A giant, walk-in globe, an art/science exhibit, a quiz bowl, awards and — of course — presentations of academic research, speakers and workshops were all part of the New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL) 2013 Conference, hosted by the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University on Oct. 18 and 19.
This year’s conference drew 229 participants, comprising faculty, undergraduates and graduate students from New England, Eastern Canada, the Midwest and Middle Atlantic States. Nearly 25 colleges and universities were represented, and many attendees are also alumni of Clark’s geography program.
The plenary speaker was Katherine Jacobs, Assistant Director for Climate Change Assessment and Adaption for White House Office of Science and Technology. Among the conference highlights were award presentations by Anthony Bebbington, chair of the Graduate School of Geography, to the following honorees during the NESTVAL banquet Friday evening (Oct. 18):
Clark Ph.D. alumnus Stephen Young ’97, now professor of geography at Salem State University, received the Lifetime Achievement in Service to NESTVAL Award. Young and his colleague, biologist Paul Kelly, also discussed their exhibit, “Macro or Micro?” that is installed at the Traina Center for the Arts until Nov. 1.
- Teacher Barry Stell was honored for his excellence in teaching geography and the success of his ninth-grade AP Human Geography Program at South High School in the Worcester Public Schools.
- An award and special recognition went to Sathwik Karnik, an eighth-grader at King Philip Regional Middle School, who was the first Massachusetts student to win the 2013 National Geography Bee, in Washington DC.
Ten college bowl teams competed in the conference’s World Geography Bowl, a record number to complete at a NESTVAL conference. This year’s winners were from Bridgewater State University, with the 2012 champions from Clark University as runners up.
NESTVAL was established as the nation’s first regional professional geography organization. Beginning with the New England Geographical Conference at Clark University in 1922, this organization supports regional geographers and promotes geography education and research. NESTVAL is a regional division of the Association of American Geographers.
The 2013 NESTVAL Conference coordinators at Clark University were geography professors Jody Emel, Deborah Martin, and Dick Peet and graduate program administrator Brenda Nikas-Hayes.
Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a small, liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.