Introducing a 3D Google Earth Model of UWFox

Objectives

Geographic Information Science is taught in the UW Colleges as GEO 106, a course designed to introduce students to various forms of geographic information. Goals of the course includes exposure to many skills, such as map reading and interpretation, map analysis, cartographic methods, remotely sensing data, and an understanding of technical applications of geographic remote systems. Continue reading “Introducing a 3D Google Earth Model of UWFox”

From Absaroka to Yazoo: The 124 United States That Could’ve Been

Most of my life, I’ve daydreamed about history — not so much the incredible depth of historical events that have already occurred, good thinking as that might be. No, I’ve constantly fictionalized history by changing the outcome of one event here and there and exploring the possibilities of what would have come next. Sometimes I come up with some utterly ridiculous progressions on these alternate timelines of whole new worlds based on relatively minor changes. Continue reading “From Absaroka to Yazoo: The 124 United States That Could’ve Been”

Promoting UWFox Geography, Fall 2011: An Active Geo-Adventurers Club

The Geo-Adventurers Club is a group that’s assembled as a bit of a hybrid of folks that are interested in geology and geography and folks that are interested in outdoors activities like camping and canoeing.  Like our academic department, this group has been largely dormant for a few years, so we’ve started from scratch here as well.

Our main goal with the Geo-Adventurers is to get students active in extra-curricular activities. In the case of this club, most of those activities involve getting down and dirty with the earth, which provides a natural link to the geoscience curriculum at UWFox. But again, first goal is involvement, and anything that happens after that is icing on the cake. Continue reading “Promoting UWFox Geography, Fall 2011: An Active Geo-Adventurers Club”

GIS Day 2011 at UWFox: Publicity

So, as I’ve already written, we’ve been working on putting together a GIS Day at UWFox for the past couple of months. We’ve encountered certain challenges, which we’ve tried to stem by using a variety of strategies. Check out my entry on our preparation of this event for more on how we’ve designed our event for 2011. Continue reading “GIS Day 2011 at UWFox: Publicity”

GIS Day 2011 at UWFox: Preparation

I never knew I would coordinate and host a GIS Day event.

As you may know, this is my first year as a tenure-track faculty at UW-Fox Valley. UWFox is part of the UW-Colleges system, which is a set of 13 two-year liberal arts institutions geared toward preparing students for a four-year school in the UW System. The Colleges have a shared department of around 20 geographers and geologists. Two of them are at this campus, and I’m the only geographer. That means I’m basically a “stand-alone” geographer who’s responsible for, well, everything geography on campus. Continue reading “GIS Day 2011 at UWFox: Preparation”

Push & Pull Factors Assignment, Spring 2011

Every semester in my introductory classes, I do an assignment on push and pull factors, and how they relate to migration.  Of course, push and pull factors are a relatively easy concept to understand, in that push factors are those ideas about a place that “push” people away from living there, while “pull” factors are those perceptions which attract people.  It’s (really) old news for population geographers, and there have been plenty of critiques on the conceptualization, but it’s nice and tidy for getting intro-level undergrads interested in migration.

Continue reading “Push & Pull Factors Assignment, Spring 2011”

Detroit, Eminem and Chrysler’s Geographic Imagination

Like many geographers, I found myself intrigued by the Super Bowl advertisement that Chrysler ran, a two-minute piece featuring musician Eminem and trumpeting the city of Detroit.  It’s an interesting ad for a number of reasons.  Certainly part of the intrigue comes from Detroit’s position as the butt of jokes, and the focus of umpteen photo essays of its landscape of decline.  The left points at the city as evidence of the failures of capitalism, while the right claims its decline was caused by strong labor unions and too-big civic governance.  Either way, with a city population rapidly declining — down below 900,000 by latest estimates, less than half its 1950 peak — and the associated economic and fiscal problems, we can all agree that Detroit has its problems. Continue reading “Detroit, Eminem and Chrysler’s Geographic Imagination”

Mapping (Geo-)Autobiography: Travel

A lot of travelers — and especially geographers — like to keep track of numbers of places they’ve been…. countries, states, continents, capitals, everything. It’s a nice way to reflect upon past experiences, and yes, of course, brag to one’s friends about those travels. Continue reading “Mapping (Geo-)Autobiography: Travel”

Video: I Need an A

So, I’ve been snowed in a while, and it’s right at the end of the semester, when the weeping comes from underachieving students via e-mail. And that, plus XtraNormal, equals my venting response. For all teachers everywhere….

Continue reading “Video: I Need an A”

Geographic Literacy: Our Job Isn’t Finished

This week is Geography Awareness Week, a designation that started in 1987 via presidential proclamation to promote geographic literacy in education and in the general public.  Each GAW has a theme; this year’s is freshwater, which isn’t a terribly interesting topic to me personally.  But, as an educator and a geographer, geographic literacy is something I find to be quite important. Continue reading “Geographic Literacy: Our Job Isn’t Finished”