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Celebrating Geography Awareness Week and Geomatics Day, November 2002

Geography Awareness Week

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), CARIS, and the City of Fredericton went to several schools in Fredericton and Boiestown to talk to students about geomatics. These schools included:

During the week, over 350 students 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.) and
  3. asked to perform a mapping exercise.
The exercises performed at the schools are described below.

Park Street Elementary School
(Instructors: David Fraser and Teresa Tang, UNB GGE)

At Park Street School, the students in grades 4 and 5 created a map of their school. The students were given a base map (Figure 1) and were required to perform several tasks in order to complete the map. These tasks included: Figure 2 shows a school map that was created by a Grade 4 student. Over 100 students participated in this mapping exercise.

Figure 1. Base Map of Park Street School

Figure 2. Map of Park Street School

Connaught Street Elementary School
(Instructors: David Fraser, UNB GGE and Julie Norton, SNB)

At Connaught Street School in Fredericton, the students in grades 4 and 5 created a map of an area surrounding theschool. The students were given a base map and were required to perform several tasks in order to complete the map. These tasks included: Over 100 students, participated in this mapping exercise

Figure 3. Base Map of Connaught Street School and Surrounding Area

Nashwaaksis Middle School, Albert Street Middle School, Fredericton High School, and Upper Miramichi Elementary School
Instructors: Elizabeth Hamilton and Siobhan Hanratty (UNB Libraries)
Support Team: Jeff Sharpe (CARIS), Julie Norton (SNB), Felix McCarthy (City of Fredericton) and David Fraser (UNB GGE)

Students in these schools were given the opportunity to design their own map for the webpages of their individual schools. The maps that the students designed may be viewed at

Examples of some of the comments made by middle school students concerning their mapping exercise

Albert Street Middle School

Dr. Y.C. Lee also gave the students at Albert Street School a presentation on GIS and mapping.

Examples of the comments of some students in the middle schools on Dr. Lee's presentation

Geomatics Day

On November 20, 2002, Geomatics Day was celebrated at the Wu Centre Auditorium on the campus of UNB. This event consisted of both a morning session and an evening session. A map gallery exhibit was also on display for both morning and evening sessions.

Morning Session

The morning session focused on recognizing two of UNB's geomatics partners, namely, Service New Brunswick and CARIS. Some of the research projects currently underway at UNB and New Brunswick Community College-Moncton (NBCC-Moncton) were showcased.

The following is an itinerary for the morning session:

Welcome and introductions
J.Teskey, Director, UNB Libraries.
Geomatics partnerships, human capital and the future of New Brunswick
J.D. McLaughlin, President, UNB.
Honouring our partners: Presentations to Service New Brunswick and to CARIS.
When you open the door to learning and research
  1. Kimberly Boucher (NBCC-Moncton)
  2. Samson Ng'ang'a (UNB Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering)
  3. Chengu Zhang (UNB Forestry and Environmental Engineering)
  4. Michael Sutherland (UNB Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering)
Opening of Map Gallery, Wu Centre Foyer

Evening Session

The evening session focussed on geography in the community. During the evening session, Rob Lunn (GIS Manager for the City of Fredericton) gave a presentation on the use of geomatics in the City of Fredericton, and David Fraser and Elizabeth Hamilton showcased the activities performed in K-12 during Geography Awareness Week.

Map Gallery

The Map Gallery included exhibits from For the Map Gallery, there were over 100 exhibits.

Click here to read UNB's news release on the activities.