Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall 2011 Meeting

Association of Washington Geographers 
Fall 2011 Meeting Minutes 
October 22, 2011 

Many thanks to Bellevue College Geography for hosting our Fall meeting! 
President Tim Scharks called the meeting to order at 9:05 AM. 

The meeting began with an introduction by George Walker (Bellevue College) to the WCCCSA Study Abroad program he led to Florence, Italy last academic year. George then welcomed four of his students from that trip who each presented one of their class projects: 

  • Tony Stockl: Cinque Terre's Sciacchetra Wine 
  • Kiersten Snell: Dolce far Niente-A Geography of Bliss 
  • Michelle Erickson: How the Environment Affects What We Eat 
  • George Goodall: The Artisans of the Oltrano-The Third Italy (Via Toscanella: Work as Life) 
Many thanks to these students for their entertaining and informative presentations!

At 10:30 we began a roundtable discussion on study abroad. Brief notes follow:
  • Shoreline Community College is moving to tour groups instead of credit courses for study abroad-targeting community members for abroad experiences instead of credit-seeking students. 
  • Bellevue College-student clubs are eligible for student activity funds; BC Geography club uses these funds for their geography trips. 
  • Scholarships are available through various sources, Florence students reported having success at applying for and receiving these funds. 
  • Bellevue College has used Intrepid Travel to take care of logistics for their geography club trips, this takes much of the headache out of planning and running a student trip.
  • George Walker suggested the AWG consider forming a geography-specific consortium to cross-promote/co-promote our study abroad program. 
  • Questions were raised about trip organization and liability concerns: for WCCCSA program, AIFS is contracted to take care of logistics and program details. 
In a meeting of general membership, the agenda turned to the composition of the Board. Nominations were solicited and the following slate of candidates was proposed:
  • Sue Digby-President 
  • George Walker-Vice President 
  • Tim Scharks-moving to Past President, nominated for Secretary 
  • Rich Tebbetts-continuing as Treasurer 
A motion was made to accept this slate. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.

The membership set the date of the Spring AWG meeting to the second Saturday of March, March 10. The board will contact WWU to encourage participation by four-year and graduate students and in honor of WWU geography's active involvement in the AWG. 

Suggestions for the Spring meeting: 
  • Focus on student presentations with room for faculty presentations 
  • Find a keynote speaker as in previous years 
  • Solicit involvement from UW and its branch campuses (Bothell and Tacoma) 
  • Consider faculty research presentations on topics interesting to a general geography students 
Other ideas for increasing membership and participation:
  • Create a quarterly mailing list 
  • Send postcard meeting announcements to departments as there have been problems with email 

Newly crowned Past President Tim Scharks adjourned the meeting at 1:12 PM. 

Thank you everyone and we are looking forward to seeing you all again in March!

PS: Informally announced at the meeting and important to geography education in the state, there have been three additional geography courses approved for Common Course Numbering at Washington community colleges: 

Economic geography, GEOG&207
Geography of the Pacific Northwest, GEOG&250
World regional geography, GEOG&102

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