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Issue Vol. 67, No. 4

Publication Date: February, 2017

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President's Message  

Page: 2

Author(s): Hughes, Shawn

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and that many of you had a great start to the 2nd semester. Our amaz­ing OAGEE conference team has just finished the wrap up and debrief for our phenomenal 2016 OAGEE Fall Conference at Trinity College Schools in Port Hope (see my Thank You to our conference team later in this issue) and have already started planning our next conference at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora on November 10th & 11th 2017. 

A huge thank you to our conference coordinator, Cory McKercher @ Trinity College Schools, who worked very hard to put together an exciting lineup of presentations and workshops. I have no doubt that he will be lending his expertise to our 2017 conference coordinators, David Joiner and John Macdonald, when we return to the York-Durham region in 2017. Previously, David Joiner planned a very suc­cessful and exciting 2011 OAGEE Fall Conference hosted at St. Andrew’s College. I have no doubt that you will find the surroundings very comfortable and conducive for wonder­ful workshops and meeting like-minded people. Please do not underestimate the value of this networking experience. 

Conference Coordinators for the 2017 OAGEE Fall Con­ference:
David Joiner, St. Andrew’s College
John Macdonald, Markham District High School

This is my last President’s Message! I’ve been part of OAGEE since 2002/2003 and I am honoured to have served as the President for the last 4 years. I cannot overstate how pleased I am to welcome our new OAGEE President, Ewan Geddes from TDSB. 

Ewan is part of a group of amazingly talented and dedicated people that I have had the pleasure of working with since 2002. He has been actively involved in OAGEE and sharing his skills and knowledge with his school community, board, and the province for almost 20 years. 

I have enjoyed working with some very talented, dedicated, and resilient educators that readily share their incredible teaching experiences. The most noteworthy trait of these Geo Gurus is that they continue to make a difference by investigating many of the challenges that we face on a global scale with their students while their own emotional mettle is being tested by life challenges including injury, illness, unemployment, grief, or an unknown future with retirement and new ventures. 

Throughout their own personal struggles, these lifelong learners continue to email me at 11pm to share their amaz­ing ideas and Geography resources with OAGEE members. Several of these teachers endured these challenges with a positive attitude, which serves to create a more compas­sionate classroom where students are challenged and encouraged to be the best version of themselves.

I truly hope that these gurus never grow tired of this organization and I would encourage any of you to become more involved with OAGEE and meet some of these incredible people. We hope to see you at these great opportunities for current and relevant professional development sponsored by OAGEE. We need your help in Ontario so that Geography can SURVIVE & THRIVE. Take an active role in your profession by becoming an OAGEE member today at

GeoGeek Talks - thoughts from an aspiring Geographer  

Page: 4

Author(s): Abbotts, Torie

One of the sessions I attended at the OAGEE Fall Confer­ence focused on the benefits of getting students outdoors to explore. Students, I learned, will forge deeply rooted feelings for nature if they are given the opportunity to spend time exploring their surroundings with someone who is caring and facilitates their understanding of natural systems. The discussion our workshop group had about this topic was very thoughtful, but I had difficulty believ­ing the effort needed to integrate the outdoors into my regular lessons was worth it. 

CGC1P/D: A Rick Mercer Annotated Map  

Page: 6

Author(s): Ellis, Amanda

This annotated map assignment is designed for Grade 9 Aca­demic and Applied students to map locations shown in the Rick Mercer Report, and summarize each clip in annotated format on the map provided. Students will need to decide what is important about the clip as well as decide which part of the legend the story best represents. For example, the annotation for Montreal’s Fete des Neiges might read: “People can enjoy zip lining, curling, tubing, hockey and other winter things a subway stop from downtown.” The legend colour could be that of Weather/Climate, Recreation and Leisure, or even Culture!

CGW4U World Issues: Canadian Geopolitics - Part 2  

Page: 8-13

Author(s): Radcliffe, Katherine; Nagy, Alanna; Miller, Joseph; Bailey, Ross; Keffer, Tirzah; Wielenga, Jeremy; Huiqi, Cao

Editors Note: This is one of 3 curriculum packages developed by Pre Service Students of Randy Wilkie at Lakehead University. Due to their length, they will be divided into smaller packages and included in upcoming issues of The Monograph. This article is Part 2 of a unit on Canadian Geopolitics and includes 2 of the last 3 of the 6 lessons.

Grade 8: Resource Review - Against All Odds Activity  

Page: 14-21

Author(s): Bruhn, Emily

The video game teaches students about the difficulties refu­gees have to go through to escape the fear of being persecuted in their country of residence. It also shows the steps that a refugee must go through to seek asylum in a foreign coun­try. In the game itself, students take on the role of a refugee which will add to their understanding of the true fear and hardships that refugees must endure to reach a  safer country.

Grade 12: GeoVenture Program - Mapping a Mining Operation  

Page: 22-24

Author(s): Alexander, Angela

Earlier this year, Greg Anderson’s Grade 12 students in the GeoVenture Program at Perth and District Collegiate Institute (P&DCI) conducted a survey project at a local Omya mine and plant. Students learned about the impor­tance and everyday use of calcite, the mineral that’s mined at the Perth location.

2016 OAGEE Award of Merit Winner - Association of Ontario Land Surveyors (AOLS)  

Page: 25

Author(s): Hughes, Shawn

OAGEE Award of Merit “Recognizing contributions by an organization or member of the community for their support of geo­graphic education in the province of Ontario”.

The Association of Ontario Land Surveyors (AOLS) are regular fixtures at OAGEE’s Fall Conferences. We always look forward to seeing Nigel and Michael at every conference. They are always eager to promote GeoCareer pathways in Geography and Geomatics and for this reason, OAGEE was very pleased to present OAGEE’s Award of Merit to these very worthy and entertaining gentlemen and the association they represent.

Mike Matthews and Nigel Day with the OAGEE Award of Merit they received on behalf of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors (AOLS) at the 2016 Fall Conference in Port Hope.

“Students enjoy the hands-on practical nature of geomatics. The fascinating nature of geomatics, which appeals to many surveyors and may be of interest to students, is the option of working indoors or outdoors, in urban or rural settings, domestically, internationally, or combinations of all these options. This is why geomatics is a borderless profession with the opportunity to diversify and follow one’s passion.” — Day, N. (2007). Welcome to the World of Geo­matics. The Monograph, 58(3), 1-4.

Doug Koegler, Waterloo Teacher honoured with top Canadian Geographic Literacy Award  

Page: 26

Author(s): Royal Canadian Geographic Society,

Editor’s Note: I would like to add my congratulations to Doug for this richly deserved honour. From a personal perspective, Doug was president of OAGEE in 1987 when I assumed my position as Editor of The Monograph 30 years ago so I can attest to his enthusiasm and dedication to geographic education and to the fact that Canadian Geographic Education made an excellent choice in giving him this award.

Ken Hall - Former OAGEE President Awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship  

Page: 27

Author(s): James, Sarah

Editor’s Note: As a Geography teacher, I had the privilege of having Ken as a colleague during my 33 year career at the Hamilton Board of Education. I want to publicly con­gratulate Ken on receiving this much deserved recognition. I also want to point out to OAGEE members that Ken was President of the association for two years, 1972 and 1973 and also was one of the members of the planning com­mittee for the Spring Conference in Dundas this past year.

Geography Immersion @ Trinity College School - The 2017 OAGEE Fall Conference  

Page: 28-29

Author(s): Birchall, Gary

As you drive through the gate and enter the grounds, you cannot be anything but impressed with the size of the campus and the date on the plaque on the pillar that informs you that this school was “moved to this site in 1865”. As you approach the various buildings, you cannot help but be impressed with the mix of old and new architectural styles.

Geospatial Technology: Trails and Trials - 2  

Page: 30

Author(s): Fletcher, Jonathan

Looking for some resources? One of my biggest frustrations to teaching geographical concepts with technology is teach­ing the technology. Teachers are not experts. Students aren’t going to become experts. Frustration can be the outcome for both teacher and student. At least that is my experience. I get frustrated a lot. Hence the column title “Trails and Trials”. There have been many trials. 

VIDEO REVIEW Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink - The Clues to the Future Lie in the Past  

Page: 31

Author(s): Birchall, Gary

Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink - The Clues to the Future Lie in the Past by Jeffrey Wright
1 DVD Disk, July 21, 2015
Amazon $C26.99

This is a well organized and clearly pre­sented story of scientific investigations and discoveries related to the end of Permian (The Great Dying) and the K-Pg (End of the Dinosaurs) extinction events. These were two out of the five greatest mass extinctions in the last 600 million years of the geologic history of the Earth. The sources of evidence used to narrow down the probable causes of these two extinc­tion events are presented and the reader is taken to the actual locations where the key findings were made. The general conclu­sion was that the two extinctions differed in the “trigger” that got them started but that the role of greenhouse gases in raising the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and acidifying the oceans was a common underlying cause. 

In the case of “The Great Dying”, when over 90% of all species on land and sea were obliterated, one of the prime suspects is the Siberian Traps, huge unimaginable masses of basaltic lava that poured out of volcanoes in north central Eurasia 250 million years ago. These eruptions lasted millions of years and covered an area about the size of the continental United States in up to a mile deep layer of lava. The carbon and sulphur dioxide gases released during these eruptions altered Earth’s envi­ronment by dramatically warming and chemically changing both the atmosphere and oceans. It was this combination of processes (carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere > global warming > oceans heat up and lose their oxygen > nasty anaerobic bacteria take over, burping out lots of poisonous gas  > end result? – mass extinction) that brought on a time “When Life Nearly Died”.

In the case of the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous era, the trigger was a massive meteorite impact on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Here, the massive infusion of rock materials and gases such as carbon and sulphur dioxide released in the fireball at the impact site, had the same impact on Earth’s atmosphere and oceans as in the Permian extinction.

The last, and most unsettling aspect of the story, points out the parallels between the causes of these past extinctions and the changes being brought about by human activities on the Earth’s atmosphere in our own time. It also underlines the fact that the environmental changes (increased CO2 in the atmosphere, warming and acidification of the oceans, bleaching of coral reefs, rising sea levels, ecosys­tem destruction), are taking place at the same rate as, or maybe even faster than, the disastrous environmental changes at the end of the Permian and Cretaceous (K) periods in Earth’s geologic history.

It was this latter realization, pointed out by one of the geologists inter­viewed in the video, that really sent a shiver down my back!!! In the human time scale the changes we are bringing about in the environment seem slow but in the geologic time scale they are very fast. By the end of the video, you might be asking yourself the question: “Are humans on the verge of trigger­ing a 6th Mass Extinction – On Our OWN!!?”

Shouldn’t this story, that links the 5 mass extinctions of the distant geologic past with what we humans are doing to the Earth today in causing global warming, be a vital and certainly chilling part of the CGP3M Physical Geography course? It might be a big attraction to students looking for a course with interesting insights into the Earth and its physical and human interactions and processes! If so, this clearly presented and organized video would provide a valuable resource to do so.

Some additional resources on the same topic:

  • NOVA: Lethal Seas DVD
  • NOVA: Doomsday Volcanoes DVD
  • NOVA: In the Path of a Killer Volcano DVD
  • NOVA: Mystery of the Megavolcano DVD
  • NOVA/FRONTLINE: Global Warming: What’s Up with the Weather? DVD

All of the above are available for US$19.99 online from:
ShopPBS at