CWUNews FeedNews Feed Geography Student Wins Honorable Mention at AAAS Annual Meeting, 18 Apr 2017 16:40:50<p>Gavin Schag (undergraduate, Geography) presented his McNair research at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting.&nbsp; His poster, titled UAV Photogrammetry: Structure from Motion Data Evaluation for Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Generation, was in the Technology, Engineering, and Math category - where he won <a href="">Honorable mention</a>.<br><br>It’s worth noting, that, over the 10 different poster categories, he was the only awardee not from a major research or exclusive private university.&nbsp; Finally, the names and titles of all winners made it into the 24 March issue of Science.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;"></p></br></br></p style="text-align: center;">CWU Geography Students Attend the AAG Annual Meeting, 10 Apr 2017 12:27:40<p>Students attend the American Association of Geographers (AAG) annual meeting in Boston (from left: Floyd Bull, Trinity Turner and Tricia Snyder).</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;"></p></p style="text-align: center;">CWU Geography Students Take Part in Global Humanitarian Digital Mapping Network, 06 Mar 2017 11:12:41<p><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 450px; height: 367px;"></p><p>The CWU Geography Club has joined the YouthMappers, a global network of universities working on humanitarian mapping projects. Central Washington University is the first university in Washington state to open a chapter.</p><p>In the United States, most people take easy access to maps—like Google Maps—for granted. However, in many areas of the world, digital map data is nonexistent, outdated, or inaccessible by civilians. Up-to-date online maps are crucial for providing emergency response to natural disasters, planning, and mitigation.</p><p>YouthMappers ( is an organization that works with college students around the world to provide data for places where online maps may be sparse or missing. This is accomplished by tracing and tagging detailed satellite data and aerial photographs in social gatherings called "map-a-thons." YouthMappers is largely funded by USAID and much of the satellite data used in mapping is donated by Microsoft and Yahoo.</p><p>The data is placed in a publicly-available database called OpenStreetMap ( The maps are used for delivering humanitarian aid, planning for disaster response, and other essential services. At one such map-a-thon this past November, CWU students and faculty traced roads and residential areas in Zimbabwe to help Doctors Without Borders plan the delivery of medical services to rural populations.</p><p>"We are very excited for our new partnership and we look forward to working with YouthMappers on a variety of humanitarian mapping events," said Caleb Valko, Geography Club president. "This gives us a chance to make a difference in the lives of others while becoming more familiar with digitizing and OpenStreetMap."<br><br>Geography professor Sterling Quinn encouraged geography students to become involved in OpenStreetMap and YouthMappers because it gave students meaningful hands-on experience in cartography and enhanced their geographic information systems (GIS) skills.</p><p>"Students can download a satellite image, and start investigating what geographical landmarks are in the area, such as buildings, bridges, roads, or significant landscape features such as rivers or lakes," Quinn explained. "They then trace the outlines of the feature with a mouse or stylus, and tag it. It works best when you have someone local to verify what you've tagged."</p><p>But most people can identify a building or lake, he added.</p><p>Quinn has had his students trace and tag the terrain around Ellensburg, things like basic roads, businesses, windmills, and other structures.</p><p>"It really inspires them to look around and pay attention," he noted.</p><p>Quinn's students participated in a Map-a-thon on March 3, where they traced roads and structures in Siaya, Kenya to help the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) determine the optimal geographic allocation of health services. For more information about this project, go to and</p><p>More information can be found at or by contacting Sterling Quinn,</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>March 6, 2017</p></br></br></br></br>CWU Geography Alum Heads Snoqualmie Avalanche Control, 23 Jan 2017 13:36:35<p><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 220px; height: 226px; float: left; margin-left: 3px; margin-right: 3px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;">John Stimberis’ office looks nothing like that of a typical state employee.</p><p>Sure, there’s an ancient coffee pot in the corner, cheap carpet and old computers humming quietly.</p><p>But you’re also liable to trip over a stray pair of ski boots, and pasted to a glass door is a bumper sticker that reads: “There are very few problems which cannot be solved by the suitable application of high explosives.” The other tools of his trade include skis, snowmobiles, Sno-Cats and an M60 tank.</p><p>Stimberis, 47, is one of two avalanche forecaster supervisors working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).</p><p>Read more of this story in the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Seattle Times</em></a>.</p>It’s More than Maps: Geography Awareness Week November 13-19, 10 Nov 2016 13:58:33<p><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 311px; height: 162px;"></p><p>From Google Maps to global warming, we must understand geography to comprehend the immense global social and economic forces that influence our daily lives.</p><p>In celebration of Geography Awareness Week, the Central Washington University Geography Department is hosting a number of events to showcase the importance and fun of geography. All events are free and open to the public.</p><p><strong>Third Annual Geography Trivia Death Match</strong><br>November 15, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., SURC Pit<br>If you floated down the longest river in the world, into which body of water would you emerge? What city is partly in in Europe and partly in Asia? If you know the answers to these questions, come try your hand at this trivial pursuit. There will be three rounds of sudden-death elimination geography trivia. The winner of each round will earn a prize of $50.</p><p><strong>Humanitarian Map-a-thon</strong><br>November 16, 3:00-5:00 p.m., GIS Lab, Dean Hall 206<br>In the United States, we take easy access to maps, like Google Maps for granted. However, in many areas of the world, digital map data is nonexistent, outdated, or inaccessible by civilians. Up-to-date online maps can be crucial for aiding disaster response, planning, and mitigation.</p><p>Led by geography professor Sterling Quinn, you’ll learn to trace objects from detailed satellite imagery to fill in undermapped areas, placing the data into a free online map of the world called OpenStreetMap. Examples of recent projects have included tracing roads and buildings in Sub-Saharan Africa to support the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and other organizations that distribute vaccines and other medical assistance.</p><p>No previous experience with mapping technologies is necessary. A short training will be held during the first 20 minutes to aid beginners, but you are invited to come anytime during the event</p><p><strong>What do Geographers Do? Learn at a Field Notes Presentation</strong><br>November 17, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Dean 106,<br>Geography professors Jennifer Lipton and Elvin Delgado will discuss their recent travels and field work in various locations around the world. In two brief talks followed by questions-and-answers, Dr. Lipton will present “Global to Local: The Importance of Geography in a Changing World” and Dr. Delgado will present “From Buenos Aires to Patagonia: Research Perspectives from Argentina”. Refreshments will be served.</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>November 10, 2016</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Nicholas Moore Recieves the Dr. Jim and Lillian Brooks Scholarship, 07 Nov 2016 10:00:46<p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 400px; height: 533px;"></p><p>Congratulations Nicholas!</p>Taylor Steele Receives 2016 4 under 40 Award, 07 Nov 2016 09:50:56<p><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;"></p><p>Taylor Steel receiving the 4 under 40 award.</p><p>The 4 Under 40 award is presented, each year, to four alumni who exhibit a commitment to personal growth and community service. They are recognized leaders in their profession or volunteer service; and under 40 years of age.</p><p>Congratulations Taylor!</p>Majors and Minors Meeting (Free Pizza), 11 Oct 2016 11:11:20<p>The department invites all current majors and minors and those thinking about majoring or minoring in Geography to our annual Majors &amp; Minors meeting. The brief meeting will provide an opportunity for students to enjoy some free pizza; to meet the faculty; and to learn about upcoming courses, changes in advising, scholarships, internships, the activities of the Geography Club, and other news you can use.</p><p style="text-align: center;">Tuesday, Oct. 18<br>5:00 PM<br>Dean 3rd floor lobby</p></p style="text-align: center;"></br></br>Reception for Taylor Steele, award-winning alumna (Free Greek Food), 07 Oct 2016 10:24:36<p>The Department of Geography will host a reception for Taylor Steele, who was recently named one of the university’s “4 under 40” award winners. Taylor graduated from CWU in 2013 with a BA in International Studies and a GIS certificate. Now based in Portland, Taylor is a project development associate for OneEnergy Renewables. She is responsible for site selection, acquisition, permitting, and interconnection for the company’s Pacific Northwest solar photovoltaic projects. The reception will feature free food and beverages.</p><p style="text-align: center;">Friday, October 14<br>2:00 to 3:00 PM<br>Dean 3rd Floor Lobby.<br>&nbsp;</p></p style="text-align: center;"></br></br></br>Hold on to Your Mortarboards, 13 Jun 2016 11:29:13<p>Take a look at a great photo of Geography graduates attending this years commencement ceremony. It would not be graduation without a little wind.</p><p>Congratulations to all of our graduates!</p><p><img alt="" src="/geography/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;"></p>