Colorado Geographic Alliance

What can COGA bring you?

Join Coga

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

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

Advocacy - COGA works through local, state, and national policy-makers to advance geo-literacy.


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This is What Geographers Do

Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson works with CACI International Inc. in Fort Collins as a manager and geospatial programmer. At CACI, Mike works with both proprietary and open source packages, and has a particular interest in machine learning and machine vision topics. Mike received a degree in Computer Science from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, OH. In addition to his geospatial work within the professional sphere, Mike heavily contributes to humanitarian mapping efforts across the globe. There are a number of types of “humanitarian mapping.” Mike’s efforts are primarily focused on the creation of foundation feature data; for example, data representing roads, buildings, land use, land cover and hydrography. These data are used by aid organizations—such as the American Red Cross, the British Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders—to plan and administer the delivery of aid to some of the most vulnerable populations on Earth, especially in the aftermath of disasters, such as the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Read more about Mike and humanitarian mapping on the

What Geographers Do Archive.


Our Goal


  • 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 National Geographic Learning Framework communicates National Geographic’s key beliefs and values. The Learning Framework is established around a set of Attitudes, Skills, and Knowledge that have been created to accompany products, resources, services, and experiences offered to educators by National Geographic. The Learning Framework was developed based on national standards for subject areas taught from kindergarten to high school. This framework was designed to embrace how children and youth can and should learn from experiences with National Geographic. Please visit National Geographic’s website to read more about the National Geographic Learning Framework.

    Over two hundred participants explored Sondermann Park in Colorado Springs during the first week in May as part of the Colorado BioBlitz. Early in the week, elementary, middle, and high school teachers practiced hands-on activities to support their students in exploring birds and mammals, microbes and insects, grasses and flowers, soil and lichen. They were provided with a variety of resources including plant guides and identification tools. On Friday, students from the Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning walked from their school through the park to the Catamount Center where they spent the day searching for bugs and plants in the riparian and grassland ecosystems. Volunteers and families filled Sondermann Park on Saturday before spring hailstorm moved in. They counted --- species, and learned about bee habitat, bird migration, pine-bark beetle infestation, and plant hydrology from local scientists. National Geographic Maps was on hand to share resources, and the Catamount Institute served as an excellent host. This BioBlitz was one of over 250 BioBlitzes happening across the country as part of the National Park Service Centennial.

    The Colorado Geographic Alliance and the Catamount Institute are hosting the BioBlitz in Colorado, part of the celebration of the National Parks Centennial, in partnership with National Geographic. Join scientists, educators, and explorers to discover the variety of species in our area. The event will take place on Saturday, May 7th, from 9 am to 2 pm at the Beidleman Environmental Center, 740 West Caramillo Street, Colorado Springs.

    Attending Paris climate-change conference flips CU-Boulder professor from pessimism to optimism. Check out this article on Peter Blanken's experience at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in December in Paris.


    Proficiency in geographic education for primary and secondary grade students is on the decline. Rebecca Theobald of the Colorado Geographic Alliance states "Geography is an integrative discipline and can be used to shed light on hydromorphology." Read more here:

    John O’Loughlin, CU-Boulder professor of geography and faculty associate in the Institute of Behavioral Science, has become the first foreigner in more than 100 years to win the Semenov-Tyan-Shansky gold medal for research on Russia. Read more about John's achievement here:

    For a quick review of what the members of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies have been doing over the summer, check out the Fall 2015 Newsletter.

    Gary Knell, President of the National Geographic Society, shared his thoughts on the importance of geography education at the 2015 Esri Users Conference in San Diego. Access the video here:

    In honor of the National Geographic Bee, educators have the opportunity to host their own Free-Bee at their School!
    Check out the link below to register for a Free-Bee!

    Check out the Rocky Mountain Map Society! They are dedicated to the study and appreciation of maps and other items of cartographic interest.
    Check out their website!

    From Sanatorium to Scholarship
    Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
    OPENS May 9, 2015
    Check out this historical map of UCCS compiled by the UCCS Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Chair John Harner, Marta Blanco-Castano, and Glenn Xavier.

    Q&A with Tom and Carole Huber, "Geography: the common ground for UCCS couple’s diverse academic adventures."

    The NCGE now has a Future Geoleader Membership Program!

    Benefits include:
  • Online access to the Journal of Geography, and The Geography Teacher (exclusively online--no mailed journals)
  • Access to the Journal of Geography and The Geography Teacher publication archives, which date all the way back to 1902!
  • Attend all of our LIVE Webinars, which cover a wide range of topics and provide members with the opportunity to learn from the best geography educators around the world
  • Access to complete Webinar archive
  • An opportunity for mentorship, and to network and connect with the greater community of educators and leading experts in the field of geographic education
  • Professional development and leadership opportunities
  • Weekly e-newsletter with geography education news, opportunities and resources
  • Substantial discounts on publications purchased from the NCGE On-line Store
  • Reduced registration rate for NCGE’s annual National Conference on Geography Education
  • Access to our Career Center
  • Ability to have a voice in geography education and advocacy, both nationally and internationally
  • Eligibility for high-quality, discounted insurance plans from leading carriers
  • It's FREE!!!

    National Geographic Education Foundation