The UMass Geography Club attended the NESTVAL Geography Bowl on October 18th, 2019, hosted by Framingham State University. UMass competed against five other teams and placed 3rd. Salem State University took the top spot, followed by the University of New Hampshire in second place.Our own Daniel Finn and Mark Doherty were selected as part of the top six scorers to join the NESTVAL team, which will compete in the national competition at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado next Spring.
The UMass Geography Club took a trip to the Amherst Farmer’s Market on Saturday, September 21st. Dozens of individual tents were set up with baked goods and fresh produce from local farms and shops. After purchasing various baked goods, the Geography Club gathered on the town common to enjoy the beautiful weather and some treats.
Follow the UMass Geography Club on Instagram at umassgeographyclub
Congratulations to Geography senior Lily Holland, who made excellent contributions to the New England-St Lawrence Valley team at the 2019 World Geography Bowl national championship in Washington, DC. The team, composed of the top-scoring students from the regional competition held in October 2018, performed well in the tournament of 9 teams representing the 9 regions of the American Association of Geographers.
The UMass Geography Club had a fun and successful trivia night on 4-24-19. Graduating senior Natalie Howe won the competition, with Le Tran and Alex Heilmann tied for second place.
Once again, the UMass Amherst Geography Club performed well against tough competition at the regional World Geography Bowl during the New England-St Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) divisional meeting of the American Association of Geographers, October 12, 2018, at Keene State College. The team as a whole placed third in the region, which includes colleges and universities in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec. Moreover, two team members achieved qualifying individual scores for the New England region’s all-star team, which will compete at the national competition in Washington DC in Spring 2019. Lily Holland, a geography senior from Altadena, California, and Natalie Howe, a geography senior from Clarksburg, Massachusetts, will be joining the 6-member regional team headed for the national competition in April.
Lily and Natalie were the top-scoring women at the tournament. This will be the 6th consecutive year that UMass Amherst has had a representative on the all-star team. The team as a whole included (pictured, left to right) geography majors Lily Holland, Maeve Riordan, Natalie Howe, and Jana Douglass. Gabe Hamel (right) also attended to support the team.
The New England-St Lawrence Valley Division is one of nine divisions of the American Association of Geographers, each of which sends an all-star team to the national championship competition. Reflecting geography’s interface between the social and natural sciences, the competition’s subject matter ranged from the distribution of olive oil production to cloud patterns.
Congratulations to the thirteen students who graduated from the UMass Geography BA program in 2018:
Dr. Toby Applegate, a lecturer in the Geography program, has been awarded a year-long fellowship from Smith College’s Kahn Liberal Arts Institute to contribute to an interdisciplinary project on refugees and forced migration.
The fellowship provides both support for ongoing research and an opportunity to participate in a year-long faculty seminar. The 2018-19 seminar on refugees is organized by Smith College professors Darcy Buerkle (History) and Gregory White (Government). It “seeks to draw together faculty from a wide range of fields whose work intersects with the subject of forced displacement, to consider this complicated subject not only through the lens of historians and contemporary policy scholars, but also from the perspective of economists, social workers, psychologists, educational theorists, and artists.” The Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute supports collaborative research among Smith and Five College faculty, Smith students, and visiting scholars without regard to the traditional boundaries of departments, programs and academic divisions.
The UMass Amherst Geography Club was the top-scoring team for the fourth consecutive year in the World Geography Bowl held at the 2017 New England-St Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) divisional meeting of the American Association of Geographers. The highest scoring team, geography students Kevin Bean, Carson Caraluzzi, Becca Feidelson, Will Kostick, Simon Perreira, and Le Tran, traveled to Central Connecticut State University for the October 20th competition. The World Geography Bowl competition begins with regional competitions across the US and culminates in a national competition at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers – this year to take place in New Orleans. Reflecting geography’s interdisciplinary integration of the social and natural sciences, the competition questions ranged from the dynamics of population change to wind patterns.
For the second year in a row, the top-scoring UMass team was undefeated throughout the day-long competition. As a result, according to tournament rules designed to avoid the over-dominance of any one team, they were not permitted to compete in the final championship round this year. Nonetheless, the UMass team scored so high in the preliminary rounds that they remained the highest scoring team in the tournament even without competing in the final round, which was won by the University of New Hampshire. The UMass team won the championship in 2014 and 2016, and came in a close second in 2015.
UMass’ highest score was officially recognized at the closing awards ceremony of the World Geography Bowl tournament and in the official report of the tournament results, which lists three winners: highest score (UMass), championship round winner and championship round runner-up. UMass Geographers Kevin Bean and Carson Caraluzzi scored individual high scores which qualify them to compete on the NESTVAL all-star team in the 2018 national competition in New Orleans this spring.
The World Geography Bowl began in 1987 in North Carolina, and became a fully-developed national competition in 1993. Unlike primary and secondary school “geography bees,” which emphasize individual proficiency, the college-level World Geography Bowl emphasizes team competitions. Half of the questions are answered through collaborations between all team members. In 2006, the competition was revised to include visual questions involving satellite images and photographs as well as standard questions.
The top six individual-scoring students from the 2017 NESTVAL competition will join together to form the NESTVAL team at the national World Geography Bowl, to be held in New Orleans at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in April. The Association has 9 regional divisions, each of which sends a team to the national championship competition.
The UMass Geography program (situated within the Department of Geosciences, College of Natural Sciences, and the School of Earth and Sustainability) offers BA, BS, and MS degrees, including Geography BA concentrations in Human Geography, Environmental Geography and Sustainability, Climate Change and Society, Urban Geography, Globalization and International Studies, or Geographic Information Science and Technologies (GIST), MS degrees in Geography and in Geography with a concentration in GIST, and a PhD in Geosciences.
PROGRAM MISSION AND HISTORY
Too many young Americans are unable to make effective decisions, understand geo-spatial issues, or even recognize their impacts as global citizens. National Geographic created Geography Awareness Week 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.
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. Geography Awareness Week is supported by year-long access to materials and resources for teachers, parents, community activists and all geographically minded global citizens.
For more information, see https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/programs/geography-awareness-week
Andrew Prestridge, Owen Bragdon, Dan Riecker, Khalif Nunnally-Rivera, Tom Sandberg, Wes Smith
Owen Bragdon, Kat Kowalski, Tyler Maren, Dan Riecker, Brendan Dolan
Not pictured: Paul Makowicz, Galya Neffinger, Ina Shkurti,
UMass Geography students Kevin Bean and Owen Bragdon competed for New England at the National World Geography Bowl competition in Boston, April 8, 2017.
UMass Study Recommends Better Preparation For Inevitable New England River Floods
Rivers and streams in New England will inevitably flood, and there are some low-cost steps that federal and state governments can take to help communities be better prepared. That’s the message from a recent UMass Amherst report.
Geography Professor Eve Vogel led the study, and will present the findings Friday in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Five years ago, Shelburne Falls was one of the towns hardest hit by Tropical Storm Irene. Vogel said the nature of New England rivers poses some challenges for local planning officials, and too often, washed out infrastructure is rebuilt in exactly the same place after it’s destroyed by floods.
Geography Awareness Week 2016 is upon us! #GeoWeek encourages citizens of all ages to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it. This year’s theme is “Explore the Power of Parks,” in honor of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration. This week, take the opportunity that #GeoWeek presents to raise awareness about the importance of geography education, and excite people about geography as both a discipline, and as a part of everyday life. We encourage everyone to get involved and help promote geo-literacy–not just during Geography Awareness Week, but every week throughout the entire year!
Here are some Geography Awareness Week links:
The Geography Program is now offering an undergraduate certification in Geographic Information Science and Technology (see curriculum below). For more information, contact Professor Qian Yu.
Geographer Eve Vogel (on left), with co-researcher Christine Hatch, is featured in this year’s UMass Annual Research Report. See the feature at https://www.umass.edu/researchnext/feature/riversmart-communities
Congratulations to Geography MS student Peter Huntington for winning this year’s Innovation Challenge Minute Pitch! The Isenberg School of Management’s Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship hosts an annual “Innovation Challenge Minute Pitch.” Huntington, who is advised by Eve Vogel (chair) and Toby Applegate, entered with an idea for a biochar company, “Maine Carbon Solutions” (a company to convert forestry wastes to biochar, and sell carbon sequestration credits to energy-intensive corporations).
The event consisted of thirty-one sixty-second business pitches in front of a public audience. Five judges chose five contestants to return to the stage for a two-minute pitch followed by questions and answers. Then the judges decided on the top three winners. Huntington received first place and a cash prize.
For general information on the Minute Pitch program, see https://www.isenberg.umass.edu/centers/berthiaume-center-for-entrepreneurship/calendar/innovation-challenge-minute-pitch
Congratulations! UMass Geography wins the New England-St Lawrence Valley World Geography Bowl.
Caption for photo: (left to right: Owen Bragdon, Will Kostick, Paul Makowicz, Kevin Bean and Nicole Plasse)
UMass Geographers are the 2016 New England champions!
Once again, the UMass Geography Club brought home the gold trophy from World Geography Bowl held at the New England-St Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) divisional meeting of the American Association of Geographers. This year’s championship-winning team, geography students Kevin Bean, Owen Bragdon, Will Kostick, Paul Makowicz, and Nicole Plasse, traveled to Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, for the October 14th competition.
The competition involved university teams from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec. This year the UMass team was undefeated throughout the day-long competition. They swept the final championship round against Southern Connecticut State University, scoring 105-55 with correct answers to questions which demonstrated their command of the breadth of the field of geography. Reflecting geography’s interface between the natural and social sciences, the competition’s subject matter ranged from wind patterns to city locations.
The UMass team also won the championship in 2014, and came in a close second in 2015. The World Geography Bowl began in 1987 in North Carolina, and became a fully-developed national competition in 1993. Unlike primary and secondary school “geography bees,” which emphasize individual proficiency, the college-level World Geography Bowl emphasizes team competitions. Half of the questions are answered through collaborations between all team members. In 2006, the competition was revised to include not only verbally-read questions, but also visual questions involving satellite images and photographs.
The top six individual-scoring students from the 2016 NESTVAL competition will join together to form the NESTVAL team at the national World Geography Bowl, to be held in Boston at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in April. The Association has 9 regional divisions, each of which sends a team to the national championship competition.
The UMass Geography program, which offers BA-Geography, BA-Environmental Geography, BS-Geography, MS-Geography and PhD-Geosciences degrees, is housed in the Department of Geosciences, and the School of Earth and Sustainability, College of Natural Sciences.