Geography Awareness Week is Nov. 18-22 and will feature a seminar by Stephen Wood, an imagery analytic and geospatial professional, a screening of a documentary about Australia, the popular “Geography Bowl,” and a student photo contest.
“We start planning in August,” said Kristin Sorenson, graduate student and member of the Geography Student Organization. “The amount of time is phenomenal. Each student who helps puts in a minimum of 25 hours of work – either with getting donations, designing posters, planning individual events and working each event.”
Geography Awareness Week is an annual event sponsored by GSO. The week-long activities are part of a campaign by the National Council for Geographic Education to spread and share the importance of geography.
This year’s theme for Geography Awareness Week is “Geography and the New Age of Exploration.”
“Geography Awareness Week is important because at a time of increasing globalization, we Americans tend to understand less and less about the world, our place in it and how our actions affect others and vice versa,” said Brian Baskerville, graduate student and GSO member. “Geography’s strength is in being able to take isolated bits of information about people, places and things and put them into a framework for understanding how the world works – and that’s really cool.”
The complete schedule of Geography Awareness Week events is as follows:
Nov. 18-22: Photo competition in Hardin Hall (ongoing) Geography Game Wheel from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Nebraska Union
Nov. 18: Movie Night Showing of a documentary on Australia at 6 p.m. in Hardin Hall Auditorium
Nov. 20: Stephen Wood will present on satellite imagery at 3:30 p.m. in Hardin Hall Auditorium
Nov. 21: Geography Bowl at 6 p.m. in Hardin Hall Auditorium Pizza and Pepsi will be served. Prizes will also be given away.
“My favorite part of Geography Awareness Week is the ‘GeoBowl’ because over 100 students from around campus come to participate,” Baskerville said. “We have interesting trivia about the world we inhabit, a little pizza for dinner and, of course, prizes – always a big student draw.”
In 2012, GSO introduced the “Geography Game Wheel” in the Nebraska Union, which allows participants to explore the many different facets of geography – from remote sensing to geographic information systems (GIS) to historical geography and more – for a chance to win prizes and coffee coupons from the Caffina Café.
“It was a big hit last year, with over 120 students participating,” Baskerville said.
Even for those unfamiliar with geography, Baskerville said that for those individuals, that’s all the more reason to participate in Geography Awareness Week activities.
“This week is dedicated to exploration of our world – I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like to gaze at maps, wonder about exotic places and explore our fascinating planet,” he said. “I encourage any and all UNL students to come. There’s more than enough activity for everyone to find something they like.”