BSU students embark on a 10-day exploration of national parks

The American Association of Geographers funds a trip to national parks

MEDIA CONTACT: David Thompson, [email protected], 301-860-4311

(BOWIE, Md.) – Classes are over and most students are preparing for their summer vacation or graduation, except for 10 students from Bowie State University who are preparing to leave for a camping trip. of 10 days and 1,500 miles in five national parks to experience the outdoors, explore the physical geography, history and cultural landscape of the western United States. Through experiential learning, students will gain knowledge of geography, national park sites, preparing for outdoor travel, and camping.

“Bowie State is the first and only HBCU to receive a grant from the American Association of Geographers, which made this trip a reality for our students,” said Dr. Sumanth Reddy, professor of geography at BSU.

The national park system has been considered America’s best idea, but not all Americans are able to engage with these precious national treasures. Recent studies estimate that only 1.2-6% of visitors to national parks in the United States are African American, which is considerably lower than the 13% of the American population who are African American.

“In addition to their participation in the trip, students will be required to create a video, write an article, blog or post on a topic of their choice related to what they saw, experienced and learned during the trip. They will also be eligible for receive 3 to 6 independent study credits in Geography,” Professor Reddy said.

Students will visit five parks: Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. They will also visit the Four Corners Monument, which marks the point in the southwestern United States where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. It is the nation’s only point shared by four states and is maintained by the Navajo Nation.

“African Americans have made major contributions to the Rocky Mountain and desert regions of the southwestern United States,” Professor Reddy said. “My goal is to take students to various areas where African Americans are part of the cultural landscape, such as the Black American West Museum and the Five Points Neighborhood in Denver, and the Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center (Buffalo Soldier exhibit ) in Fort Garland, Colorado.

In addition to participating in the trip, students will be required to create a video, write an article, blog, or post on a topic of their choice related to what they saw, experienced, and learned on the trip. They will also be eligible to receive 3 to 6 independent study credits in Geography.

The BSU students participating in the 10-day National Parks camping trip are Kevon Allen, a sophomore and elementary education student; Alma Bangura, a young government student; Zoey Days, junior biology student; Malaika Dixon, a computer science major; Kalil Greenfield Jr., a sophomore in history; Kwari Jackson, sophomore in history; Ayen Kuol, graduate student in computer science; Rodah Ngorem, second-year student majoring in nursing; Bridget Oppong, junior computer science student; and Mark Sims Jr., a freshman majoring in communications.


About Bowie State University
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