Arizona Geographic Alliance 2016-2017

Project: Research project

Project Details


Arizona Geographic Alliance 2016-2017 Alliance Network Grant 2009-2010 Geography is one strand within the social studies standard. Thus, from a policymaker perspective at the Arizona Department of Education the need for improved geographic literacy and teacher training is well recognized. Furthermore, the Arizona Geographic Alliance is recognized by the Arizona Department of Education as the go to organization to assist in this arena. We have consistently been asked to support their efforts in implementing state standards, testing of teachers for social studies credentials, and providing quality training in geography education. From the policymakers that represent us in local, state and national government; it is a very mixed bag of who supports geographic literacy and teacher training. Our conservative state and local officials are pretty much in the dark as to the importance of geography education. However, a few of the bright spots (Representatives Mitchell, Grijalva, and Pastor) have signed on to TGIF. Our repeated efforts to get support from Senators Kyl and McCain have not been successful, but they are aware of TGIF. The general public in Arizona does not completely understand the need for improved geographic literacy. Although they play with such tools as Google Earth, the general public is stunningly ignorant in terms of geographic literacy. They still think that geography is naming places and using latitude and longitude. Educators within Arizona do understand the need for improved geographic literacy. They join the Arizona Geographic Alliance and participate in our events. They work with our leadership to come up with such ideas as GeoLiteracy (including ELL adaptations) and GeoMath efforts to infuse 2 geography into classrooms and to assist teachers with materials aimed at Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in math and reading. Alliance Network Grant 2010-2011 Arizona Geographic Alliance Alliance Network Grant 2012-2013 The mission of the Arizona Geographic Alliance is to promote geography education and be the advocates for geographic literacy. Since 2003, we have conducted over 309 workshops that have impacted over 15,200 teachers who are teaching more than 604,400 students. These workshops have been in schools and school districts as well as in state and national level settings. Each year we conduct our annual geography conference. We also host various day-long workshops that focus on a region of the world or on a teaching strategy. We impact hundreds of preservice teachers through education methods classes. Our membership totals over 3300 educators. Our major means of communicating with the membership is through emails and via our website and Facebook accounts. Our website ( features a wide selection of classroom ready maps. Our newest resource for teachers is a bank of 75 plus GeoHistory lessons. The website also has 85 GeoLiteracy and 85 GeoMath lessons as well as a series of virtual workshops on how to teach geography to ELLs. Both GeoLiteracy (2003) and GeoMath (2005) programs have been nationally recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies, and the virtual workshops have received the 2010 Geography Excellence in Media Award from the National Council for Geographic Education. The leadership cadre of the Arizona Geographic Alliance is comprised of 165 Teacher Consultants. To become a Teacher Consultant (TC), an educator attends an Alliance Summer Geography Institute (ASGI). Since 1994, the Alliance has held 11 ASGIs. In 2011, seven teachers from Arizona and 14 teachers from Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico participated in 7 days of classroom instruction and field experience in the Four Corners region. Each participant was expected to become an advocate for geography. As an advocate for geography they help other educators become better teachers of geography and work towards legislation that would assist geography education. Every other year we hold an Advanced Alliance Summer Geography Institute (AASGI). These institutes are themed based, and some of the themes have been GeoHistory, Physical Geography of the Mountains, Deserts, and Oceans, GeoSpatial Technology, Route 66, and Borderlands. This experience is reserved for Teacher Consultants of the Arizona Geographic Alliance. The Co-coordinators are Professor of Geography, Dr. Ronald Dorn, and retired teacher, Gale Olp Ekiss. The Office Manager is Cathy Davis. They are assisted by professors emeritus of geography, Drs Malcolm Comeaux and Robert Mings. Donna Campbell is the strategic planning consultant. Arizona Geographic Alliance 2016-2017 The Arizona Geographic Alliance is a K-12 Outreach organization to aid Arizona's teachers improve geographic literacy. AzGA is a partnership between ASUs School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, the National Geographic Society, and Arizona's K-12 teachers. We regularly partner with such organizations as the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona's Council for Social Studies, and the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher's College. National Geographic Society's Education Foundation supports alliances in all 50 states and provides a base level of funding for the operations of each alliance. This grant support has varied over the past 2 decades and presently stands at 27,500. With this base support, we are able to leverage funding to obtain additional grants from such organizations as APS.
Effective start/end date9/1/1611/1/18


  • National Geographic Society Education Foundation: $27,500.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.