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Motlow State Community College
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Motlow State's Lisa Mayo participates in geography summit

Dec. 11, 2015

Lisa Mayo, associate professor of geology at Motlow State Community College, recently attended the second annual Middle Tennessee Geography Summit at Radnor Lake State Park, located near Nashville.

The event provided attendees, consisting of geographers from Nashville area universities and high schools, a forum to strategize on how best to promote and enhance geography education in Tennessee.

"I was privileged to attend this wonderful conference," said Mayo, "and I learned some very cool things about the future of our students and the uses of geospatial technologies in the markets of today."

The meeting included information from Park Manager Steve Ward regarding recent fieldwork performed at the park. An example of such work is the geological formation studies conducted by Mayo and two Motlow McMinnville campus students, Anthony Malone and River Inderwood.

Conference discussion focused on methods to strengthen the relationships between two-year and four-year institutions of higher education in middle Tennessee, and to develop new educational endeavors with high school geography teachers.

Invited guest speaker Kurt Butefish, the coordinator for the Tennessee Geographical Alliance (TGA), gave a talk on the current state of geography curriculum in Tennessee's primary and secondary schools. Butefish laid out the TGA's new initiatives to advocate statewide for the fundamental importance of geography education in K-12 classrooms.

Along with Mayo, in attendance were Dr. Deborah Miller-Toothaker (Columbia State), Keith Bell (Volunteer State), Rene Bataille (Nashville State), Dr. Doug Heffington (MTSU), Kristi Nueroth (Ravenwood High School), Adrian Bahan (Hillsboro High School) and Dr. Jim Chaney (MTSU).

Breakfast and Lunch were provided by the Friends of Radnor Lake and attendees were treated to a private tour of Radnor's new aviary led by park rangers Sam King and Dustin Crowell.