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AAG Field Trips 2017

Explore the rich physical and cultural geography of Boston and New England through informative field trips led by geographers or other experts. Field trips are also an excellent way to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues and friends. 

All field trips will department from the Dalton Street Entrance of the Sheraton hotel.

To add a field trip, please click on the link below. You will find field trip options by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking the arrow next to the appropriate date. 

Please note: field trips are listed in the order of their start time, not by their trip number.

Add a Field Trip


TUESDAY, APRIL 4

F0_1 Cultural Geography of Boston's Immigrants
Tuesday, April 4, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Organizer: Ruth Allen (AAG)
Trip Capacity: 35
Cost/person: $48.00

Explore the cultural geography of Boston's immigrants and connections with civil/human rights through 400 years of history in the Roxbury neighborhood. From early European immigrants, to the center of Jewish and later African-American communities, and now African immigrants, Roxbury's evolution continues. The tour starts with a drive through Frederick Law Olmsted’s Franklin Park, home to abolitionists supporting Harriet Tubman. Local organization, Discover Roxbury, will lead the group through historic John Elliot Square, the active archeological excavation of Malcolm X House, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, and lunch at Butterfly Cafe, the center for Somali political refugees in Boston.

F0_3 Visit Historic Maps of New England & Sip Scotch at the Harbor Hotel
Tuesday, April 4, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Organizer: Kris Butler (Boston Map Society)
Trip Capacity: 50
Cost/person: $5.00

Join members of the Boston Map Society for an informal stroll around historic maps of New England while sipping your beverage of choice! Part of the Leventhal Map Center's collection is inside the Boston Harbor Hotel, as is Boston's best Scotch list and local beer. Take the T to the Aquarium stop (blue line); pay-as-consume. 7:30 - 9:00, Tuesday, April 4. Please note that attendees are responsible for getting themselves to the Boston Harbor Hotel. The organizer will reach out closer to the trip to provide attendees directions. 


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5

F1_1 Walking Tour of Landmaking on Boston's Central Waterfront
Wednesday, April 5, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Organizer: Nancy Seasholes (Atlas of Boston History)
Trip Capacity: 30
Cost/person: $11.50

This walking tour will trace the landmaking that created what is now Boston's Central Waterfront. The tour will progress from the sites of the earliest filling in the 17th century to the latest in the 1870s.Please note that the $11.50 charge includes transportation fees, handouts, and the AAG admin fee.

F1_6 Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Big Dig from the Water 
Wednesday, April 5, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Organizers: Keith Ratner (Salem State University) & Andrew Goetz (University of Denver) 
Trip Capacity: 50
Cost/person: $53.00
Sponsored by: AAG Specialty Group, Transportation

See the “Big Dig” from the unique perspective of the water around the project. Starting on the Charles River, the trip travels under the new symbol of Boston, the Zakim Bridge and through the Gridley Dam locks into the Inner Harbor. Through the Boston Harbor, next stop is the Fort Point Channel, site of the most expensive piece of Interstate Highway in America. Finally, the East Boston portal of the Ted Williams tunnel is visited. Accompanying the trip is Wentworth Institute of Technology Professor Jim Lambrechts who spent 10 years figuring out the many geotechnical problems of the project.

F1_2 Tour of Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Wednesday, April 5, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Organizer: Ronald Grim (Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library)
Trip Capacity: 20
Cost/person: $5.00

Learn about the physical and online cartographic resources available at the Boston Public Library. This tour will introduce participants to three aspects of the LMC collection. The curator will provide an overview of the collection highlighting a selection of historic treasures. The assistant curator will lead a walk-through of the current gallery exhibition, “Regions and Seasons: Mapping Climate through History,” and the reference and geo-spatial librarian will demonstrate LMC online resources including a new digital collection incorporating images of historic maps from ten partner institutions focusing primarily on the Revolutionary War era.

F1_3 Walk & Learn: The Planning of Boston, the Greenway, and the Legacy of the Big Dig
Wednesday, April 5, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Organizers: Zachary Jones (Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group) & Sara Myerson (Boston Planning and Development Agency)
Trip Capacity: 30
Cost/person: $30.00

Participants will travel by MBTA (tickets included in the field trip cost) to Boston's City Hall. Accompanied by staff from the Boston Planning and Development Agency, this tour will include a presentation of the "Bird's-eye Boston" model of The Hub at City Hall. From there the tour will walk to the Greenway park system to discuss the legacy of the Big Dig. The tour will part ways with the BPDA staff and walk leisurely along the Greenway Park system paths. The tour will ride the MBTA back to the conference. Please be advised: the Greenway walk is approximately one mile.

F1_4 Fenway Park Tour
Wednesday, April 5, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Organizers: Jase Bernhardt (Hofstra University) & Jonathan Kirk (Kent State University)
Trip Capacity: 27
Cost/person: $27.00

Calling all baseball fans! Join us in a tour of the neighborhood ballpark-- historic Fenway Park. Located less than one mile from the Hynes Convention Center, Fenway Park has been home to the storied Boston Red Sox franchise since 1912, making it the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in operation, with its iconic “Green Monster” a Boston landmark. We will depart from the Hynes Convention Center, walking through the Fenway neighborhood on our way to the ballpark. Our one hour guided tour will include stops at all of Fenway Park’s famous sites, with an optional lunch at a local tavern afterward.


THURSDAY, APRIL 6

F2_1 African American, Latino and Vietnamese Community Activism in Boston
Thursday, April 6, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Organizers: Yuko Aoyama (Clark University) & Son Ca Lam (Clark University)
Trip Capacity: 20
Cost/person: $52.00

Boston is a majority-minority city. To showcase diversity and understand community activism in the city, we will visit Dorchester district and VietAID (Vietnamese American Initiative for Development), and two stops in the South End district: Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (runs affordable housing Villa Victoria and Latino Center for the Arts), and South End Technology Center @ Tent City (African American educational initiative co-founded by Mel King). The tour involves bus rides and moderate city walking. Recommends wearing comfortable walking shoes and bringing water. Fieldtrip fee includes modest contribution to the community.

F2_8 Public Transit and Changing Urban Spaces in Metropolitan Boston
Thursday, April 6, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Organizer: Keith Ratner (Salem State University)
Trip Capacity: 35
Cost/person: $42.00
Sponsored by: AAG Specialty Group, Transportation

This trip views changing urban spaces around several different public transportation lines and stations in Boston. Light rail, heavy rail, and bus rapid transit (BRT) along with two of Boston’s major train stations are visited. The new, popular Assembly Square mixed use, smart growth development on the heavy rail Orange Line in Somerville is the first stop. Cambridge on the heavy rail Red Line is next, with stops at the rapidly changing “Innovation Hub” of Kendall Square, and also Davis Square, which gentrified in the 1980s. Lunch will be eaten in Davis Square. In the afternoon, the first stop is South Station in Boston. Then, the Silver Line BRT is ridden to the booming Seaport District. Next, the redeveloping Downtown Crossing District and Boston Common are visited. Finally, the light rail Green Line is ridden through the tunnels of America’s first subway back to Copley Square.

F2_3 1938 Gropius House, A New England Historic Home
Thursday, April 6, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Organizer: Wendy Hubbard (Historic New England)
Leader: Eric Huntley (University of Kentucky)
Trip Capacity: 27
Cost/person: $44.00
Walter Gropius, founder of the German design school known as the Bauhaus and one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century, designed Gropius House as his family home. Modest in scale, the house was revolutionary in impact. It combined the traditional elements of New England architecture—wood, brick, and fieldstone—with innovative materials rarely used in domestic settings at that time, including glass block, acoustical plaster, chrome banisters, and the latest technology in fixtures. In keeping with Bauhaus philosophy, every aspect of the house and its surrounding landscape was planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity of design.

F2_9 Tour Harvard Forest
Thursday, April 6, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Organizer: Brenden McNeil (Harvard Forest)
Trip Capacity: 27
Cost/person: $73.00
Sponsored by: AAG Specialty Group, Biogeography

Located 1.5 hours west of Boston in Petersham, MA, the Harvard Forest of Harvard University is one of the most intensely-studied forest ecosystems in the world. Since 1915, the forest has been a leading laboratory and research center for environmental scholarship. Participants on this day-long field trip will tour the forest alongside Harvard Forest staff to learn more about the forest's ongoing contributions to geographic sub-fields of biogeography, remote sensing, environmental history, phenology, and global change. Trip costs include round-trip transportation from the conference hotel, and a box lunch.

 F2_10 Food and Agriculture Across Boston's Urban/Rural Gradient – Posted 2.27
Thursday, April 6, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Organizers: Levi Van Sant (Georgia Southern University)
Trip Capacity: 27
Cost/person: $54.00
Co-Sponsored by: AAG Specialty Groups, Geography of Food and Agriculture and Rural Geography

This trip will explore some of Boston's local food systems, focusing on the relationship between food production and the geography of regional development. We will visit several farms in the Boston area, starting in the city center and then moving west towards the more rural areas around Lincoln. The trip will close with a visit to Walden Pond.

F2_6 Geographies of Beer, Part II: Boston Beer Geographies
Thursday, April 6, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Organizers: Toby Applegate (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) & Jessica Breen (University of Kentucky)
Leader: Colleen Hiner (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Trip Capacity: 52
Cost/person: $97.00
Sponsored by: AAG Specialty Group, Wine, Beer, and Spirits

This field trip continues from last year's beer tour of San Francisco and environs to engage the robust craft and independent brewing geography of Boston. We will visit one big player in Boston's beer geography: Boston Beer Company producer of the iconic Samuel Adams Boston Lager, then we will change scales and visit smaller independent breweries in Boston that are carving out space and names for themselves in New England's competitive craft brewing environment.

F2_7 Tour of Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Thursday, April 6, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Organizer: Ronald Grim (Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library)
Trip Capacity: 20
Cost/person: $5.00

Learn about the physical and online cartographic resources available at the Boston Public Library. This tour will introduce participants to three aspects of the LMC collection. The curator will provide an overview of the collection highlighting a selection of historic treasures. The assistant curator will lead a walk-through of the current gallery exhibition, “Regions and Seasons: Mapping Climate through History,” and the reference and geo-spatial librarian will demonstrate LMC online resources including a new digital collection incorporating images of historic maps from ten partner institutions focusing primarily on the Revolutionary War era.

F2_11 Tour and History of Harvard Geography and GIS
Thursday, April 6, 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Organizer: Matthew Wilson (University of Kentucky and the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis) 
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $5.00

This hour-long walking tour on Harvard campus will discuss the history of the geography program at Harvard (closed in 1948), the role of the Harvard Lab for Computer Graphics in the emergence of GIS, as well as visit the Harvard Map Collection and the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis. We will end the tour with a pint from the Queens Head Pub (for those 21 and older), in the basement of Memorial Hall -- the former location of the Lab for Computer Graphics. Please note that attendees will need to meet the organizer at the Harvard Square T Station at 3:30 p.m. Organizer will send out instructions closer to the trip.


FRIDAY, APRIL 7

F3_1 Plum Island Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Halibut Point State Park: Coastal and Glacial Geomorphology of Boston’s North Shore
Friday, April 7, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Organizers: Joan Welch (West Chester University) & Lealdon Langley (Wetlands and Waterways Program)
Trip Capacity: 25
Cost/person: $82.00

Participants will visit Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, a coastal barrier island, salt marsh, and freshwater marsh system with diverse habitats critical for migratory waterfowl. The geomorphology of the refuge includes glacial and coastal influences with beaches, an undisturbed dune line, and drumlins. Parker River is an excellent birding site with over 350 species recorded. As a counterpoint, participants will visit Halibut Point State Park, a rocky headland made of 440 million year-old granite that descends into tidal pools. Glacial striations mark the outcrops. Be prepared for walking and weather. Water, snacks and binoculars recommended. Lunch at Ipswich Ale Brewer's Table included in cost.

F3_3 Tour of Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Friday, April 7, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Organizer: Ronald Grim (Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library)
Trip Capacity: 20
Cost/person: $5.00

Learn about the physical and online cartographic resources available at the Boston Public Library. This tour will introduce participants to three aspects of the LMC collection. The curator will provide an overview of the collection highlighting a selection of historic treasures. The assistant curator will lead a walk-through of the current gallery exhibition, “Regions and Seasons: Mapping Climate through History,” and the reference and geo-spatial librarian will demonstrate LMC online resources including a new digital collection incorporating images of historic maps from ten partner institutions focusing primarily on the Revolutionary War era.

F3_5 THE GAMBIA: The Origins of a Cartographic Space
Friday, April 7, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Organizers: Gerald Rizzo (The Afriterra Cartographic Free Library) & Lovision Golob (The Afriterra Cartographic Free Library)
Leader: Deborah Metzel (University of Massachusetts, Boston)
Trip Capacity: 20
Cost/person: $36.00
Sponsored by: The AFRITERRA Free Library

The Afriterra Free Library in Boston is holding a field trip to attend a rare map exhibit promoting the visualization of Africa as a space more than a name. The exhibit holds 10 original specimens as well as an expanded online study which allows multiple pan-and-zoom views depicting the original Gambia River of West Africa, covering a period of 400 years from 1513 to 1900. In this experience we offer the objectives of expanding the historical basis, as well as creating methods to better anticipate the lessons and plans that forge our future. Sequestered for centuries, these maps are opened here for examination in this first ever public assemblage.

F3_9 Walking Tour of the Retail Mix in the Historic Back Bay and Fenway-Kenmore Neighborhoods of Boston
Friday, April 7, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Organizers: Lawrence Joseph (West Marine) & Brett Lucas (City of Cheney)
Trip Capacity: 27
Cost/person: $5.00
Sponsored by: AAG Specialty Group, Business Geography

Dr. Joseph and Mr. Lucas will guide a walking tour and discussion of the retail trends and history in the Back Bay and Fenway-Kenmore neighborhoods of Boston. The tour will start in historic Back Bay, including Newbury Street, which was part of the Boston Harbor until it was filled in during the mid-nineteenth century. The discussion will focus on the healthy mix between chain retailers and unique shops and why retail rents are at their highest ever. The tour will continue to the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood to view the retail and restaurant growth around historic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

F3_7 Portland Sea Dogs (Minor League Baseball) Game - at capacity
Friday, April 7, 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Organizer: Steven Ericson (University of Alabama)
Trip Capacity: 50
Cost/person: $44.00
Sponsored by: AAG Specialty Group, Recreation, Tourism & Sport

Boston's sports landscape is clearly marked by Fenway Park, but the sports landscape in Portland, Maine, boasts a miniature replica of Fenway Park that hosts the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox affiliate). Hadlock Field features an homage to the club's Major League parent such as the "Maine Monster" in left field plus unique features like lighthouse in center field that rises when a home team player hits a home run. A trip to Hadlock Field allows people to experience the nuance of neolocalism that has become a linchpin of the Minor League Baseball experience. Cost of the field trip includes a game ticket.

F3_8 Derwent Whittlesey's Queer Cambridge 
Friday, April 7, 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Organizers: Alison Mountz (Wilfrid Laurier University) & Keegan Williams (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Trip Capacity: 55
Cost/person: $16.00

What happened to geography at Harvard University? Join us as we explore the history of Harvard's program through the life of its foremost human geographer: Dr. Derwent Whittlesey. We will visit geography's former spaces, supplementing the discipline's story with archival photographs and first-hand accounts. We will weave this history into sites of Derwent's Cambridge to understand how institutions, history, and politics shaped geography's fate locally and nationally. We will conclude our trip with an examination of spaces containing geography's debris. Through ghost stories, we will unravel what happened to geography while humanizing the memory of Dr. Whittlesey.


SATURDAY, APRIL 8

F4_1 Thoreau's Geo-Concord: Walden Pond, Sleepy Hollow, Concord River
Saturday, April 8, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Organizer: Sarah Luria (College of the Holy Cross)
Leader: Robert Thorson (University of Connecticut)
Trip Capacity: 35
Cost/person: $60.00
Sponsored by: Thoreau Society, Concord

Geologist Robert Thorson will guide us through three important geo-historic sites in Concord, MA: (1) The deep, clear, isolated, and radially symmetric western basin of Walden Pond that inspired Henry David Thoreau's WALDEN, OR LIFE IN THE WOODS (1854). (2) Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which Thoreau surveyed and where he is buried (3) The Concord River whose flowage and use preoccupied Thoreau’s “scientific sojourning” in later life. We will also cross Old North Bridge and visit the Emerson family’s Old Manse. Professor Thor is author of two important Thoreau studies: WALDEN’S SHORE (Harvard UP 2014) and THE BOATMAN (Harvard UP, forthcoming).

F4_2 Salem Field Trip
Saturday, April 8, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Organizers: Steve Matchak (Salem State University) & Steve Young (Salem State University)
Trip Capacity: 55
Cost/person: $21.00
Sponsored by: Salem State Geography Department

Geographers from Salem State invite meeting participants to join a field trip to Salem. The primary focus will be on Salem’s maritime history with a visit to the Salem National Historic Site, which features a Customs House dating from 1819, a reproduction of an East Indiaman sailing vessel, and the home of America’s first millionaire. In addition, the tour will drive and walk through Salem providing perspectives on the city’s development, Nathanial Hawthorne, and the infamous witchcraft trials of 1692. Salem is an historic city with many worthwhile sites and has become a lively city with many entertainment opportunities.

F4_3 Landscapes of Infinite Jest: A Psychogeographical Tour of David Foster Wallace's Boston
Saturday, April 8, 11:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Organizers: Hannah Fair (University College London) & Rachel Bok (University of British Colombia)
Trip Capacity: 25
Cost/person: $6.00

A psychogeographical wander around Boston, on foot and via public transport, navigating the literal and fictional locations featured in David Foster Wallace's work. Tracing some of the key events of the epic novel Infinite Jest, this tour will traverse contemporary Boston, the city as it stood in the mid-90s and Wallace's imagined alternative Experialist present. Please note that attendees should purchase their MBTA tickets in advance. Trip will start outside of Harvard Square, outside of Harvard T-Stop.


SUNDAY, APRIL 9

F5_1 Boston Gas Leaks Safari
Sunday, April 9, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Organizers: Sucharita Gopal (Boston University) & Nathan Phillips (Boston University)
Leader: Robert Ackley (Gas Safety, Inc.)
Trip Capacity: 10
Cost/person: $5.00

Methane, an odorless, colorless gas, is a key source of heat in cities, but methane leaks from aging urban natural gas pipelines kill street trees, pose explosion risks, and warm the climate. Methane’s invisibility and its underground delivery obscure its environmental, safety and climate impacts. This field trip will literally and figuratively “put methane on the map”, through a geospatial exploration and sensing “safari” that detects, maps and diagnoses point source methane leaks on the streets of Boston and their integrated atmospheric buildup on a Boston high rise rooftop.

F5_2 Boston Gas Leaks Safari
Sunday, April 9, 12:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Organizers: Sucharita Gopal (Boston University) & Nathan Phillips (Boston University)
Leader: Robert Ackley (Gas Safety, Inc.)
Trip Capacity: 10
Cost/person: $5.00

Methane, an odorless, colorless gas, is a key source of heat in cities, but methane leaks from aging urban natural gas pipelines kill street trees, pose explosion risks, and warm the climate. Methane’s invisibility and its underground delivery obscure its environmental, safety and climate impacts. This field trip will literally and figuratively “put methane on the map”, through a geospatial exploration and sensing “safari” that detects, maps and diagnoses point source methane leaks on the streets of Boston and their integrated atmospheric buildup on a Boston high rise rooftop.