Nov. 11, 1997
KALAMAZOO -- Lectures on topics ranging from land use changes in Brazil to boundary disputes in Michigan will be presented as part of Western Michigan University's observance of Geography Awareness Week Nov. 17-21.
Three lectures centered around this year's theme, "Explore the World! Geography Takes You Places," are scheduled.
Dr. Mario Hiraoka, professor of geography at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, will explore the "Upper Amazon Floodplain" in a lecture at noon Tuesday, Nov. 18. He also will discuss "Transhumance in the Middle Amazon" at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Both talks will take place in the Brown and Gold Room on the second floor of the Bernhard Center.
Hiraoka, who is from Brazil, will discuss the impact of changing agricultural practices on the ecology of the Amazon Basin. Farmers in that area have given up crop production in favor of cattle ranching in recent years.
At noon Wednesday, Nov. 19, Dr. Jon Kilpinen, assistant professor of geography and meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana, will speak in Room 208 of the Bernhard Center. His topic will be "Lines on the Map: American Boundary Disputes."
Kilpinen, who specializes in historical geography, will present accounts of border disputes that have occurred in the United States, including one between Michigan and its neighbors to the south, Ohio and Indiana, and another between the state of Texas and the federal government along the Red River.
National Geography Awareness Week has been observed each year since 1987 to create an awareness of the overall importance of the study of geography. The events at WMU are free and open to the public. For more information, persons may contact Dr. Eldor C. Quandt, chairperson of the Department of Geography, at 616 387-3410.
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