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Home of the “People Loving People Mapping Project”

Mapping Acts of Kindness through the Crowd-Sourced “People Loving People Mapping Project”

Join the world in mapping acts of kindness, big or small.  Add to the internationally crowd-sourced mapping project inspired by the number one selling solo artist of all time, Garth Brooks and his new song “People Loving People.”  Follow the movement at #peoplelovingpeople and share your story now at http://peoplelovingpeople.org

About the mapping movement:  The Georgia Geographic Alliance, a member of the National Geographic Network of Alliances for Geographic Education housed at Georgia State University, wants to know just how interconnected and kind the world really is today.  How much?  Well, that’s up to you!  Share your story and encourage others to share theirs at http://peoplelovingpeople.org.

What are we looking for on the map?
Acts of kindness, big or small, given or received are what we are looking for, but it is really up to you.  From a family donating their time in a local soup kitchen to a group of kids planting trees in their neighborhood….these are some of the stories to map.  Acts of kindness to others and the environment are all welcome.

Why are we doing this?


  • We all need to know the world is full of good
  • Maps tell great stories and are just cool
  • Garth Brooks inspired us with his new song “People Loving People”

Please visit http://peoplelovingpeople.org to learn more and to map your story!  Encourage others to share their stories through the use of the hashtag #peoplelovingpeople

A Chance to Win $1000 for a K-12 School in Georgia!

To kick off “People Loving People” here in Georgia, the Georgia Geographic Alliance is providing a $1000 prize to one of the top contributing schools in the state.  Of the highest contributing schools, we will randomly select one of them to receive $1000 in support to encourage geography and place-based learning activities in the school!  Additional geography and map-related prizes will also be available to the top contributing schools.

With respect and gratitude,

The People Loving People Mapping Team

Email us at: inspire@peoplelovingpeople.org
Share on social media: #peoplelovingpeople
Visit our site: http://peoplelovingpeople.org



Summer Place-Based Learning Teaching Workshop on July 24-25 & July 28-29, 2014

Summer Place-Based Learning Teaching Workshop Hosted by Dr. Christy Visaggi of The Georgia Geographic Alliance

Attention K-12 Teachers!  Dr. Christy Visaggi, Director of Education and Outreach for the Georgia Geographic Alliance and paleontologist at Georgia State University, is offering a four day workshop focused on exploring fossils across Georgia.  Lab and field activities are designed using Georgia Performance Standards as a guide with place-based education approaches.  Opportunities to earn Continuing Education credits exist if approved by your school district.  See the attachment here: Teacher Workshop in Paleontology

Title: Mapping Georgia Through Deep Time: Exploring Fossils and the History of Life Using Place-Based Learning in K-12
Dates: July 24-25, 28-29, 2014
Fee: $20
Location: 2 Days at Georgia State University, 2 Days in the Field!
To Register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WMHvFIncqYIqS2If41OBXiEpniZruHMcdLh1mJh1pv0/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

Contact Email: cvisaggi@gsu.edu

If you wish to learn more about the GGA, visit our website at http://georgiageography.org/

Be sure to like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/georgiageography

With best regards,

Dr. Christy C. Visaggi, Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach

The Georgia Geographic Alliance

Geospatial Technology Summer Teacher Workshop #1 is a Big Success!

Geospatial Technology Summer Teacher Workshop #1 is a Big Success!

June 30, 2014

–Atlanta, GA

On Thursday June 26 and Friday June 27, The Georgia Geographic Alliance hosted 11 of Georgia’s finest teachers in a geospatial technology workshop held in CURVE at Georgia State University. Workshop participants engaged in a series of hands-on, active learning experiences with staff from the Georgia Geographic Alliance.


A selfie with GA teachers, REU students, Dr. Hawthorne, and students from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy.  Taken during the mobile mapping data collection at Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.

Thursday began with a place-based learning session led by Dr. Christy Visaggi. In this session, participants worked on a place-based exercise focused on natural resources across Georgia. Participants were also introduced to resources available on the National Geographic website to aid in place-based approaches.


Dr. Visaggi leading a small group discussion about place-based learning


Participants viewing Dr. Visaggi’s presentation on place-based learning on CURVE’s interact-touch screen wall!

Participants then engaged in a working lunch discussion where they shared innovative geography lesson plans ranging from historical walking tours around a city to mental mapping exercises around a student’s home neighborhood.  After lunch, despite the rain dampening outdoor data collection plans, participants worked through a mobile mapping session led by Dr. Timothy Hawthorne. Here participants were introduced to the GGA’s soon to be launched “Sustain Our Schools” mobile mapping application and online platform through ArcGIS Online. Participants used the online mapping platform to map sustainable elements of the GSU campus as well as their home schools. Features such as recycling bins, gardens, alternative energy sources, and the like were mapped by participants.

Participants then worked with Dr. Jessie Hong of the University of West Georgia to learn more about ArcGIS Story Maps. In this session, participants worked in the GSU GIS lab to create basic story maps of features of interest to them and their students. The day ended with a stimulating brainstorming session co-led by Dr. Hawthorne and Dr. Visaggi about the power of mobile mapping technologies, and how GGA could assist teachers and students in using such technologies. A great list of potential mapping applications was developed by participants, which GGA staff will use to create new applications to roll out later this fall.

Friday was the grand finale of the workshop. Workshop participants travelled to Cascade Springs Nature Preserve in SW Atlanta to work with the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Dr. Hawthorne’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students, and 10 youth from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy to engage in collaborative community geography fieldwork and mobile mapping of the greenspace. Teams (equipped with iPads) walked the trails and identified problem locations (such as mud slides, lack of signage, needed infrastructure) and also mapped future possibilities for the space. The day ended with another free lunch in the nature preserve and a lively discussion about the day’s activities and the possibilities for continued collaboration.


Participants listening to the history of Cascade Springs from Darryl Haddock, Science Educator at the Outdoor Activity Center hosted by the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance.

Check out a quick video of teachers talking about the mobile mapping event:


We are grateful to all participants for their lively participation in this workshop. We are also incredibly grateful to the GSU Library for allowing us to use the innovative CURVE workspace at no cost to the Alliance!

We are looking forward to hosting additional workshops in the coming months. Please join us as we reach new heights with Georgia Geography!

Check our more pictures and short video clips from the event on our Facebook page at:


With my best,

Tim Hawthorne, GGA State Coordinator and Director of Research

Dr. Christy Visaggi Awarded Financial Support for “Mapping Georgia Through Deep Time: Exploring Fossils and the History of Life using Place-Based Learning in K-12.”

Dr. Christy Visaggi, Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach for the Georgia Geographic Alliance, received $2500 from the Paleontological Society in support of a teacher training workshop entitled  “Mapping Georgia Through Deep Time: Exploring Fossils and the History of Life using Place-Based Learning in K-12.”  The week-long summer program will emphasize hands-on learning in the lab and field of biological and geological concepts through the lens of geography.  Topics will be covered based on Georgia Performance Standards and the impact of place-based learning assessed using pre- and post- surveys.  Teachers will create a “GAPaleoTour” using National Geographic’s Map Maker Interactive upon conclusion of the workshop allowing for all K-12 schools to explore how changes in the fossil record are represented across Georgia.  More details coming soon for this August workshop.  Congratulations to Dr. Visaggi!  Georgia Geography: we are reaching new heights!

Summer Teaching Workshop Hosted by The Georgia Geographic Alliance: June 26 and 27 in Atlanta!

The Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University is pleased to offer a FREE Summer Teaching Workshop June 26-27, 2014 in Atlanta!

This FREE geographic education workshop is designed for Georgia K-12 teachers of all disciplines who wish to infuse geographic concepts, place-based learning, and/or geospatial technologies into their curriculum to address state standards. The free workshop will be held June 26-27, 2014 in Atlanta in Georgia State University’s Department of Geosciences. The workshop will include 3-4 hands-on sessions on geospatial technologies, placed-based learning, and teaching AP Human Geography. It will also include a field trip and fieldwork in Atlanta that previews a lesson that teachers can use with their students. The Thursday session will be 9:00-5:30 in Atlanta. The Friday session in Atlanta will be optional for those that wish to continue the discussion with GGA and teachers to design projects and lessons plans. If teachers attend both Thursday and Friday totaling 10 hours, then s/he may be eligible for Continuing Education credits if approved by her/his local school district. Participants will receive the following as part of their participation in the program: 1) workshop materials; 2) free lessons plans connected to state performance standards; 3) free lunches and snacks; and 4) a new Georgia Geographic Alliance t-shirt. Teachers will be required to mail a $10 deposit to secure their spot in the workshop, but this money will be refunded upon arrival at the workshop. Any questions, can be directed to Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne, State Coordinator and Director of Research of the Georgia Geographic Alliance at inspire@georgiageography.org. All participants must complete the registration form and be members of the Georgia Geographic Alliance to participate. Georgia Geographic Alliance membership is free and can be completed at: http://georgiageography.org/connect/. Priority registration will close on June 1, 2014 at 5 pm EST. The workshop will be capped at 25 teachers. The workshop will need a minimum of 15 participants to occur. All questions below are required for a complete application to the workshop.

The registration link can be found at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/13i6Vkp2vYPb5E75iU4kUUZ4CyU3twwB2Ozw3d0-pN84/viewform

We hope to see you there as we reach new heights with Georgia Geography!


With best regards,

Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne, Coordinator and Director of Research

Dr. Christy C. Visaggi, Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach

The Georgia Geographic Alliance

Winners of the 2014 Inspire! Creative Geographic Education in Georgia Award

April 24, 2014

Dear Friends of Georgia Geography!

We are pleased to announce three outstanding Georgia teachers as recipients of the 2014 “Inspire! Creative Geographic Education in Georgia Award” Competition funded by The Georgia Geographic Alliance and the National Geographic Education Foundation.The awards are designed to support activities/lessons/approaches to geographic education and/or place-based learning that engage K-12 students in understanding core geographic concepts and principles as they connect to the Georgia Performance Standards. This year’s winners include:

Jonathan Byrd, Midtown International School, Atlanta, GA. Jonathan and 24 of his second grade students will utilize the funds for a field visit to the Carlos Museum at Emory University to map out the processes involved in archaeological excavations. The students will address challenges such as: soil stratigraphy, taphonomy, artifact preservation and mapping procedures. The grant activities will allow students to address several GA Performance Standards, including SS2G1: The student will locate major topographical features of Georgia and will describe how these features define Georgia’s surface.

Paige Flores, Stephens County High School, Toccoa, GA. Paige will work with her 9-12 graders in Earth Systems classes to learn about how the Earth’s systems (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere) interact through time to produce the Earth’s landscapes, ecology, and resources. She aims to use the approach of place-based learning to help students learn about the interactions of these four systems on a local and regional level and how this has impacted the natural and social history in Stephens County. The grant activities will allow students to address several GA Performance Standards, including: SES2. Students will understand how plate tectonics creates certain geologic features, materials, and hazards and SES3. Students will explore the actions of water, wind, ice, and gravity that create landforms and systems of landforms (landscapes).

Susie Holloway, Central Gwinnett High School, Lawrenceville, GA. Grant funds will allow Susie, a 9th grade World Geography and AP Human Geography teacher, to purchase several geographical magazines to increase geographic literacy in her 9th grade students as they prepare for the AP exams and learn more about world geography and human geography concepts. She will engage students in critical readings of these texts, jigsaw activities, photographic analysis, map literary, and project-based learning. The grant activities will help students address several GA Performance Standards, including SSWG1: Physical aspects of geography and SSWG2: Cultural aspects of geography.

We congratulate the winning teachers and their talented students! We look forward to sharing the results of these inspiring projects with all of Georgia once they are complete later this fall. We plan to offer another round of funding in October 2014, so please continue to check the website at http://georgiageography.org and the Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/georgiageography for more information. Be sure to join our mailing list (and share with your friends) at http://georgiageography.org/connect/.

Let’s continue to put Georgia Geography on the map! Please drop us a line to tell us more about your inspiring geographic work around Georgia, and we will work to feature you and your students on the sites.


With best wishes and in support of Georgia Geography,

Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne, State Coordinator and Director of Research

Dr. Christy C. Visaggi, State Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach






The Georgia Geographic Alliance Confirmed for “Aerial Presence” at Atlanta Science Festival

Teachers, youth, parents, and friends of Georgia Geography. In a few weeks, GGA, in collaboration with the Atlanta Community Mapping and Research Center, is pleased to participate in the Atlanta Science Festival. More details soon, but let’s tease with this: we’ll have a large “aerial presence” at the events in Centennial Park as we demonstrate the power of drone mapping as an emerging (and contentious) geospatial technology. Plan to join us there as we demonstrate the power of Geography as a STEM field! –Tim

Official Press Release Re-launching The Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University


The Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University Receives $27,000 Grant from the National Geographic Education Foundation to Re-Launch The Georgia Geographic Alliance

Grants Promote K-12 Geographic Education and Research Nationwide

CONTACT: Timothy L. Hawthorne, PhD

Email: inspire@georgiageography.org

Phone: 404.413.5771


ATLANTA, GEORGIA [November 8, 2013] — The Georgia Geographic Alliance (GGA) hosted in the Georgia State University Department of Geosciences announced today that it has received a grant of $27,000 from the National Geographic Education Foundation (NGEF), one of 51 grants awarded this year to the Network of Alliances for Geographic Education by NGEF. These grants, totaling $2,414,466, help support 46 state-based Alliances as well as those in the District of Columbia, Chicago and Canada.  The GGA is led by Timothy L. Hawthorne, PhD (Assistant Professor of Geography) and Christy C. Visaggi, PhD (Lecturer in Geosciences) of Georgia State University.

The Network of Alliances is a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting geographic education. Each Alliance is a partnership between university faculty and K-12 educators that connects educators, provides world-class professional development for teachers, creates and disseminates educational resources, boosts public awareness of the importance of geography and advocates for public policies that will lead to improvements in geography education. For more than 20 years, NGEF and the Alliances have worked collaboratively to catalyze geography education reform across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

“NGEF is advancing geo-literacy across the country by supporting programs, activities and materials that current research, educators and experience tell us are the most effective ways to teach geography in the classroom,” said Bob Dulli, NGEF deputy director. “In the 21st century, we are more connected than ever. Geography education helps students better understand this interconnected world and how it impacts their lives, which is essential to both their future and the future of this country.”

“We at Georgia State University are excited and honored to host the Alliance and to begin enhancing geographic education and research across the state.  Geography is such a vibrant and in-demand discipline connecting classroom learning and research with the real-world.  With the growth of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and location-enabled technologies in particular, geographers are highly employable and can work across a variety of fields including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.  Students and teachers trained in geography are well poised to be tomorrow’s leaders,” said Timothy Hawthorne, State Coordinator and Director of Research for The Georgia Geographic Alliance.

Since 1988, NGEF has awarded more than $85 million in grants to promote and advance geographic education. In addition to funding from NGEF, the majority of Alliances receive financial support from other sources, including state and private support. More than 30 Alliances have permanent endowments for geography education within the Foundation.  The Georgia Geographic Alliance is in the process of creating an endowment fund to support geography around the state.  The Alliance has already received generous support from the GSU College of Arts and Sciences, the GSU Honors College, and the GSU Department of Geosciences to support graduate and undergraduate research opportunities focused on geographic education.

Alliances strengthen geography education through a variety of programs and initiatives.  The Georgia Geographic Alliance will focus on building a network of collaborators around the state through a series of regional meetings, social media activities, and online forums; hosting funding competitions for creative geographic education and research activities around the state; and partnering with other Alliances around the country to develop federal funding proposals for geographic education and research activities.

“The utility of geography in education is becomingly increasingly important across a variety of disciplines as students are more likely to embrace new concepts by understanding the connections to their own surroundings.  We look forward to promoting geography through inquiry-based learning, allowing students to explore the ever changing world around them in unique ways,” said Christy Visaggi, Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach for The Georgia Geographic Alliance.

“Our goal is to showcase the inspirational and creative geographic education and research activities across Georgia, while stimulating new directions for geography at the state and national levels.  We want to put geography and geographers back on the map,” said Hawthorne.

For more information about The Georgia Geographic Alliance, visit their website at http://georgiageography.org or contact Timothy Hawthorne at 404.413.5771.


Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines, National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, music, radio, films, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.



Want to support geographic education and research across Georgia?  Please consider purchasing a variety of products with the official Georgia Geographic Alliance logos.  Show your geography pride while supporting the cause.

All proceeds directly support Georgia Geography initiatives.

More info and products coming soon.

Re-launch of the Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University

Welcome to the new home of the Georgia Geographic Alliance: We are excited to share all the creative, inspiring work in geographic education and research across the state of Georgia.   We are also pleased to announce the generous financial support of the Alliance as it returns to Georgia State University.

The Georgia Geographic Alliance hosted in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University led by Timothy L. Hawthorne (Assistant Professor of Geography) and Christy C. Visaggi (Geosciences Lecturer) has received a grant of $27,000 from the National Geographic Education Foundation (NGEF), one of 51 grants awarded this year to the Network of Alliances for Geographic Education by NGEF. These grants, totaling $2,414,466, help support 46 state-based Alliances as well as those in the District of Columbia, Chicago and Canada.

Please check back soon for new initiatives, resources, and funding opportunities for Georgia Geography!

~ Georgia Geography: empowering all Georgia teachers, students, and community partners to think spatially!