EarthView team bios, guidelines, and more.

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
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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

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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.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Carlos Pacheco Elementary, New Bedford- October 2nd

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 is excited to be visiting Carlos Pacheco Elementary School in New Bedford for the first time today! This is our first EarthView trip to a New Bedford School. While we had not visited before, some New Bedford students were lucky enough to view EarthView back at our home base at Bridgewater State University by participating in the BRIDGE program

New Bedford is a very historic city and we are glad to be visiting! EarthViews very own Dr. Hayes-Bohanan frequents the New Bedford area as he is a member of the Whaling City Rowing club which rows throughout New Bedford Harbor. He has written about this on his environmental geography blog which can be found here.

During our visit today, a strong hurricane is making its way through the Atlantic Ocean. Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin has left its mark on the Bahamas and other surrounding islands as it continues slowly moving to the north, northeast at around 3 miles per hour. While hurricane Joaquin is currently on track to pass by the coast of Massachusetts well offshore, it is not out of the question that the track could change towards us within the next couple of days.
National Hurricane Center Prediction as of 11am 10/2/15

One interesting thing to note is that in New Bedford, there is a hurricane barrier that runs through New Bedford and Fairhaven Harbor. It protects the cities of New Bedford, Fairhaven and Achushnet from storm surges and tidal flooding that comes with powerful storms such as hurricanes. It also serves as a corral for large ships from all over the North Atlantic. If Hurricane Joaquin makes a close enough path to our coastline, the hurricane barrier may be closed early next week to protect the area. We will just have to wait and see!

EarthView wrangler Eva, is really into emergency management preparedness and she would like to make sure that everyone is prepared for the potential risk of this hurricane. There are great checklists of items that everyone should have in their home to mitigate the effects of the aftermath of severe storms. Please visit the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center page for great tips on how to prepare. And also take a look at which also has important information in regards to your safety.

We hope that the students of Carlos Pacheco Elementary School enjoyed their visit with EarthView today! We will be back visiting the school on October 23rd!