Colorado Geographic Alliance

National Geographic has a new resource for educators: FREE tabletop-sized state maps.
The maps were designed to reflect spatial thinking research at the elementary level. All maps visually represent the appropriate amount of information for K-5 students. However, they can be used by any grade level.  Click here to find the map of ColoradoLook for state GeoTours coming soon from National Geographic!

Teaching Geography in the Twenty-first Century
Looking for a new perspective?  Joseph Kerski, Education Manager at Esri, Inc., is offering "Teaching Geography in the 21st Century", a new online five-week course for educators. For details, check out the video and course description.  The class begins September 3rd, with continuing education units and graduate credit available.


GeoBee Registration is Coming September 15th! National Geographic is preparing for the 2015 GeoBee! Participate with thousands of other schools and spark an interest in geography. Students in grades 4-8 are eligible. All registration will be online. Be sure to get a registration reminder, and try the daily GeoBee Challenge!

GeoBee Participants            GeoBee Stage            Challenge link

Garden of the GodsCOGA Teachers Provide Lessons for Students Considering Life on Mars  When joining the Colorado Geographic Alliance workshop focused on geospatial technology this past June, inservice and preservice teachers may not have realized that they were going to be expected to think about using GIS on Mars.  In addition to developing lessons they will use in their classrooms in the fall, participants created projects to analyze efficient routes on Mars, calculate effects of soil temperature, and assess optimal places for settlement. Students  conducted some of their lessons at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  For additional information about summer science camps sponsored through the Center for STEM Education, visit the UCCS website.

Teaching Geography with Primary Sources

Educators from Geographic Alliances in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon gathered in Portland at the beginning of July with facilitators from the Library of Congress' Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region program.  This design workshop provided direction on developing workshops and state-based model lessons using primary sources to teach geography at any grade level.  The Library of Congress website has a treasure trove of primary sources, including maps, images, and text documents, that can enrich teaching in all areas of social studies, including geography.  The TPS program offers instruction on teaching with primary resources, and together with Geographic Alliances across the country this project will plan, implement, and evaluate workshops that will structure ways to guide teachers in making the best use of geographic analysis for primary resources in classrooms.  If you or your district is interested in being part of the next round of workshops in Colorado, please email

TPS Alliance Design Workshop ActivityTPS Alliance Design WorkshopTPS Alliance Design Workshop Materials

Seeking something we've shared in the past?  Easily search our archives of lesson plans, resources, videos, maps, and other content on our Blogger site.  Look for upcoming Geography Awareness Week material!


Changing how you understand and experience the world


To instill and nurture spatial awareness and geographic literacy


Inspiring passion for Earth and its inhabitants

Connecting people with geography

Honoring inclusivity and diversity

Exploring physical and human environments

Developing spatial perspective

The Colorado Geographic Alliance endeavors to:

Instill and nurture spatial awareness and geographic literacy, by changing our understanding and experience of the world.

Join Coga

What can COGA bring you?

Connections We connect educators, administrators, non-profits, geographic corporations, and legislators with each other, forming a community of stakeholders in Geographic Education. 

Workshops - COGA coordinates and sponsors teacher education workshops throughout the year to advance understanding of geographic education.

Advocacy - Of nine areas listed as core academic subjects in the No Child Left Behind Act, geography is the only one that has no dedicated federal funding program.  COGA works through local, state, and national legislators to advance geo-literacy in our schools and communities.

This is What Geographers Do

David Havlick

UCCS Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, David Havlick, describes his time bicycling along the Iron Curtain.

"During part of my fall 2013 research sabbatical, I bicycled for 1200 km along the former borderlands of central Europe, from Bratislava, Slovakia to Rasdorf, Germany. The former death strip of the Iron Curtain dividing Europe has been replaced by 'the Green Belt of Europe', as national parks and biosphere reserves now line the area once fortified with control roads, high voltage fencing, and guard towers. In 2005, the European Union formally recognized an Iron Curtain bicycle route that runs 6800 km from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. As part of my ongoing research into how militarized landscapes transition into new geographies of conservation, I was impressed by the creative use of art to commemorate the violence and dislocation of the Iron Curtain, while also opening these lands to new meanings and interpretations."

Geo-Educator Community







The Geo-Educator Community

New from National Geographic

With the rapid pace of change in the 21st century, it is more important than ever that young people understand the world around them. However, the focus of current education reform is elsewhere—leaving educators who are committed to teaching young people about their interconnected world out in the cold. National Geographic wants to change all that and is launching the Geo-Education Initiative to improve education about our world. The first step in this initiative is building a Geo-Educator Community for educators who are committed to teaching their students about the world.  Connect through the Geo-Educator portal by way of on and off line platforms, social media, newsletters, a blog.  Visit the Geo-Educator Community page to learn more.


 Follow us outside of the COGA website - fun news stories, additional resources, and new ways to connect with other educators, students, and professionals who are interested in Colorado Geography in all forms!

See what is new and current on COGA's blog.

COGA on Facebook


Follow Colorado Geographic Alliance on Pinterest

COGA maintains several boards on Pinterest, with topics ranging from AP Human Geography to Interesting Maps. If you are a Colorado Educator, you will find something you can use in the classroom here.



National Geographic Education Foundation