Chapter Activity Reports
This year more than 45 Gamma Theta Upsilon chapters submitted reports highlighting their numerous activities. Browse these condensed annual reports and be amazed by the creative ways in which GTU chapters are promoting geography. The summaries are organized according to each chapter's Greek letter designation.
I am amazed by the number of students, both undergraduate and graduate who are presenting their research at regional and national meetings. GTU chapters are working collaboratively with other honor societies and clubs. Chapters are volunteering for voting drives, urban gardening projects with at-risk youth, cleaning highways, lakes, rivers and bays, and educational opportunities for females in Africa. They are hosting or co-hosting colloquiums, activities for Geography Awareness Week, GIS Day and Earth Day.
But they are having fun as well: monthly social events, hikes, camping trips, game nights, geobowls, picnics, bbqs and pig roasts! The variety of geographic education-related events is an inspiration. Tutoring, informational panels, workshops for high-school students, resume writing, an open house for those interested in the geography major, an annual departmental Geography Day, local presentations of student geographical research…I could go on and on.
Alumni are regularly invited and hosted by GTU chapters and faculty appreciation events are planned. Humanitarian work is being done. Environmentally-based film festivals are being hosted and sponsored. Congratulations to all the chapters who reported and those who maybe did not get a chance to submit a report. Hopefully, we'll hear from you, too, next year by the June 15th deadline!
Remember that Geography Awareness Week 2019 is the week of November 11-16 and GIS 2019 is November 13. Earth Day 2020 is April 22. Find more ideas to prepare for Geography Awareness Week at https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/programs/geography-awareness-week/
For more information about GIS day, visit https://www.gisday.com/
Finally I encourage you to check out "Facebook Map Mondays" by Alpha Phi Chapter (UNL Geography Student Organization)!
Dr. Karen D. Johnson-Webb
Second Vice President
Gamma Theta Upsilon
Gamma, Sam Houston State University
Ross Guida, new Faculty Sponsor of Gamma Chapter of GTU at Sam Houston State University inducted 12 new members. This was probably due to the GTU chapter not being as active over the last couple of years and having few new inductees during that time. Given student and faculty schedules, The Gamma Chapter inducted 13 new members at the end of February, but was not able to hold a wider departmental event until April 24th. All new members attended, along with several faculty, and we jointly recognized GTU members and department scholarship members. The students were surprised to hear the history of GTU at SHSU and that Gamma was one of the four original charter institutions.
Since Spring 2019 was the first semester getting GTU back up and running at SHSU, the new GTU members were asked what types of activities they'd like GTU to be involved in, and next year we plan to take more trips and have more activities. Several of these activities are likely to be jointly run with Geographers of Sam Houston (GOSH), our university-sponsored student organization.
Lambda, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Lambda Chapter inducted 13 new members on May 3, 2019. At our induction ceremony, students display their research posters, we have refreshments, and we announce student awards. GTU Induction is an important part of this reception. GTU members are active in the SIU Department of Geography & Environmental Resources, in the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Minor, and the interdisciplinary PhD program in Environmental Resources and Policy.
GTU is closely linked to both the GIS Club and Geography Club, and all members are excellent representatives of Geography on campus and across the local/regional community. GTU, GIS and Geography Club participants put in many hundreds of volunteer hours to help clean up and beautify the community.
Lambda GTU members participated in an amazing number of environmental activities, including:
- Geography Club was quite productive last year. The group organized fun hikes around the area, and hosted a department game night during the spring semester. They plan to be more energized under new leadership next year!
- GIS Club organized "GIS Day 2018" (November 15th). One event involved research presentations from students and industry professionals working with GIS. The second session was a panel talk about applications of UAVs (drones) in the field of GIS and Remote Sensing. There was also a panel discussion with both researchers and professionals working with UAVs.
- The GIS Club organized a workshop for the high-school students around our region, as part of the outreach program of SIUC. In this event, they demonstrated how to utilize Google Earth Pro as a medium to explore geospatial features and perform basic spatial analysis.
- Our students also planned a hiking event on local state park trails, where they taught people to use GPS for collecting point location with higher accuracy and precision. In addition, they discussed interesting facts about geological features in the park. This was collaboration with a group of students in our department's "Introduction of GIS" course. After collecting the data, they incorporated these data in their ArcGIS Online Trail Map to visualize the features.
Alpha Phi, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Fall BBQ
- Facebook Map Mondays
- Geography Awareness Week Gratitude Campaign-
- Taking inspiration from Dr. Derek Alderman's ideas, for the second year, Geography students led the way in sharing gratitude (i.e., card, gift, verbal thanks, delivered in person by student) to College of Arts and Science.
- Campus Wide Geography Bowl
- Year-end Celebration (with GTU ceremony and induction) three new members were inducted.
Alpha Xi, Valparaiso University
The Alpha Xi Chapter initiated six new members at fall and spring induction ceremonies. The chapter hosted a fall hike at a Shirley Heinze Land Trust property, promoted Geography Awareness week on campus, and held an evening of internship talks.
Beta Psi, Kansas State University
It was a busy academic year for the Beta Psi chapter! Perhaps our biggest event this year was our Geography Department hosting the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain regional AAG meeting this fall. All GTU members and many geography students volunteered to help make the meeting a huge success, and quite a few members presented their research. Our chapter sold t-shirts as a fundraiser and to help commemorate the occasion.
For Geography Awareness week, we created flyers with geographic facts and posted them throughout university buildings (where allowed). These fact sheets were also posted to the GTU Twitter page and the K-State Geography Department Facebook page.
A new event we hosted was a department CV/Resume workshop where students could edit and provide advice on one another's CVs. A professor presented tips about creating CVs and what content to include, as well as writing a successful cover letter or statement of purpose.
Our most popular annual activity, the campout at a local lake, was a lot of fun. There was good food, fishing, s'mores, and fun!
Beta Psi Chapter inducted six new members.
Finally, throughout the semester, our Beta Psi chapter co-sponsored department colloquiums that happen typically once or twice a month. Visiting scholars from around the U.S. came to present their research about various topics in the geographic discipline. This year, we even had a special visitor for our colloquium series all the way from the Netherlands! We are looking forward to another great school year!
One paper was published by a student in the Geographical Bulletin.
Twelve students presented papers at national and regional geography meetings.
Beta Xi, University of Missouri
During the 2018-2019 academic year, Beta Xi worked closely with the Mizzou Geography Club to build a sense a community in our department. Our members volunteered at the Missouri Geographic Bee and twice picked up trash at the Mizzou Geography Highway Adopt-A-Spot, hosted monthly social gatherings, designed and sold a Mizzou Geography t-shirt, as well as enjoyed three hiking/field trips to various locations in Mid-Missouri.
Delta Mu, University of Mary Washington
- Organized a hiking trip to Shenandoah National Park.
- Organized trivia games for Geography Awareness Week.
- Co-sponsored the department's annual research symposium.
- Delta Mu Chapter inducted 16 new members.
Delta Rho, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
We organized a GTU ceremony, inducted 11 new members and travelled to academic conferences in Villanova, PA and Washington, DC. We hosted an annual dinner to which we invited GTU members who had already graduated from college or graduate school. For Geography Awareness Week we invited four guest speakers (department alumni) that promoted geography. One student presented a paper at AAG 2019. I member presented a poster at AAG 2019.
Epsilon Beta, University of West Georgia
During the Fall 2018 semester, we focused on two activities: our department's annual pig roast and Geography Awareness Week. The annual pig roast brings alumni, faculty, and current students together. For Geography Awareness Week, we visited a 4th grade class and gave a presentation on tree-rings and climate.
The Spring 2019 semester concentrated on Earth Day festivities. We were in charge of the annual Rake the Lake event at Lake Carroll. Even though it was cold, and rainy, 45 students turned up to pull trash out of the lake.
Epsilon Beta chapter inducted 10 new members.
Epsilon Delta, West Liberty University
Members of Epsilon Delta participated in the West Liberty University Environmental Education Day, leading the Geography program's annual sneaker recycling drive. Two members of Epsilon Delta have accepted positions in graduate programs beginning in Fall 2019. Six new members were inducted into Epsilon Delta in April 2019, and for the first time in our chapter's history a full slate of officers will be returning for at least one more year at the university, providing potential opportunities for speakers and other GTU events in the upcoming year.
Epsilon Kappa, Macalester College
- Organized a field program for Lanegran Day
- Helped organize Macalester's participation in the Midwest Undergraduate Geography Symposium
- Geography Awareness Week programming
- We held a geography career night
- Brought to campus six professional geographers to discuss career paths for geography majors
- Held a geography open house for students who might be interested in taking a geography course or developing a geography major
- Three students presented paper/posters at geography conferences
- Epsilon Kappa Chapter inducted 17 new members
Eta Chi, Northern Michigan University
Eta Chi's most memorable and influential activities included a study session for physical geography students, our weekly meetings, the induction ceremony for new members, and
Anderton's Earth Week.
Fall semester activities were much lower key than in past years in part because of a large cohort of active members and leaders graduating in the spring or fall. Late in the semester, elections were held to bring in five new officers who hit the ground running in January.
On Tuesday, February 12, Eta Chi's Executive Board volunteered to help prepare a section of physical geography students for an upcoming exam. Two students showed up to study for their exam, and at the end of the session they stated they felt much more prepared and were very grateful for our help.
Over the course of the last semester, Eta Chi's members met once every week. During our meetings, we planned our induction ceremony and Earth Week, we discussed our classes, and we formed friendships that we can carry with us into our professional lives.
On Monday, April 8, Eta Chi hosted an induction ceremony for 34 new members. The event was incredibly successful with most members and several faculty members from the Earth, Environmental, and Geographical Sciences (EEGS) department participating. (Most of the faculty members who attended are GTU members.) The Executive Board held the catered event at the Ore Dock Brewing Company in downtown Marquette. We used the brand new induction ceremony script that had been approved three days before at the GTU Executive Committee meeting held during the 2019 AAG annual meeting.
The event that took the most time to plan and prepare for, and that turned out incredibly well, was Anderton's Earth Week. Eta Chi honors Dr. John Anderton of NMU's EEGS who tragically passed away five years ago. We established a weeklong schedule of events. These included a daily interactive art installation; showings of the films "Bluefin," "Cheshire, Ohio," and "Food for Change," a game of Geography Trivia, and a series of speakers who discussed off-grid living, establishing a sense of place, water preservation, civic engagement, nature-based tourism, climate change and adaptation, and sustainable planning in municipalities of Marquette County. The week was incredibly engaging for students both in and outside our department.
Eta Kappa, Salem State University
The Eta Kappa Chapter inducted into membership 10 undergraduate students and one graduate student at the Department's annual Geography Day event on April 26, 2019. Over 50 people attended this ceremony. Six GTU members, including some of this year's inductees, were recognized for outstanding academic achievement and service to the community in the following categories:
- the James J. Centorino Memorial Award for Superior Academic Achievement in Geography
- the National Council for Geographic Education for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Geography
- the J. Michael Ruane Award for Excellence in Digital Cartography
- the Dr. John George Memorial Award
- the Dr. John George Memorial Scholarship
- the Graduate Student Award for Excellence in the Geo-Information Sciences.
Student members were encouraged to make presentations at the NESTVAL and national AAG conferences.
Eta Psi, Louisiana State University
We initiated three new members into Eta Psi in January 2019.
Eta Sigma, Wright State University
In the 2018-2019 year, GTU was reactivated at Wright State University after a seven-year hiatus. This reactivation included both the incorporation of the student organization on campus, led by one of our geography undergraduate majors, and the reincorporation of the GTU Honors Society. Additionally, seven students were inducted. This is strong given that we only have 17 majors in geography, with an increase from the previous year as well.
Two students presented at the 2018 East Lakes Division of the AAG Regional Meeting held at Ohio Northern University in October 2018. One of our students won first prize for his poster. The honor came with a $100 cash prize. This honor was covered by the Wright State Newsroom and the Dayton Daily News. Another student presented a poster at the conference.
Gamma Lambda, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
The Gamma Lambda Chapter had a great academic year, while also helping our community in a myriad of ways. We inducted 11 new members into our GTU chapter.
For academic success, we had three students present small research projects for GIS Day at a local engineering firm (Horner & Shifrin), with one of our members winning first prize in the poster competition. Two students also presented their research at the AAG conference in Washington, D.C.
For community service, we participated in an invasive species clean up at St. Vincent Greenway in St. Louis, which strives to make the St. Louis region a more vibrant place to live, work and play. We also volunteered at the C.O.L.A. Victory community garden in St. Louis. The C.O.L.A seeks to improve the lives of individuals within the community and the environment where they live and work. The victory garden serves at-risk youth providing a learning environment that will aid in providing them with a marketable skill, not only in agricultural responsibility, but also in entrepreneurship.
For the Chapter in general, we won $300 dollars at the Campus Activities Trivia Night that was featured in the college newspaper, The Alestle. Our faculty sponsor was a judge at the National Geographic Bee in Normal, IL. We also hosted a Drone Certification class and helped with a Drone camp for kids June 12 and 13. We also had five Graduate Students and eight Undergraduate Students graduate in May, which is sad to see them go, but we know they will be great ambassadors for our program and geography.
We also hosted an end of year picnic at a local park. Alumni, friends and family, faculty and their spouses and children all celebrated the end of a successful year.
Gamma Phi, Frostburg State University
Gamma Phi is pleased to report that our chapter had an active academic year, but we are still aiming for that Chapter Award! Keep an eye on us for the upcoming year. Our chapter activity included the following.
- Camping trip to Savage River State Forest
- Volunteering at the October LaVale Lion's Club Chicken BBQ in LaVale, MD
- Was awarded "most informative display" at the Frostburg State University Major's Fair (GTU members staffed the table for the Geography Department)
- 2018 Geography Awareness Week events
- Movie night
- Trivia night
- Open Street Map Session (snowed out)
- Four officers were selected to attend a Career Summit in November in Washington D.C.
- Sponsored a local family for Thanksgiving
- Maintained a stretch of Adopt-a-Highway in Frostburg, MD
- Trivia night
- Maintained stretch of Adopt-a-Highway in Frostburg, MD
- Volunteered at the May LaVale Lion's Club Chicken BBQ in LaVale, MD
- Advisor invited to Lion's Club to promote GTU and the Department of Geography at Frostburg State University
- Inducted ten new members!
Gamma Psi, Kutztown University
Gamma Psi Chapter inducted seven new members this year. We also co-sponsored two campus-wide events this AY:
- November 14, 2018; Sustainability: Your Choices, Your Future. Featured speaker and seven political, professional, and activist panelists
- April 15, 2019; The Secret Lives of Glaciers lecture and book signing by Dr. M. Jackson (National Geographic Explorer, and TED Fellow)
One member presented a poster at AAG 2019.
Gamma Upsilon, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
No inductees this academic year.
Iota Xi, University of Central Arkansas
Iota Xi Chapter remains in rebuilding mode. As a joint organization with the Department's Geography Club, our chapter sponsored a few events in the fall and spring and tried to plan for expanded activities in the coming year. Chapter members helped organize Humanitarian Mapping events during Geography Awareness Week in November and assisted with the state Geography Bee during March. Also during the spring semester, members organized plans for the fall and successfully submitted a budget to build an Augmented Reality Sandbox in the upcoming semester. A limited pool of eligible candidates and relatively low visibility resulted in no inductions for the current year. We are hopeful this will change in the next academic year.
Kappa Delta, Central Connecticut State University
At the April 2019 CCSU Geography Department Banquet, eight students were initiated into the Kappa Delta Chapter. An additional ninth student, unable to attend the event, was sworn in and pledged separately. Of the nine, seven were undergraduate students representing specializations in GIS, Hospitality and Tourism, and Elementary Education and Planning. The two additional inductees were master's candidates, one with a focus in planning and the other in global sustainability. At the annual banquet, the department also recognized students who exhibited exceptional success in the classroom and out, at both the undergrad and graduate levels.
At the 2019 AAG Annual Meeting, Faculty Sponsor Tim Garceau was glad to get to meet fellow GTU sponsors and staff in volunteering at the GTU exhibitor table and business meeting.
Back on campus, CCSU Geography has had some changes. Former undergraduate students who have continued at CCSU for the master's degrees started a Geography Club in order to build some camaraderie amidst majors. As a commuter school, it is often difficult for fellow students to establish connections with their peers and thus these students, having experienced that disconnect as undergrads, sought to create an opportunity for outside class connections amidst our diversity of geography majors. Also during this past year, the geography department did not move but the building where geography is located did get a new name. "Social Sciences Hall" was changed to "Ebenezer Bassett Hall" in honor of CCSU's first African American graduate (Class of 1853) who would go on to be a civil rights leader and abolitionist in our country as well as serving as our country's first African American Ambassador (then called a "Minister Resident").
Lambda Psi, Ohio Northern University
We inducted five members this year. One of our new student members was chosen to represent ONU at the GEOINT Conference in San Antonio, TX this June. He was awarded $1,000 in travel funds through an outside donor. He worked the conference, attended events, networked with others, and presented a poster.
Lambda Upsilon, Grand Rapids Community College
For the tenth consecutive year, Lambda Upsilon's effort in raising funds for female education in Africa has been successful in supporting a number of girls attending high school in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.
On a local level, a program devoted to nourishing children living in poverty was supported by Lambda Upsilon efforts as well. The chapter president demonstrated exemplary leadership in organizing these efforts, which play an important role in shaping the future of children and youth in urban American and rural African places. In recognition, she was awarded the Lambda Upsilon Academic Service Award and Lambda Upsilon Global Citizenship Award. She also was acknowledged with Lambda Upsilon's award for Academic Distinction, as were two other members.
Chapter members also continued to conduct research in a variety of fields, presenting findings at academic conferences: the California Geographical Society in Big Bear Lake.
In collaboration with the World Affairs Council of West Michigan, Lambda Upsilon hosted Dr. Cadey Korson, Lecturer in Human Geography at Massey University in New Zealand.
Additionally, Dr. Lindsay Naylor, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Delaware, delivered the institution's eleventh annual Visiting Geographical Scientist Program lecture in March 2019 on her fieldwork in Chiapas and fair trade.
Both scholars were broadcast on the college TV network as well as interviewed on Conversation with a Geographer.
In any event, both speakers attracted diverse audiences and inspired many, showing students, faculty, administrative leaders, and members of the local community the relevance of Geography in both formal lectures and informal dialogues.
Lambda Zeta, Wayne State College
In November 2018, the Lambda Zeta chapter held our annual Geography Bowl on campus in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week. Since 2011, geography students and faculty have coordinated this activity. The event begins with eight two-person teams (from any majors) and uses a single elimination format to determine the Wayne State College champion. A raffle to give away geography-related promotional items to audience members takes place between rounds. Over 150 people attended the event. Local GTU chapter students and faculty ran all aspects of the Geography Bowl, billed as "The Fastest 90 Minutes on Campus."
In October 2018, our chapter joined with several other student organizations to co-host a Voter Registration Drive on campus, eventually registering over 150 students to vote in the mid-term election.
In December 2018, our chapter sponsored an entry in the annual Festival of Trees celebration, a campus-wide holiday season fundraiser. Organizations agree to decorate and display "themed" trees in the Student Center atrium. Each participating organization pays an entry fee and the collected donations go toward the purchase of gifts for local children from families in need (identified by County Social Services).
In March 2019, the chapter sponsored a public presentation on campus. Two recent Wayne State College geography majors now working at government positions returned to their alma mater and presented a talk entitled, "GIS at the Federal and Local Level."
In April 2019, our chapter helped to organize the year-end Social Sciences Day activities on campus. The event included initiation ceremonies featuring each of the social sciences honor societies, end-of-year social sciences Student Awards, and a reception afterward. Two of our GTU chapter members were awarded social sciences scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year. Overall, it was a very successful day that capped an outstanding year.
The Lambda Zeta chapter initiated five new members in November 2018 and three new members in April 2019.
Mu Alpha, DePaul University
A Mu Alpha member received GTU's Maxfield Scholarship.
GTU members organized fundraising within the university in order to send nine of their members to the annual meeting of the AAG in Washington, D.C. this spring. One member, presented at AAG; another, participated in the World Geography Bowl.
This year, we inducted 15 new members into our GTU chapter as part of our annual end of year celebration. Students were presented their certificates at a gathering of fellow students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Mu Chi, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
For the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters, our accomplishments can be summed up as follows.
- Hosted iCAR conference (October 2018)
- Inducted three new students into GTU (December 2018)
- Elected new President, Vice President, Treasurer
- Hosted Earth Day geography trivia event (April 2019)
- Interacted with upwards of 20-30 students, handed out multiple prizes
- Increased awareness for geography and GTU
- Inducted three new students into GTU (April 2019)
Mu Eta, Mississippi State University
Mu Eta was relatively quiet in 2018-19, other than inducting new members. Three meetings were held. GTU also offered to sponsor one of our visiting faculty seminars. However, this was tabled until next year. We elected two new officers (President and Treasurer), and they have some good suggestions for the 2019-20 school year. Some of the ideas include a t-shirt sale, our regular every other year polo sale, and something for Faculty Appreciation Week. Suggestions were also made at the last meeting for being more proactive about listing GTU dates including meeting and application due dates on classroom boards.
Our outgoing GTU president was selected by the geography faculty to receive the Excellence in Geography Award. One faculty member stated that she in particular has been "an excellent departmental citizen, and one of our brightest and most driven undergrads."
Mu Eta inducted seven new members in the fall and one new member in the spring.
Mu Kappa, Hofstra University
Mu Kappa elected six new student members to hold positions on the executive committee for fall 2018 and spring 2019. Our faculty sponsor chose to pass on the Presidency to student members. We elected two candidates for President, one for the fall semester and one for the spring semester.
On October 2, 2018, four Mu Kappa members were celebrated at Hofstra University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) Academic Excellence Awards Celebration. This event honored students who have excelled in each of the programs in HCLAS. These awards were for Global Studies, for Geography, for History and for Public Service and Public Policy.
Seven student members and three faculty members of Mu Kappa presented their research at the annual Middle States Division of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) conference at Montclair State University in New Jersey, October 26-27, 2018. One student received the Rob Mason People's Choice Award for her poster.
Mu Kappa and the Department of Global studies and Geography celebrated Geography Awareness Week by organizing two guest talks. The first talk, on November 14 titled 'Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley: Image and Reality' by Dr. Thomas Maraffa (Professor Emeritus of Geography at Youngstown State University) was co-sponsored with the departments of Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. The second talk, 'Digital Cartographies of Everyday Life' by Leah Meisterlin (Assistant Professor at Columbia University) was held on Thursday, November 15, and we had a luncheon afterwards where invited students and faculty could talk with the speaker. The lectures were co-sponsored by the Hofstra Cultural Center and were very well attended, with many students asking questions during the Q&A sessions.
We had another great Mu Kappa turn out for Hofstra University's Undergraduate Research Day on December 11, 2018. Ten Mu Kappa members and Geography/Global Studies majors participated, covering a variety of research topics. All the nine Geography majors who presented had used GIS to make their own maps for their posters, advised by Dr. Craig Dalton.
On March 9, 2018, we held the annual Hofstra University Honors College Accepted Students Expo and Dinner. Three Mu Kappa members our faculty sponsor represented the Department of Global studies and Geography by presenting research posters and answering questions from admitted students and their families about Geography, GIS and Global Studies.
On April 15, 2019, we held the annual Mu Kappa initiation ceremony and 18 new members were initiated. The ceremony was as a luncheon at the University Club attended by both new and old members of Mu Kappa, and Global Studies and Geography faculty and staff. Keynote speaker, Dr. Mona Domosh, Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College and past President of the AAG, gave remarks about her journey into the world of geography. She later gave a well-attended talk to students and faculty titled, 'Practicing Development in the Jim Crow South. Chapter advisor Dr. Kari Jensen and department administrator Jackie Geis assisted with the logistics.
Mu Kappa board members continued their "Textbooks for Africa" donation drive through December 2018. The drive became very successful, with support not only from the Department of Global Studies and Geography, but also from other schools and departments at Hofstra University. Around twenty boxes of books were shipped in December.
Mu Kappa members raised funds selling maps and fair-trade organic chocolate. This not only helped the chapter raise money for shipping of textbooks, but also helped to raise awareness about the importance of fair trade and geography. Additionally, members sold these items and geography themed t-shirts at the Earth Day event on campus.
Mu Pi, University of West Florida
Mu Pi completed the following activities throughout this past school year:
- Beach Day: a social event to promote networking between students within the department
- An event to get students, faculty & staff closer in the department. We hope that by placing everyone in a less intimidating environment we can encourage relationships to grow that will promote research and meaningful work in geography.
- Member Meetings: general planning and updating times for members to catch up and pitch new ideas
- Induction: one held in the spring and one in the fall where 39 members in all were inducted.
- Homecoming: a university wide event that Mu Pi attends to promote geography and the department's work!
- Halloween Social
- Geography Awareness Tag: Mu Pi tagged the Graffiti Bridge in Pensacola with a world map to raise awareness about geography in the community.
- Map-a-thon: a 24-hour GIS mapping event to help communities in need gain insightful geographic information through maps
- Sci Fri (PHS): Mu Pi members attend a local school to teach a science activity relating to geography. This academic year we went to Dixon and PHS in Pensacola.
- AGU: 4 Mu Pi members attended AGU this past fall
- AGU panel: Members participated in a panel to discuss how to present oneself at a scientific meeting. Members gave pointers on Do's and Don'ts at a conference
- Science Olympiad: a volunteer event for Mu Pi members
- AAG 2019: 2 Mu Pi members attended AAG
- End of the Year Extravaganza: GTU Mu Pi hosted a celebration to highlight the accomplishments of the chapter over the past year! We have come far!
Mu Gamma, University of Texas – Austin
We initiated 14 new members this academic year. We hosted a variety of events and workshops, including an introduction to the FAA Part 107 Drone Pilots license. We hosted our first ever Geography Bowl which was in the spirit of Jeopardy with a geographic twist. We became an official honor society within the School's Student Organization Council, which has helped us establish a budget and provided us with new privileges. We look forward to the next academic year where we can continue our growth and establish some lasting traditions.
Mu Rho, Owens Community College
Mu Rho chapter co-hosted a visit by past AAG President Derek Alderman along with the GTU chapters at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University in the Visiting Geographical Scientist Program. Derek Alderman visited Owens Community College campus on February 14, where he met with students, faculty, and staff. The Social & Behavioral Sciences Department hosted a reception for him. Approximately 14 attended. Among those in attendance was our one new inductee into Mu Rho chapter this year who was inducted on April 18 at an event held in conjunction with the Owens CC chapter of Psi Beta, Psychology honor society. Approximately 40 students, faculty, and staff attended the GTU/Psi Beta induction luncheon. The event included a game of Geography and Psychology themed Jeopardy co-hosted by GTU faculty sponsor, L. Scott Deaner and Psi Beta faculty sponsor, Steve Ross.
Mu Upsilon, Kennesaw State University
During the 2018-2019 academic year, Mu Upsilon inducted 10 new members (6 in Fall 2018 and 4 in Spring 2019). Our chapter is looking forward to future growth and to working with the Geography Club on various initiatives and events and with Geography Awareness Week in November. Mu Upsilon will have more opportunities to increase its presence by promoting events such as:
- Kennesaw State's "Year of" series where various departments on campus hold classes and lectures promoting and educating our students about places' history, culture, and current topics of particular geographic places;
- Geocaching events;
- Geography Awareness Week events;
- our department's annual GIS night at a local brewery that occurs during Geography Awareness Week
- local hikes and field trips and other events in partnership with the Geography Club.
Nu Epsilon, Calvin University
1. We hosted visiting geography professor Dr. Justin Tse from Northwestern University who gave a lecture on May 3, 2019 entitled, "Global Cities of God: Chinese Mega-Churches in Silicon Valley."
2. We initiated seven new members at the department's end of year celebration on May 9, 2019.
3. We hosted the Banff Mountain Film Festival on April 8, 2019.
Nu Eta, Missouri Western State University
In December 2018, all members of Nu Eta at Missouri Western State University graduated. We did not elect officers because they would have been identical to Geography Club.
GTU took part in two Geography Club activities during fall. They cosponsored a Trivia Bowl, which raised money for the Playground Map Project. The event raised $200, and this will be used for expenses related to the painting of maps on playgrounds around St. Joseph. They also co-sponsored a chili cook-off. We invited the University community to sample 12 different regional chili recipes and vote on their favorite. All proceeds from the event (over $200) were used to purchase food for MWSU's Campus Cupboard.
Nu Theta, University of Southern California
The USC Spatial Sciences Institute hosted a number of events in the 2018-2019 academic year to promote the practice and advancement of geography and geographic information science. The highlight of the fall semester was our USC GIS Day Mapathon in which more than a dozen staff, students, and faculty joined forces in a friendly competition against UCLA to use Open Street Map and Missing Map to map areas affected by natural disasters. The team from USC mapped 5,114 buildings to UCLA's 5,026, narrowly edging out their rivals and earning bragging rights for a second straight year.
In the spring, the Spatial Sciences Institute hosted the ninth annual Los Angeles Geospatial Summit. This event brings both graduate and undergraduate students in geography-related disciplines from a number of southern California schools together with working professionals and members of industry. The daylong conference provides insights on emerging trends in the use of geography toward everything from environmentalism and sustainability practices to national defense and human security.
The Spatial Sciences Institute's speaker series for students at all academic levels included presentations on the use of GIS to promote urban renewal and development in Amsterdam, geography in the use of public safety and next generation 9-1-1 call routing, remote sensing work conducted by NASA, and the use of spatial data science in education delivery, to name a few. The Speaker Series was highlighted by a colloquium held in February in which Chief Medical Officer at Esri Dr. Este Geraghty, MS, MPH, GISP delivered a presentation entitled "Gaps or Overlaps? Applying Location Intelligence for Better Decisions." Her discussion focused on the use of geography in healthcare and its value in identifying trends for resource management.
Finally, the USC Nu Theta chapter of GTU held its formal induction ceremony at the end of April, inducting more than 40 new undergraduate, graduate, and staff members into the organization. Friends, family, and staff filled the standing-room only venue at the ceremony followed by a reception. Looking forward to the summer, the students, faculty, and staff will attend national conferences including the Geospatial Intelligence Symposium, hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and the Esri User Conference. Many students will be participating in these events as student assistants and presenters.
Theta Beta, Keene State College
Our chapter, Theta Beta, had an induction ceremony of 5 new members on April 30th. At that meeting, we also discussed scholarship information for next year's AAG.
Theta Gamma, James Madison University
Our largest event was an internship panel held in October 2018. We also co-sponsored a mapathon event with the local American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing chapter. We also held monthly bi-weekly meetings. To tackle the logistics of event planning we designed a committee structure with five committees: social committee, professional development committee, fundraising committee, service committee, and conference committee. These committees were able to improve our ability to plan and carry out events.
Looking forward, we are excited to be able to plan and carryout even more professional and service events.
Theta Gamma inducted seven new members this year.
Zeta Chi, Old Dominion University
Zeta Chi helped hosted several geography events that included:
- A Map-A-Thon, and GIS Day
- GIS Day at ODU continues to grow with an increase in both attendees and presenters. In last year, attendance has grown over 20% and there has been an increase in participation by local professionals.
- The chapter teamed up with several other student organizations for camping, hiking, paddle boarding, and various cultural experiences.
- We regularly hosted cultural food nights, Busch Gardens Trips, ran Halloween parties.
- We planned geocaching games and fund raising events throughout the year.
- The chapter participated in several community service events Clean the Bay, and Clean Lambert's Point. After being rained out for several cleanup events, we finally were able to pick up several hundred pounds of debris.
- We attended the AAG and AGU conferences to support students and members who were presenting research projects. Students sponsored by our funds found the conferences were great learning and networking opportunities.
- Zeta Chi inducted three new members.
Zeta Omicron, Worcester State University
This year our chapter, with all new leadership, organized the following activities:
- The chapter organized several hikes to regional and state parks, including an early morning hike up Mt. Wachussett.
- We sponsored an Intercollegiate Dinner as part of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Worcester.
- Members did outreach, tabling and recruiting at multiple events on campus -- including several sustainability events to promote a carbon-free future.
- Several members presented geographic research at the university's annual "Celebration of Scholarship." Topics ranged from work on construction in flood plains to grappling with invasive species in New England.
- We initiated three new members and elected new leadership for the 2019-2020 year.
- We hosted regular meetings throughout the year that helped build a community in geography and a growing number of Environmental Science students.
Zeta Theta, Northwest Missouri State University
The Zeta Theta chapter inducted three new members this year. We held our Annual GeoBowl trivia event with proceeds going to the Ministry Center, which is a local food pantry. This year, we had twelve teams participate in the GeoBowl. Our Vice President also designed and ordered T-shirts with the latitude and longitude of our department building mapped onto the state of Missouri with a Bearcat paw. This was our major fundraiser this year. Our plan for a field outing was to take a bicycle tour of Lincoln, Nebraska in April, but the flooding on the Missouri River and the closure of Interstate 29 made it difficult to do such an event in one day. We also celebrated the graduation of our Vice President and Secretary in the 2018-2019 academic year as well as four other members of our Gamma Theta Upsilon chapter.
Zeta Zeta, Texas A&M University
After a transition period, we have been ramping up our efforts to induct more students who are eligible. This includes wider dissemination of information about GTU within our College (and to the entire University). We have been steadily increasing the number of inductees every semester since late 2017, when the current faculty sponsor took charge. We will also make sure the scholarships offered by the Chapter are much more widely known among the student body at least within the Department of Geography.
Zeta Zeta inducted 15 new members.