Presenters/Geo Team

Keynote Speakers

On Aug. 10, 1961, at age 7, the Geographer and National Geographic Maps Director of Editorial Research Juan José Valdés traveled unaccompanied to the U.S. from Cuba. He was one of more than 14,000 Cuban youths who arrived in the U.S. from December 1960 through October 1962 for a chance at a better life – the largest recorded exodus of unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere. Fifty years later, Juan is playing another important role in Cuba’s rich story: cartographer of a large-format political map of the island nation. Under Juan’s direction, the newly completed map is the first that NG has created specifically of this country since the publication of its October 1906 New and Complete Map of Cuba. "This 21st-century map of Cuba is a very iconic piece for National Geographic and for me,” Juan said. Juan’s childhood role in the exodus known today as “Operation Peter Pan” is the one that inspired him to pursue the project with NG Maps' Charlie Regan, vice president and general manager, and Kevin Allen, vice president, Production Services. "In many respects, the lives of some 14,000 children were stolen within a matter of hours,"Juan said. “But one thing that was never taken away was our love of Cuba." To Juan, the assignment symbolizes something far larger. “As an immigrant, one has the tendency to do the very best one can to pay America back for all that it has provided you. To not only live in this country, but to say that you're a cartographer at the National Geographic, goes a long way towards telling the world that indeed there is no better place to be than in America.” The map’s production, which began in January, sets the foundation for the development of future Cuba maps, including a possible general-purpose tourist map. The 24” by 36” wall map is the most accurate and richly detailed map available of the Caribbean island nation. The map includes Cuba’s many offshore islands, reefs, rivers and national parks, and the map’s ocean treatment is highly detailed with depth curves and soundings. “The political situation in Cuba is in flux, and should things change, our map will be an indispensable tool for news reporters, armchair geographers, and all "Peter Pan" kids like me,” Juan said.

Angus S. King, Jr. was born in Virginia but spent most of his adult years in the state of Maine. After early political experience as a legislative assistant to Senator William D. Hathaway, King entered private law practice in Brunswick, Maine. In the 1980s King served as Vice President of a company which developed alternative energy (hydro and biomass) projects in New England. In 1989 King founded Northeast Energy Management, Inc. The company developed, installed, and operated large-scale electrical energy conservation projects at commercial and industrial facilities throughout south-central Maine.
King became Governor of Maine in 1995, a position he held until 2003. Elected as an Independent in 1994 in his first run for public office, he was re- elected in 1998 by one of the largest margins in Maine history. As Governor, King was responsible for a $2.5 billion budget and 13,000 employees. King lists among his major accomplishments as governor a total rebuild of the state’s mental health and corrections systems; major improvements in the state’s service capability, including on-line services; a substantial increase in the state’s commitment to research and development; the largest increase of lands in conservation in the state’s history; and the nationally-recognized program that provides a laptop computer to every seventh and eighth grade student in the state, regardless of location or family income, making Maine’s students among the most computer literate in the world.

National Geographic Folks

Mary Lee Elden graduated with a degree in Education from the University of Maryland. After teaching for a few years, and a short stint as a paralegal, she joined the National Geographic Society. In 1989, Mary Lee started the National Geographic Bee, an annual geography competition for schools that now reaches thousands of schools and millions of students. The Bee emphasizes the importance of knowing our world and rewards those students that do. In 1993, the first international competition was held, now called the National Geographic World Championship, with only three countries. It is held every other year. The tenth NG World Championship was just held in July 2011 with student teams from 17 countries.

Dan Beaupré is Director of Education Partnerships for National Geographic Live, the live events division of the National Geographic Society. He directs National Geographic Live! student programs, the Giant Traveling Maps project, and the National Geographic Explorers Camp. He is a former classroom teacher and curriculum writer for several PBS productions. Beaupre is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Danish-American Fulbright Commission, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. In 1998 he received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House.  Beaupre graduated with honors with a B.A. in History (Honors) from the University of Vermont in 1990, and has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Harvard University. He lives in Middlebury, VT with his wife Amy Oliver Beaupre and two children, Nicholas (10) and Louisa (8).

Brenda Barr is the Director of Alliance Programs for the National Geographic Society. The Network of Alliances for Geographic Education is a grassroots organization throughout the Nation which brings together educators K-12 and higher education to support geographic literacy in schools. Brenda came to  National Geographic from the Colorado Department of Education where she was a Director in the Office of Teaching and Learning.  She graduated from the University of Alabama with a BS and MA and the University of Denver with a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  Brenda was a classroom teacher and state curriculum coordinator in Mississippi.  She then moved to Colorado where she was a district coordinator of instruction, a middle school assistant principal and elementary principal.  When Brenda is not traveling she enjoys gardening with her husband Ken at their Annapolis home.  

Maine International Center for 
Digital Learning Folks

We met Bette Manchester back in 2007 after she contacted Google about having SketchUp Pro and Google Earth as part of the image on the new MLTI machines for all middle school students and educators in Maine. She is now the executive director of the Maine International Center for Digital Learning (MICDL), a non-profit center that supports the equity and access of one to one computing as it supports 21st century learning. Prior to joining MICDL, Bette was the Director of Special Projects at the Maine Department of Education. For seven years, she led the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, the one to one laptop project for all Maine students in grades 7-8 and 31 high schools and all educators for grades 7-12. Her responsibility for strategic design and implementation of the MLTI included oversight and strategic planning for all educational technology programs within the Department of Education. Bette was a building principal at elementary, middle and high school level and director of special education. Her work as an educator has been noted by the Milken Educaton Award (1991), National Distinguished Principal of the Year, Principal-National School of Excellence, Maine State Librarians Award, Dr. Inabeth Miller Education Technology Award and the Friday Award for Innovation in Education. 

John Newlin, Executive Director of the Maine International Center for Digital Learning, has served as a high school teacher, district curriculum coordinator, and school reform coach. Beginning in 2006, he also served as the project director for the nation’s first multi-district federal Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) grant, during which he co-designed and co-facilitated numerous 3-day professional development courses on integrating digital technologies into instruction using a collaborative action research model.

Amy Wilmot, a graduate of Bates College, has worked with non-profit organizations such as Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association and Community Mediation Services. She has worked in a variety of roles serving as an Executive Assistant, Administrative Manager, Bookkeeper, and Project Coordinator. She lives with her husband and son in Hallowell.
Google Team

Allyson McDuffie manages the SketchUp for Education Program at Google, which has taken her to many parts of the globe spreading the SketchUp love to educators and students alike. She has been with Google for 5 years and is a co-organizer of the Geo Teacher Institutes. She graduated from Ohio University with a BFA in Studio Art, and an MFA in Printmaking. Although an Ohio native, she has lived and worked in Boulder, Colorado for the past 19 years. She enjoys making art, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and raising her 10 year old daughter, Avery, who is destined to save every animal on the planet.

Tina Ornduff
 leads the Google Earth Education Outreach efforts at Google and has worked as a technical writer for more than 20 years. 
She is a co-organizer of the Geo Teacher Institutes. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Education at Santa Clara University and is studying science, technology, environmental education, and mathematics. She is a bay area native and lives with her family in Morgan Hill. She enjoys triathlons and running.

Mr. D Feher (MEE-ster-DEE) joined the GTI team late this summer, working alongside Tina Ornduff & Allyson McDuffie. Not new to Google, she most recently managed international security logistics, policy/government IT initiatives and financial oversight for former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. Before joining Google four years ago, D was responsible for the daily operations and web presence for the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics, a computer modeling program at Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. She earned a Masters degree in Public Policy from The George Washington University in 2006 and a Bachelors of Science from Carnegie Mellon in 2001.

Sean Maday is a geospatial engineer at Google. He served as an Air Force intelligence officer from 2005 to 2010, and formerly worked for a research and development lab at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree from Michigan State University.

Michael Smith is a new Geospatial Engineer with the Enterprise Sales team.  He has been working as a GIS developer for about 7 years, creating web map applications using Google Maps and Google Earth. He has served as a teacher/trainer for multiple GIS-based applications and technologies. Michael has a BS and MS in Geography and currently resides in Washington, DC.

Tia Lendo is a "Noogler," having joined Google two months ago. Prior to coming to Google she was a 4th grade teacher and then helped to start an education non-profit called Teach First in London. She also spent time consulting in education and healthcare. She attended the University of North Carolina and is a proud Tarheel who is looking forward to college basketball season! She attended Stanford to study Education & Business which means she also gets to be excited for college football season too :) She is looking forward to learning from everyone in Maine.

Distinguished Guest Presenters

Michael Hathorn has been teaching in the Hartford School District since 1997. He is married with two boys ages nine and three. Recently he has changed from teaching textbook history to having his students discover and record their town’s history. His 3D Digital History course at Hartford High School in White River Jct. VT has turned the students into the historians. They spend much of their class time as photographers, reporters, and researchers. Over the past three years he and his students have added over 160 buildings with histories to the 3D warehouse and over 130 have gone live in Google Earth highlighting the historic district in town. He has now added an online class to teach other students around the state to add their town histories to Google Earth.

Jerome Burg is a retired high-school English teacher. His work with educational technology began when, as a new teacher his principal gave him the choice of either chaperoning dances or becoming the advisor to the school newspaper. He had never studied journalism, but he had chaperoned a dance. Thus he became a pioneer of educational technology integration in the earliest days of desktop publishing. Since then he has taught hundreds of educational technology workshops and presented at local and national educational conferences across the country. He likes to think of himself as a curriculum guy who happens to use technology. He is the founder of the Google Lit Trips project which was named by the Asia Society as a co-recipient of the 2008 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education for Media and Technology and by the Tech Museum of Innovation as a 2010 Laureate recipient of the Microsoft Award for Technology Benefiting Humanity. He co-authored Bookmapping: Lit Trips and Beyond published in May 2011 by the International Society for Technology in Education.

After almost a decade in the video and television industry, Jim Sill is the instructor of an award winning video production program at El Diamante High School in Visalia, CA. He is also a Google Certified Teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator & Apple Certified Trainer. When not in the classroom, Jim leads professional development workshops all over the U.S. on Google’s collaborative tools, social media, and video production. In 2009, Jim was recognized as Computer Using Educators’ Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Katie Kennedy is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the University of Alaska Geography Program and the Coordinator of the Alaska Geographic Alliance. She is a former classroom teacher who resides in Fairbanks and conducts outreach activities throughout the state of Alaska. In addition to being passionate about geography and place-based education, Katie enjoys hiking and outdoor exploration.

John Bailey
 is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He holds a PhD in Volcanology and Remote Sensing from the University of Hawaii, and was previously a postdoc at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. John currently works for the Scenarios Network for Alaska Planning (SNAP), a climate change education and research group in UAF's Geography Department. He specializes in creating geovisualizations for education/outreach, and teaches workshops on how to use Google Earth. He also created and teaches the first accredited university class in Google Earth and KML. He spends his spare time traveling and playing floorball.

Beryl Reid retired in June from 35 years as a teacher in the Billerica Public Schools in Massachusetts. She has an undergraduate degree in Photography and Painting and a Master’s degree in Educational Technology. She discovered Google Earth as a powerful teaching tool and motivator, then found SketchUp in the process of exploring the 3D landscape in Google Earth and an obsession was born. She wanted to use SketchUp in her classes, so began to use it and learn it so she could teach it. In 2008 she created her first model for Google Earth, then by March of 2010 was thrilled to be included in Google’s “Super Modelers” group. She attended the Google Teacher Academy in Boulder in 2009, and became a Google Certified Teacher. While in Boulder, she met Jerome Burg of Google Lit Trips. He was interested in her models of “Literary Landmarks”, so added them to his website. Recently Beryl became a “TC” (top contributor) on the Google Earth help forum and is an active user in the SketchUp help forum. She is the mother of two great, caring adults and the doting grandmother of one very adorable little girl who knows that her world orbits about her. In every spare minute she gets she still finds time for 3D modeling and her granddaughter, Zora.

MARGARET CHERNOSKY teaches World Geography, AP Human Geography and GIS in Geography at Bangor High School and has written curriculum for ArcGIS and MyWorldGIS. She earned a MEd and a CAS from the University of Maine in Secondary Social Studies with a concentration in geospatial education. This year she was awarded the National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, circumnavigating the Salbard Islands, 80N, with the NG Explorer. When Margaret is not teaching, she enjoys kayaking, swimming, bicycling and reading. She owns a small farm in central Maine and raises a large organic garden.

James Strickland was born at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in the fall of 1945. He moved to California in the mid-sixties to attend Episcopal Seminary and received his Doctor of Divinity from the California School of the Pacific. While studying for the ministry James spent the summers working as a skipper delivering boats to several Pacific Islands and Hong Kong. After receiving his Doctorate in Theology and becoming an ordained Minister, James ran a small parish church until the early 1970’s, at which time he left the ministry and returned to school to study architecture. The years that followed found James on several paths that included apprenticeships under Paolo Soleri, Charles Eames and a stay in Japan under the stern eye of Hiroshi Hasanawa studying temple architecture. With side roads into kendo, mountaineering and ballooning, and after living and teaching art in the South West (New Mexico and Arizona) he moved to the East Coast (New York City and Cape Cod) and finally settled in mid coast Maine (Belfast) where he now works in a studio barn built in 1888 with a quiet view of Penobscot Bay, spending his time developing heliocentric sculptures. Sculptures that not only enrich our visual world but at the same time heat our buildings; light our parks and gardens and teach our children about sustainable energy.

Toby Lester is a contributing editor to and has written extensively for The Atlantic. A former Peace Corps English teacher (in Yemen) and United Nations observer (in the West Bank), he lives in the Boston area. The Fourth Part of the World (2009), his first book, was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Award, and was picked as a Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and several other publications. His second book, Da Vinci's Ghost, about Leonardo's iconic drawing of a man in a circle and a square, will be published this February.