Geography Awareness Week

Image from Geography Awareness Week's Facebook page.

Image from Geography Awareness Week’s Facebook page.

It’s Geography Awareness Week!

It’s Geography Awareness Week!

It’s Geography Awareness Week!

Can you tell that I’m excited?

So what is Geography Awareness Week?  I’m so glad you asked.

Geo Week was created by none other than National Geographic “to raise awareness to this dangerous deficiency in American education and excite people about geography as both a discipline and as a part of everyday life.”

A part of this is becoming Geo-literate, a term created by National Geographic.  You can read about it in this article, Geo-literacy key to understanding what’s around us, describing how one woman has become a “geo-evangelist” to help improve people’s Geo-literacy.

Here’s more of National Geographic’s explanation about Geo Week and its purpose:

Each year more than 100,000 Americans actively participate in Geography Awareness Week (GeoWeek). Established by presidential proclamation more than 25 years ago, this annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP) encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it. Each third week of November, students, families and community members focus on the importance of geography by hosting events; using lessons, games, and challenges in the classroom; and often meeting with policymakers and business leaders as part of that year’s activities.

Image from National Geographic.

Image from National Geographic.

This year’s Geo Week is from Nov. 17 – 23 and my university is hosting a multitude of geo-related events to help bring geography to the people.  But you too can participate in Geo Week by hosting your own events or becoming a Geo Week Campus Representative.

The events my university is planning on doing consist of the following, which I will write about as they happen (Nov. 18 – 21):

Several lectures by faculty and students, such as a lecture on the Geography of Mars.  Yes, that is a thing.  In fact it is a class students can take at CSULB taught by Dr. Christine Rodrigue, who will also be giving the lecture.

Image from Dr. Rodrigue's website.

Image from Dr. Rodrigue’s website.

Geography of Coffee, followed by a free tasting of coffee samples.  This lecture will be given by a student, Bret Hartt, who is also a film student and thus will also be doing a free film screening of one of his documentaries “Breakwater”.

MAP EXHIBIT!  This will take place on Nov. 20 and is being set up by the Geography Student Association (aka me, Andy and our treasurer).  This will consist of a collection of maps provided by students, faculty and other geographers, such as Dr. James Tyner and Dr. Steve Graves, both of whom I wrote about in my post Geo-Combo: Phnom Penh and Cannabis City.  This exhibit is basically to show all the different things geographers do, in other words, we are not just state capitols and coloring in maps.  We are anything and everything.  What we study is as diverse and complex as the world.  We are the world.

With that I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from a LA Times article by Susan Spano:

“…a degree in geography could be more useful than law or economics.” 

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