Posted by: mgrady | March 19, 2015

Sign Up Now For Fall 2015, GEOG OF RI!

For Fall 2015, sign up for

GEOGRAPHY 304: Geography of Rhode Island

RI Map

How can the tools of geography help us to understand a place? We’ll explore Rhode Island as a case study to show the power of geographic analysis. Using maps, computer tools, research, and lots of outdoor fieldwork, we’ll gain a fresh perspective on our state. We’ll spend a lot of our time in the field, exploring local woods, farms, rivers, and urban spaces to see how natural and human systems influence each other. We’ll also consider how our local systems fit into the regional and global context. Making the most of this opportunity to study this one place up close, students will gain valuable insights, skills, and experience.

Fridays 1 to 4:50 pm in Craig-Lee 201 (and elsewhere)

Four Credits


Contact Prof. Grady at

Posted by: mgrady | December 9, 2014

Finishing up, Fall 2014!!

Hi Class!

It was great to hear from all of you today about your independent work.

Just a reminder, please send me any of your remaining work by the end of Finals week (December 20). Send it by email to <>. I won’t be back on campus this term. Also please be sure to follow up if you don’t hear from me that I got your email…. there are lots of ways for emails to get lost.

I think that’s all. I hope you all enjoyed our explorations and gained some appreciation for how places change over time and some of the ways we can ensure that our environment is healthy and productive in the future.

Any questions, let me know! Otherwise, good luck with the rest of school, and happy holidays!

Prof G

Posted by: mgrady | December 6, 2014

Coming up, Final Class, Dec 8!

hi Class!

Monday will be our final class, and I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you about what you learned in your explorations. It would have been better to spread this over two classes! but that didn’t pan out… we’ll do our best on Monday, and make it work so everyone gets a chance to present, but in a manageable time frame.

Please remember to bring in the Geography of RI books that I gave you, so I can re-use them next year. You are welcome to keep the book if you like, but I’d appreciate a $5 donation so I can replace it.

If you need to review the work you should have done for the term, check these blog posts….

  • Final Project, see the Nov 19 post
  • Field trip report (see the Oct 22 post)
  • Independent exploration (see the Sept 13 post)
  • Pre-test (handed out in class)

That’s all for now! Any questions, send me an email.

Prof G

Posted by: mgrady | November 24, 2014

November 24, No Class Today

Hi class!

I’m sorry to report that even if the rain does let up by 4 PM today, the keepers of the campus bee farm say it’s too muddy and they have just planted new grass there, so we will have to cancel that trip. I hope some of you will find time on your own sometime to visit the apiary, since it’s right on campus.

I think the best use of our class time today would be for you to work independently on your final projects, so, we won’t have class today. Since it’s a busy week anyway, this should help all of you to make some progress on your research, and still have some time to spend with your family and friends for the holiday. Check the earlier posts on this blog for more details about this final project.

I’m available anytime this week if you have questions or want to talk about your work. I’m glad to talk on the phone but it’s best to contact me by email first and set a time.

I’ll see you all in class next week! I’ve heard from a few students who will be ready to give a short talk about their projects next Monday, and I hope more will step up when the time comes. You don’t have to turn in the paper till finals week. See earlier posts here for more details about your assignment, and let me know if you have any questions.

See you next Monday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Prof G

Posted by: mgrady | November 21, 2014

Update November 21

Hi Class!

As of now, it looks to me like we should be able to meet at the beehives on campus on Monday, Nov 24, though the weather is still a little bit iffy. Please check here after noon on Monday to confirm, but as of now, that’s the plan.

Check out earlier posts for more details (location etc)….. Any questions, let me know!

Prof G

Posted by: mgrady | November 19, 2014

Update November 19

Hi Class!

Here is our plan for the rest of our classes….

Next Monday, Nov 24, I hope to confirm soon that we can visit the bee farm (apiary) on RIC campus… check back closer to the date to confirm.

The next two classes, (Dec 1 and Dec 8) we will have time for student reports. Here is a rundown of what I would like each student to report on:

— Choose a place in RI to study, it may be as big as a town or city (no bigger!) or as small as a local park or neighborhood. Look at the physical and human geography of this place. Physical: What kind of soils, water, vegetation, weather, wildlife, etc., are found here. Human: How have humans used this site over time? Also think about your site’s future… have the natural resources there been well used? Is the current human use of the site sustainable? Do you think there are better ways the site could be developed in the future?

— For sources, use Google of course to search online, and try some of the map sites (linked to elsewhere on this blog) that show how the site has changed over time…. of course if you can visit the site, and talk to some local folks about it, that would be great, and look for other local sources, such as you might find in local libraries, which often are not found online.

— If you need to review the basics of how to write a research paper and how to cite your sources, there’s a tab at the top of this blog, “How to Write a Research Report.”

I know it’s not a lot of time, but I’m hoping some of you will be ready to present your results to the class on Monday Dec 1! You don’t have to hand the paper in that day, if it’s not ready. The rest of you, we’ll take time for presentations on Monday Dec 8. I’d expect your paper to include at least one map, and to run at least 4 to 6 pages.

The final papers aren’t due until the end of finals week, but if you can get me a hard copy on the last day of class, that would be great. I won’t be on campus after that, so papers can be sent by email.

Also, be sure you are caught up on the other assignments for this class, which are posted in the blog on Nov 12. If you can get all of your work in to me by the last day of class, that would be great, but the final deadline is the end of finals week.

Any questions, let me know!

Prof G

Posted by: mgrady | November 19, 2014

Update November 18

Hi Class!

Just a quick note with details about the RIC event on Wednesday for Geography Awareness Week. This event is mainly aimed at current K-12 teachers, but RIC students are welcome, and especially those who are interested in becoming teachers might find it worthwhile. It’s at 4 PM Wednesday Nov 18 in Whipple Hall, here are the details:

I’ll be giving a short talk about the environmental impacts of food production, and there are 3 or 4 other speakers too.

I’ll have another post up here for you in a day or two with details about your next assignment. For now we’re planning to meet next Monday at the bee hive site on campus, but check back for updates, depending on weather and etc.

Prof G

Posted by: mgrady | November 17, 2014

Apiary Visit Postponed

Apiary Visit Postponed

hi Class! Although it’s not raining at the moment, forecasts are about 75 to 95 percent predicting rain for 4 PM, so we have postponed the apiary visit to next week.

Please report to class in our classroom, at 4 PM today… see you there!

Prof G

Monday, Nov 17

Posted by: mgrady | November 14, 2014

Update Friday Nov 14

Hi Class!

The weather as usual is pretty unpredictable in RI…. I will be checking in with Jim Murphy about our apiary visit around noon on Monday, so be sure to check in here. In case it’s raining so hard that we have to cancel, we’ll meet in our usual classroom instead.

Meanwhile, here is another recent story about the bee project, from RI Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza:

Posted by: mgrady | November 13, 2014

Update Nov 12

hi Class!

I hope you enjoyed that trip to the wastewater treatment plant, despite the aromas! It’s definitely not a pleasant place, but it’s very interesting, and I think worthwhile for all of us to see where all of our waste ends up. I wish we had spent more time getting to see the windmills, but if they can’t take us inside, there’s not much to see from up close that you can’t see from where we were… at least we got a pretty close-up look at them, and a good sense of how big they are and how much power they produce.

For next Monday, Nov 17, we’ll be visiting the bee project on the RIC campus. There’s no lighting there, so to make the most of our limited daylight, please try to get there as close to 4 PM as you can. Since it’s right on campus, this should be do-able for most of you. I’m not sure yet what the plan is if it’s raining, so be sure to check back here on Monday….. and check back here anyway, just in case of any updates.

The plan is for us to┬ámeet at the Apiary, between Building 7 (Sherlock Center) and Building 8 …..


Here is a campus map, if you’re not familiar with this part of campus, or try Google maps:

Here is some info about the beekeeping project and why it’s important:

And here’s a recent news release about the opening of the new bee education center:

Also, as I mentioned in last class, here is a re-cap of the work you should have handed in by now:

— Field trip report (see the Oct 22 post)

— Independent exploration (see the Sept 13 post)

— Pre-test (handed out in class)

Next week we’ll go over your next assignment, which will be for you to do some research and report to the class on a local topic.

Any questions, let me know!

Prof g

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