The Georgia Geographic Alliance participated in GIS Day at the CDC on November 19, 2015, which was presented by The Geography and Geospatial Science Working Group (GeoSWG). GIS Day is all about discovering the world through users of Geographic Information Systems technology to showcase real-world applications. It is an international event. Groups and organizations that use GIS or are interested in it hold or sponsor events that present GIS to the public. GIS Day started off with a map gallery and coffee. This year at the CDC there was a great number of presenters divided up in four sessions. Stephen Few, Founder of Perceptual Edge was the plenary speaker.
GGA had a great time at the Atlanta Science Festival on March 26 in Centennial Park. We estimate that over 1,000 people visited our tent and engaged in our activities (e.g., rocks, fossils, Google Cardboard, mapping, etc.). As result of all the traffic, we are totally out of our swag (buttons and magnets), and that’s a great thing A special thanks to Geosciences undergraduates Mandy O’Kelley and Diana Snyder for providing a ton of help with the event.
Dr. Jeremy Diem, interim coordinator of the Georgia Geographic Alliance, designed and ran the meteorology event at the regional Science Olympiad competition held at Georgia State University on 5 March 2016. Fifteen teams of middle-school students were exposed to samplings of content from the Climate Literacy Labs.
As defined by National Geographic, “a BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible”. Georgia Geographic Alliance will be hosting its first ever BioBlitz on May 21, 2016 at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve (CSNP). An “oasis in suburbia” located in Decatur, Georgia, CSNP is a 28 acre sanctuary for wildlife encompassing wetlands, uplands forests, and pine forests along the floodplain of South Peachtree Creek. This event will be geared towards the science standards of K-12 grades while providing fun and scientific intrigue for those of all ages. We will be updating this page with more information as the event gets closer.
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GGA attended the Georgia Science Teachers Association Conference in Stone Mountain earlier this month. The GGA team got several new members, as well as spread the word about upcoming GGA events, such as BioBlitz and the Atlanta Science Festival. Stay tuned for more information regarding the 2016 BioBlitz!
Georgia Geographic Alliance presented along with other organizations to 400 Chatham County 8th graders, the business community, and local citizens at Savannah GIS Day on November 16th. Savannah GIS Day is an annual event held internationally as part of National Geographic’s Geography Awareness Week that aims to introduce geospatial sciences and GIS technology to the community as a tool to achieve their respective goals. GGA presented to local business owners, students, staff of Savannah State University and citizens in order to improve understanding of geographic tools and how they can be used within their lives. Georgia Geographic Alliance worked with Dr. Amy Potter of Armstrong State University and Ashley Gholston, who ran GGA’s booth at the event.
Last summer, Tim Hawthorne held a youth summer workshop called The Geospatial STEM Academy. The Geospatial STEM Academy was made up of one hundred high school students that came together in community-based learning with geospatial technology. This academy helped students learn about prominent urban issues, mapping food accessibility in an urban area, green space restoration, invasive species, neighborhood demographics, and transportation safety all while applying geospatial technologies. The Deputy Director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Sue Gordon, heard about Hawthorne’s summer academy and came to meet with the program’s students in Atlanta. This event was hosted by The Georgia Geographic Alliance (GGA) in which presentations by Deputy Director Gordon, Dr. Hawthorne, and 20 students, who participated in the academy, were shown. Sue Gordon proposed a competition where all the kids from the summer STEM academy competed to win a sponsorship to national GIS Day. At the event, The Georgia Geographic Alliance had a booth with information about the alliance.
Dr. Timothy Hawthorne, GGA’s State Coordinator and Director of Research leaving for a new position at the University of Central Florida
The Georgia Geographic Alliance (GGA) at Georgia State University is saying farewell to its State Coordinator and Director of Research, Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne. Tim has accepted a new GIS tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central Florida as part of their new high-profile GIS cluster. Tim has dedicated the past two years to serving the state of Georgia in his role as state coordinator.
“It has been an absolute privilege to serve the state of Georgia and increase the visibility of geography, geographers, and geographic education. I have enjoyed getting to know so many teachers and youth who possess a real passion for geography and STEM education. Georgia Geography is gaining momentum and I am excited to see the continued expansion of the Alliance under the leadership of Dr. Diem and Dr. Visaggi. I look forward to continued partnerships and hopefully bringing the Geospatial STEM Academy back for year two. Georgia Geography is certainly on the cusp of reaching new heights!” –Tim Hawthorne
Under Tim’s leadership and in partnership with GGA Co-Coordinator, Dr. Christy Visaggi, the Alliance revitalized itself, grew its membership, created a vibrant social media presence, and launched several new initiatives to benefit Georgia teachers, youth, and communities. Tim’s dedication to geographic education and community geography and GIS led to several important impactful programs through GGA, including a $75,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to develop a free geospatial stem education training program for Georgia youth. Learn more about that program at http://sites.gsu.edu/stemacademy.GeoSTEM Montage (30 sec)
Tim also introduced the international crowd-sourced “People Loving People Mapping Project” designed to map individual and group acts of kindness around the world inspired by music icon Garth Brooks. You can contribute to the map at http://peoplelovingpeople.org.
-The People Loving People Mapping Project maps acts of kindness around the world. Nearly 4000 contributions have been made to date on the map.
Tim also launched the Reaching New Heights with Drones Program where schools and organizations are able to learn about emerging drone technology and have a live demonstration of DJI Phantom drones.
While Tim leaves us for his new position in Florida, his work with the Georgia Geographic Alliance will continue in a new collaborative role. He is hopeful to continue new partnerships between the GA and FL Alliances including year two of the Geospatial STEM Academy and a new mobile geography STEM education program. We thank Tim for his service, and look forward to continued successful partnerships with him. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeremy Diem Appointed New Interim State Coordinator and Director of Research of Georgia Geographic Alliance
The Georgia Geographic Alliance (GGA) at Georgia State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Jeremy Diem, Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Geosciences, has been named the GGA’s Interim State Coordinator and Director of Research effective August 1, 2015 replacing departing State Coordinator and Director of Research, Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne (leaving for a new position in Florida). The Georgia Geographic Alliance is pleased to have Jeremy’s vision and leadership at the core of this important statewide organization. Dr. Christy Visaggi will continue to serve as the Co-Coordinator and Director of Education/Outreach for The Georgia Geographic Alliance. Jeremy is an Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. He considers himself a geographer-climatologist, and his research areas over the past two decades have been air pollution in the southwestern and southeastern United States, precipitation variability in the southeastern United States, the North American monsoon, urban effects on climate, and rainfall in the Albertine Rift region of Africa. You can access his GSU site at http://sites.gsu.edu/jdiem/. As part of his Africa research, he is a member of People, Environment, and Climate in the Albertine Rift (PECAR) research team. Jeremy also is the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Geosciences and works hard to ensure that students have good experiences and are well-trained while receiving their degrees. He has a passion for climate-change literacy (aka climate literacy), and is the developer of the Climate Literacy Labs, which are used by over 1,200 students per year at Georgia State University. Jeremy is deeply committed to using his experience as a climate researcher to enhance instruction at all levels. You can reach him via email at email@example.com.