EarthView team bios, guidelines, and more.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sharon Middle School -- February 28

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!

On the last day of what has been a cold and snowy month, the EarthView team is returning to Sharon Middle School, which we first visited last April. It is a cold but clear and beautiful day to visit a neighboring town. We included some of the interesting aspects of Sharon's geography in last year's blog post.

Actually, part of the EarthView team is not with us -- Dr. Domingo is at National Geographic in Washington, meeting with members of the U.S. Congress to promote more geography education across the country. Fortunately, Dr. Domingo will be able to join us next week, as we are visiting Sharon twice this season.

Image and more detailed explanation from
Weather Underground.
EarthView is an ideal place to learn about the Polar Vortex, a pattern in the upper atmosphere that is responsible for the very cold weather we have been experiencing both in Massachusetts and in some places much further to the south. A "ridge" of high pressure in the northeast Pacific Ocean pushed warm air very far north toward Alaska, resulting in Arctic air being pushed unusually far south in the center of the continent. The phenomenon of continentality makes the effect of this anomaly even greater. In the Atlantic Ocean, high pressure over Greenland has a tendency to block the flow of air from New England, causing cold air to be stalled in our region.

While some people have been very surprised by these patterns, geographers and others who study climate change have been expecting meridional flows of this kind to be more common. The prevailing winds across the United States are west-to-east, but they are never strictly straight-line flows. They are actually a kind of Rossby wave, which has some north-south deflection. The words "zonal" and "meridional" describe the primary orientation of this kind of wave.
Image: University of Arizona Geography Department
Team member Courtney described her recent trip to Durban, South Africa, which is officially known as the eThekwini Municipality. As she pointed out, Durban is a lot like South Beach or Ft. Lauderdale, a good reminder that Africa is not just what we see in wildlife photographs!

No lions or zebras in sight!
Image: Nomads Gallery
Feel free to explore Durban and the rest of South Africa on Google Maps! Don't forget that you can click "Earth" to see a satellite view.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cambridge School of Weston

42° 23' 11"N
71° 16' 22"W
For coordinates by address in the U.S., check Stephen Morse, or use an atlas, globe, or Google Earth for other places throughout the world.

EarthView coordinator Dr. Hayes-Bohanan is pleased have brought EarthView to CSW, where his daughter is taking a course called Maps & Meaning. The art and history teachers who lead this innovative course are using EarthView as a special classroom to continue their explorations of the thinking revealed by maps.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Frolio, Abington -- February 14

See the Math!
42° 07' 06"N
70° 56' 47"W
How many degrees, minutes, and seconds away is your house? Check Stephen Morse for any U.S. address, or an atlas or globe for other places throughout the world.

The EarthView team is happy to be returning to Frolio Junior High School in Abington, just a few miles north of our home base in Bridgewater. We are blogging from campus, on a very LOVE-ly day to be in Abington, as the sun is coming out just in time for Valentine's Day.

Thanks to the geographers at Bucknell University for this example of a cordiform map projection to mark the occasion.

One of the United States is actually called the Valentine State because it was admitted to the Union on this date in 1912. Take a guess, and then read all about it on Celebrating the States, one of Dr. Hayes-Boh's family blogs.

Valentine's Day is also a perfect day to talk about the Wedding of the Waters at Manaus, Brazil. This is described in some detail on a blog post for a 2009 EarthView visit in Brockton. That post includes links to further information about Rondonia, in the western part of the Amazon basin.

During our visit we also discussed the new partnership between Bridgewater State University and the University of the State of Santa Catarina in Brazil. Students from the two universities can now do extended exchanges, in order to improve language skills (in Portuguese or English) and to learn each other's countries in greater depth.

We also discussed the upcoming soccer championship in Brazil, the World Cup. We look forward to hearing about Mr. Claus' experiences as he actually attends the Cup in Rio! The games will be played throughout the country, though: learn more about the geography of the World Cup from our blog, which we will be updating during June.

We also spent some time discussing the latest major activity in the Ring of Fire -- a volcanic eruption in Java, Indonesia. Mount Kelud erupted loudly just yesterday. The eruption could be heard over 100 miles away, and ash was sent well into the stratosphere -- 12 miles into the sky. Most of the damage from this volcano is from the settling ash, which behaves something like a very heavy, dirty snow.

Monday, February 3, 2014

EarthView Spring Visits

During the winter break, EarthView made its first international journey, as part of an environmental education program in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. EarthView team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan visits the area every year as part of his Geography of Coffee study tour.
For the first time, Dr. Hayes-Bohanan and BSU students brought EarthView to Nicaragua, where we worked with local youth to give a presentation about the environment and geography to children in Matagalpa.
Now that EarthView is back at its home in Bridgewater, it is ready to go out to schools throughout Massachusetts. The schedule may change. As of today -- February 3, 2014 -- here is where EarthView is headed:

Friday, February 7: Inly School, Scituate
Friday, February 14: Frolio Middle School, Abington
Wednesday, February 19 (evening): Franklin Middle School, Franklin
Friday, February 28: Sharon Middle School, Sharon
Friday, March 7: Sharon Middle School, Sharon
Saturday, March 8: Westfield State University
March 21: Howe-Manning School, Middleton
Friday, March 28: Grover Middle School, Marblehead
Tuesday & Wednesday, April 8-9, New England Regional Conference on Social Studies, Sturbridge
Friday, April 11: Tenney Grammar School, Methuen
Tuesday, April 15: University of Dohuk, Kurdistan
Friday, May 2: Oak Ridge School, East Sandwich
Thursday evening, May 8: Horace Mann, Franklin
Friday, May 9: Barnstable Intermediate
Friday, May 16: Barnstable Intermediate
Friday, May 30: Cottage Street School, Sharon
Friday, June 6: Tantasqua Regional Junior High School, Fiskdale
Friday, Jun 13: Bridgewater Middle School