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Great Plains/Rocky Mountains division wins 2017 World Geography Bowl

Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division Team Takes
2017 World Geography Bowl Title

AAG President Glen MacDonald, 2017 World Geography BowlAAG President Glen MacDonald presented the top scorers: Kean McDermott, George Washington U., Middle Atlantic Division; Jesse Andrews, Appalachian State U., Southeast Division; and Sam Smith, U. of Colorado-Denver, Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Division (Photographs by Becky Pendergast)

The Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division team won first place in the 2017 World Geography Bowl, an annual quiz competition for teams of college-level geography students representing the AAG’s regional divisions. This was the 24th year for AAG hosting during its annual meeting.

On April 8, nine teams, each representing an AAG regional division, competed at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. All nine regional divisions were represented by a team: East Lakes, West Lakes, Great Plains/Rocky Mountains, Middle Atlantic, Middle States, New England/St. Lawrence Valley, Pacific Coast, Southeast and Southwest Divisions. A spoiler team comprised of students present at the competition was added to round out the brackets. 

At the close of the exciting competition, AAG President Glen MacDonald served as a guest judge and presented the winners with prizes.

The winning Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division team’s roster was:

  • Sam Smith, University of Colorado - Denver
  • Kate Rigot, University of Colorado  - Denver
  • Sylvia Bradley, University of Denver
  • Robert Rust, University of Wyoming
  • Noah Taube, University of Colorado - Colorado Springs
  • Karl Bauer, Kansas State University
  • J.M. Shawn Hutchinson, Kansas State University, coordinator

The first runner-up Southeast Division team’s roster was:

  • Jesse Andrews, Appalachian State University
  • Christopher King, University of South Carolina
  • Christine MacKrell, University of Mary Washington
  • Benjamin Sylvester, University of South Carolina
  • Andrew Osborne, East Tennessee State University
  • Elisa Sperandio, Concord University
  • Dawn Drake, Missouri Western State U., coordinator

The second runner-up Southwest Division team’s roster was:

  • Jennifer Beveridge, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Nathan Lopez-Brody, New Mexico State University
  • Aaron Russell, University of New Mexico
  • Sagert Sheets, University of New Mexico
  • Paula Jones, Texas State University
  • Brittany Jandick, University of North Texas
  • Jason Julian, Texas State University, coordinator

The top five individuals with best personal scores were awarded an MVP prizes. Listed in order of highest point average per round:

  • Kean McDermott, The George Washington University
  • Jesse Andrews, Appalachian State University
  • Sam Smith, University of Colorado - Denver
  • Kevin Bean, University of Massachusetts
  • Denielle Perry, University of Oregon

View and download from the AAG 2017 Boston photo album

Thanks to 2017 WGB prize donors and volunteers 

Organizers of the World Geography Bowl would like to express thanks to the countless volunteer question writers, team sponsors/coaches, moderators, judges, and scorekeepers who make the competition possible, and to the many students who competed throughout the country. We would like to recognize the volunteers this year as: Paul McDaniel, Kennesaw State University; Wesley Reisser, US Department of State & George Washington University; Casey Allen, University of Colorado, Denver; Rob Edsall, Idaho National Laboratory; Dawn Drake, Missouri Western State University; and Richard Deal, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
In addition, we acknowledge question writers: Richard Deal, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; Wesley Reisser, US Department of State & George Washington University; Jeff Neff, Western Carolina University; Dawn Drake, Missouri Western State University; Jamison Conley, West Virginia University; Lee Ann Nolan, Pennsylvania State University; Rob Edsall, Idaho National Laboratory; Zia Salim, California State University at Fullerton; and Casey Allen, University of Colorado, Denver.

2017 World Geography Bowl donations tableWorld Geography Bowl organizers thank its supporters who generously donated books, mugs, gift certificates, software, and MVP awards – Wiley; Hexagon Geospatial; AAG; Esri; Edward Elgar Publishing; Avenza Systems, Inc.; University of Chicago Press; Penguin Random House Publishing; University of Nebraska Press; SAGE Publishing; West Virginia University Press; The MIT Press; Routledge/Taylor & Francis – who recognize the important role the competition plays in building a sense of community and generating excitement around geographic learning. Your continued support is truly appreciated.

The 29th annual World Geography Bowl competition will be held in New Orleans in April 2018. Regional competitions typically occur during the fall at respective AAG regional meetings, where regional teams for the national competition are usually formed. For more information on organizing a team or sponsoring the event and donating prizes, contact Kelsey Taylor, AAG World Geography Bowl liaison or Jamison Conley, (West Virginia University), the World Geography Bowl executive director.

Middle States Division Geography Bowl teamMiddle States Division team
Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Division Geography Bowl teamGreat Plains/Rocky Mountain Division team
 Pacific Coast Regional Division teamPacific Coast Division team
 East Lakes Division Geography Bowl teamEast Lakes Division team
New England-St. Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) Division Geography Bowl teamNew England/St. Lawrence Valley Division team
Southeast Division Geography Bowl teamSoutheast Division team
Middle Atlantic Division Geography Bowl teamMiddle Atlantic Division team
Southwest Division Geography Bowl teamSouthwest Division team
West Lakes Division Geography Bowl teamWest Lakes Division team
Spoiler Geography Bowl teamSpoiler team


View and download from the AAG 2017 Boston photo album

Note: This post has been updated to state that this was the 24th year the bowl was held. A previous version erroneously stated that this was the 28th year.