BioBlitz Big Marsh

Hello Backyard Geographers!

      My name is Julie Watkins and I am the Geographic Society of Chicago’s 2019-2020 intern! Today I’d like to share with you our upcoming event, BioBlitz Big Marsh. For those that are unfamiliar, a BioBlitz is defined as “an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area.”¹ This is the GSC’s second time doing a BioBlitz at Big Marsh with the intention of logging the area’s plants and animals via the free app, iNaturalist. This event is free and open to all! Please be sure to RSVP “Going” on the Facebook event. We look forward to seeing you on September 14th! Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/348660959357508/

 

Details

  • September 14th
  • 10am-1pm (Friends of Big Marsh celebration 2pm-6pm)
  • Big Marsh, 11599 South Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60617

 

A Brief History of Big Marsh

      Big Marsh can be found in the Calumet Area Reserve on the Southeast side of Chicago. As Chicago’s 564th park, Big Marsh earned its designation as a park in 2016 after being used as an industrial site in the late 1800s.² Laden with nine steel mills, this industrial site turned the wild and beautiful marshland into a wasteland filled with slag.³ The Chicago Park District acquired all 278 acres of Big Marsh in 2011, and Friends of Big Marsh has been working with the Chicago Park District ever since to create a site of eco-recreation. 

      An eco-recreation site is a site dedicated to habitat restoration as well as leisure and recreation for neighboring communities. For example, Big Marsh’s successful bike park, modeled after Valmont Bike Park in Colorado, is built atop remaining slag from the steel mills.³  Other popular activities to engage in at Big Marsh are hiking, birdwatching, and fishing. Called a “mecca of biodiversity” by Lauren Umek, project manager at Chicago Park District’s Department of Cultural and Natural Resources,³ Big Marsh is a prime spot for a BioBlitz, and certainly sets the bar high for other eco-recreation sites.

      I hope you enjoyed this brief history of Big Marsh, and I look forward to sharing more events, blog posts, seminars, Travelogues, and the like with you all soon!

 

Julie

 

References

[1] “BioBlitz.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 July 2019, 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioBlitz.

[2] “Big Marsh Park (Park No. 564).” Chicago Park District, Chicago Park District, 2014, 

www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/big-marsh-park-park-no-564.

[3] Schulman, Ben. “How Chicago Turned an Industrial Waste Site Into a Nature-Loving 

Cyclist’s Paradise.” CityLab, 27 July 2016, www.citylab.com/design/2016/07/how-chicago-turned-an-industrial-waste-site-into-a-nature-lovers-and-cyclists-paradise/492665/.

Chicago Before Chicago

STEM Educators: Independent Contractor Work Available July 2018

http://www.lamission.edu/STEM/Home.aspx

BP is sponsoring 3 international Global STEM Academies for a total of 100 international students. These 4-week summer programs in Chicago, Cairo and Brazil are offered in partnership with AFS Intercultural programs.

AFS-USA is looking to hire 2 educators who will deliver STEM program curriculum to the Chicago program. The student group consists of 30+ scholarship students, ages 15-17, from countries like Egypt, South Africa, Germany, China, India, Mexico, Brazil, etc. The program design has classes in the morning from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., and students will have related hands-on type activities and excursions with Program Counselors in the afternoons and evenings to reinforce and give additional exposure to the STEM topics.

Teachers will facilitate two morning classes (9 a.m. -10:25 a.m. and 10:35 a.m. -12 noon) each with approximately 15 students. Scholarship winners are expected to have a medium to high level of English comprehension and will all be non-native participants.

The themes of each week are:

Week 1: Architecture and Engineering

Week 2: The Energy Challenge

Week 3: Landscape Architecture & Art

Week 4: The Energy Challenge, Part 2

Teachers should be able to design curriculum for these topics. Once engaged, teachers will work closely with me to further develop the overall program content and to meld the classwork with the afternoon and evening program.

If interested, please submit a resume to Jenny.Davis@afsusa.org

NEH Summer Seminar – Newberry Library

https://readingmaterialmaps.wordpress.com/

 

The Newberry Library’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography has announced its 2018 NEH Summer Seminar for K-12 school teachers, Reading Material Maps in the Digital Age.

The four-week seminar, led by Dr. James Akerman (The Newberry Library) and Dr. Peter Nekola (Luther College), will focus on the practice of critically reading and teaching from original map documents, informed by the most recent cartographic scholarship. Material maps are still useful in our everyday life, but there is no question that teaching cartographic literacy is complicated by the advent of the digital age.  If material maps are in fact fading in popularity, what pedagogical purposes can these objects still serve in K-12 humanities teaching?  How can we learn from the material map’s physical presence, historical uses, and meanings? Grounded in the renowned map collections of the library, this exciting program will consist of seminar sessions, readings, workshops, field trips, and personal research.

Applications are encouraged from K-12 faculty in all disciplines. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $3,300 to help defray travel and housing expenses. The deadline for applying is March 1, 2018.  For more information on the seminar, program faculty, stipend and housing information, and how to apply, please go to the Reading Material Maps website:  readingmaterialmaps.wordpress.com .

Additional inquiries may be directed to:

Kara Johnson
Program Assistant, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography
The Newberry Library
60 W Walton St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 255-3575
johnsonk@newberry.org