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Department of Geography

Fall 2012 - Semester Brief

Fall 2012 was semester during which we said a lot of “Hellos” “Goodbyes” “Good lucks” “Welcome Backs” and “See You Soons.”  It was an eventful and productive semester.
We welcomed back our many continuing Geography majors, said hello to some new geographers and Good Luck to our graduating seniors.  
We wished Satish Davgun, our long standing department chair well in his retirement after 27 years of service to Bemidji State University.  We also thanked him for his continued service after retirement during Fall when he taught Physical Geography.  We send our sincere best wishes to Satish in his retirement.
We welcomed back Mark Lawrence who was on sabbatical from May 2011 to August 2012, Mark first returned to East Africa to continue working with the Uongozi Centre for NGO Studies, Leadership and Management on examination of the environmental history of the 8 villages of Kenya’s Mbui Nzau Sublocation.  Core spatial images uncovered in this examination of landscape memory provide a unique perspective for assessment of the rate and scope of environmental change in the region.  Mark spent the second half of his sabbatical teaching intercultural communication and urban and regional planning courses at the University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt, Germany.  He also presented at an African Studies conference in Vienna, at an interdisciplinary social sciences conference in Barcelona, and participated again in the Summer Symposium on Community, Work, and Community Support at the Inter-University Center in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
We said hello to Jill Stackhouse who joined our department this fall.  Jill is an Urban Geographer who conducts research on Micropolitan Urban areas in the United States as well as having a regional focus in Latin America.  Jill teaches a variety of courses including Introduction to GIS and Cartography.
We said “Goodbye” and “See You Soon” to Jeff Ueland who will be working in Windhoek, Namibia during 2013.
It was a productive Fall semester.  Discussions surrounding developing a robust and varied curriculum to meet the competitive needs of our graduating students entering in to this highly integrated global world of ours topped the list. 
We are also in the process of rebuilding our Geography Club with efforts directed at events that will engage Geography and other majors outside of the classroom. 
One such event was our National Geography Awareness Week, orchestrated and coordinated by our Geography Club leadership. Events included a GIS Panel, attended by Annette Theroux from ProWest and Associates, Scott Abel from Red Lake DNR and Brian Mustonen from PaulBunyan Communications and Darryl Holman from the US Forest Service.  We engaged in a “mental maps” contest that involved young members of the Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji creating their own maps of the United States.  Our annual geobowl had considerable participation; our faculty presented research material and movie nights were scheduled.  
We are looking forward to another productive, high energy and exciting spring semester.