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In The News

New Resources from National Geographic

March 07, 2014
Timothy McDonnell


I recently returned from the Alliance Coordinators Meeting in Washington, DC. While there, we were able to spend time with different staff members of National Geographic. They told us about some new programs available online or on the NatGeo Channel on TV.

First, the wonderful series, Cosmos, has been brought into the 21st Century. Some of you might remember the ground-breaking series from Cornell University's Carl Sagan (who sadly has passed away). This new version is narratived by Neil deGrasse Tyson of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. It begins on March 9th on many of the Fox stations and on the National Geographic Channel. It is not just an astronomy program, and we highly recommend it! If you miss it on Sundays, it is rebroadcast on Monday evening.


National Geographic also invites you to join the Geo-Educator Community. You can connect with other teachers and share ideas that make geography come alive for your students. This is also a good resource for informal educators. Click here to go to the website. There is also a great resource, a Virtual Library that anyone can access. You can find past articles from National Geographic Magazine and an amazing number of online books and videos. You definitely want to check this out.


While in DC, we were given the opportunity of see a screening of a new film from National Geographic, Jerusalem 3-D. It is not to be missed. Many museums and theatres across the country will be showing it. The film follows three young women who live in the Holy City - one Muslim, one Jewish, and one Christian. Go to the website to find out more.

Many of you are familiar with the Giant Maps produced by National Geographic. They are available for rent. NYGA can help you out. If you decide to host a map activity night, let us know. We'll help you with lessons and we might be able to help you to finance the event. There are now maps for North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific Ocean. And they are BIG! It's a great way to bring geography into your school.


Finally, many of you have participated in our watershed workshops throughout the state. One of the highlights of the training is the use of the FieldScope resource. It is getting better all the time. There are versions for the Chesapeake, the Delaware, and the Great Lakes watersheds. More are coming! To learn how to use the mapping resource to its fullest extent, we recommend that you join a webinar this month.

The Center for Geo-Education is hosting a series of webinars for environmental educators and citizen scientists to learn about the new version of FieldScope. You are invited to register for one or more of the webinars in this series. They will be archived and available on the FieldScope website.  To register, visit the FieldScope page and click on the link on the right side of the page.  Contact Sean O'Connor at soconnor@ngs.org with any questions.  
Monday, March 17 - 3:30 to 4:30: Getting Started with FieldScope 
Wednesday, April 23 - 3:30 to 4:30: Entering Data to FieldScope 
Monday, May 12 - 3:30 to 4:30: Analyzing Data in FieldScope