Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

The BioBlitz starts September 4 and ends on September 12. Using the citizen science platform iNaturalist, students will document wild plants, animals, insects, and other organisms that they observe in their yards, school grounds, or local parks and open spaces. In addition to the individual observations contributing to science, the collective efforts of students will be shared in a unique map using online mapping software (ArcGIS Online) that is freely available to all schools.

Teachers and student leaders are invited to attend an optional informational webinar on 9/2/2021 at 3:45 p.m. ZOOM LINK – Passcode is 618478 (Slides from webinar are available here).

Project links:
Media release
Instructions for participating 
Flyer for project and 9/2 webinar
California biodiversity collage

iNaturalist project page

 

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.

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"

The 2020-21 edition of the “My California GIS Mapping Showcase and Competition” will be the 5th 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.

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.

Student Atlas of California Completely Updated and Available Now Online

We are happy to announce the availability of a completely updated and improved second edition of our popular student atlas of California!

Image shows front cover of student atlas titled California: A Changing State, second edition. Cover shows map of California with icons representing recognizable features of the state.
Image shows front cover of student atlas titled California: A Changing State, second edition. Cover shows map of California with icons representing recognizable features of the state.

Continue reading Student Atlas of California Completely Updated and Available Now Online

Encountering California Biodiversity Close to Home

California has pledged to make all students environmentally and climate change literate. Outdoor education, fieldwork, and deeper connections with place need to be built into K-12 education to make that happen.

As part of this year’s recognition of California Biodiversity Day (September 7, 2020), 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. Using the citizen science platform iNaturalist, students will document plants, animals, insects, and other organisms that they observe in their yards, school grounds, or local parks and open spaces. In addition to the individual observations contributing to science, the collective efforts of students will be shared in a unique map using online mapping software (ArcGIS Online) that is freely available to all schools.

Optional informational webinar on 9/3 at 3:45 p.m.

Project links:
iNaturalist project page (and umbrella project for California Biodiversity Day 2020)
Media release
Instructions for participating
Flyer for project and 9/3 webinar
California biodiversity collage

Teaching with Geospatial Technology

Since 2017, the CGA has enjoyed an excellent partnership with Dr. Katsuhiko Oda of the Spatial Sciences Institute at University of Southern California.  Dr. Oda has been successful is securing funds to support research on the effectiveness of professional development focused on geospatial technology, and this creates opportunities to provide high quality professional development to California’s teachers.  CGA’s experience providing PD matches perfectly with Dr. Oda’s research and teaching interests.  Work carried out during the 2017-18 school year was presented at the GIS-Pro / CalGIS Conference in Fall 2018.  This year, a grant from Esri, the world’s leading provider of GIS software, provided support for further work. Continue reading Teaching with Geospatial Technology

Announcing the Winners of 2019 My California Student Mapping Competition

The California Geographic Alliance is pleased to announce the winners of the 3rd 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 an online map that focuseson stories, issues, or ideas that are important to them.

Continue reading Announcing the Winners of 2019 My California Student Mapping Competition