Travelocity, along with The Geographic Education National Implementation Project, awarded Neal G. Lineback the 2003 Travelocity Award for Excellence in Geography Education for Geography in the News(TM). Since 1987, this newspaper series has taken a deeper look behind major news stories, presenting a broader picture of geography.
The Appalachian State University professor will be recognized March 19 in Philadelphia at the Association of American Geographers meeting, celebrating the organization’s centennial. The $5,000 award, donated by Travelocity, honors professionals whose work has positively impacted the field of Geography Education in the United States during the previous year.
“Neal Lineback’s work clearly helps demystify the world for students everywhere and of every age, and we’re extremely excited to honor him with this award,” Michelle Peluso, Travelocity’s CEO, said. “Our goal with this award is to promote geography as a way to break down barriers between people, inspire future travelers to explore their world and share their observations on their return, all while improving geography education.”
Originating as a newspaper column, Geography in the News continues to prove Lineback’s commitment to geography education at all levels. The series has been reprinted in a range of journals and is also available online for classroom use. Past topics have included: Continuing Problems in Abkhazia: Another Microstate, Ramadan: Fourth Pillar of Islam, Saudi Arabia’s Monarchy and Alpine Tunnel Collisions. Each story is built around a map, draws on detailed research, relies on thoughtful editing and captures an abiding passion to show students how they can interpret the world using geography. Lineback recruits both undergraduate and graduate students to help research, write and produce maps.
He also helped develop the World Geography Bowl into a popular regional and national competition, pitting college and university geography students against one another in this Jeopardy-like event. Among his many achievements, Lineback was awarded the Association of American Geographer’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999 for this endeavor.
A pioneer in his field and a true credit to the profession, Lineback reaches people across many generations with Geography in the News. His understanding of events and appreciation of the science has helped make geography accessible and interesting to thousands of students and teachers. Lineback has helped everyone to see that geography is indeed in the news.