Geography Convention to showcase speakers, presentations and a geography bowl for students

Charles Maricle

Charles Maricle

The 33rd Annual South Dakota State Geography Convention at South Dakota State University April 4 and 5 will celebrate the career of a man who has done much for the Geography Department at SDSU.

Ed Hogan founded the Geography Department at SDSU, where he has been a faculty member for 35 years. He currently serves as associate vice president for academic affairs and chief information technology officer.

Hogan will kick off the convention with a welcome at 8:50 a.m. in the Volstorff Ballroom in the University Student Union. Two full days are scheduled with speakers, student presentations, poster sessions, the Geo Bowl, the South Dakota State Geography Bee and the initiation of members into Gamma Theta Upsilon.

This year’s speakers are Glen Sebastian from the University of Southern Alabama at 9a.m. on April 4, Phil Gersmehl from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities at 10 a.m., Cynthia Miller from Minnesota State University at 11 a.m. and G. Gray Tappen from the EROS Data Center at 2 p.m.

Speakers on April 5 include Russ Stubbles from SDSU at 9 a.m., Geoff Scott from the University of Wyoming at 10 a.m., John Fraser Hart from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities at 11 a.m. and Erin Fouberg from Mary Washington University at 2 p.m. Fouberg is also Hogan’s daughter.

Fourth to eighth graders will gather on campus to test their geographic memory for the State Geography Bee. The winner gets a chance to go to the national geography competition in May.

“It is a big deal,” said Donald Berg, associate professor of Geography. “If you want to see fourth through eight graders and their parents in near bloody conflict, you should go.”

The Geo Bowl is another test of geographic intelligence but the participants and questions will be on a different level. The colleges and universities who attend can supply teams for the game.

“It’s a competition between college and university teams with the simple reward of psychic income,” Berg said.

The Gamma Theta Upsilon initiation begins at 8 p.m. on April 4 after the bowl ends. GTRU is the international geographic honor society.

The Awards Banquet will conclude the convention at the Brookings Inn. Scholarships and awards will be handed out.