Lone Star College-CyFair’s Geography Professor Buck Buchanan was honored with the Helen Ruth Aspaas SAGE Innovator Award by the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Stand-Alone Geographers (SAGE) Affinity Group.
The award, named for one of the founding members of the SAGE Specialty Group, a retired professor from Virginia Commonwealth University, recognizes innovations and the impact one geographic educator can have on an institution through teaching, community collaborations, and grants.
Buchanan accepted the honor at the AAG’s annual meeting on behalf of fellow LSC-CyFair colleagues because “we do not do or achieve anything alone” and students “who help realize our goals and give life to our work.” He also said the award honors the memory of his mentor and graduate advisor Dr. Susan Hardwick “for her inspiration, encouragement and courage to always lead by example.”
In his award submission, Buchanan cited LSC-CyFair’s Learning Communities, International Studies, Study Abroad and the Center for Geosciences as well as some the work of Honors College students with the support of Director of Honors College Esther Robinson. He also mentioned the incredible research and work with community partners, such as with Olivewood Cemetery and the Rutherford B. Yates Museum, of LSC-CyFair’s anthropology, geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) students. Under Anthropology Professor Dr. David Bruner’s leadership, these community projects are receiving local and international United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognition.
He said LSC-CyFair is unique in its support for learning community models that foster a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning and provides a vehicle for geography to contribute its unique perspective and bring value to the curriculum.
LSC-CyFair’s Study Abroad program now spans over a decade and geography has been part of this legacy from the start thanks to Professor Rob Coyle, said Buchanan. Part of a larger commitment made to his mentor, Buchanan said geography teachers must also be practitioners of the discipline and “do” geography.
“Study Abroad programs and related fieldwork allow us to broaden the scope of the discipline and ‘redefine classroom’ to include the world,” he said.
Buchanan also shared how the LSC-CyFair Center for Geosciences serves as a resource for students and faculty interested in applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems mapping and remote sensing (made possible in part through an LSC Chancellor’s grant.)
“The geospatial work we are doing through the center is unique among two-year colleges and the support of Anthropology Professor Dr. David Bruner and GIS Professor Michael Konvicka are helping make the center the success it is,” said Buchanan.
For information on the geography department and related programs at LSC-CyFair, contact the department chair at Michael.Konvicka@LoneStar.edu.