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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.

Commonwealth Data Point: Transparency at Work in Virginia,

Commonwealth of Virginia

Commonwealth Data Point is an excellent tool for understanding the basic implementation of financial expenditures. Find out budget data, or what was purchased on the state credit card. The website also provides demographic data, such as university enrollment and food stamp use. While browsing the website, you may want to consider how state and local governments implement policy decisions. What changes could you make to policy or spending practices?

Virginia Performs: Measuring What Matters to Virginians,

Commonwealth of Virginia

Virginia Performs is part of Virginia's open government initiative. The website includes information on Virginia's progress in areas such as health, education, and transportation. For example, users can find information on high school graduation rates in Virginia and surrounding states. The website also includes information on government initiatives to increase high school graduation rates. Questions to consider include: What is the role of state and local government? How are policy decisions implemented at a state and local level?

Data.gov,

Executive Branch of the Federal Government

This website is part of President Obama's Open Government Initiative. It provides free, open access to quanitative datasets created by the Federal government. Some state/local governments have also added data, but as yet Virginia is not one of them. Data sets include categories such as geography and environment, education and transportation. This data provides excellent primary source material, and offers many opportunities to create and interpret maps, diagrams, tables, charts, graphs, and spreadsheets.

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.

Dr. Dean Ornish on the world's killer diet,

Dean Ornish

This video serves as an excellent background source for information about the obesity epidemic in Virginia and elsewhere. Drawing from CDC and other public health research, Dr. Dean Ornish discusses the effect of diet on obesity, cardiovascular,…

VA Code § 15.2-2223. Comprehensive plan to be prepared and adopted; scope and purpose.,

Virginia General Assembly

This document describes the regulations for creating comprehensive land use plans. Comprehensive plans govern decisions about everything from recycling centers to schools. More information and context about land use planning can be found in the…

Prince William County Planning,

Prince William County Planning Office

The official website of the Prince William County Planning Office provides a wealth of real-life examples of public policy formation and implementation.

Creating public policy is a long process, and a number of groups have an impact on…

A Guide to Writing about Virginia Indians and Virginia Indian History,

Virginia Council on Indians

This document is a concise, two-page guide to writing and thinking about Virginia Indians and their history. The information is equally useful for teaching a class, writing a research paper, or having a conversation.

What are important…

Virginia Council on Indians: Resources,

Virginia Council on Indians

The Virginia Council on Indians (VCI) is a state advisory board to the Governor and the General Assembly. Some Council activities include conducting research, making recommendations regarding issues such as tribal recognition, and promoting education about Virginia's Indian tribes. This resource page provides links to such websites as the American Indian Studies department at Virginia Tech, as well as pdf downloads of teaching materials. Don't miss the rest of the VCI website, where there's information about Native Americans in Virginia, tracing your genealogy, and state recognition of Indian tribes. This website is also a great resource for anyone looking for an example of the implementation of public policy.