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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 10, 2016
Canadian Excellence


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Geography and Environmental Studies

Laurier celebrates international Geography Awareness Week Nov. 16-20

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Nov 13/09| For Immediate Release


Dr. Michael English, Professor and Chair
Geography and Environmental Studies
519-884-0710 ext. 2159 or


Kevin Crowley, Associate Director
News and Editorial Services
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University’s distinguished Department of Geography and Environmental Studies will mark international Geography Awareness Week Nov. 16 to 20 with a variety of events and demonstrations.

“Part of geography’s strength and beauty is that there are many disciplines within the subject that are seemingly unrelated, yet they are all focused on how humans have an impact on their environment,” said Dr. Michael English, chair of Laurier’s Geography and Environmental Studies department who researches ground and surface water hydrology. “Geography Awareness Week is an effective way to increase public knowledge about the study of geography.”

Highlights of Laurier’s Geography Awareness Week events include:

Monday, Nov. 16

  • Meteorological equipment demonstration, 11:15 a.m., courtyard between Dr. Alvin Woods and Arts buildings (rain date: Nov. 17)

Tuesday, Nov. 17

  • Hands-on surveying instrument display, from leveling technology to hand-held GPS devices
  • Roving geographers on campus with trivia questions and prizes

For a complete list of events, click here.

Geographical research at Laurier illustrates Dr. English’s point about the diversity of the subject. Some examples: Dr. Scott Slocombe, the Dr. John McMurry Research Chair in Environmental Geography, studies the challenge of managing diverse human activities in large regions while maintaining environmental integrity; Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer studies food systems and economic development and how they relate to our carbon footprint; and Dr. Sean Doherty uses GPS technology to examine human activity patterns and their impact on the environment.

In addition to more than 20 researchers, Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies is home to the Cold Regions Research Centre and plays a prominent role in the Laurier Institute for Water Science, the Centre for the Study of Nascent Entrepreneurship and the eXploitation of Technology, the International Migration Research Centre, and the Viessmann European Research Centre.

Since 1987, Geography Awareness Week has been held the third week in November to promote geographic education and demonstrate the importance of geography to the public. At Laurier, events are organized by the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, the GeoHawks (undergraduate geography students), and the Graduate Geographers Association. For more information, visit the Canadian Association of Geographers website at:


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