Paying Nobel Forward: Lesson Plans to Teach Oceans

This past spring of 2012, campus dean Dr. Martin Rudd requested that my colleague, Dr. Beth Johnson and I offer a course on ocean issues. The campus had received financial support from the Mielke Family Foundation for student attendance at the 48th Nobel Conference, that year focusing on ocean issues. In that four-student seminar, we required that students complete a capstone project, loosely defined. The students were moved by the severity of ocean-related concerns and decided to create lessons to help middle school-level students better engage with ocean issues. Continue reading “Paying Nobel Forward: Lesson Plans to Teach Oceans”

GEO 106’s Full Tree Inventory of UWFox

This fall, for the GEO 106 classwide project, we were asked by UWFox dean Dr. Martin Rudd to take an inventory of trees on campus in support of the TreeCampus USA initiative. Each group was responsible for mapping approximately a quarter of the over 500 trees on the campus in two formats: a shapefile with attributes, and a Sketchup file that could be added to the existing UWFox Google Earth model.

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Balloon Launch F-01 – December 5, 2012

Originally planned to launch as part of GIS Day, and then having been three times delayed by weather, we finally launched the first balloon imaging mission on December 5, 2012. The original intended use for the data was to supplement GEO 106’s TreeCampus USA inventory, but it was not completed early enough for that application. Dr. Beth Johnson, as well as a handful of students, were very helpful in giving a hand for this launch.

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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”

Japan’s Triple Disaster – A Lecture

Remember that earlier entry about an interview that I gave through compressed video that included a lecture on the Great Plains? Well, it turns out that this university in Wisconsin liked me enough to grant an in-person interview. They requested a lecture on Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Continue reading “Japan’s Triple Disaster – A Lecture”