Monthly Archives: October 2013

Penticton Environmental Science Class visits the Oxbows

As part of the EESC 101 class on the Penticton Campus, students visited one of the local oxbows that was created by the channelization of the Okanagan River in the mid-1900’s. The field trip was lead by members of Friends of the Oxbows, a local volunteer group working to increase awareness and understanding of these features.

EESC 101 Students examining studying oxbow habitat

EESC 101 Students examining studying oxbow habitat

The trip included discussions about the formation and status of the oxbows, local species that use the oxbows, threats and plans/opportunities for restoration and enhancement. In addition, students gained experience in water sampling and basic water quality testing.

Friends of the Oxbows member Ray Halladay discussing wildlife habitat use of the oxbows.

Friends of the Oxbows member Ray Halladay discussing wildlife habitat use of the oxbows.

The EESC 101 class would like to thank Friends of the Oxbows members Bob Anderson, Ray Halladay and Allan Garland for leading the tour and helping us learn about this unique local habitat.

Oxbow along Warren Avenue in Penticton

Oxbow along Warren Avenue in Penticton

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Putting Geography on the Educational Map

Why study geography? This according the Harvard Business Review…

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/09/teaching-and-learning-visualiz/

“Which brings us back to the sheer lack of geographical training available. Recommitting to a geography curriculum in both our high schools and universities will be crucial to effectively developing a generation of great data visualizers who can tackle our challenges. Quantitative spatial analytics offer vital insights into the world’s most important domains including public health, the environment, the global economy, and warfare.

Without geography—or any teaching that emphasizes spatial thinking—the focus will remain on the data, and that’s a mistake. Yes, data are undeniably important but they are not holy. Data are middlemen. Even the term “data visualization” overemphasizes the role of the middleman, and mischaracterizes the objective of the activity. Nobody wants to see data; nobody learns from that. The best visualizations never celebrate the data; instead they make us learn about worldly phenomena and forget about the data. After all, who looks at the Mona Lisa to think about the paints?”