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Celebrating Geography Awareness Week and Geomatics Day @ UNB, November 2006

The National Geographic Society has sponsored Geography Awareness Week since 1987 to promote geographic literacy in schools, communities, and organizations, with a focus on the education of children.

As part of Geography Awareness Week, volunteers from UNB (Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering and UNB Libraries), Service New Brunswick (SNB), Department of Local Government, and the Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors worked with over 30 classes in schools in the Fredericton area. The schools included:

The various classes were:

  1. introduced to the concept of working with maps

  2. given the opportunity to view a selection of maps (e.g., satellite images of New Brunswick and Fredericton, topographic maps and street maps, etc.)

  3. asked to perform a mapping exercise (map design or map creation)

In addition, four grade 8 classes from George Street School and one grade 9 class from Ecole Sainte-Anne visited the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering. They attended several presentations and performed a Google Earth/Map exercise.

The Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering hosted an open house on Thursday, November 30, 2006 at Head Hall, featuring presentations by Peter Dare, Jonathan Beaudoin, Maciej Bazanowski, Rob Lunn (City of Fredericton), David Fraser and Elizabeth Hamilton. The lobby was filled with displays from various research units within the Department, as well as exhibits from CARIS and the Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors.

During the celebrations, two presentations were made. The UNB Geomatics Day Award, a biennial award of $200.00, is awarded for the most outstanding map submitted by a current University of New Brunswick student. It is open to all students in UNB programs and applies to individual as well as team products. The map is judged on the basis of originality, practical value or industry impact, clarity of expression, and general interest. The 2006 prize was presented to the GGE undergraduate team of Nick Bardsley, Alix d'Entrement, and Rory O'Connell for their topographic map of the area around some of the UNB Fredericton campus student residences.

A second award was presented to Rob Lunn, who represented the City of Fredericton's Development Services Department and the Engineering and Public Services Department. There are many partners who have made exemplary contributions through the provision of geographic data to the University of New Brunswick. This year, the City of Fredericton was recognized for their support of Geography Awareness Week, the provision of city geographic data to the UNB Libraries, and their support of GGE students through their Professional Experience Program.

The photographs below show some of the open house proceedings (photos courtesy of Gang Hong and Burton Glendenning).

Dr. Peter Dare introducing the afternoon's activities.

Jonathan Beaudoin wins the door prize: a GPS receiver presented by Dr. Dare.

Some of the crowd attending the event.

Norm Coté from the Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors (ANBLS) and Richard Langley discuss the ANBLS exhibit.

Graduate student Rodrigo Leandro explains the GPS Research Group's work.

Yongdae Gweon and Gang Hong answer questions about the department's 3D image display software.

Students, staff, and the general public heard and saw how geomatics is enhancing our lives.