Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 16, 2012

Geography students going places

TAHLEQUAH — A common misconception about geography is that it’s all about maps and where things or places are located.

Next week is Geography Awareness Week, and it’s set aside to observe how humans, things, and places are connected. The theme this year is “Declare Your Interdependence.”

Geography, or the study of the Earth’s features, is the relationship identification of everything sharing space, said Northeastern State University Assistant Professor of Geography Dr. Christine Hallman.

“It’s more than just locating a place on a map. Usually that’s what you think geography’s all about – countries and rivers, and that’s part of it, but that’s just a small part of it,” she said. “Geography is everything, spatially – anything from studying weather patterns to urban sprawl, to studying past climates to politics and economics. Geography, really, is everything in a spatial way.”

One of the activities NSU is conducting in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week involves a geocaching exercise with seventh-graders at Tahlequah Middle School, said Hallman.

“I and several assistants – a retired professor and a few NSU students – will be teaching seventh-graders to use GPS units to find coins from all over the world [strategically placed on their campus],” she said. “All seventh-graders at Tahlequah Middle School will get the opportunity to participate in this treasure hunt.”

Geocaching is a recreational activity wherein participants use a handheld Global Positioning System, or GPS receiver, to hide and seek containers that will hold a designated item selected by the participants. Position coordinates are used to trace a route that will present other points, or map numerical designations, to follow until arriving at the end destination. The exercise teaches a person how to consider start and end points, while exposing the him or her to land features along the anticipated route.

An activity suggested by National Geographic includes students investigating their interdependence by completing a global closet calculator, which is an interactive game that collects the contents of their bedroom closets by origin to generate a map showing individual global footprints.

Maps have changed greatly over the years, and whether using an electronic device or a compass to determine direction when going from point to point, today’s technology has helped geographers see everything spatially in great detail, said TMS geography teacher Austin Elliott.

“Satellite images have increased the accuracy of maps, but they still show some distortion on a large scale,” he said. “The most reliable map is the Robinson Projection. It still has distortion, but shows the least amount.”

Hallman said technology influenced the changes in how maps are created, but noted that how people viewed or used the map also provided a change in direction of its use.

“Thousands of years ago, humans still created maps – they were just on cave walls. It’s sort of interesting how humans have always been thinking about their environment spatially,” she said. “At first, they might have thought about star patterns and then how it relates to them. So you’re going all the way from there, to pen and ink maps, to today, where it’s dynamic computer maps.”

Keys geography teacher Amber Kinney said hers is a subject that can open the mind and ears of a student who otherwise may think the class is simply about pinpointing places on a map.

“Geography is such a broad field that includes all elements of education: history, culture, government, economics, math, science, literacy, language,” she said. “The amazing thing about teaching geography is getting students involved who aren’t usually that responsive in other social studies classes, and then learn about all these other subjects without even realizing it.”

This year, Kinney’s classes conducted activities similar to the global closet calculator suggested by National Geographic.

“We are continuously looking at ways that we are all connected throughout the world in my geography classes. This week, we are focusing on China, and our connection with China historically, culturally, and economically,” she said. “[On Thursday] for example, we took a virtual tour of a Walmart in Shanghai as part of our global connection discussion.”

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Stocks