Fifteen Geography seniors and four faculty members recently attended the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Held this year in Tampa, Florida, this is the premier conference of our discipline, attended by thousands of academic and professional geographers and scientists from a variety of disciplines.
Keene State was one of the best represented departments among the hundreds attending, as our students made six presentations over four days. One group of seniors, Brian Cote, Brian Jones, Michael Harpool and Abby Martelle, received the award for Best Undergraduate Paper Award from the Regional Development and Planning Group, for their project “The Ultimate Commute: An Assessment of Bike Path Conditions in Keene, NH.”
Faculty members Lara Bryant, Chris Cusack and Chris Brehme presented their latest research results during paper sessions, and emeritus professor Klaus Bayr presented a poster with alums Chris Dunn and Adam Riffle describing Dr. Bayr’s ongoing glacier research.
It was not all work and no play in Tampa. Most of the group took in an NHL Hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. On Wednesday evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner of pizza and cold drinks following our extensive self-guided tour of downtown Tampa. Thursday allowed for some relaxing hours poolside at the conference hotel.
The Annual AAG Meeting has become a rite of passage for our graduating seniors as most look forward to the final weeks of their undergraduate college experience. This year’s juniors should already be looking forward to AAG 2015 in Chicago!
Geography Seniors made a splash at the 2014 Academic Excellence Conference on April 5th with twenty-two seniors presenting six projects. Parents, friends and faculty joined them to share in their success. Read more about all six projects on the student work page. In addition, senior Mike Desjardins gave an oral presentation on the results of his KSC Undergraduate Research-funded work on coral reef conditions in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Read more about his work under his student profile.
Geography Seniors worked in coordination with Peterborough Parks and Recreation Director Jeff King during the Fall of 2013. Their goal was to gain a better understanding of how the town’s recreation facilities are serving current residents and how future trends may impact the recreation department. Many of the facilities are located near the town center, however residents are clustered in several other parts of town. Students used a survey to collect public input, then analyzed the results in GIS and statistical software. The recreation inventory itself is a significant report with locator maps, lists of amenities, images and descriptive information. You can read the entire project report on our Student Work page.
In the fall of 2013, Geography seniors Mike Desjardins, Kristin Carlson, James Shea and Ethan Yazinski undertook work to better understand the recreational amenities and wildlife habitats of Surry, NH. Their research contributed to the development of an ongoing Natural Resources Inventory, or NRI. The NRI is an important tool for municipalities to establish a baseline of understanding about natural resources, to identify areas of concern, and to plan for the future. The work of these students involved an assessment of current recreation areas and a survey of wildlife habitats that builds on the New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan. Read more about their research in the complete report on the Student Work page.
Spatial Skills involve concepts such as direction, orientation, and adjacency. Geography students Jenn Lundquist, Hallie Oullette and Amanda Smith used a National Geographic giant floor map to test these skills in fifth and sixth graders from local elementary schools. Their research, conducted in the Fall of 2013, revolved around whether these skills might be improved by interacting in this large space. Students were given a pre-test, then invited to play a game of ‘Simon Says’ on a 30 foot x 30 foot floor map of South America. After this activity, the students were given a post-test of questions involving the same skills. Read more about their project and the results in their full report on the Student Work page.