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Alex Trebek Medal for Geographic Literacy

2002 Recipient - Margaret North

Margaret North
Margaret North
(Photo: Marina Dodis)
Having a field day
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 ( 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.

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