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Geography of Virginia,

Charles A. Grymes

Created by a professor at George Mason University, this website provides an extensive directory of websites related to everything from education to Virginia and the internet. The website provides some introductory articles, such as an excellent overview of energy in Virginia that includes graphs and history. Each section also includes a list of links. The Virginia Government section alone contains more than 100 links to further resources. While each external website is of excellent quality, it may take time to navigate from such a large body of links to the right resource.

Gapminder,

Gapminder Foundation

Gapminder provides free access to statistics (usually gathered from the United Nations) presented in moving data visualization charts. These statistics aren’t boring—data sets flow over time and offer surprising insights into public health, trade, and other issues. Users can select states such as Virginia and compare them to hundreds of countries throughout the world, including China, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Statistics track a variety of indicators, including income, insurance “uncoverage,” immigration, and “best teeth.” Users can watch a video tutorial, as well as videos applying the information to real-world scenarios. This website is particularly useful for anyone learning about graphs, public policy issues, and the relationship between Virginia and the rest of the world.

Public Agenda: Helping Americans Explore Today's Issues,

Public Agenda

This website provides a wealth of up-to-date coverage of current issues, from America's role in the international community to Social Security. A large section for educators includes resources for teachers, students, parents, and leaders. Topics such as the rising cost of college tuition are particularly relevant for those involved in education. While there are limited resources specifically aimed at Virginia, the broader issues covered by the website can easily be oriented to fit discussions about their specific application on the state and local level.

Congress.org,

Roll Call, Capitol Advantage

Congress.org offers headlines of current bills in the US Congress, as well as a public forum for constituents to discuss those issues. Users can search many features of the website by state. One interesting feature is a list of letters from Virginia constituents to elected officials submitted through Congress.org. Another is contact information for local officials in Virginia. This website is a gateway to find out what’s happening in government, find out what other people are saying about it, and send your own message to the people who represent you in government.

Governor Kaine Announces Energy Saving Donation in Virginia State Parks,

Gordon Hickey, Gary Waugh, and Jeb Hockman

One of Governor Kaine's initiatives is to create a clean energy plan in Virginia. This document provides an example of how that policy is carried out on a local level. Certain electric companies agreed to work with the state to donate more energy…

Virginia Energy Plan,

Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME)

Part of the process of government is figuring out how to turn policy into a practical plan. For example, Governor Kaine and other state officials hope to implement a clean, affordable energy policy in Virginia. What steps can they take to do this?…

Distribution of Coal Areas in Virginia,

Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy

Coal mining has become a controversial issue, due to both environmental and economic concerns. While some point to the harmful effects of both coal mining and the carbon emissions from burning coal, others point out that coal may be cheaper than many…