Promoting UWFox Geography, Fall 2011: An Active Geo-Adventurers Club

The Geo-Adventurers Club is a group that’s assembled as a bit of a hybrid of folks that are interested in geology and geography and folks that are interested in outdoors activities like camping and canoeing.  Like our academic department, this group has been largely dormant for a few years, so we’ve started from scratch here as well.

Our main goal with the Geo-Adventurers is to get students active in extra-curricular activities. In the case of this club, most of those activities involve getting down and dirty with the earth, which provides a natural link to the geoscience curriculum at UWFox. But again, first goal is involvement, and anything that happens after that is icing on the cake.

We started out at the UWFox Beginning of the Year Picnic back in September. We had a table set up for the Geo-Adventurers with a sign-up sheet, advertised with a simple poster. Of course, because we hadn’t done anything with the club yet at UWFox (having been there only a matter of a couple of weeks) the poster included imagery from earlier clubs and classes we’d led:

That poster eventually made its way into the geography and geology classroom at UWFox, where it still stands as a beacon for the Geo-Adventurers, promoting the club day-in and day-out to existing geoscience students.

But, let’s be honest. Many of our geoscience students, especially this semester, are in our classes not because of interest in the content, but because they needed X requirement, or because Y advisor recommended it. We needed to broaden our approach to attract an audience.

The first step was a simple VBBS slide. Simple to do, and it hits the entire campus:

Then, a nice big colorful poster for the club’s traditional bulletin board space:

…plus similarly designed handbills for around the hallways:

I put a QR Code on these posters and screens that links directly to the club’s Facebook group in hopes that students would join and be instantly plugged in with group events and communications. Unfortunately, Facebook’s groups are a little weird about connecting directly from smartphones, so that didn’t work as well as I had hoped. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with that one.

Of course, nothing matches promotion like actually getting students out to do stuff. On November 5, we took a fun spelunking tour out to the caves at Ledge View Nature Center in Chilton:

…and helping Boy Scouts get geology merit badges this past Saturday:

Plus, we’ve got plenty of things planned in the months ahead. The best part is? This club is FUN.

Earlier posts in this series:

Author: Andrew Shears

Andrew Shears is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. His research interests lie at an intersection of the human-environmental nexus, and includes branches of mapping, technological, memorialization and urban geographies. He lives in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania with his wife Amy, a professional photographer.