For 25 years volunteers have gathered together for Coastal Cleanup Day. The annual event takes place this year on the morning of September 15, 2012.
“As a photographer you’re in a special place taking pictures, and now you can share that with others”
Photographer John Butterill discovered a way to share his photo walks through Google+ Hangouts. Almost immediately photographers around the world began volunteering to share their view of the world with people whose mobility was limited.
// Thx – Jimmy Gardner
With the 2012 election less than 100 days away — 98 days, to be exact — Team Obama is giving its supporters, volunteers and voters a digital push. The president’s campaign and the Democratic Party have launched Obama for America, a mobile app that packs election information, grassroots organizational tools, campaign news and more into a single package.
Instead of developing another photo-sharing app with ready-made templates, the Obama campaign has opted to create a much more focused get-out-the-vote tool.
Keep in mind, however, that the app is tailored toward people who already support the 44th U.S. president. This is most decidedly not a non-partisan effort.
“As we push through the last 100 days of this election, our focus remains on helping make grassroots organizing as easy and accessible as possible for the volunteers and supporters that are the heart and soul of this campaign,” Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama for America, told Wired in an email. “That’s why we designed our new app to help break down the distinction between online and offline organizing, giving every supporter the same opportunities to get involved that they would find in a field office.”
Toward this goal, the app includes sections called…
Keep reading: Wired – Obama Campaign Launches iOS App to Support Re-Election Effort
Government leaders, bankers and corporate CEOs took advantage of the gathering of 50,000 people at Rio+20 — the largest meeting in U.N. history — to announce new partnerships, programs and investments.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the $513 billion in commitments “a significant legacy of this conference — billions of dollars’ worth of actions and investments that will have the power to transform lives across the globe.”
To some of those present, the conference presented a new model, a global gathering to inspire government and corporate leaders and others to move ahead and build momentum — rather than waiting for world leaders to reach consensus on a treaty to address climate change or other environmental matters.
“We cannot be boxed in by the orthodoxies of the past,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a speech to delegates of more than 190 nations. “We need fresh, agile, action-oriented partnerships that can produce results year after year after year.”
More on this story – U.N. sustainability summit ends with $513 billion in pledges
Reef Check California is a volunteer monitoring program for California rocky reefs designed to provide data for managers and to build a conservation constituency among California divers.
If you’re interested in becoming a getting certified or learning more, diving season is here!
This month we started full swing into Reef Check California’s training and survey season. As every year, only after successful completion of the recertification are our volunteers allowed to collect data in the new survey season. We are particularly excited about having conducted our first recertification of citizen scientists in Fort Bragg, where we held a community training for the first time last year, and many of last year’s participants became recertified.
We also have had recertifications in Los Angeles, Monterey and Moss Landing. More recertifications and trainings will be held state wide over the next few months; click here for the schedule.
Overall, we now have a group of new, as well as seasoned, Reef Checkers ready to survey the reefs along our coastline for the 7th year in a row. In April, we completed our first surveys in Mendocino and Monterey Counties and we are looking forward to a successful survey season in 2012.
via RCCA May Update
In October 2011, Google finally revealed pricing for Google Maps services. Lightweight usage was still free…significant load volumes would begin to incur charges: basically, services and applications that generated more 25,000 map loads per day would be charged $10-$40 for every additional 1,000 map loads.
For businesses put off by the new costs of Google Maps, the main alternative seems to be OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is a UK-based, volunteer-driven non-profit dedicated to creating and offering free geographic data to anyone who wants it.
OpenStreetMap (or OSM) boasts more than 400,000 registered volunteers who supply mapping data and updates to the project. It’s an oversimplification, but think of OSM as a loose equivalent to Wikipedia for mapping data: anyone can contribute, and the content is available to anyone.
Foursquare and Apple have already made the leap to OSM – learn more – Why Are Companies Defecting Google Maps?
“A free editable map of the whole world…made by people like you.”
“View, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth.”
If you live in Orange County, here is a great volunteer event for you.
ROOTS, restoration events, one Saturday each month 9-12pm:
Volunteers help remove invasives species and plant natives in order to provide habitat for wildlife. Training, tools, refreshments, camaraderie and beautiful scenery are provided. All ages welcome!
Bring a water bottle, sturdy shoes, and sun protection. Restoration sites vary around the Bay.
Reservations are recommended, especially during the school year when events can fill up a month or two in advance. Please contact Matt Yurko at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 640-0286
Check out the Facebook Page – CBREP
The Peace Corps Chronicles, Part 2
With the quest for vision underway, it was now time to make action speak louder than words. So, I visited the nearest optometrist which is 70 kilometers from my village. He is a Botswana doctor, currently working abroad, and after discussing my needs, the arrangements were made.
There would be an initial screening free-of-charge and a follow-up examination for those with vision issues. Then we would pull together a plan to fund the glasses they would need. I had good impressions from the doctor and was proud of my bold steps towards solving this problem.
Working as a volunteer in Africa, my mindset and expectations have changed since leaving the States. My days here can be life-affirming and welcoming but then there is always another side. This is the part where work doesn’t get done how you want it or the pace of progress slowly drips. This is neither an accusation nor a complaint but rather it’s a way of describing life in another country.
Foreigners coming to work abroad often have to readjust their mentalities coming from a fast-paced, insanely competitive homeland. But as Namibia, and let me say Africa, can attest to, life isn’t always about success but resilience.
This is one of many things I’ve learned in that Africa can teach you lessons you thought you already knew. Lessons that make you realize what can be important in life.
Now, back to the story, I left the doctor, who was seemingly reliable and trustworthy, and I proceeded to arrange with the school for the upcoming visits. You can probably sense my foreboding as the path to your destination always has curves, bump, and obstacles.
Otherwise, things will be too easy and few lessons learned. Unbeknownst to me, the future plans will need a slight adjustment…
The Peace Corps Chronicles are written by Spencer Mandzik who joined the Corps in Feb 2010 as a volunteer in Namibia, Africa. He is living with a local family and learning to speak the language of Oshiwambo. These are his stories as he follow’s John F. Kennedy’s dream to serve our country “in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.”
The Peace Corps Chronicles – Part 1
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in an African village, I am a teacher, librarian, HIV/AIDS coordinator, after-school program manager and all-around helper for any school functions.
Upon arriving here in Namibia, I had a great ambition to accomplish many things in my two-year service. I did a lot of brain-storming until it occurred to me that the students don’t need big things because they face serious and immediate issues such as malnutrition, hunger, poor hygiene, broken families, and the list continues.
It would be ill not to mention that Namibia has one of the highest HIV infection rates in Africa, and the nearest town has one of the highest within Namibia. All of my kids are affected by this in one way or another.
With that said, I reevaluated what my school and students needed. In the village resources and life are very basic. The schoolhouse has no electricity, no nurse, no continuous feeding program, broken chairs and desks, and missing many other basic items. Moreover, I noticed that not many students wear glasses.
Is it possible that something as fundamental as vision is not being addressed. What if the reason some kids are misbehaving or failing is because they can’t see?
Over half of the students are documented as OVC’s (Orphans and Vulnerable Children). Along with hardship at home, life at school could seem even more hopeless if you are struggling to read whats on the board and in the textbook.
With these facts and observations, the motor started churning in my head. I consulted another volunteer and luckily found that he had already initiated something similar. With his help I began my quest to aid the kids who deserve to be treated with fairness and open opportunities. What better a way to fight poverty and hardship then a motivation for educational success. Now, I realized the project to work on.
NEXT: PART II: The Initiation
The author, Spencer Mandzik, joined the Peace Corps in Feb 2010 as a volunteer in Namibia, Africa. He is living with an African family and learning to speak the local language of Oshiwambo. These are his stories as he follow’s John F. Kennedy’s dream to serve our country “in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.”