The new UR Geographic Club will expose students to geography outside of the classroom and engage their geography interests within the context of the Richmond community.
During the club's first meeting Monday night, members discussed events that they want to host this semester, as well as their goal of working with a nonprofit organization in Richmond.
"We wanted to create an organization that allows geography students to take control of their interests," club founder and president Celia Landesberg said.
Although she is starting this club as a second-semester senior, Landesberg aims to hold one or two successful events this spring that introduce students to UR Geographic Club and the geography presence on campus. She hopes that one of the club's juniors will take over her position next year.
"Geography is interesting due to its ability to be applied to a variety of topics," senior club member Sammy Easby said, "and to help view data in an interesting and unique way."
Easby wants to see how others use geography and to help bring geography to more people on campus, she said.
Since the geography department is closely connected to the environment, some students felt they had only been exposed to the environmental studies side, Landesberg said. This club will help students explore geography beyond its connection to the environment, she said.
During Monday's meeting, members discussed hosting a geography bee and a GPS scavenger hunt around campus. The geography bee would be a team competition held at The Cellar on a Wednesday night.
Members also talked about getting involved with Enrichmond, an umbrella nonprofit organization that works with groups in parks and recreation, sports infrastructure, urban spaces and more.
The club wants to bring in alumni speakers who work with Geographic Information Systems. Landesberg said she hoped this would introduce students to what they can do with an academic background in geography.
Some members suggested holding teaching modules for Richmond public schools to expose students to more aspects of geography than understanding maps.
"In this first semester, I hope to see the club consolidate into a community of students who enjoy being together to think about geography," said David Salisbury, geography professor and the club's faculty adviser.
As the faculty adviser, Salisbury supports the club's students and serves as their sounding board. If the students want his input, he will suggest activities and inform them about what other university geography clubs and honor societies are doing, he said.
This club is not limited to students who major or minor in geography. Interested students who missed the meeting should contact Landesberg directly via university email.
Contact staff writer Megan Haggerty at firstname.lastname@example.org