Alex Trebek Medal for Geographic Literacy
2002 Recipient - Margaret North
Having a field day
(Photo: Marina Dodis)
Margaret North has always been most at home teaching in a bog, attired in
gumboots. To do geography without doing fieldwork is a wasted opportunity, says
the retired senior instructor emerita of geography at the University of British
Columbia. During her 38-year career, North rarely missed an opportunity to show
her students how to apply what they learned in the classroom to the world
surrounding them. As a specialist in vegetation mapping, she often lectured in
the bogs and forest on the campus’s fringe.
An accomplished academic, North dedicates much of her spare time to promoting the teaching
of geography in North American schools and to developing geography in social studies curricula
for British Columbia schools. She also recently created a website on field activities for
teachers (www.geog.ubc.ca/activities). Her outstanding commitment and leadership have earned
her the 2002 Geographic Literacy Award from the Canadian Geographic Education.
North receives $5,000 (U.S.), donated by the National Geographic Societies Grosvenor
Canadian Geography Education Fund. She plans to give half of her award to the
Pacific Foundation for Understanding Nature Society, which raises funds for the environmental
education programs of the North Vancouver Outdoor School.