Geography week to explore ‘Future of Food’

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

The geography department will host its annual National Geography Awareness Week with a lecture from a Northern Illinois University professor at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 3040 of the Physical Science Building.

This year the week started Sunday and will continue through Saturday with the theme “the future of food.”

Michael Cornebise, the chair of the geography department said this year’s theme includes information on how food is made, transported, and the differences of food across the country.

The focus this year for National Geographic in the area of education, is to have teachers help students learn about food, environmental and societal problems related to food, and provide information that will help them formulate their opinions on these issues.

The National Geographic Society determines the theme every year, with last year’s theme having been “Geography and the new age of exploration.”

Richard Greene, a retired professor from the geography department at Northern, will present his lecture on “Agricultural Land Conversion along Urban/Rural Gradients of Midwestern Cities: Debating Sprawl, Food Security and Sustainable Cities.”

Cornebise said Greene has done research especially in the Chicago area.

Stacey Brown, a professor from Southern Illinois University, presented the first lecture on Monday, titled “Empty Carts? Supermarket Accessibility and Affordability in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,” which discussed the topic of supermarket access in Oklahoma.

Each lecture consists of a 45-minute talk, with a 15-minute open forum, with snacks and refreshments available before the lecture.

National Geography Awareness Week was created to encourage people to think and learn about the importance of geography as part of everyday life, and how we affect and are affected by it, according to the National Geographic website.

It was also created to raise awareness about how young Americans struggle to make effective decisions, understand geographical issues, and recognize their impact in the world as global citizens, according to the website.

National Geography Awareness week has more than 100,000 American participants each year.

This year, National Geographic has teamed up with other organizations such as the Association of American Geographers, the National Council for Geographic Education, One Street Map, Gamma Theta Upsilon, and the American Geographic Society for events that raise awareness, according to the society’s website.

Cornebise said the goal in participating in National Geography Awareness Week is to gain knowledge of the world we live in by taking part in it.

“The goal is to become more universal,” Cornebise said. “To understand the world you really need to understand geography and how everything is interconnected.”

Debby Hernandez can be reached at 5581-2812 or [email protected].