Visit the EarthView web site to meet the team and learn about the project.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shipwrecks of Boston Harbor

The EarthView Team salutes Victoria Stevens of the Hull Lifesaving Museum for creating a wonderful online resource for geographic education. The online map of historic Boston shipwrecks complements the museum's rich collection of artifacts and exhibits related to the heroic life-saving efforts along New England shores.

The online exhibit allows students to find information about 75 of the shipwrecks that lie beneath the waters of Boston Harbor. Students can use the map to look for patterns, such as the clustering of wrecks in certain areas or where wrecks were more common in particular time periods.

The creation of the website is described in today's Boston Globe, along with some discussion of the changes that eventually made navigation of the harbor much less hazardous.

We encourage our EarthView students to visit the museum -- online and in Hull!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Quabbin

The story of the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts is rich in geographic questions. Rural towns were sacrificed to allow a city to continue growing. Ample water is piped daily from an area of surplus to an area of chronic water shortages (the amounts of rain are not that different, but the density of population certainly is). Some land was lost, while other land was protected.

On the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the filling of the Quabbin Reservoir, EarthView team member posted this remembrance on his environmental geography blog.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beyond Earth

EarthView team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan recently went with his family to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC and found it full of geography lessons! This museum is free and open to the public -- part of British scientist James Smithson's immense gift to the United States (which he had never visited).

This particular part of the Smithsonian Institution is valuable for geographers in two main ways. First, aviation and aerospace technologies have greatly increased the ability of humans to explore and observe planet Earth. People now routinely travel distances in a single day that once required months, years, or even generations to traverse. Air travel makes the human connection between places much stronger than they once were -- even for people who never get on an airplane themselves. Additionally, aerial photography and satellite imagery have greatly improved our ability to map the planet.

Just as important, however, is the lessons about our own planet that can be learned from studying and exploring others. The poster shown below is one of many that makes comparisons between Earth and other planets. The online exhibition Exploring the Planets is a good place to learn more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

State House Visit Success

The EarthView team -- accompanied by several excellent geography teachers and students -- spent Monday, June 7 in the historic Nurses Hall of the Massachusetts State House. We met senators, representatives, staff members, BSC geography alumni, and tourists -- all of whom were excited to see the Earth in all its glory right in the People's House.

We even learned that at least one legislator has a geography degree, and many others expressed their support for our efforts to broaden geographic education in the Commonwealth and to restore licensure for geography teachers in the near future.

See more photos of the event on Flickr.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Massachusetts State House -- Monday, June 7

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, June 7, EarthView will be on display in Nurses Hall in the Massachusetts State House, an architectural gem from 1798. The purpose of the visit will be to give legislators the opportunity to experience the excitement about geographic education that has followed EarthView around the Commonwealth over the past two years. It is also an opportunity for the EarthView Team and other members of the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance to make the case for critical reforms in curriculum and licensure.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Smoke in the Sky

On Memorial Day, residents of Southeastern Massachusetts -- and much of New England -- had a stark reminder of how interconnected planet Earth really is. Forest fires several hundred miles away in Quebec were connected to our region by continental-scale wind patterns that made it look -- and smell -- as though the fires were right around the corner. This is also a good reminder of why EarthView does not show national boundaries. Although they are important for some things, they matter not one bit for others!