Showing posts from February, 2017

Local food and healthy bodies

The United States Navy educational goal for the islanders of the Trust Territory in 1949 was for the islanders "to learn to live a healthy, happy life in one's own environment." So reported a Life magazine article of 25 April 1949. In a four page color spread at the center of the multipage article, Life magazine included images of dancers. Including adult men from Pohnpei performing a canoe dance.

© Life magazine/Time Inc.
These men certainly look healthy and span a wide range of ages. Paintings and photographs from the nineteenth and early twentieth century all suggest the same: Micronesian peoples were healthy, strong, muscular, thriving on local food, local agricultural practices, and local fishing. The past couple weeks I have been visiting the hospital as a stream of descendants of those healthy ancestors flows into the surgery bays for amputations due to diabetes. Others being treated for the many maladies that obesity and dietary choices have brought on. In the sa…

Converting arcminutes and decimal degrees to meters

In the morning section I began out on the lawn, foregoing the usual introduction in the classroom. I had given a brief introduction to latitude and longitude on Monday. Wednesday the hide and seek went well, only one group failed to find the rendezvous point. The hide was sufficiently cloaked that the lead seekers had to bring home the last digit on the GPS unit to find me. And that led naturally to the question: just how far is 0.001 arcminutes? This leads to a focus in the Thursday laboratory on determining the conversion from meters to arcminutes. I opted not to start in the classroom on Thursday but to launch from the field. This works well if Monday and Wednesday have laid down the basic concepts.

Regina, Anjannet, Mandylae, Tristan, Sasha being blinded by the low morning sun
The 8:00 section ran east along North 6° 54.568" The Garmin Vista was still set in decimal degrees, so Anjannet started at N 6.90945°.

The group headed east, Anjannet, Mayleen, and Sasha in the second r…

Hide and seek discovery learning

Navigating purely by latitude and longitude coordinates was again taught as a discovery learning exercise where I hid in the back bush and the students tried to find me using a GPS and my coordinates.

On Monday I preselected my hide. One student had downloaded a GPS app to their phone that used decimal degrees, so I included the decimal degrees coordinates this year.

The arcminute display.

The hid was a hollow in the side of a hill with embankments to the east and north.

Hard to see the hide from across the valley.

The view from the hide.

First arrivals were Jeremiah and Kimsky, both of whom had to come right on top of my position in the hide. A large group traipsed along behind them. One of the seven GPS units failed last term. A sixth one failed back at the office today. Only five GPS units were available.

Jayvin, Dorothy, and Tedrick were following closest behind Jeremiah and Kimsky.

Vanessa, Kiana, and Jayvin.

Kiana, Jayvin, and Jeremiah

Iva Nicole arrives.

Jeremiah and Dorothy wa…