BROOKINGS, SD (KELO-AM) The 45th annual South Dakota State Geography Convention will be held March 20-21 in South Dakota State University's University Student Union.The South Dakota State Geography Convention is the longest-running, student-organized and sponsored annual geography meeting in the United States.John Fraser Hart, a member of the University of Minnesota's Department of Geography, Environment and Society, will be attending his 40th SDSU convention and will once again be one of the featured speakers."The South Dakota State students invited me, I think in 1969, and have kept inviting me," said Hart, noting the only times he's missed the event was due to schedule conflicts.Hart's birthday once fell during the second day of the convention. Ever since, he's received a birthday cake."It's also become a tradition to butcher my name on the cake," said Hart. "They've misspelled Hart and Fraser and they've had my name in Chinese and various other languages. The South Dakota State students take geography very seriously but don't take themselves very seriously as they love to laugh and joke around. It's always a fun affair."In addition to Hart, the two-day event's featured speakers will be:
- Derek Alderman, University of Tennessee
- Hilary Hungerford, South Dakota State
- John Hudson, Northwestern University
- Margaret Pearce, University of Kansas
- Lara Prihodko, South Dakota State
- Marc Simard, a senior engineer with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
- Gray Tappan, U.S. Geological Survey-EROS
- Forrest Wilkerson, Minnesota State-Mankato
- Julie Winkler, Michigan State
Winkler, the president of the Association of American Geographers, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet, held March 21 at McCrory Gardens Visitor and Education Center. Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for alumni and faculty.Student presentations will start at 3:30 p.m. March 20 in the Volstorff Ballroom and in the Pasque Room in the University Student Union.For more information, please contact the geography club or the geography department at 605-688-4511.