AWG: Recent Events

Report from the President

Geographic Alliance

In the last week of March Pat Buckley represented the AWG at the board meeting for Washington Geographic Alliance. Three major issues of interest came up:

  1. The Alliance agreed to host a joint meeting of the AWG and Alliance in October (current suggestion is an all day meeting on one of the last two Saturdays of the month, since they don't have a UW game). Purpose of the meeting is first and foremost educational, to learn about one another and our current activities, and second to explore how our two organizations can reinforce one another. The Alliance agreed to make the arrangements for a meeting site and subsidize the cost of the meeting.

  2. The National Geographic Society has moved from a policy of directly funding state alliances to a program of encouraging the development of endowments by each state and offering competitive grants. The Washington Alliance is beginning that process. This year they can apply for bridge grants during the transition, but for the future they will need to build an endowment, no small task.

  3. At the K-12 level, given the pressure to "teach to state wide exams", Geography as a subject has been under pressure. It was reported that under some circumstances in some school districts, it was only possible to bring Geography into the curriculum under the guise of "reading" materials.

Annual State of Washington Geography BEE

In early April, Pat Buckley represented the AWG as volunteer reader at the annual Geography Bee in Tacoma. Over the past decade, Washington has been exceptional in producing national champions in this area.

This event has produced considerable excitement at the K-12 level; it would be good if we could consider how to build on this interest to develop life long learners of Geography.

Next Board Meeting

The next board meeting will be held during the first full week of August in the Seattle area. Members are currently finalizing a date and time. Agenda items include:

  1. Long-term representation of AWG on the Alliance board.
  2. A long term schedule (3 years?) for our twice annual meetings, along with the emphasis of each.
  3. Finalization of the Matteucci Award.
  4. A suggestion that the AWG explore building stronger links with the BC Geography departments in the Vancouver and Victoria region to provide a greater critical mass, at least for those AWG meetings with a more academic focus.

Pat Buckley,
Thursday, June 27, 2002

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