00:01Another person I truly love has probably done more for geography than any other person here.
00:07Gil Grosvenor, who's the great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, is the chairman of the National Geographic.
00:16He was a former Lifetime Achievement Award here; some of you actually remember him.
00:22He has done more for education in schools than any other person I've ever met.
00:27He's donated over $100,000,000 to teach teachers to get them teaching geography and integrating it in schools.
00:36So I'm very pleased to welcome Gil, and he's going to introduce some kids. Gil Grosvenor, please.
00:47Thank you, Jack.
00:48Thank you, Gil.
00:55Thank you, Jack. It's a great pleasure to be here today with this stimulating group of geographers.
01:05It's a rare and exciting opportunity for me to speak to thousands of people who understand the power and the relevance of geography.
01:14And all this is thanks to Esri, and Jack, I thank you for that.
01:20A challenge for both Esri and National Geographic, indeed, for anyone here...
01:25...is to help the rest of the world understand why geography matters.
01:32We are making headway, but it's a long, hard climb. For National Geographic, 2010 marks an important anniversary.
01:42Twenty-five years ago, we made a commitment to work directly with educators in the United States...
01:49...creating a core group of people who could help us bring geography back into K-2 education within the United States.
02:03When we started this project, I thought it would be easy. It has proven to be very difficult.
02:08As a matter of fact, I think I could move the gravitation force of planet earth easier than the educational force in this country.
02:17California is the birthplace of geography alliances, groups of classroom educators from kindergarten to college...
02:25...led by professional geographers who coordinate efforts to increase and improve geography instructions in their own state.
02:35Starting in 1986 with our first teacher institute at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. ...
02:44...for more than 2,500 practicing classroom educators, this experience has made them first-class geography instructors.
02:56We've done this through intensive summer experiences, and they learn how to transmit information to kids.
03:07In the quarter century since, they in turn have guided hundreds of thousands of teachers at all levels across the country...
03:16...from both formal and informal education to more local but often equally intense geography instruction.
03:25Still, there's much work to be done in geography education.
03:29As you all prove on a daily basis...
03:33...geographic thinking is key to a clear understanding of a topic, a place, or a process.
03:43Only by seeing and understanding the character, the patterns, and relationships around us, can we as individuals...
03:53...and as a society, hope to make intelligent decisions about the complex choices we have to make each day.
04:04Our perilous path toward the future will grow safer only when we grasp the linkages between places...
04:11...tying the processes and the foods that we eat with the climate and food-producing regions...
04:17...connecting transportation systems with energy production and consumption habits...
04:25...and identifying the threads weaving international politics with national economics down to regional land-use decisions.
04:36The cell phone with which kids text their friends carries more than just the time and place to meet.
04:44It reflects the importance of international trade, of science and innovation, and for manufacturing and transportation.
04:55In just China alone, there are 500,000,000 Chinese who subscribe to a mobile phone system.
05:07That's a half a billion people.
05:10This is why geography matters and what our education system needs to do to help students understand that.
05:18This is what the geography alliance movement has been working on for a quarter of a century...
05:23...and why we at National Geographic are excited to work alongside Esri...
05:29...and the many thousands of you who use geography every single day.
05:35Working together, we can push changes in education toward matters of relevance...
05:43...helping students learn math and science and language by engaging critical thinking...
05:50...about the systems of the human and physical worlds, which is the heart and soul of geography.
05:58Working together, the tens of thousands of users of Esri's powerful teaching technologies...
06:06...can help the thousands of teachers reached by National Geographic...
06:11...to engage geographic thinking to understanding and improving our world.
06:19Working together, geomentors and educators can help young people comprehend the many layers of our world...
06:28...see how they tie together, and explore options for a brighter tomorrow.
06:36If you have not had the opportunity to work with a committed teacher and a bunch of bright kids...
06:43...you are missing a life-changing experience.
06:49The GeoMentoring program launched a year ago at this very conference...
06:54...played an important role for our next speakers from the Cave Club in Bigfork High School in Bigfork, Montana.
07:05GIS professionals from national, state, and local levels all had a hand in helping this program succeed.
07:13I'm pleased to introduce to you a team that has helped to reveal and protect a hidden world.
07:21Demonstrating that the power of geography is truly universal, this group went underground...
07:28...studied caves, and brought to light that which lies hidden from most of us.
07:35They have investigated and mapped an unusual three-dimensional world...
07:42...and made recommendations to aboveground managers about how best to protect this magical realm.
07:51With us today are two newly graduated seniors, Tia Bakker and Ernie Cottle. Please help me welcome them to this stage.
08:15Hello, everyone. It is very exciting for us to be here today. I'm Tia Bakker.
08:22And I'm Ernie Cottle.
08:24Now, what a lot of people don't know is that the same problems associated within caves are closely related to those around the world.
08:33Caves contain both renewable and nonrenewable resources that are unknowingly damaged every day.
08:39So we want to preserve and conserve these resources by focusing on a few areas of conservation.
08:46Our first area of conservation includes removing trash and graffiti from vandalized caves.
08:51Originally, our club started as a recreation club.
08:55But as we went in more and more caves, we noticed that there was more and more graffiti within these caves...
09:00...and cleaning up these vandalized caves began us on our path toward conservation.
09:05As we became more and more involved with conservation...
09:08...we started completing different types of monitoring that allowed us to see changes within the caves.
09:14One example of this is our photomonitoring.
09:16Now this allows us to see human-caused change on a feature over a certain period of time.
09:21And you can actually see this on the picture to the right.
09:23Now this shows a stalactite that was broken off at some point during the course of five years.
09:29Now this leads us to our fieldwork.
09:30We do a lot of fieldwork, and it's the best part of our project; we have a great time doing it.
09:35And this includes recording all the resources within a cave.
09:38So let's say we come across a bunch of stalactites.
09:41We're going to record everything from length, condition, and location on every stalactite in that area.
09:48We classify every resource within a cave, whether it be mineralogical or biological...
09:54...in terms of significance, condition, and fragility.
09:58Besides our mineralogical monitoring, we also can tell two different types of biological modeling.
10:04We conduct micro- and macroscopic biological monitoring.
10:08Now, macroscopic monitoring is really anything that we can see with the naked eye...
10:12...and this includes things like barren wood rat sightings and the impact they make within the caves.
10:17It also includes things like harvestman spider clusters, which I'm sure you all know as daddy longlegs.
10:24Now the picture you're looking at is actually only a small snippet from a cluster that is over seven feet long, okay?
10:31So that's taller than this guy right here.
10:34And, I'll be honest; I'm not scared of a lot of things, but when you're in a dark cave...
10:39...and there are thousands upon thousands of spiders just hanging out above your head, it can be a little bit creepy.
10:47Now to move along to something that's not so much creepy or scary or anything like that, the wood rat.
10:54Now, the entire biological ecosystem of a cave is dependent upon the woodrat, and what they bring into the cave...
11:02...whether that be hair or grass or anything like that, because there's no sunlight in the cave for photosynthesis to occur.
11:11Besides our macroscopic monitoring, we also complete microscopic monitoring...
11:16...in which we look at micro-invertebrates underneath the microscope that we packed into the cave with us.
11:20And these micro-invertebrates are only about that big at the most, and so they're really hard for us to see.
11:28But what we do is we have a noncollecting form of examining them so they stay in the caves...
11:32...and not only does this help conserve them but also allows us to learn about their natural environment.
11:39Now we really don't understand a lot about the invertebrates' needs or their natural history...
11:43...so rather than looking at the invertebrates themselves, we actually began looking at the water around them.
11:49Some of the water chemistry readings we took involved taking phosphates, nitrates...
11:54...pH, alkalinity, hardness, and water temperature.
11:58Now, after doing all this work and making the maps of our cave data, it was really exciting for us...
12:03...because we were finally able to visually explain all of our findings to Glacier National Park.
12:09Giving a live GIS demo to Glacier National Park was a wonderful experience, and we'd love to share that experience with you.
12:16Now back home, Ernie here is known as the Clickmaster...
12:20...so he's going to show you guys a live demo that we built in 9.3, but we're trying it out in 10.
12:27So right now, this area just shows a basic map of the United States.
12:31This area up in here with the red dot, that's in northwestern Montana...
12:36...it's where we're from and where we complete most of our research at.
12:40And now we're going to zoom in to that northwestern part of Montana.
12:44This red schoolhouse right here represents Bigfork High School, also known as the base camp of Cave Club.
12:52And we drive about an hour and a half to this red dot here on the eastern side of Glacier National Park.
12:57It's about an hour-and-a-half-long drive with a four-mile hike to all our caves right here...
13:02...and this yellow line around here represents the Glacier Park boundary.
13:10So now we're going to a shaded relief basemap, and this is where we did the majority of our work...
13:14...but right now, we're going to focus on Poia Lake and Kicking Woman Cave.
13:18Now what's cool about Kicking Woman Cave is it actually got its name from previous Cave Club members...
13:23...who lived on a Blackfeet reservation, so it's just a common Blackfeet surname.
13:28Now, as you guys have seen from some of the pictures, caves are not flat-floored, ten-by-ten rooms.
13:32They're really dynamic.
13:34They have different types of floor deposits and floor drops...
13:37...and you can see that coming through in the detail on the cave map here.
13:41So first, Ernie's going to open up the mineral points and polys...
13:44...and a mineral point shows the exact spot where we recorded our mineral feature...
13:48...and a poly is simply a point over a larger expanse.
13:52And now he's going to open up fragility and condition for these mineral features, fragility in yellow and condition in green.
13:58Now, this cave was just recently discovered, so there's only been about 10 people in the cave...
14:03...me and Ernie lucky enough to be some of the few.
14:05And so here you have highly fragile features that are in great condition.
14:10However, on the contrasting side, let's take a look at Poia Lake Cave.
14:16So this cave you have highly fragile features again, in poor condition.
14:21And this is due to the high amounts of visitation. Now this leads us to why we do all this work.
14:28We do this work so we can make management recommendations to Glacier National Park...
14:31...'cause we really want people to experience and enjoy these caves but the park can really do that and still help people...
14:39...help them be protected at the same time.
14:41And none of this, I mean, absolutely none of this, would have been possible without the help and guidance from our teacher...
14:48...our mentor, and our friend, Hans Bodenhamer.
14:52He's really a man who's shared a passion with us.
14:55He's given us once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and he's really changed our lives for the better.
15:03So once again, it would be our pleasure to bring out the man who's made all of this possible, Hans Bodenhamer.
15:19Wow. This is amazing. Amazing.
15:26I have to tell you, as Ernie and Tia's teacher and sponsor of their club, I am very, very proud of them.
15:36They are incredible, absolutely incredible individuals. Yet, as incredible as they are, they are not unique.
15:50I've been a teacher for over sixteen years, and it's been my impression that most teenagers are like Tia and Ernie...
16:00...in that they want to be involved in something meaningful; they want to make a difference.
16:08They actually want to save the world. But they're waiting for someone like you to knock on their door.
16:17As a teacher, I see myself more and more as a catalyst. Six months ago, I knew very very little about GIS.
16:26This wonderful project with kids and caves and GIS would not have happened if our county GIS specialist, Denny Rae...
16:34...hadn't pestered and pestered me about getting my students involved in GIS.
16:40It also wouldn't have happened if another GIS specialist at Eastern Washington State University, Ben Sainsbury...
16:47...hadn't volunteered many, many hours tutoring us in basic GIS and helping us through some of our special challenges.
16:57As a GIS user, you can make a huge difference in the way we educate our youth...
17:04...which will make the world a better place.
17:08One trick might be to find a teacher doing something a little different, thinking outside the box, maybe like me...
17:17...or a group of committed young people, like Tia and Ernie here, in an extracurricular club or activity.
17:25Find them, make a connection, show them how they can use GIS in their project, and the rest will be magic.
17:51Thank you very much, Tia, Ernie, and Hans.
17:56You might wonder how these two youngsters became so poised on a stage such as this.
18:05Well, they just returned from the White House, where President Obama spent about 10 minutes talking with them.
18:14And also, at that time, the administrator of the EPA, Lisa Jackson...
18:19...presented them with the Environmental Youth Award for the year 2010.
18:25As a Washingtonian, I've got to tell you, not many people get them. Thank you. Thank you very much.
18:41Wonderful, you did well, you did well.
18:43Thank you so much.
18:54Imagine what changes we could make together in communities across the country and around the world...
19:00...if all geoprofessionals here and those you know would work with local educators to bring that power to our youth.
19:11That sense of vision and the ability to share it with others is what the National Geographic Society has supported...
19:19...and brought to the world since our founding in 1888.
GIS in Education - Bigfork High School Cave Club, Bigfork, Montana
- Recorded: Jul 12th, 2010
- Runtime: 19:23
- Views: 29044
- Published: Aug 25th, 2010
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