AAG Denver 2020 Events

This year’s American Association of Geographers meeting will be held in Denver on April 6-10, 2020. Several UMass faculty members and students will be participating in the Denver AAG meeting through presentations, papers, panels, and even by participating in the World Geography Bowl. 

Rutherford Platt, professor emeritus in the Geosciences department,  will be paneling on the Special EventClimate Crisis: Are Geographers Being Heard?” (featuring Bill McKibben) on Tuesday, April 7th, from 2:25 PM to 3:40 PM. in the Grand Ballroom 1, IM Pei Tower, Second Floor Level, Sheraton.

Forrest Bowlick, GIS lecturer at UMasswill be presenting a paper he co-authored, “Hour of CI: An Engaging First Hour in Cyber Literacy for GIScience“. This presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 8th, from 11:10 AM to 12:25 PM at Plaza Court 5, Sheraton, Concourse Level. Forrest will also be presenting the poster “Morbidity & Mortality of Texas Tornado Outbreaks” on Wednesday, April 8th, from 11:10 AM to 12:25 PM at Centennial Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Third Floor.

Qian Yu, also a GIS lecturer at UMass, will be presenting the paper “Factors affecting the uncertainty in remote sensing of Colored Dissolved Organic Matters in Inland Waters” on Monday, April 6th, from 3:05 PM to 4:20 PM at Director’s Row I, Sheraton, Plaza Building, Lobby Level.  Qian also authored the paper “Riverine DOC Fluxes in Six Large Rivers across Arctic Regions, which will also be presented on Monday, April 6th, from 3:05 PM to 4:20 PM at Director’s Row I, Sheraton, Plaza Building, Lobby Level.

Eve Vogel, Assistant Professor at UMass, will be paneling at the event Oh, you too? I thought I was the only one!” Daily care practices and mutual support for mental health in the academy“. This event will take place on Thursday, April 9th, at 9:35 AM to 10:50 AM in Mineral Hall A, Hyatt Regency, Third Floor.

On April 7th, UMass students Mark Doherty and Dan Finn will compete in the World Geography Bowl. The event will take place from 6:45pm to 10:40pm at Governor’s Square on the Concourse Level of the Sheraton.

(For more information about each event, click the link to view the AAG page for the event)


UMass Geography Club Spring 2020 E-Board!

The UMass Geography Club is proud to announce the new E-Board members for the Spring 2020 semester! Kelsie Butler (President) and Molly Autery (Vice President) will continue to be members of the Geography Club E-Board. Freshmen Mark Doherty and Dan Finn, both among the six top scorers at NESTVAL GeoBowl, will enter new roles as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. Julia Schiemann is our Social Media Representative, managing both the Facebook page and Instagram profile (@umassgeographyclub). Helen Sajo will act as our Fundraising Chair this semester, with hopes to raise money for future field trips.

For the Spring 2020 semester, the UMass Geography Club will meet every other Wednesday, starting on February 12th, 2020. Meetings will take place in Hasbrouck 236 at 6:30PM. Regularly scheduled meetings include Movie nights, Trivia, Paint nights, and more! Field trips will take place on a few Saturdays throughout the semester. The UMass Geography Club welcomes everyone, please feel free to join us!

For more information or questions about the club, please contact Kelsie Butler (via email

The six Geography Club E-Board representatives pose in two rows in front of a white board at their first meeting of the semester.
Top row (from left to right): Mark Doherty, Helen Sajo, Dan Finn.
Bottom row (from left to right): Kelsie Butler, Julia Schiemann, Molly Autery.

UMass Geography Club Competes at NESTVAL

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.

From left to right, Julia Schiemann, Kelsie Butler, Dr. Eve Vogel, Ellen Fay, Le Tran, Dan Finn, Harry Chernin, Mark Doherty, Molly Autery, and Izzy Mezzina gather for a group photo at NESTVAL wearing matching black and white UMass Geography shirts!
The UMass Geography Club joins together for a group photo while competing at NESTVAL. [From left to right: Julia Schiemann, Kelsie Butler, Dr. Eve Vogel, Ellen Fay, Le Tran, Dan Finn, Harry Chernin, Mark Doherty, Molly Autery, and Izzy Mezzina].
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.

Two UMass Students, Mark Doherty and Daniel Finn, stand next to each other in matching gray UMass sweatshirts after just finding out they were in the top six of scorers in the competition.
Mark Doherty (left) and Daniel Finn (right) were among the top scorers at NESTVAL.

UMass Geography Club Takes a Trip to The Amherst Farmer’s Market

Five students stand next to each other holding items from the Farmer's Market (baked goods and a white pumpkin) on the street of Amherst where the Farmer's Market is located. In the background, various tents are set up and people are walking in the background.
Members of the Geography Department show off their treats from the Amherst Farmer’s Market.

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.


Congrats 2019 Graduates!!!


Natalie Howe, Rosie Rinaldi, Becca Feidelson, Lily Holland, John McColly




Follow the Geography Club on Instagram!

Follow the UMass Geography Club on Instagram at umassgeographyclub

2019 Geography Club meeting
Geography Club meeting, March 2019. Alex Heilmann, Isabel Mezzina, Gabe Hamel, Natalie Howe, Molly Autery, Le Tran. Not pictured: Kelsie Butler

Lily Holland – Geog. Bowl Championship

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.

Lily Holland, UMass Geography major (pictured at left) with the New England-St Lawrence Valley Region World Geography Bowl team at the 2019 national championship in Washington, DC
Lily Holland, UMass Geography major (pictured at left) with the New England-St Lawrence Valley Region World Geography Bowl team at the 2019 national championship in Washington, DC
Lily Holland, UMass Geography major (seated, center) with the New England-St Lawrence Valley Region World Geography Bowl team at the 2019 national championship in Washington, DC

Geography Club Trivia Night!


Students gathered for a group photo at the geography trivia night
Geography Trivia Night 4-24-19

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.


Congratulations, UMass Geobowl Team!

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 Holland, Maeve Riordan, Natalie How, Jana Douglass, Gabe Hamel

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 2018 Graduates!

Congratulations to the thirteen students who graduated from the UMass Geography BA program in 2018:

Primary or Dual majors:
Emily Brown
Tyler Deauseault
Jonathan Gregg
Ben Griffiths
Secondary majors:
Nick Becker
Kachi Choi
Chris Mahoney
Juan Toro-Killion
Matt Wagner
Georgina Wetzel
Mid-year (Feb 2018) Graduates:
Lingxiao Duan
Andrew Prestridge
Will Kostick

Applegate awarded Khan Institute Fellowship

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.


UMass gets top score at World Geography Bowl!

left to right, back row: Le Tran, Will Kostick, Kevin Bean, Simon Perreira. 
front row: Becca Feidelson, Carson Caraluzzi

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.



Geography Awareness Week 2017 – Nov 12-18


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


Congratulations, 2017 Grads!

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 Geographers Compete in 2017 World Geography Bowl National Championship

Owen Bragdon
Kevin Bean (left)
Kevin Bean (2nd from right) and Owen Bragdon (right)


UMass Geography students Kevin Bean and Owen Bragdon competed for New England at the National World Geography Bowl competition in Boston, April 8, 2017.



Geographer Eve Vogel interviewed on NEPR

The view of the Connecticut River from the Summit of Mt. Sugarloaf in Deerfield, MA. (Photo Credit: Dave Roback for The Republican)

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.

Click here to listen to the 5 minute interview.


Geography Week 2016

Geography Awareness Week

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:



Undergraduate GIST Certificate now available

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.

GISTCertificate GISTCertificate


Geographer Eve Vogel featured in UMass’ Annual Research Report

Geographer Eve Vogel (on left), with co-researcher Christine Hatch, is featured in this year’s UMass Annual Research Report.  See the feature at



UMass Geography student Peter Huntington wins Innovation Challenge!


Peter Huntingon, 3rd from left

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