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WGA History and By-Laws

In October 1990, the Wyoming Geographic Alliance (WGA) received its official confirmation of the National Geographic Planning Grant.  As a result,  Dr. Ron Beiswenger attended the National Council of Geographic Education meetings in Williamsburg, Virginia to meet with National Geographic Education Program personnel.   Since that time, the WGA has been housed in the Department of Geography which provides office and storage space.  Several members of the Geography Department have worked with the Alliance including Ron Beiswenger, Linda Marston and William Gribb.

The summer of 1991, four Wyoming teachers were trained as Teacher Consultants by National Geographic in Washington, DC.  Since that time, numerous other teachers have been trained as Teacher Consultants in Washington DC and at various summer institutes held at the University of Wyoming.  Alliance trained Teacher Consultants are the core of the WGA.  Summer institute topics have examined topics such as public lands, geography and technology, Wyoming energy, Wyoming agriculture, the Oregon Trail, the fur trade and Yellowstone National Park. In 2010, the Alliance Coordinator conducted face to face surveys with teachers around the state to survey the geography needs of Wyoming teachers and what the future direction of the WGA should be.

During the 2009-10 school year, WGA with the support of the Wyoming National Air and Army Guard sponsored the Giant Map of Asia.  It was well-received.  Thus, the Wyoming Guard and the WGA have sponsored the Giant Map of Asia and the Giant Map of North America for the 2010-11 school year.  The Giant Traveling Maps visit numerous Wyoming school districts at no expense to the districts except to transport it to the next district.

In the fall of 2014, a Student Atlas is being published with the help of the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center and the University of Wyoming Department of Geography, to be distributed by the WGA free of charge to schools across the state.

National Geographic Education Foundation has mandated that all state alliances develop a strategic plan for their state.  The Wyoming Geographic Alliance has four members working with Will Murray, a strategic planner from Boulder Colorado to determine the direction of the WGA over the next few years.



Adopted October 16, 2010

As amended April 6, 2013


Article I

Name of Alliance


Section 1.  Name.  This organization shall be known as the Wyoming Geographic Alliance (WGA).


Article II 

 Purpose of the Organization


Section 1.  Purpose.  The WGA is an organization dedicated to facilitating geographic knowledge and literacy by providing professional development opportunities for educators, quality materials and experiences for students, and general information for the community at large.


Article III



Section 1.  Membership.  Membership in the WGA shall be open to all persons interested in promoting geographic education in Wyoming.


Article IV

Administrative Structure of the Wyoming Geographic Alliance (WGA)


Section 1.  Administrative Structure.  The WGA shall be administered by the Alliance Coordinator, the Executive Board, and a Steering Committee. Administration of the WGA shall be carried out in cooperation with the National Geographic Society Education Foundation (NGSEF).


Article V

Selection and Duties of WGA Administration


Section 1.    Alliance Coordinator. The WGA Alliance Coordinator shall be appointed by a representative from the National Geographic Society Education Foundation. 

  1. The duties of the Alliance Coordinatorare to:
  2.   Act as the chief fiscal agent and primary administrator of the WGA;        
  3.   Establish an annual budget; develop grants and programs necessary to fulfill the mission of the WGA with the approval of the host institution.
  4.   Provide the WGA Steering Committee with an annual report;
  5.   Set the agenda and chair all meetings of the WGA Steering Committee;
  6.   Select an administrative assistant to provide services as specified by the WGA  Coordinator;
  7.   Select a secretary from the WGA Steering Committee or the administrative assistant to record the minutes of each WGA Steering Committee meeting.


Section 2.  Executive Board.  WGA Executive Board shall consist of the WGA Coordinator, a host institution representative, one teacher and one member at large selected by the Alliance Coordinator with the approval of the Steering Committee.    

  1. The WGA Executive Board shall:
  2.   Operate within the parameters established by the NGSEF and be responsible  to advise the Steering Committee and the WGA Alliance Coordinator;
  3.   Have all the powers and authority of the Steering Committee, except for the power to amend the by-laws, in the intervals between the meetings of the Steering                   Committee;
  4.   Be able to vote at Steering Committee meetings;
  5.   When necessary be able to cast an electronic or online vote.


Section 3.   Steering Committee. The WGA Steering Committee shall be composed of a minimum of nine (9) and no more than twelve (12) members.  Each member shall serve three-year renewable terms. New Steering Committee members shall be elected at the fall Steering Committee meeting by a majority vote.  Steering Committee members may submit names for consideration to the Alliance Coordinator prior to the fall meeting.  Considerations for Steering Committee membership shall include a nominee’s enthusiasm for and commitment to WGA’s mission.

  1. The WGA Steering Committeeshall:
  2.   Operate within the parameters established by the NGEF;               
  3.   Be responsible for the governance of the WGA;
  4.   Approve WGA program(s), grants, the WGA annual budget and annual report;
  5.   Provide input and give direction to WGA programs.


Article VI



Section 1.  Meetings. The WGA Steering Committee shall meet no fewer than two times (once in fall, once in spring) per calendar year to consider the business of the WGA, to set policy, and to attend to operational procedures.  The WGA Steering Committee may set additional meetings and establish sub-committees as needed.  The specific date, time, and location of the WGA Steering Committee meetings shall be determined by the WGA Coordinator in coordination with the WGA Steering Committee.


Article VII



Section 1.  Finances.  On or about October 1 of each calendar year, the WGA State Coordinator shall propose a budget for the coming year.   A majority vote of the WGA Steering Committee, taken during the Fall Meeting, is required for approval of the annual budget.


Article VIII

By-Law Changes


Section 1.  By-Law Changes.  Changes in the WGA By-Laws require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the WGA Steering Committee.

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