Geographic ConnectionCGAlog02012

News of the California Geographic Alliance

December 2014- Vol 6, Issue 12
In This Issue
Welcome New Members!
Email and Phone
Children's Mapping Competition
Learn by Doing
Travel to South Korea
Tech Tool: Hstry
World of 7 Billion Video Contest
Resources for the classroom
CCSS Learning Modules
ArcGIS Online FREE for Schools
Share Resources for APHG
Upcoming Events
Help With CGA History
Welcome New CGA Members!
 We're excited that you've joined us. Each month, check your newsletter for resources, professional development opportunities, and travel ideas. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook too!

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CGA Email Address and Phone Number
Contact us via email at

Need to get in touch with us by phone?

2015 Barbara Bartz Petchenik Children's World Mapping Competition.  


Students, ages 6-15, are invited to submit entries to the
2015 Barbara Petchenik International Children Map Design Competition. 
This year's theme is "My place in today's world." 
The deadline for U.S. entries is February 7, 2015. Teachers are invited to work with their students. Read the letter of invitation here .  Click here for the parent permission letter


Building Leadership Skills with Geography and GIS Education

Notes from the SDSU Colloquium by Dr. Joseph Kerski

This article is by: Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou, Professor of Geography, San Diego State University



What are the key skills required for a team leader?  An effective leader needs to provide a 360 degree perspective and to have capabilities to solve problems by using multiple tools with limited resources. With hands-on skills and technological expertise, a team leader should be able to communicate with his/her team members effectively and to accomplish challenging tasks with collaboration from multiple people in different fields together.  All these leadership skills and trainings are the key components in Geography and GIS education.  As a teacher of Geography and GIS, I would like to ask every Geography teacher and GIS educator to re-think the goals of Geography and GIS education. To equip students with leadership skills and deep-thinking capability, we should transform Geography education toward the development of team leadership for our community.


Understanding local to global challenges, learning geospatial technology and tools, using geo-enabled devices effectively (such as smart phones and navigation systems) are exemplars of important geography education content that can build the fundamental skills of team leadership for students.  These examples were highlighted by Dr. Joseph Kerski during his colloquium speech on September 12th, 2014 at San Diego State University.


Figure 2. The Introduction of Dr. Joseph Kerski at SDSU.

In our GIS education community, Dr. Joseph Kerski is a perfect example of true team leaders, who is also an outstanding geographer. With a full house at SDSU's Colloquium on Friday afternoon, Dr. Kerski delivered an insightful and inspiring presentation focused on learning geospatial tools and thinking critically and spatially about our world. 


It is a great honor for California Geography Alliance and the Department of Geography to host Dr. Joseph Kerski's colloquium.  Dr. Kerski received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 2000. He is the Geographer and Education Manager at ESRI and an adjunct Professor at University of Denver. With an impressive publication record (five books and over 40 journal arti

cles, papers, and book chapters), Dr. Kerski is probably the most well-known GIS ed

ucation "guru" in the world. 


To demonstrate the definition of "guru", I would 

like to share the SDSU story map made by Dr. Kerski when he just arrived to SDSU in the morning before his talk (Figure 1). Here is the actual link:


He created this wonderful Story Map by using his mobile phone only and revealed these beautiful scenes around the campus visually and spatially. Very cool and effective!

Figure 1. The SDSU Story map made by Dr. Joseph Kerski at SDSU.


Joseph is my life-long friend (over 18 years) and one of the most admirable scholars in the GIS community. He and I spent 4 years together in the University of Colorado at Boulder during our Ph.D. programs.


In order to share his great presentation to the members of California Geography Alliance, we have posted a few sections of his colloquium videos in our YouTube Channel.  You can access them from here:


We will also post his full Colloquium PPT file soon on our website (


Let's train our next generation of geographers to become the team leaders in the 21st Century!


Ming from San Diego  

Travel/Study Opportunity for APHG Teachers
Are you currently teaching Advanced Placement Human Geography? Are you interested in world travel? Read on to see if this opportunity could be for you.

Your Geographic Alliance Coordinators are invited to nominate APHG teachers affiliated with the California Geographic Alliance to participate in a fully funded conference and field study to South Korea. Delegates will depart on June 23 and arrive on June 24. The return travel will be on  July 1, 2015, arriving in the U.S. on July 1, 2015.  

The topics addressed during the field study include borders, territory, and naming issues and complement most directly the APHG Political Unit, along with experiences that will enable teachers to enrich other aspects of APHG.  Each participant is required to make a presentation, serve on a panel, or be a respondent during a one-day conference with South Korean teachers and university faculty members. 

If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact CGA Operations Manager Tom Herman (therman@mail.sdsu.edufor application information by January 15, 2015. If you'd like to know what it's like to participate in this program, contact former APHG teacher Natalie Wojinski (

The application date for alliance affiliated APHG teachers is February 1, 2015, after which the opportunity will be opened to other APHG teachers. 
Tech Tool: Timeline Maker is a FREE timeline creation tool and perfect for evidence--based styles of assessment in the standards-based classrooms. Hstry is designed for historical timelines, but there are infinite possibilities for creating projects, sharing resources, assignments, and student portfolios that integrate images, video, audio, and reflection.

To view Hstry, create an account as a 'teacher.' A quick tutorial will walk you though the steps of making a timeline.
World of 7 Billion Video Contest

Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your high school geography classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges dealing with either the sixth extinction, available farmland, or global education. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 19, 2015. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found at
Resources for the classroom


Current Context: Ukraine Conflict

      CHSSP's latest Current Context is on the Ukraine Conflict.  The pdf contains articles, timelines, maps, and teaching suggestions.  


Current Context: California Drought
      Check out CHSSP's newest free teaching resource, Current Context: California Droughtwhich includes a short background article, a map, a timeline of important events, and links to more great resources.


Current Context: Boko Haram/Nigeria

       Are you looking for a resource that helps you put current events in their historical context for your students? Check out their newest free teaching resource, Current Contextwhich includes a short background article, a map, a timeline of important events, and links to more great resources. Their recent edition, Boko Haram/Nigeria, is ready for download here.  Check back for more resources in this occasional series, and let them know what topics you'd like covered in future installments!
New CCSS Professional Learning Module Available from the CDE
The CDE is pleased to announce the release of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) English/Language Arts (ELA): Content Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades Six through Twelve, online professional learning module.

This module provides secondary history/social studies teachers with resources to implement the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy to deepen students' understanding of historical/social studies content, improve critical thinking, and develop literacy. The module contains information, strategies, lessons, videos, and resources to aid teachers in integrating reading and other literacy activities into history/social studies instruction to support all students' success.

Additional professional learning modules will be available in the coming months. For more information, please visit the CDE CCSS Professional Learning Modules for Educators Web page.
ArcGIS Online Organization available now
ESRI announced last summer that ArcGIS Online Organization subscriptions will be available at NO COST to schools around the country. This subscription level service offers much more than the basic public account, including "more control of sharing, access to more data, engaging much more powerful analyses, supporting apps like Collector or Explorer, integrating with ArcMap and Microsoft Office, enabling login to Community Analyst, and lots more."

For more information and to get the latest materials, including the ArcGIS Online Skillbuilder, visit
Share Resources for AP Human Geography
Are you looking for a place to share resources for AP Human Geography? Do you have questions about the best way to teach certain units in AP Human Geography? 

Sign up for the AP Human Geography Teacher Community on the CollegeBoard's website.

You can also join the APHG 9th Grade Teachers group on Facebook. This group is specifically aimed at supporting those teachers who are working with high school freshmen.

Where else do you go to learn more about AP Human Geography? Let us know on our Facebook page.
Upcoming Events
CGAlog02012 California Council for the Social Studies
Annual Conference
Oakland Marriott Convention Center
Oakland, CA
March 6-8, 2015

Reconstructing the history of the CGA!
The new leadership team at SDSU is extremely excited about our work with the CGA, and we are hard at work creating a revamped website, an electronic version of the California atlas, and plans for the future.

However, we are missing information about the CGA's history that we would like to include on the website. If you have been involved in coordinating the alliance in the past, or you can help us rebuild the sequence of host institutions and coordinators since Kit Salter's creation of the CGA at UCLA, we want to hear from you.

Sent Tom Herman an email with your story.


General Contact Information
Operations Manager:
Thomas Herman
Communications Coordinator
Natalie Wojinski