All posts by Thomas Herman

Whose Water Is It?

Water is key to the health and prosperity of all people!

This inquiry-driven exploration of the science, history, and social science of water in California will address issues of supply and demand, access and equity, and balancing opportunities with responsibilities. As climate change adds to the challenges we face, now is the time for environmental literacy and informed action. This training is designed for K-12 educators with a secondary emphasis and aligned to the CA History-Social Science Framework, Next Generation Science Standards, and Environmental Principles and Concepts.

Learn from award-winning  journalist and author Mark Arax. Participants will receive a free autographed copy of The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California.

This program is a collaboration between LA County Office of Education, California Global Education Project, and California Geographic Alliance. See/print flyer.

Register here: https://lacoe.k12oms.org/1537-212393

Teaching Geography with the California Atlas

CALLING ALL FOURTH GRADE TEACHERS IN CALIFORNIA!

Enroll now for the first class, September 13 through October 24.

The California Geographic Alliance and California Global Education Project have collaborated to create an online professional learning course that supports teachers in using the revised student atlas, California: A Changing State (2nd Ed.), as a teaching and learning resource.

  • This is a 6-week course (three 2-week modules, 4-5 hours per module) offered through the University of San Diego Professional and Continuing Education program for $140. The instructor is Thomas Herman, PhD, Director of the CGA.
  • Teachers earn one graduate level extension credit for an additional fee of $79.
  • Atlas and all required materials are provided online.
  • 4th grade teachers in California who complete the course will receive a classroom set of atlases (20 copies) plus additional instructional materials, while supplies last!

The next class begins January 17.

 

Environmental Justice for California Communities: An Interdisciplinary Workshop Series for Secondary Teachers

This is an exciting Professional Learning program presented by the California Environmental Literacy Initiative, several California Subject Matter Projects, and the California Geographic Alliance. We are excited to support a cohort of teachers to become leaders in using an exciting new resource for place-based environmental learning and action.

In the 3-part series, teachers will get experience with classroom-ready resources and will learn how they and their students can use geospatial tools to develop their own inquiries. The CHELA (California’s Hub for Environmental Learning and Action) website helps educators, students, and collaborators:

  • use powerful GIS mapping tools to access current data and visualize, understand, and analyze important issues in a way that centers their own communities and concerns, wherever in the state they may live;
  • follow their interests and hone their own questions across a broad range of topics related to the environment, sustainability, and environmental justice; and
  • share their stories of environmental learning, action, and advocacy.

Continue reading Environmental Justice for California Communities: An Interdisciplinary Workshop Series for Secondary Teachers

My California GIS Mapping Showcase and Competition

Image including CGA logo and title of contest: "My California GIS Mapping SHowcase and Competition for 4th-12th grades"

Registration for the 2021-22 competition is OPEN!

The 2021-22 edition of the “My California GIS Mapping Showcase and Competition” is the 6th running of this annual event. This exciting statewide opportunity encourages middle (4th-8th grade) and high school (9th-12th grade) students to harness the power of Geographic Information Systems (using free Esri ArcGIS Online software) and get connected with their state by producing an online map that focuses on stories, issues, or ideas that are important to them. Cash prizes of $100 are awarded to the students submitting the top 5 projects in each category, and one project in each category will be advanced to the national competition.

Learn more about the competition.

Celebrate California Biodiversity Day by Documenting Biodiversity in Your Spaces, Sept. 4-12

To recognize California Biodiversity Day , the California Geographic Alliance is organizing students across the state to become Biodiversity Explorers and Mappers. In the interest of developing environmental literacy and stewardship in all young people, this will be an opportunity for close observation and appreciation of the amazing diversity of organisms present in our state, which is a global biodiversity hotspot.

Continue reading Celebrate California Biodiversity Day by Documenting Biodiversity in Your Spaces, Sept. 4-12

Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Student GIS Mapping Competition

Image including CGA logo and title of contest: "My California GIS Mapping SHowcase and Competition for 4th-12th grades"On May 12, the California Geographic Alliance announced the winners of the 5th Annual My California GIS Mapping Showcase and Competition. This exciting statewide opportunity encourages middle (4th-8th grade) and high school (9th-12th grade) students to harness the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and get connected with their state by producing a StoryMap that focuses on stories, issues, or ideas that are important to them. The state competition is part of a national competition sponsored by Esri, creators of industry-leading ArcGIS Online software that is freely available to K-12 schools. $1,000 in prize money will be distributed to the students producing the top five projects in each division. The first place project in each division will also be advanced to the national competition.

The My California contest is coordinated by Dr. Waverly Ray, Associate Professor of Geography at San Diego Mesa College. A panel of academic and industry experts, all of whom serve as volunteers, serve as competition judges. Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou, Professor of Geography at San Diego State University, has served as head judge for the competition since its inception. The CGA is grateful for this support!

The CGA also sincerely thanks all of the superhero educators across the state who, despite all the challenges of this year, gave their students the great experience of using GIS to create their own maps and projects. Teachers are the best, and we appreciate your help in bringing the power of geographic thinking and geospatial technologies to your students.

And now the real stars of the show… Continue reading Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Student GIS Mapping Competition

SDSU Geography Class Examines Impact of COVID-19 on Campus Community

Students in San Diego State University’s Geography Department‘s course on Qualitative Methods in Geography (taught by Dr. Kate Swanson) worked together to produce this excellent StoryMap that examines the impact of COVID-19 on the SDSU community.

This is information and perspective that you won’t get anywhere else, and geography helps pull it all together. Congrats to Dr. Swanson and the whole team!

From Dr. Swanson: “Overall, our findings pull from 458 student surveys, 131 faculty surveys, as well as 24 interviews with students and faculty. The StoryMap integrates graphics, recordings, maps, office space photos, and compelling first-hand testimony to uncover how students and faculty are coping. Key sections include: student financial report; housing, food security and education impacts; impacts of online learning on student well-being; and impacts of online learning on faculty well-being. We conclude with a series of recommendations. I’ve attached a few figures to highlight some of our findings.

Please share widely! My students are really excited to share their impressive work. We hope that these findings help uncover further ways to support students and faculty during these difficult times.

A special shout-out to Ana-Felix Ibarra who put the StoryMap together! It’s beautiful!

This image shows the professor and students in the Qualitative Methods in Geography course at SDSU while engaged in a Zoom call.

Geography Awareness Week Daily Webinars

During this year’s Geography Awareness Week, the CGA hosted daily live webinars (Mon-Fri, Nov. 16-20) to connect educators and students with the discipline in a variety of different contexts and demonstrate how geographic perspectives can deepen our understanding of the world we live in and contribute to more sustainable and equitable communities and a better global future. Special thanks to Candice Mays of Mapping Black California/Black Voice News; Nicole Goggin of Global Nomads Group; the California EcoBlitz team of Dr. Anna Antoniou, Jessica Lura, and Kimi Waite; and amazing geography graduate students from SDSU – Jasmine Arpagian, Corrie Monteverde, Sam Orndorff, Thomas Smith, and Krista West.

Webinar recordings:  MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Image lists daily topics for webinars to be held Nov. 16-20, 2020.