31 March 2015

Annual Westfield River Watershed River Symposium

Spring time means a lot of things here in western Mass. And one of the highlights is the Annual Westfield River Symposium.  The day looks pretty interesting and I have copied the current agenda here fyi:

2015 Westfield River Symposium

Outdoor Fun
in Your Watershed

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Westfield State University - Scanlon Banquet Hall

8:00-8:30 RegistrationExhibits available for viewing from 8:00 to 12:15
8:30-9:35 WelcomeBrian Conz, WRWA President
  Keynote AddressJoe Giffune (President, Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail)The Green Evolution: A History of the Columbia Greenway

9:45-10:30 Concurrent
Sessions I
Creation and Re-creation: Finding and Naming Birds: Seth Kellogg (Allen Bird Club)

Westfield River Watershed: Fishing a Gem of the West: Leanda Fontaine-Gagnon (MA Division of Fish & Wildlife)

The Trustees of Reservations in the Upper Watershed: Jim Caffrey (The Trustees of Reservations)
10:40-11:25 Concurrent
Sessions II
The AMC Berkshire Chapter: Your Connection to the Outdoors: Wayne Rodrigues (Chair, Berkshire Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club)

Recreational Opportunities in MassParks: Domenick Sacco (District Manager, CT River Valley District of MassParks)
11:30-12:15 Viewing of ExhibitsConfirmed Exhibitors:

Appalachian Mtn Club
Connecticut River Watershed Council
Friends of the Columbia Greenway
Friends of the Keystone Arches
Friends of Robinson State Park
MA Div. of Ecological Restoration
MA Div. of Fisheries and Wildlife
Naturalists' Club
New England Forestry Foundation
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
Silvio O. Conte National Fish
     & Wildlife Refuge
The Nature Conservancy
Western MA Fly Fishing Association
Westfield River Invasive Species
Westfield River Watershed Association
Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory
WSU Environmental Planning Club
WSU Outing Club/Wilderness Leadership
Winding River Land Conservancy

12:00 Raffle Drawing
1:15- ? Field TripsThe Columbia Greenway: Marijoan Bull (WSU Dept. of Geography and Regional Planning, and Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail)

Birding in Stanley Park: Seth Kellogg (Allen Bird Club)

The 2015 Westfield River Symposium is sponsored by:

Westfield River Watershed Association
Westfield State University

29 March 2015

Maple Syrup Time

It is that time of the year in New England when the sap starts a  runnin'.  Temps above freezing during the day and below at night.  So we headed up to Worthington to our favorite sugar shack called High Hopes Farm Sugar.  Always a good time and today was especially nice with a sunny blue sky!  See the Tripadvisor review at this link.

23 March 2015

Virtual Tourism

It is now the time during my Travel and Tourism Planning course where the students plan a vacation trip following graduation.  I have them read this paper for starters since they will all be using the web to get flights, hotels and other information about their destination.

The citation for the paper is:

Bristow, R. S. (1999). Commentary: Virtual tourism—the ultimate ecotourism?. Tourism Geographies, 1(2), 219-225.

The assignment is this:

GARP0213             Travel and Tourism Planning                                                             Lab 5: Travel Itinerary

Principle:  The purpose of this lab is to learn how to plan an itinerary for a tourist vacation.  You are to prepare an itinerary for a two person vacation between (or within) 17 May and 31 May 2015 for the country you explored in Lab 4.  The travel dates must be adhered to and you will be flying coach.  You are to prepare two different costs; with at least a 20% difference.

Procedure:  Start your lab by describing the destination geographically.  That is, describe the human (e.g., social, economic, political etc.) and environmental (e.g., climate, terrain, vegetation etc.) characteristics of the region.  Base this information from the material from Lab 4 although you may wish to embellish on the previous work. A detailed map of the country will be needed for the details of the trip.  That is, if the trip is confined to the international airport city, that city’s map is needed, if you plan to visit areas in the country, a more regional map is needed.   Included in the adventure are to be the travel info to and from the airport and parking, flight information from Boston (BOS) or Bradley (BDL) (round trip airline flight numbers, cost and flight times), ground transportation (how are you going to getting around and not by hitchhiking), lodging (hotels, hostels, B&Bs, camping, etc.) and several specific destinations you plan to visit.  Plan your trip to visit at least two destinations. 

Also include information necessary in advance of the trip that is passport and/or visa requirements, medical interests and other related advance details.  Costs for a pair of travelers should be determined.  These costs must be broken down for air, transfers, lodging (no all-inclusive’s!), ground transport, food, admissions and incidentals.  While the total cost is needed, you must not use a package deal.  Comparison shop.  Orbitz may not provide the cost that American Airlines quotes.  Finally, offer some travel tips that TripAdvisor or VirtualTourist may suggest

Outcome: Arrange a 5-7 page portfolio as is you were a travel agent preparing this for a client.  Remember, you are to prepare two costs and that will mean the itinerary may change as well as lodging.  A comparison table will simplify this.

Assessment:  This lab is worth 50 points.   Presentation is all important here since you are trying to convince the client to purchase this tour from you. 

22 March 2015

Lufthansa Strike

Lufthansa Strike?

"German airline Lufthansa said Sunday that its services were more or less back to normal after a four-day walkout by pilots, but unions warned of further disruptions, possibly over the Easter holidays."
"In all, around 220,000 passengers were hit by the four-day walkout, Lufthansa said."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-lufthansa-says-services-back-to-normal-after-pilots-strike-2015-3

Seems the European airlines go on strike more than American airlines.  I remember a few years back when Alitalia was threatening a strike, much to my displeasure on a planned trip to Rome!

Ahhhh, the joys of flight travel.

13 March 2015

CIRET http://www.ciret-tourism.com/

This a wonderful website for tourism research.  Hosted for decades by Mr. RenĂ© BARETJE-KELLER, it provides access to "to the 841 research centers currently identified in 111 countries and to the 5,402 individual researchers currently identified in 119 countries and specialized in tourism and travel, and networking between researchers working on a given subject by e-mail or otherwise."

03 March 2015

Waze Rocks

I can't imagine anyone buying a GPS for the car anymore.  Waze is a free smart phone app that will take over GPSing for cars.

Opps, there is a cop spotted on Routes 10/202 in Granby Connecticut.  Slow down.