The Research Channel is network that shows presentations on the latest research and technologies from throughout the sciences and humanities, many of which they make available online as well. If you head to the Research Channel website and do a search for geospatial or similar terms you will see the presentations they have featured. BTW if you have DishNetwork head to channel 9400 to check out the Research Channel, I don’t know the channel number for other providers, sorry ;-).
The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study was just released, with more sad news about young Americans’ (aged 18-24) lack of even basic geography skills like reading a map. Only 50% or less of the surveyed people could identify New York or Ohio on a map, and 88 percent couldn’t find Afghanistan, and about 60% couldn’t find Iraq. Those kind of statistics go on and on, but here’s what I think is the really disappointing stat that was quoted in the news article: “Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14% believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.” At the rate that globalization is changing the world, an attitude that only America matters or, more specifically, “my backyard” (considering a lot of the survey respondents couldn’t even identify other US states), just isn’t going to cut it. As someone who in theory is pursuing a PhD in Geography so I can teach others, I have to say it’s really depressing, but the real issue will be to try to figure out how to reverse the trend.
The state finals of the National Geographic Bee were completed last Friday, and each state winner will now travel to Washington, DC for the national finals. The winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, the second place finisher a $15,000 scholarship and third place a $10,000 scholarship. The winner for each state is listed at the end of the National Geographic News announcement.
Good Luck to all the winners!
Hugo at UNEP/GRID-Arendal was kind enough to share a press release on a project he is working with us. The focus of their center is to provide generally understandable representations of scientific information. Their new maps and graphics site is a clearinghouse of many of these representations that takes advantage of web mapping with some back-end GIS in addition to providing static graphics. Overall, this is a great resource and will probably be especially useful for the classroom.
Maps and Graphics at UNEP/GRID-Arendal
UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics library.
The winner of the 2006 Intel Science Talent Search is Shannon Babb of Highland, Utah, who won a $100,000 college scholarship for her project studying the impacts of humans and animals on the Spanish Fork River drainage system. Not only did she spend six months studying the drainage system, she also came up with recommendations for improving water quality. Shannon’s study is something physical geographers interested in hydrology do all the time, so maybe she will take her scholarship and use it to study geography!
Lowe’s, International Paper and National GeographicÃ‚Â Explorer have teamed up to award nearly $80,000 in grants to 32 schools in 15 states to help construct outdoor learning environments for science education. I think this is a really great program to give kids more opportunities to learn and get excited about science. If you’d like to learn more about the program, check out the Outdoor Classroom website
In case any of you aren’t on the ESRI Education email Newsleter, this is an item that of you may be interested in following. From the newsletter:
“SkillsUSA has partnered with the GIS industry to develop a competition program that will provide universities, colleges, and their students with a way to validate their geospatial programs and measure them against national standards…. By successfully passing an online qualifying exam (available in March and April) to test knowledge in GIS and remote sensing, students will be eligible to compete nationally and have a chance to earn national recognition and cash awards.”
Winners will receive cash and software prizes. I didn’t see anything specific about level of education, but as we find out more we will definitely share
mapz posted a link to an article titled “Web GIS in practice IV: publishing your health maps and connecting to remote WMS sources using the Open Source UMN MapServer and DM Solutions MapLab“, thatÃ‚Â comes complete with a tutorial.Ã‚Â The tutorial is a 14 page document that walks you through downloading the software, installing on a windows box, and getting a demo running.Ã‚Â Complete with lots of graphics and links to open source web mapping software.
mapz: a gis librarian: Step-By-StepTutorial: Open Source Web GIS
The Geographic and Land Information Society has announced their Annual GIS Competion for high schools, sponsored by ESRI. Basically, high schools submit projects to the competition by the deadline of March 15, 2006, and the winners will be notified by April 1st. Entry forms, rules for project submissions, and information on prizes can be found at the GLIS competition website. Good luck to the schools who enter!