By Marissa Mooney |Asst. A&E editor|
Geography and Environmental Studies students and professors anxiously waited for guest speaker, Dr. Andrew Bodman, at the Geography Matters event on Nov. 14 in the Lower Commons Pine Room.
The Geography Matters event, hosted by the geography department in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week, came together to host a forum on why geography is important for the students of the 21st century.
Geography Awareness Week is celebrated every third week in November and was signed into law on July 24, 1987. It has been 25 years since geography enthusiasts have been celebrating the week. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day is hosted on Nov. 14.
The theme of this year’s geo-education is that we are all connected through the rest of the world and through the decisions we make on a daily basis including the foods we eat, the restaurants we go to and the places we see.
To mark the occasion of the third annual Geography Awareness day on campus, Bodman enlightened all in attendance about the importance of geo-education.
Bodman spoke on why it is important to educate undergraduate students on geography.
“If we look at the skills of 21st century graduates, several components associated with that derive directly from geography,” argued Bodman. “In fact geography may be the perfect major in blending liberal studies and technical skills.”
The outcome for geography students of the 21st century were highlighted by topics that Bodman brought up like globalization, the awareness of the process of international integration arising from the interchanging world views in culture, products and ideas.
Communication topics, such as social media, had spread throughout the globe. Students can Skype someone from Australia with just a simple click of a mouse.
This is a way that geography is used to see different parts of the world and exchange views.
An appreciation for the role of places is also important for students such as where the clothes they wear or the food they eat are produced. Bodman used the example of people from Los Angeles who wear Manchester United t-shirts to illustrate how a specific brand has turned global.
The LA Galaxy soccer team now recruits members from Mexico, Brazil, England and other countries to play for the American soccer team. Places are an importance in geography because our daily lives rely on products from different areas of the world.
The environment that we live in is modified to fit the needs of our population. Bodman localized his example by expressing how San Bernardino built many houses during the 1990s due to the availability of land.
Geography Awareness Week is sponsored by National Geographic Society and other organizations on a state and country-wide level. Although the week is only once a year, Bodman stresses that all students should be aware of their geo-education.
As a Communication major and being the only student outside of the Geography field, I was given the insight on how important and interesting geography is to CSUSB and to the world.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone and studying something out of your field helps you connect with not only yourself, but with others around the world.