EarthView team bios, guidelines, and more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Florianópolis -- Sept 17-19

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One of many popular views of Florianópolis, also known as Floripa.
Careful readers will notice that this is a first for EarthView. Never before has it appeared in the Southern Hemisphere, nor has it been so far east. It has certainly never been farther from its home base in Bridgewater! EarthView will be appearing in schools in Florianópolis and also at an international conference on planning and development, with over 500 geographers and other professionals.

Former BSU students will be helping with the event, though. Because of exchange programs between Bridgewater State University and the University of the State of Santa Catarina (UDESC), several geographers in Florianópolis have spent a semester in Massachusetts. Most of those students found the snow very interesting, as they had never seen it before in their lives!

Florianópolis is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, in the far south of Brazil. Most of the city is on a beautiful island, which is one reason BSU students have enjoyed our UDESC exchanges. The main benefit, though, has been the chance to know the hard-working, fun, and friendly geographers of UDESC. Because of a new agreement between the two universities, students from any discipline can now study with BSU in Floripa, or in Bridgewater with UDESC!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Putting the CUP in World Cup

As the EarthView team has been discussing with students all year, the World Cup football (or "soccer" tournament) provides a lot of opportunities to learn about geography. Teams from all over the world have come to Brazil to compete, and they are doing so in about half of the states of that country.

Among the opportunities this has provided for learning about geography, the Rainforest Alliance has created one of the most interesting for its Frog Blog. For each pair of competing teams, a scorecard compares several measures of forest protection, including some statistics related to beverages that come from forests: tea, cocoa, and coffee.

In addition to the scorecard, an article about each pair discusses the kind of forests within the two countries, how well they are protected, and connections to protected forests elsewhere. Browse the entire World Cup Archives, and then explore the rest of the Rainforest Alliance blog to learn more about forest protection throughout the world.

Mapping the Changing Land

Among its other duties, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintains topographic maps of the country, mostly at a scale of 1:24,000. These topographic maps are detailed enough to follow even the smallest streams, calculate the slopes of hills, and identify the positions and shapes of buildings. Because most areas have been mapped several times over decades -- and some more than a century -- they are very useful for describing changes in the land and human use of the land.

Blogger/journalists at the Washington Post recently created GIFs of some maps in the Washington DC area, with a link to the entire collection.
Geographers often use their expertise in the interpretation of topographic maps as they work with other professionals to describe the historical development of places. This can be especially useful when examining the environmental history of a site to see if it is likely to contain pollution or other hazards.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bridgewater Middle School, June 13

41° 59' 21" N
70° 59' 06" W

EarthView is not traveling very far today. In fact, it may be fun to compare the coordinates of today's visit at Bridgewater Middle School with those of EarthView's storage spot at BSU:

41° 59' 17" N
70° 58' 14" W

Which is farther from the equator? Which is farther from the Prime Meridian? Notice that for both locations, both coordinates include 58 or 59 as the measure of minutes. Just as 59 minutes is close to the next hour on a clock, 59 minutes is close to the next degree on the globe. Since both the latitude and longitude are close, this means that both locations are very near a degree confluence, which is what one geographic project calls such locations throughout the world, where the latitude and the longitude are in whole degrees. There is only one such point on land in Massachusetts, with another found in Cape Cod Bay.

The town of Bridgewater has an interesting place in the historical geography of the United States, as it was one of the first examples of western expansion as part of a process eventually associated with Manifest Destiny -- the idea that God had ordained the United States to occupy lands from the Atlantic all the way to the Pacific. The idea was nearly so grandiose in 1649, when Myles Standish met with the Wampanoag chief Massasoit at Sachem Rock to acquire what would eventually be Bridgewater and several other towns. The Plymouth colony had grown beyond its capacity to be sustained near the coast, and therefore expanded westward. The process is described in this fun -- and geographic -- installment of Schoolhouse Rock:

Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's article North Bridgewater -- a.k.a. Brockton provides more details about the origins of the Bridgewaters. It is part of a life-long blogging endeavor he is pursuing with Pamela Hayes-Bohanan, who is a university librarian and a trustee of the Bridgewater Public Library. The blog documents explorations of places all over the United States with the name Bridgewater, and includes a few special items, such as a review of the recent documentary film The Bridgewater Triangle.

Our visit occurs on a Friday the 13th with a full moon, known as a Honey Moon. This is an unusual coincidence that can be expected to occur about once every twenty years. EarthView team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's parents actually eloped on a Friday the 13th, but the moon was not full on that July 1962 evening.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our Lady's Academy, Waltham -- June 11

42° 24' 35" N
71° 13' 47" W

The EarthView team enjoyed a brief visit to Our Lady's Academy on Wednesday morning, and got to meet all of the school's youngest students. We like the name OLA because it sounds like a friendly greeting in Spanish -- ¡hola!

Picture-within-picture: Mr. DeCoste poses with his sixth graders after a great time inside the world! They wanted to pose in front of North America, which was made possible as EarthView deflated. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Silk Internet

The word globalization refers to the ever-increasing connections among places that has resulted from increasing trade and communication. Technologies including containerized transportation and the internet have certainly increased the speed and complexity of global connections.
The fabric that brought worlds together.
As impressive as these technologies are, however, they did not begin the process of globalization. The Silk Road is a five-minute video from TED-Ed that explains how globalization was developing in Asia twenty centuries ago!

More recently and closer to home, the telegraph was an important way of connecting the world in the 1800s. It has been described as the Victorian Internet in a book by Tom Standage, who described the geography of telegraphs in an interview on All Things Considered.

Tantasqua Regional Jr. High School, Fiskdale -- June 6th

42° 09' 24" N
72° 07' 44" W

Tantasqua Junior High School

Today, Earth View returns to Tantasqua Regional Junior High School in  Fiskdale, MA. Last month the students of this school finished taking their yearly MCAS tests and are ready to explore the world with some EarthView fun!

To learn more about this school and its upcoming events, feel free to visit the Tantasqua website.

Each year the Tantasqua visit is a special one for EarthView, because it is the school where the Globe Lady became a geography teacher! She started there as a French teacher (her native language is French) but in the 1980s attended a special summer institute at National Geographic, and began her transformation into the fabulous and fabled geography educator we now know and love!

Because the Tantasqua students have been studying Latin America recently, the Globe Lady is rocking her Chichen Itza, Maravilla del Mundo (Marvel of the World) shirt and hat today, and discussing the exploits of EarthView team members in Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua and Brazil.

D-Day, World War 2, the invasion of Normandy, France.
Our June 6 visit takes place on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, also known as the Normandy Invasion. Over 160,000 troops from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and France itself assembled off
 the coast of Normandy overnight and landed on several beaches, including the famous one known as Omaha.  The landing made way for

Map courtesy of Blue Ox.

Other June 6 anniversaries:

1971- The Soyuz 11 was launched into space and docked at Salyut orbital space station the next day.
1978- "20/20" TV premiere date.
This is also Memorial Day in Korea, where the nation pays tribute to the fallen soldiers with a ceremony held at the National Cemetery in Seoul.

The Soyuz 11 From the USSR  was launched into space and docked at Salyut orbital space station the next day.
National Cemetery in Seoul.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

AP Geography, Cincinnati -- June 4 & 5

39° 05' 53" N
84° 30' 17" 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!
 It is far west of any of its Massachusetts appearances, for example, but how does it compare to its appearance in Matagalpa, Nicaragua?

EarthView is returning to its roots in the Midwest -- where it was originally made and operated under different names -- on June 4 and 5. It is in Cincinnati as a special event for the educators who are meeting to read ALL of the AP Human Geography exams for the 2014 season. This is an excellent opportunity for geographers from across the United States to be energized by the EarthView experience.

Note: Massachusetts educators interested in the AP Geography program should feel free to contact the EarthView team, which has had substantial involvement in the program.

June 4 is an especially important anniversary in modern political geography. Twenty-five years ago today Lech Walesa was elected president of Poland in the first election in a former Soviet-bloc country on the very same day as the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, China.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Late Spring to Summer

EarthView programs are continuing into the summer, on the following dates. This list is presented primarily for department volunteers and fellow educators who are seeking opportunities to connect with EarthView.

Some of these are regular school programs, since the calendar for K-12 schools extends beyond the university academic year. Some of these are special events, open to the public, but may require registration, so please contact the EarthView team before attending.

May 21- 2:30 -5:30      STEM Resource Fair, BSU
May 30                  Cottage Street School, Sharon
June 4 & 5              In Cincinnati- AP Geography Readers Group
June 6                  Tantasqua Regional Jr. H.S.
June 11, 9:00-11:00     Waltham
June 13                 Bridgewater Middle School
June 20                 Rumney Marsh Academy
July 15, 12:30-2:30     Footbridge Program, BSU
July 21, 2:00-4:00      CASE Extracurricular, BSU
August 16               Brockton Summerfest at Brockton High

Friday, May 16, 2014

Barnstable Intermediate School -- May 16

42° 06' 24" N
71° 09' 58" W 
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent Earth View outings, near and far!

This is Earth Views second visit to the Barnstable Intermediate School in as many weeks.

Barnstable County
The average high for today is 61 F and the average low is 47 F.
Today's record high temperature is 76 F, record low temperature is 28 F.
Let's hope today's weather is closer to the high than the low!

There are always fun and interesting things to do in the area. Here are some events and activities that are going on this weekend.

Cape Abilities 5k Walk/ Run is happening on Saturday May 17th at the Hyannis Village Green
1st Annual Art in the Garden event is taking place in Aselton Park in Hyannis on Saturday May 17th and Sunday May 18th.
Natural History Museum in Brewster's Gills Club is meeting on Saturday.  The Gills Club is open to all ages 8 to 108 who have a love for sharks.
Here is a link to more fun and interesting things to do on Cape Cod at anytime!

Interesting facts about today:
1954 Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox went 8 for 9 with 7 RBI's in a double header
1965 SpaghettiO's were created by Franco-American Company

Spaghettio's 1965
Happy Birthday if today is your special day.  Here are some people who you share your day with.
Lynn Collins-Actress-X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Carter
Megan Fox-Actress-Transformers,
Janet Jackson-Singer
Pierce Brosnan-Actor-"007" The World is not enough, Tomorrow Never Dies, Golden Eye
Joseph Morgan-Actor-The Vampire Diaries, The Originals
Tori Spelling-Actress-Beverly Hills, 90210, The Mystery Girls
Tracey Gold-Actress-Growing Pains
Thomas Brodie-Sangster-Phineas and Ferb
Stanislav Ianevski-Actor-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
John Salley-former NBA player/Actor-Bad Boys II
David Boreanaz-Actor-Bones, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Kelly Hyland-Reality TV-Dance Moms
Ashley Wagner-Olympic Athlete-Figure Skating

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Barnstable Intermediate -- May 9

42°06' 24" N
71°09' 58" 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!

Barnstable Intermediate is in the village of Hyannis, which is part of Barnstable 

Hyannis is known as the location for ferries connecting Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard to the mainland. It is even better known as the home of the Kennedy family. A museum dedicated to President Kennedy and the entire family is located just down Main Street from the Intermediate School.

Barnstable Quick Facts
Population:                                                45,193 
Land area in square miles:                     59.81
Persons per square mile:                        775.7
Established 1639
Barnstable became a city in the year  1989.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment 

as of October 15, 2008

 Democratic 8,242 -- 25% 
Republican 5,836-- 18% 
Unaffiliated 18,073-- 56% 
Minor Parties 235 -- 1%
Total   32,386

Because students at Barnstable Intermediate had been studying the Amazon basin and rain forest earlier in the year -- and since our visit is taking place on Dr. Hayes-Boh's wedding anniversary, we pointed out the location in the center of the basin where the Amazon River officially begins: the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimões at Manaus, which is known as the Wedding of the Waters. Dr. Hayes-Boh saw the "wedding" on his way to Rondonia during his first trip to Brazil.
The Ring of Fire is a popular theme to explore in EarthView because it is a great way to see the active areas around the Pacific Ocean all at once. At the time of our visit, the latest major activity on the Ring of Fire was a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Mexico.

Image: USGS Earthquake Center
Notice that the lat/long are in decimal degrees, as are many online maps
A good classroom exercise is to convert to degree-minute-second
The 6.4 magnitude earth quake happened on May 8th around 10:20 in Guerrero, Mexico. The news agencies in Mexico reported that there where no major injuries or damage.  Mexico City is vulnerable to distant earthquakes because much of it sits on top of the muddy sediments of old drained lake beds. The last major earth quake that hit was in 1985, it was a magnitude 8.1. That particular quake killed over 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in mexico City. Yesterday's earthquake caused a brief period of evacuation from tall buildings, but turned out not to be significant.

Located at the top of 3 of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is also one of the world's biggest areas with active volcanoes. The motion of these crustal plates cause frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions.  Mexico is being carried northeastward by the Cocos plate which lies under the Pacific Ocean. Because oceanic crust is dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor moves beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast. Also, as a result of this, the westward moving Mexico landmass slows and crumples which creates the mountain ranges and earthquakes near the southern coast. 

Read more about subduction zone on our 2011 Japan earthquake post.
The last group of the day was a seventh-grade class studying ancient civilizations. Even though the curriculum for this subject is focused on the ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea, students were aware of the ancient civilizations of the "New" World in the Americas, including the Incas, the Maya (who discovered chocolate), and the Aztecs. We discussed Dr. Hayes-Boh's upcoming trip to Machu Picchu later this month -- it is a significant Inca site that was not known to the Spanish until several centuries after they colonized Peru.

It is difficult to imagine that such a remarkable feature was not known beyond its immediate neighborhood until the late 1800s.

Image: Destination Machu Picchu

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

World Geography and Culture Night Horace Mann Middle School: Franklin, Ma. May 8

42° 05' 28" N
71° 24' 22" 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 are excited to back again at Horace Mann Middle School for another World Geography and Culture Night! This is a great opportunity for students and parents to travel to different stations within the school and learn more about different cultures from around the globe as well as geography facts.

Horace Mann served as a politician in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1827 to 1833. He served in the Massachusetts Senate from 1834 to 1837. In 1848, after serving as Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education since its creation, he was elected to the US House of Representatives. Mann was a huge advocate for educate and learning. So it is very fitting to have an event like the World Geography and Culture Night held at the Horace Mann Middle School. Horace Mann was also well known for helping establishing and building many public schools in the area. 

Horace Mann also founded the first school in the United States built for the purpose of training teachers. Known as Bridgewater Normal School, it is now known as Bridgewater State University, which is the home of EarthView. An ornate auditorium at BSU is named in his honor. Horace Mann shares a birthday with EarthView team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Oak Ridge School, Sandwich -- May 2

Learn more about Lat/Long 

area of east sandwich:
Area7.568 sq miles

Oak Ridge School's website

This day in history:
In 1878 the United States stopped minting 20 cent coin. 
In 1946 Prisoners revolted at Alcatraz and  5 people died. 
In 1946 The "Battle of Alcatraz" took place which killed two guards and three inmates.
In 1949 Arthur Miller won the  Pulitzer Prize for "Death of a Salesman". 
In 1952 the 1st scheduled jet airliner passenger service began with a BOAC Comet.

View Larger Map

Population Over Time
Total Population
Total Population
Total Population
Median Age
In 2012, according to the American Community Survey, East Sandwich, Massachusetts:
  • Had 279% more residents than the median city population (1,080)
  • Had a relatively old population, 9.30 years higher than the typical city's median age (39.90)

More information about East Sandwich can be found at:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hanover Mall -- April 25

42° 08' 47" N
70° 50' 31" W
Learn more about Lat/Long 

This has been a year of "firsts" for EarthView, and today is yet another. The EarthView team will have a public program at the Hanover Mall today, courtesy of the South Shore Children's Museum, which is providing this as a special event for April vacation week.

We will be near the museum from 11 to 4 today (Friday, April 25) near the museum in the Sears wing of the mall. Free and open to the public. Bring socks if you want to go inside!

Dr. Reed Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Geography, enjoyed a chance to see Earth View for the first time.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Boston Marathon
Taylor Soell
Melissa Medeiros 

42° 21' 30" N
71° 03' 50" W

Learn more about Lat/Long 

The notable Boston Marathon, has been running continuously since 1897 and is considered the oldest annual marathon in the world. The first race only included fifteen runners who were men because women were not officially allowed to run the race until 1972. Although female runners had participated beginning in 1966, they were opposed by the race sponsor, the Boston Athletic Association. Boston Marathon was the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division in 1975 for men, and eventually included a wheelchair division for women in 1977. The beauty of the marathon is that it brings different cultures and nationalities from around the world together to participate in a 26. 2 miles long route to the finish line.

                                                                     Source: Adidas

This table represents the amount of victories based on different nationalities around the world. As shown, the United States has gained the most victories compared to other countries with a total of 98 wins. Kenya, falls second after the United States with a total of thirty-one wins, and Canada in third place with twenty-one wins.

The historic course starts on Main Street in the rural New England town of Hopkinton and follows Route 135 through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley to where Route 16 joins Route 135. It continues on Route 16 through Newton Lower Falls to Commonwealth Avenue, turning right at the fire station onto Commonwealth which is Route 30. It continues on Commonwealth through the Newton Hills, bearing right at the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue to Cleveland Circle. The route then turns left onto Beacon Street continuing to Kenmore Square, and then follows Commonwealth Avenue inbound. The course turns right onto Hereford Street (NOTE: against normal traffic flow) then left onto Boylston Street, finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.

Map Source: BAA

Monday, April 14, 2014

Massachusetts State House -- Earth Day -- April 22 ... PLUS April 28

42° 21' 30" N
71° 03' 50" W

Learn more about Lat/Long 

EarthView has been on display in the Massachusetts State House several times, but this year will be a first. The general public -- including legislators -- will be invited to go inside the Earth on Earth Day.

Please plan to join us in historic Nurses Hall between 9 am and 2 pm on Tuesday, April 22. Bring your friends -- and remember to bring socks!

Also, we have the great fortune of being invited to return the the State House just a week later. We will be in Great Hall on Monday, April 28 from 9 am to 1 pm.

The State House is a secure facility with metal detectors, but is free and open to all. After you visit EarthView, be sure to explore the People's House, and consider taking a guided tour. 

Photo: Ashley Costa