Department of Geography
1000 E. University, Dept. 3371
Laramie, WY 82071
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.