Each fall, individual members of the National Council for Geographic Education cast their ballots for the annual NCGE Board election using the slate of candidates prepared by the NCGE Nominating Committee. Each candidate is asked to prepare and submit biographical information along with a personal statement.  The highest number of votes serve a three–year term in office. Election results are reported at the annual meeting.

Meet the Slate of Candidates for the 2022 Board of Directors Election

We hope you will join us in offering congratulations and wishing good luck to this year’s candidates. NCGE acknowledges and appreciates the time and commitment that elected candidates are willing to make toward ensuring the viability and growth of NCGE. 

We also recognize and wish to thank the members  for taking a vested interest in NCGE’s growth by casting your vote. Your ongoing involvement is crucial for the continued growth and impact that NCGE has toward advancing Geography Education.  We would also like to thank the members of the Nomination Committee who worked hard to produce a solid lineup of candidates for this year’s election.


This person will serve a three-year term on the NCGE Board of Directors; serving as president-elect in 2022, president in 2023, and past-president in 2024. The President is responsible for the leadership of the Board of Directors including presiding at all Board meetings and the General Assembly. The president works closely with the executive director and other officers in ensuring the organization is financially sound and setting priorities of NCGE for the calendar year. The president promotes recognition of geography, geographic education and the interests of the Board in forums where significant decisions affecting the primary interests of NCGE may be made.


Tracy Edwards is a cultural geographer specializing in geographic education and sustainability studies. Her research focuses on a myriad of topics merging teaching & learning in the online realm, integrating student leadership and advocacy in and beyond the classroom, and exploring the relationship between geography/sustainability in academia. Broader research interests include documenting personal narratives of women globally, feminist geopolitics, and experiences of long-term non-tenured faculty in higher education. Tracy earned her undergraduate degree in Geography at Frostburg State University, where she has worked for just over two decades. She finished her M.A. from Syracuse University in 2010, and her current status is ADB in the quest to complete a terminal Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership & Instructional Design at Frostburg State University. Tracy will serve as Regional Councilor of the Middle Atlantic Division (MAD) of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) through 2023, She is most proud of her current and past involvement with all things directed toward expanding the world view of students / young persons – having worked with Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), the MAD AAG Geography Bowl team, the Maryland Geographic Alliance, and with Girl Scouts and other more local initiatives. Tracy has served as an AP Human Geography Reader since 2006, Table Leader since 2015, and in 2018, initiated the Geographers Give Back campaign at the AP Readings. Her most recent NCGE presentation introduced Ecobricking: a low-tech solution to reusing soft plastics with significant pedagogical potential across grade levels in both natural and social science contexts. Tracy looks forward to taking a more active leadership role with NCGE.

I currently serve as an Instructor for the Department of Geography at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and Chair of the AAG Geography Education Specialty Group.  I received NCGE’s Higher Education Distinguished Teaching Award in 2020.  Following that year, I joined NCGE’s Board of Directors.

I have one central motivation to run for President of NCGE in 2023: to support jobs and careers among geography educators and students.  Geography education is an investment, and I wish to better illuminate and enhance the return on that investment. This objective has three components:

  1. Develop strategies and incentives to recruit, retain, and inspire members of NCGE. Connecting with early-career community college and university faculty provides one opportunity to cultivate lifelong leaders in geography education.
  2. Compile resources and facilitate professional development workshops and/or podcasts that enrich geographers at early-, middle-, and late-career stages.
  3. Highlight ways to frame geographic knowledge and synthesis—not just geospatial technologies—as marketable skill sets for any job or career.

As geography students and teachers navigate their careers, they must also navigate wicked problems and complex problems like climate change with neither simple answers nor win-win solutions. That is why a secondary motivation is to reinvigorate the human-environment tradition in geography education. NCGE could serve as an active outlet for communicating big ideas about global changes and their local contexts to students and teachers in K-12 and higher education. In pursuit of this mission, I see NCGE as an important and growing actor in the sustainability of disciplinary geography and the planet for future generations.


This person will serve a three-year term on the NCGE Board of Directors. Directors attend virtual board meetings once a month to discuss and vote on significant decisions affecting the primary interests of NCGE and its members. Directors may chair committees and/or other initiatives of NCGE.


As a proud and consistent member of the NCGE, I value the quality of materials that are consistently provided to geography educators. After attaining a master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies and as a current Ph.D. student with a focus in geography education, there is no other organization that provides me with vetted curricular and pedagogical strategies for the geography classroom than the NCGE.

I am a champion for geography educators who want to capture the imagination of students and show them the practical possibilities that come with understanding the spatial perspective. It is my belief that every social studies department embrace and value our dynamic and very relevant field. The NCGE provides excellent professional development opportunities that need to be shared, far and wide. It is my hope to see the NCGE expand its network of geography educators and further its reach into the social studies.

As a 20-year veteran of teaching high school geography, I admire the NCGE’s eagerness to give voice to the teachers in the classroom. As a working member of the NCGE, I would like to continue the advocacy for geography education and promote professional development for social studies teachers who are not classically trained in geography education.

-Samantha M. Serrano

Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne: 2022 National Geographic Explorer, GeoBus Founder,
and Associate Professor of GIS at the University of Central Florida

As an optimistic and energetic community geographer, public scholar, father of three young explorers, and geographic educator, my connections to NCGE and the geographic education space have included the following: NCGE membership and conference participation; previously serving as Associate Editor of NCGE’s flagship journal: The Journal of Geography; previously serving as State Coordinator of the Georgia Geographic Alliance; and now serving as a 2022
National Geographic Explorer and founder of the nation’s first GeoBus located here in Florida.

I am an intentionally positive and always optimistic scholar committed to reimagining the future of geography specifically and science more broadly…a future that is more partnership-driven and more strongly connected across all segments of society. I am broadly trained in human geography with expertise in community-based scholarship, GIS, geographic education, service learning, and citizen science. In 2015, I founded an internationally recognized research and education group called Citizen Science GIS. The group’s goal is to connect scientists, educators, teachers, students, and society through the use of geospatial technologies to make science more accessible and responsive to community concerns. More specifically to geographic education, our Citizen Science GIS team has aimed to broaden participation in geography/science in three ways. 1) Our team developed, built, fundraised, and launched a bold new public-private partnership to support thousands of Florida K-12 teachers and students each
year. In early 2022, we launched the nation’s first GeoBus™, a mobile STEAM education classroom/lab on a repurposed 40-foot city bus powered by the sun that provides geospatial technology learning experiences to K-12 youth, families, and teachers in Florida. Our mobile classroom/lab aims to broaden participation in STEAM through priority scheduling for Title 1 and similar high need school districts that have limited geography and geospatial technology learning opportunities. We’ve already served nearly 1500 participants through GeoBus since February. GeoBus was born out of our Maps, Apps and Drones Tour that supported school visits and community center visits to provide geospatial technology learning experiences for over 12,000 students, families, and teachers between 2017 and 2021. 2) Our team has supported seven years of NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Teachers (RET) Sites where we have removed the financial barriers to international research, education,
and fieldwork experiences centered on community geography and GIS in Belize for over 75 participants with over 70 percent being from underrepresented groups in STEAM. 3)  Our team supported an additional 2-year NSF RET Site to create fully funded learning experiences for multiple teachers and high school students in drones and GIS fieldwork looking at coastal ecosystems and seagrass changes in the US with the Smithsonian.

Our team’s work is all about partnership, creativity, and supporting the next generation in bold and imaginative ways. I would bring this mindset with me in this opportunity to support the future of geographic education specifically and science more broadly. I’ve always valued working with formal and informal educators, and folks of all ages from ages 4 to 94. To me (as a
community geographer, father, and public scholar) geographic education is about cultivating an explorer mindset and celebrating that we are all educators in some manner, working together to chart new paths for the future of geography and science. Much like with our partners in the GeoBus mobile classroom/lab network we’re building, I hope we can work together to drive geographic education and science’s next generation.

My NCGE membership started in 2012 and helped reveal a world of geography for both me and my students. I became involved with the NCGE because I began teaching in South Carolina, where a strong state geographic alliance helped open many professional doors. Involvement there led me to the NCGE. I know the value of strong geographic education groups at both the state and national level. 

Over the past 15 years I’ve had a range of experiences that will serve NCGE members well. I’ve taught a range of geography courses, from state standard geography in both South Carolina and Utah, to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate geography courses, and human geography at the college level. In addition to my classroom experience, I’ve served on district-level curriculum groups in both South Carolina and Utah. In 2018 I worked on the state standards committee and helped write the current South Carolina geography standards. I’ve worked as a reader or leader for AP Human Geography scoring since 2015. In 2022 I was selected to lead by the Utah State Board of Education to facilitate geography standards training. My involvement with the South Carolina Geographic Alliance has enabled me to not only participate in, but plan and facilitate quality professional development for geography teachers. I will bring all of my experience to the table in serving NCGE members.

As an NCGE Director, I will work to strengthen existing resources and create new professional development opportunities. I will work to advocate for partnerships that help create a new generation of state-level geographic education groups. I have gained so much from the NCGE throughout my career and I hope for the opportunity to give back as a member of the Board of Directors. 

Review the candidates above, then 

Poll closes OCTOBER 13, 2022 at midnight (EST)

You must be a current NCGE member to vote. If you have forgotten your password,
go to “Forgot your password” and use the email associated with your NCGE to create a new password.