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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. 


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_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: Zachery 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.

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.


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_2 Otis House, 1796, A National Historic Landmark
Thursday, April 6, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Organizer: Shira Goldstone (Historic New England)
Trip Capacity: 42
Cost/person: $32.00

Otis House is the last surviving mansion in Bowdoin Square in Boston's West End neighborhood. Charles Bulfinch designed the house for Harrison Gray Otis, a lawyer who was instrumental in developing nearby Beacon Hill, served in Congress, and was a mayor of Boston.

Otis House is the first of three houses Bulfinch designed for Harrison Gray Otis and his wife Sally Foster Otis. The house’s design reflects the classical proportions and delicate detail of the Federal style.

Visitors learn about the Otis family's life in the Federal era and the later history of the house, when it served as a clinic and a middle-class boardinghouse. The restoration of Otis House and its brilliantly colored wallpapers, carpeting, and high-style furnishings, is based on meticulous historical and scientific research.

F2_3 1938 Gropius House, A New England Historic Home
Thursday, April 6, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Organizer: Wendy Hubbard (Historic New England)
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_4 Open Space Land Conservation, Prospect Hill Park, Waltham
Thursday, April 6, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Organizers: Sonja Wadman (Waltham Land Trust) & David Kehs (Waltham Land Trust)
Trip Capacity: 35
Cost/person: $30.00

This 2-mile hike over 252 acres of varied terrain will take visitors through one of Metrowest’s largest parks and over and around the third highest hilltop in the Greater Boston area. Prospect Hill Park’s trails pass through woodlands and over several hills, visiting vernal pools, old stone walls and farm foundations, and locally famous Dinosaur Rock. Visitors will see a stunning view of Boston from the 435-foot summit of Little Prospect Hill and western views as far as Mt Monadnock from 485-foot Big Prospect. This hike will be guided by personnel from the Waltham Land Trust.

F2_5 The Power of Community. Decatur Way, Lowell MA Transformed into Community Resource/Walkway
Thursday, April 6, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Organizer: Sheila Carman (AAG/Green Drinks Greater Lowell)
Leader: David Ouelette (Acre Coalition to Improve Our Neighborhood)
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $48.00

The collaboration of community groups, local government and the University of Massachusetts Lowell transformed a blighted alley, with overgrown bush and trash that attracted illegal activity, into a safe community resource.
Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility, which saw the new alley as a way to reduce rainwater flow in the Acre neighborhood by utilizing porous pavement, worked with the community group, Acre Coalition to Improve Our Neighborhood (ACTION) to turn the alleyway into a "green" walkway where people can stroll and enjoy art.

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.


FRIDAY, APRIL 7

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_4 Boston Gas Leaks Safari
Friday, April 7, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 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.

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.


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 Thor (U. Connecticut) 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 SHORT (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, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 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.