Blog-a-thon: Happy GAW!

This blog-a-thon submission comes from National Geographic Society Intern Dani Orth. Dani writes about her experiences working first hand with Geography Awareness Week; to read more from Dani, check out her blog by following this link.

It’s that time of the year again to celebrate Geography Awareness Week (GAW)! It happens once a year to help show support for the importance of geography – here in the US and around the world. It’s kinda cool to know that everyone in the world can celebrate this small “holiday” together – regardless of location, nationality, religious affiliations, financial status, gender, or age.

DSC_0032.JPGRewind one year to GAW 2010. Last year at UNC, we (the other geography students and myself) held a GIS day so students not in the geography department could try out geo-caching. We also offered cupcakes for correct geography questions answered at the University Center. The questions were fairly simple (ok, really simple, like what are the four directions on a compass rose) but students played along because there was free food. It was also a great opportunity to hang out with my fellow geography and Powell Club members and hopefully we got some people interested in Geography. Looking back, it was a pretty small effort, but at least we tried to bring awareness to Geography! :) Hindsight really is 20/20, and looking back we had no focus on last year’s theme which was Freshwater. Ooops. {A for effort?!}

THIS YEAR however, I’m much more involved (working for NatGeo definitely helps with that!) with GAW – I’m blogging for the My Wonderful World blog, I’m hanging out on the Hill to award Legislatures who have been Geography Heroes, I’m also running some mapping activities on the Hill and at some Marine Corps event (still a little unsure on the details), I’m volunteering at two NatGeo Live! events – Ocean Soul and The Untold Civil War, I’m going to try to get some fellow interns to dine with me at Founding Farmers for Think Local Thursday, I’m decorating tiles for a rather large map that is composed of more than 130 tiles (I’m hoping to post a picture when this project is completed, so people can see the visual but think of 130 tiles done by 130 different people to create a diverse map), and I’m attending a Conservation Symposium by WWF all day Thursday and Friday.  I’ve also Spoken Up for Geography – as I encourage everyone else to do. It takes a quick minute to send a pre-made letter to your members in Congress to tell them that geography is important and needs proper funding. And last but not least, I pledge to be more aware about recycling in my community and focus on recycling one new type of material this month through America Recycles Day (Tuesday 11/15/11). I’m going to focus on mixed use paper.


DSC_0015.JPGAbout me: I really like word scrambles, acrostics, anagrams, and puzzles
(which is surprising since I’m so terrible at them) so from the word
“Geography”
I came up with this list of anagram words (and thanks to
excel they are alphabetized and arranged by letter length) – hero,
gorge, grape, graph, grope, hyper, opera, pager, payer, raggy, repay, 
ropey, pager, ahoy, ergo, gage, gape, gear, goer, gore, gory, gray,
grey, gyre, hare, harp, heap, hear, hope, hype, ogre, orgy, page, pear,
pore, pray, prey, rage, reap, repo, rope, yeah, year, yoga, age, ago,
ape, ear, egg, ego, era, gag, gap, hag, hey, hog, hop, oar, ore, par,
pay, pea, peg, pro, rag, rah, rap, and ray. I did a quick anagram search
via Google and found out that my list is less than 50% of the words
that could be created using “Geography.” But it’s still fun to play with
and that’s my focus for GAW this year – have fun and learn lots!

Dani Orth, National Geographic Society, Education Intern

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