smaller tributaries have not been named.

But of all the tributaries of the Amazon, it is the confluence of two major streams near Manaus that is most extraordinary. The Rio Solimões looks like coffee full of cream, as it brings sediment from the steep slopes of the Andes; the Rio Negro resembles black tea with nothing in it, because of its tannic acids. It is similar to many of the streams we find in New England, particularly in forested areas in the late autumn. It flows very slowly from the Guyana Highlands, carrying ample sediments.

Expedition leader Allan Marshall from the Florida Aquarium gives students an entertaining way to learn some of the details of this incredible location, where the one of the world's great rivers is actually formed.


Fascinating, but not unique: As amazing as the Wedding of the Waters is, it turns out that many similar phenomena can be found around the world, where rivers with very different characteristics come together and for a variety of reasons do not immediately mix.

Dr. Hayes-Bohanan prepared the Confluences Map to highlight ten of these interesting locations, based on an article from the Twisted Sifter blog. The map allows you to follow each of the tributaries toward its source, to investigate what makes it distinctive.

Map snapshot. View all of the confluences on the Dynamic Map.

More learning: The Amazon Basin -- specifically the state of Rondonia in its western portion -- was Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's introduction to geography. Learn about his three journeys there (including one with his three-year-old daughter) and about everyday life in the Amazon from Folha da Fronteira on his Rondonia Web pages.

Even more learning: Look at a map to see what river is closest to your own house or school. Do any smaller rivers flow together upstream to form this river? Does it join with any others as it flows toward the sea? If you could put a canoe in the river, where could you take it?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

North Andover Middle School, North Andover- October 15 & 16

42° 41' 36" N
71° 07' 15" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!




The Earthview team is thrilled to be back visiting North Andover Middle School! We have a two day stop at the school, first for the seventh annual Geography night and our usual Friday day program! 

North Andover Middle School has a wonderful Geography education program and we are always excited that they welcome us to their school every year, they have hosted us more than any other school in the state! You can see all of our prior blog posts on North Andover here

Our last visit to North Andover back on October 2nd and 3rd of last year was made extra special by a visit from WBZ News anchor, Paula Ebbens who did a report on the Geography Night for their Eye on Education segment! EarthView's own Dr. Domingo was interviewed for the piece and it can be found here:
Eye On Education: Geography Teacher Brings World To His Students « CBS Boston

We hope that this years Geography Night was just as fun and that the students enjoy their day with EarthView tomorrow! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

NESTVAL, BSU- October 9th

41°59'17"N
70°58'21"W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!
 



While EarthView was not visiting a middle school today like usual, EarthView was on display today and will be tomorrow at the annual NESTVAL conference. The New England-Saint Lawerence Valley Geographical Society hosts a conference every year where local geography students display and present their research and participate in fun activities such as the GeoBowl which is a geography trivia competition between the participating colleges in attendance.

This years NESTVAL conference is being held here at Bridgewater State University and we are very excited to be hosting geography students and professors from all over the region! We hope that everyone participating enjoys their weekend here at BSU. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Envision EarthView

The EarthView team was proud to be part of Envision Girls 2015, a workshop for girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning. Because geography is both a human science and a natural science, we always like to encourage people to think about the science of the earth.

Dr. Domingo explains some connections between STEM and geography in this brief interview.


STEM Earth View from Norton TV on Vimeo.