Geography Awareness Week is a weeklong event geared towards getting people more involved in the geographical world around them. Geography Awareness Week begun 25 years ago in 1989 and was indicated by National Geographic. Held in the third week of November, the event focuses on the interconnectivity of humans and the natural environment, to each other, and to the greater world we live in. Geography Awareness Week also connects students, community members, teachers, and others to members of the government and organizations who are working towards geographical awareness and getting people actively involved in the world they live in. Understanding how people relate to each other and the physical Earth is something that is currently lacking globally (GeographyRealm, 2014).
At a national level, geography is severely lacking in all aspects in Guyana. This issue becomes even more pressured as the world throws issues such as sustainable development and climate change adaption into the mix. Without, the integrated and multidisciplinary approaches founded in geography these issues will continue to plague our nation. Thus, simple questions such as, the when, where, how and why would be left unanswered. The University of Guyana Geographical Society saw it fit to bring to the table the critical issues that are necessary in our drive forward. At present, this Geography Week activities stands as the first sample of a holistic view of the week and as such is a shining example of what to and not to do.
UGGS under the leadership of Muzzammil Mohabir and passion of Linda Johnson-Bhola we would have planned and executed the 5 activities. Being a massive, new and multi-talented feat the society would have engaged its members from across the entire university. This resulted in one online article that was posted to the society website and was also forwarded to the social media platforms as well. The ‘On-Campus Geography Day’ was a grand event with many booths capturing the attention of the visitors. GIS Day is seen as the central activity of the week and was done in collaboration with many governmental organizations. Towards the end of the week two (2) schools were visited and the society held a public awareness project at Giftland, where many individuals were engaged in discussions. These activities highlighted the efforts of UGGS and based on our success, GEOGRAHY WEEK GUYANA is here to stay!
Think GEOGRAPHY: Develop Wisely!
The prefix “Geo” means ‘relating to the earth’ while “Graphe” means ‘to write’. Geography is a discipline with a very longer genealogy. Man has always had a keen interest in knowing why, what, when, how, and where, about various phenomena and their interrelationships; these interests are geographical in nature. This has led observations and assumptions of the physical world and its lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere to help inn the understanding of why and where things are the way they exist. Geography was further developed through exploration and mapping (Hussain 2007).
Geographers seek to answer several key spatial questions. These include: how and why things are distributed or arranged in a particular way on Earth’s surface. They ask questions about how the interaction of different natural and human activities on the Earth’s surface shapes the world in which we live; how things that are located in the same or distant places change over time; and why places develop and change in particular ways. These questions are at the heart of the “geographic perspective” (National Geographic n/d).
Careers in Geography
If you want to make a difference in the world, studying geography is a great way to start! Careers in Geography offer various opportunities to recognize contemporary spatial issues and to develop solutions. Some of the more pressing contemporary issues include climate change, natural hazards and disasters, land use, overpopulation, and urban expansion. Some of the careers in Geography are:
How can Geography aid in the Development of Guyana?
Professionals in Geography can engage in a plethora of initiatives, including the following:
The Climate Rally was a collaboration between the University of Guyana Geographical Society, UG Female Empowerment Movement and Policy Forum Guyana and took place on the 29th of September. The rally came under the larger 'GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE' made possible by Ms. Greta Thunberg .
The event involved a march from the Bank of Guyana to the Kingston Band Stand, there after there were shorts talks and cultural events that were aimed to engage and educate the participants. Some attendees included Namilco, GIT, Marion Academy, Bishop High School among other. Approximately 500 persons took part and the event required 50 odd volunteers to make it a complete happen. In the end the event was a complete success.
Special thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers.
Duration of project: May -June 2019
The Vice President along with a few representatives of the Geographical Society attended a meeting which was conducted by Policy Forum Guyana. At the meeting, the members of the Geographical Society volunteered to carry out a River Guardian pilot project proposed by Policy Forum Guyana. This River Guardian pilot project was done in seven randomly selected schools in Georgetown, where by the grade 6 students were taught lessons on Freshwater. This project was started in June 2019 and ended in the first week of July 2019.
The Schools identified were:
Montrose, Lusignan, LBI, BV, Eccles, Plaisance, St Andrews
The lesson taught:
Date of Event: 31st May, 2019
A group of three students from UG Geographical Society were invited to be representatives of the society to participate in Cummings Lodge Secondary School Career Fair. They encouraged students to choose Geography and to further study Geography at the University of Guyana. They expounded on the importance of Geography in today’s society and the opportunities available in such field of study. Parents and students entered the UGGS booth they were warmly greeted by the UGGS members who used the models to help parents and students understand the importance of geography, careers in the field and also what activities are carried out by the society. All of this was presented with the aid of models and a power point presentation.
Both parents and students were very interested in learning what the field of Geography has to offer. Many were surprised to know the vast range of knowledge that can be gained by studying geography. Teachers expressed their gratitude for UGGS being a part of their career fair and hoped that there will continue to be future collaboration between Cummings Lodge Secondary and UGGS.
Extract from UGGS Report
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Imagine if there was no ozone in the atmosphere, what life would be like for all living things. An absence of ozone would expose our delicate skin to the harmful solar radiation causing severe sun burn, plants would die within several days and humans may become extinct within a few years. But you may ask what is ozone? It is a gas that forms a protective layer known as the ozone layer in the stratosphere which protects all living things from the harmful ultra violet (UV) rays that radiates from the sun. It acts as a shield that absorbs the deleterious wavelengths of solar radiation before it reaches the earth surface. Without the ozone layer, DNA and RNA would effectively absorb the harmful ultraviolet rays which can lead to skin cancer in humans and also cause damage to the cornea and retina of the eye and can also lead to cataract. Plant life can also be affected causing a decrease in the rate of production due to the damage of photosynthetic pigment.
For Billions of years, the ozone layer has protected life on Earth, from the effects of extreme UV raidation. With this gaseous layer, the amount of UV Rays reaching the surface of the earth is greatly reduced. During the 1980's scientists observed that they had found a hole in the planet's ozone layer, over the Antarctic Region. More research has shown that the ozone layer was deteriorating quicker due to human activities and man made chemicals. In this same decade, due to rise in awareness of the importance of the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol was established. Finalized in 1987, and achieved the phasing out of Ozone Depleting Substances, commonly referred to as acronym 'ODS'.
Sadly, humans are still contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer through activities such as pollution of the air by chlorofluorocarbons which are emitted when we use aerosol sprays such as air refresher and hair sprays etc. This therefore means that a vast amount of ultraviolet rays can now reach the earth’s surface which may eventually make Earth an uninhabitable place due to the fact that when these chemicals escapes into the atmosphere they react with the ultraviolet radiation forming chlorine which is responsible for weakening the ozone layer. Animal life will be affected, intense radiation can cause damage to phytoplankton thus reducing the population of other animals while at the same time causing some to become extinct. It must be noted that the ozone layer plays a significant role in maintaining a global energy balance thus making Earth habitable for human survival.
But how can we assist in the recovery of the ozone layer, below are a few ideas:
Writers: Society Members
UGGS claims no intellectual work for this article!
Venezuela. Its coastline stretches for some 270 miles and it extends inland for about 450 miles. With such a massive coastline pollution plagues it in all areas. Thus the society partnered with its sister society to assist in cleaning up our fragile coast.
Coastal and estuarine ecosystems have been, and still are, heavily influenced by humans through pollution and habitat loss worldwide. Over 80% of all marine pollution originates from land-based sources which are primarily industrial, agricultural and urban. Pollution accompanies most kinds of human activities, including offshore oil and gas production and marine oil transportation. Besides altering the marine environment, pollution also causes economic losses.
Following are the conclusions drawn from a present review on coastal pollution:
1. Plastic debris can absorb toxic chemicals from ocean pollution, therefore poisoning whatever eats it. In fact, plastic pollution is one of the most serious threats to the ocean. Overall, plastic is the main source of pollution in the ocean.
2. Small animals at the bottom of food chain absorb the chemicals as part of their food. These small animals are then eaten by larger animals that again increase the concentration of chemicals. Animals at the top of hierarchy of food chain have contamination levels millions times higher than the water in which they live and then we humans eat these animals.
UGGS claims no intellectual work for this article!
Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCOIn the night of 22 to 23 August 1791, men and women, torn from Africa and sold into slavery, revolted against the slave system to obtain freedom and independence for Haiti, gained in 1804. The uprising was a turning point in human history, greatly impacting the establishment of universal human rights, for which we are all indebted.
The courage of these men and women has created obligations for us. UNESCO is marking International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition to pay tribute to all those who fought for freedom, and, in their name, to continue teaching about their story and the values therein. The success of this rebellion, led by the slaves themselves, is a deep source of inspiration today for the fight against all forms of servitude, racism, prejudice, racial discrimination and social injustice that are a legacy of slavery.
The history of the slave trade and slavery created a storm of rage, cruelty and bitterness that has not yet abated. It is also a story of courage, freedom and pride in newfound freedom. All of humanity is part of this story, in its transgressions and good deeds. It would be a mistake and a crime to cover it up and forget. Through its project The Slave Route, UNESCO intends to find in this collective memory the strength to build a better world and to show the historical and moral connections that unite different peoples.
In this same frame of mind, the United Nations proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). UNESCO is contributing to it through its educational, cultural and scientific programmes so as to promote the contribution of people of African descent to building modern societies and ensuring dignity and equality for all human beings, without distinction.
Follow the link to view a video on the slave trade: