A team of UNH geography students won the World Geography Bowl contest at the annual conference of The New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL), which is a regional division of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). This year’s conference was held at Central Connecticut State University.
Six teams, comprised of four students each, competed in the Bowl this year — two each from New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The UNH team members were Cara Buccini '18, Evan Collins '18, Stephen Geis '20 and Drew Guilbault '18. Jennifer Brewer, associate professor of geography, was the organizer.
UNH students have taken part in this competition for the last 10 years, placing second twice, but this is the first time the UNH team has won.
The highest scoring students from all of the teams are invited to join a NESTVAL team to compete against the other AAG regions at the national conference in the spring. Collins and Buccini both qualified based on points scored. Collins also qualified last year and attended the national competition in Boston.
“We are one of the smaller geography programs in the region, and, as an undergraduate-only department, it is really exciting to get our first Geography Bowl win,” says Mary Stampone, department chair and Class of 1941 Associate Professor of Geography.
“We did well because each team member had a complementary knowledge base in a geographic subfield — human rights, international, remote sensing, environmental, etc.,” says Buccini. “So among all of us, we made a strong team, whereas no single one of us knew all the answers.”
The World Geography Bowl is intended to provide fun and friendly academic competition among college and university students based on geographic fundamentals and concepts.