Welcome to the inaugural Department of Geography newsletter! 

2020 was an unusual year, to say the least. We all wish for a 2021 that brings us a sense of hope, peace, and satisfaction. The Department of Geography continues its quest to bring quality educational opportunities to our students, a continued pride in our alumni, and lives of purpose to our faculty. 

2020 brought some changes to the Department of Geography. After 9 years of expertly helming the Department, Dr. Kevin Turcotte stepped down as chair on June 30. We are all grateful for his expert guidance during those years, which saw, among other changes, the creation of a standalone major in Meteorology and Climatology. This major benefits from the geospatial skills and perspective that geography brings (and that most meteorology programs cannot offer). Dr. Turcotte has returned to the role of regular faculty. 

Last year also saw the retirements of two long-time faculty colleagues: Dr. Jerzy Jemiolo and Mrs. Carol Shears. Dr. Jemiolo has long been an advocate and driver of the Department’s Travel and Tourism concentration and his expertise and presence is missed. Mrs. Shears, who had been with the Department for over thirty years, taught many introductory sections. We wish them both happy retirements! 

In other news, it looks like we will be moving—but only to Cooper Physical (for now!) The Cooper Science Building is slated for a major renovation, so Geography will be moving to the soon-to-be-vacated Chemistry Department. That will be our home for the next two years, until (ta da!) we relocate into our new permanent home (anticipated for some time in 2023). 

Wishing everyone much joy and happiness, 

Petra Zimmermann, Chairperson and Associate Professor of Geography 


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