On Saturday November 21st , local geographers from Nashville area universities and high schools met at Radnor Lake State Park for the 2nd annual Middle Tennessee Geography Summit. In attendance were Dr. Deborah Miller-Toothaker (Columbia State), Keith Bell (Volunteer State), Lisa Mayo (Motlow State), Rene Bataille (Nashville State), Dr. Doug Heffington (MTSU), Kristi Nueroth (Ravenwood High School), Adrian Bahan (Hillsboro High School) and Dr. Jim Chaney (MTSU). The event provided attendees a forum to strategies on how best to promote and enhance geography education in Tennessee.
Park Manager Steve Ward, Ranger Paul Schauer and Ranger Sam King kicked of the event with a presentation on some of the recent fieldwork local geographers and geography students from MTSU and Motlow State have done at Radnor that contributes to the understanding of park’s history and land use.
Invited guest speaker, Kurt Butefish, the coordinator for the Tennessee Geographical Alliance (TGA), gave an excellent and eye-opening talk on the current state of geography curriculum in Tennessee’s primary and secondary schools. Mr. Butefish laid out the TGA’s new initiatives to advocate statewide for the fundamental importance of geography education in K-12 classrooms. Building upon the success of last year’s meeting, summit participates discussed various methods to strengthen the relationships between two- and four-year institutions of higher education in the Middle Tennessee as well as develop new educational endeavors with high school geography teachers.
Breakfast and Lunch were provided by the Friends of Radnor Lake and attendees were treated to a private tour of the Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Education Center led by seasonal Laurie Campbell, park rangers Sam King and Dustin Crowell.
2nd Annual Geography Conference at Radnor Lake SNA on Nov. 21st, 2015. Pix by S. Ward