Official Press Release Re-launching The Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University
The Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University Receives $27,000 Grant from the National Geographic Education Foundation to Re-Launch The Georgia Geographic Alliance
Grants Promote K-12 Geographic Education and Research Nationwide
CONTACT: Timothy L. Hawthorne, PhD
ATLANTA, GEORGIA [November 8, 2013] — The Georgia Geographic Alliance (GGA) hosted in the Georgia State University Department of Geosciences announced today that it has received a grant of $27,000 from the National Geographic Education Foundation (NGEF), one of 51 grants awarded this year to the Network of Alliances for Geographic Education by NGEF. These grants, totaling $2,414,466, help support 46 state-based Alliances as well as those in the District of Columbia, Chicago and Canada. The GGA is led by Timothy L. Hawthorne, PhD (Assistant Professor of Geography) and Christy C. Visaggi, PhD (Lecturer in Geosciences) of Georgia State University.
The Network of Alliances is a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting geographic education. Each Alliance is a partnership between university faculty and K-12 educators that connects educators, provides world-class professional development for teachers, creates and disseminates educational resources, boosts public awareness of the importance of geography and advocates for public policies that will lead to improvements in geography education. For more than 20 years, NGEF and the Alliances have worked collaboratively to catalyze geography education reform across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
“NGEF is advancing geo-literacy across the country by supporting programs, activities and materials that current research, educators and experience tell us are the most effective ways to teach geography in the classroom,” said Bob Dulli, NGEF deputy director. “In the 21st century, we are more connected than ever. Geography education helps students better understand this interconnected world and how it impacts their lives, which is essential to both their future and the future of this country.”
“We at Georgia State University are excited and honored to host the Alliance and to begin enhancing geographic education and research across the state. Geography is such a vibrant and in-demand discipline connecting classroom learning and research with the real-world. With the growth of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and location-enabled technologies in particular, geographers are highly employable and can work across a variety of fields including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Students and teachers trained in geography are well poised to be tomorrow’s leaders,” said Timothy Hawthorne, State Coordinator and Director of Research for The Georgia Geographic Alliance.
Since 1988, NGEF has awarded more than $85 million in grants to promote and advance geographic education. In addition to funding from NGEF, the majority of Alliances receive financial support from other sources, including state and private support. More than 30 Alliances have permanent endowments for geography education within the Foundation. The Georgia Geographic Alliance is in the process of creating an endowment fund to support geography around the state. The Alliance has already received generous support from the GSU College of Arts and Sciences, the GSU Honors College, and the GSU Department of Geosciences to support graduate and undergraduate research opportunities focused on geographic education.
Alliances strengthen geography education through a variety of programs and initiatives. The Georgia Geographic Alliance will focus on building a network of collaborators around the state through a series of regional meetings, social media activities, and online forums; hosting funding competitions for creative geographic education and research activities around the state; and partnering with other Alliances around the country to develop federal funding proposals for geographic education and research activities.
“The utility of geography in education is becomingly increasingly important across a variety of disciplines as students are more likely to embrace new concepts by understanding the connections to their own surroundings. We look forward to promoting geography through inquiry-based learning, allowing students to explore the ever changing world around them in unique ways,” said Christy Visaggi, Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach for The Georgia Geographic Alliance.
“Our goal is to showcase the inspirational and creative geographic education and research activities across Georgia, while stimulating new directions for geography at the state and national levels. We want to put geography and geographers back on the map,” said Hawthorne.
For more information about The Georgia Geographic Alliance, visit their website at http://georgiageography.org or contact Timothy Hawthorne at 404.413.5771.
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines, National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, music, radio, films, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.