Last period I asked each of you to fill out a brief questionnaire about geography and geographers. Today I'll ask you to add an autobiographical paragraph to that questionnaire. To assist you I'm reprinting questions posed on a website, How Do You Know If You Want To Be a Geographer?, by the country's largest organization of professional geographers, the Association of American Geographers (AAG). Together these resources provide insights and information that your biographer will need.

Background: Readings

During our second class period I'm distributing copies of some interviews with professional geographers. I'm also handing out excerpts from Carl O. Sauer's Presidential Address to the Association of American Geographers, "The Education of a Geographer." These handouts are additional materials to help you compose an appropriate essay about a classmate's development as a geographer. On the Internet you can also find some biographical narratives about other students and professionals in the field of geography. See, for example, * the AAG's Using Geography and GIS: Geographers at Work


You'll be paired with a Geography 102 classmate. Like you that person is pursuing a major or minor in geography. You and your partner will compose biographies of one another. In moving from rough draft to finished product you should use: * responses to the questionnaire * autobiographical paragraphs * additional information elicited in conversations From these you'll craft a page-and-a-half biography of your partner.

Format & Schedule

Monday, September 8 Exchange copies of questionnaires and autobiographical paragraphs. Use allocated class time to go over them. Explore any points that need to be clarified or amplified. Volunteer information about yourself that you think will aid your partner in composing your biography. Remember the focus of each eventual biography: the choice of geography as a field of interest, a major or minor. Wednesday, September 10 Today you should have an opening paragraph for your partner's GEOBIO ready to read aloud in class. As you prepare this opening paragraph consider the many different ways in which you might introduce your partner to readers/auditors. One obvious choice would be a straightforward chronology. Other possibilities would include highlighting a signal event in their decision to study geography, comparing their appearance and their demeanor to stereotypes people might have about geographers, or focusing on their long-term goals in pursuing geography. Can you think of other ways of beginning the essay? The September 10th class will also include our photo session. Following our regular class period in LIBR 4021, we'll adjourn to the Library's main floor breezeway. There I'll take individual black & white photos of all class members. Wednesday, September 17 Share first drafts with one another. Each draft should be appropriately formatted so that the top half of the first page is left blank for the individual photo and other illustrations. The actual text of the biography should begin on the bottom half of the first page and extend--as needed--through the 2nd. Remember that your classmate, the subject of the essay you're writing, must read and approve your draft before you can proceed. Before leaving class today, review the photos taken last week to make sure there's a suitable picture to accompany your biography. Wednesday, September 24 Bring the finished biography of your partner to class. Trade the biographies with one another for a last look before we place them in individual envelopes. When you are satisfied with the biography your partner has produced, put it in the manila envelope I'll provide. Then, select the photo you wish to use to illustrate your biography. Write your name lightly on the back of the photo and insert it in the envelope. You may add one additional illustration--a map or chart or symbol up to a quarter-page in size--to be placed beside your photograph. Write your name on the reverse side of that illustration as well before you put it in the envelope. Later The department staff will reproduce and assemble all the biographies, complete with pictures, for this year's class publication: GEOBIOS 2003. Each of you will receive a copy.