VGA Activities


Winter Speaker Series Dec 2020: The Legacy of Redlining. Sponsored by the VGA and New American History in partnership with Christopher Newport University. Registration required.

The 2020 Chesapeake Bay Institute has been canceled due to COVID-19.

The 2020 AP Human Geography Academy has also been canceled.

GIS  VA GeoInquiries workshop is moving to a virtual training that will be designed and delivered using Zoom. The training  will be 1.5 days of training (10 hours of training). Instructors include C. Bunin, A. Dojack, and G. Hribar. The course will support 35 teachers that will receive a $50.00 gift certificate for attending. The course will run during late May/Early June.

Online Course: The Where of Why: GIS in the Humanities Classroom. May 26 – June 30, 2020
VGA members Chris Bunin and Christine Esposito are working with the National Humanities Center to offer professional development that carries 35 professional development hours. For more information and registration form, visit VGA members should use the promotional discount code VGA20, which is good for 30% off the registration fee. Flyer as PDF

#YouCanMapThat: Using GIS to Enhance the Classroom.  June 2nd and June 3rd 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
The Virginia Geographic Alliance is excited to offer the online, 8-hour professional development workshop, #YouCanMapThat: Using GIS to Enhance the Classroom.  It is open to grades K-12 faculty and pre-service teachers and is limited to 30 participants.  Register here

Location:  Online via Zoom

Dates:  June 2nd and June 3rd 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM (with optional homework assignment)

#YouCanMapThat! is a FREE Online Instructor-led  Professional Development Program that will teach you to:
Access and utilize 100+ classroom ready 15-Minute GeoInquiries for US History, Human Geography, World History, US Government, Mathematics, Language Arts, and Earth Science

  • Use web maps as a bell-ringer, a lesson plan, and/or a classroom discussion tool
  • Create customized Web Maps that embed text, primary source Images, YouTube videos, and much more.  To access a sample map on the Louisiana Purchase go to:
  • Register your school for a free site-license for Esri’s ArcGIS Online software (Up to 500 accounts).

Other benefits include:

  • 8 Continuing Education/Recertification Points
  • free supplemental workbook and lesson plans
  • access to an online Professional Learning Community
  • $35.00 Amazon Gift Card for successfully participating in the workshop.

 Register by 12:00 PM May 31, 2020


2019 Chesapeake Bay Institute:  An Interconnected System.  Today, Tomorrow, and Into the Future

The three-day institute (July 9 – 12, 2019) will take place at VIMS Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague, Virginia and features a field experience to Tangier Island.  The Institute emphasizes the intersection of human-environmental systems by focusing on curriculum topics such as water quality, climate change, people, place, and aquaculture.  Participants will formulate questions, collect data, and use spatial analysis tools.  Professional training and the development of integrative course materials for (AP) Environmental Science, Earth Science, World Geography, and AP Human Geography curriculum.   The Institute will also integrate approaches using the National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Process as a framework and serve to enhance collaboration across curriculum content and pedagogy.  Online applications are due by May 1, 2019.  Cost is free to Virginia educators ($125 otherwise).

Should there be any questions, please contact Jamie Young ( or Mike Allen ( directly.

AP Human Geography Academy: “Resiliency and Change in Modern Urban Landscapes”
Christopher Newport University, October 11-13, 2019.

While the academy focuses on topics in the AP Human Geography course outline, teachers of any discipline are welcome to attend as we hope to promote geographic literacy and skills in all content areas. Teachers are responsible for transportation to and from Newport News, the cost of one dinner, and are expected to participate in all activities.  Lodging costs and other meals are paid for by the Virginia Geographic Alliance.  Participants who create and share teaching materials will earn 25 rectification points and will be eligible to receive a small stipend for their work. If you are interested in attending please register at

View materials from previous academies at See flyer for the academy– and feel free to share with others!



GEOFEST X, April 28, Salem

Geofest X was held at Andrew Lewis Middle School on Saturday, April 28, 2018. The program consists of geography workshop sessions and in-depth studies with immediate classroom impact in k-12 classrooms. A diverse range of topics allows sharing of resources for many subject areas.

The SUGAR MILL, the SEA, and SOCIETY, June 17 – 23, 2018

Travel with the Virginia Geographic Alliance to Barbados, West Indies during June 2018 on a week-long experiential professional development field experience. Competitive travel scholarships are available.

Application deadline is Friday January 5, 2018.

The Sugar Mill, the Sea, and Society is a week-long experiential professional development program focused on the historical and contemporary landscapes of Barbados and the West Indies.  Barbados possesses a unique site and situation as the eastern-most Caribbean Island that is considered the most “British” Island in the Caribbean.  The goal will be to see, experience, and learn about Barbados on its own terms, rather than simply through the lens of our typical History and World Geography textbooks.  Activities and excursions will focus on different aspects of geography, including historical, cultural, urban, economic, political, and physical geography.  On a broader level, the field trip will provide field-based learning for Virginia educators, develop educational resources for teachers, and demonstrate the importance of experiential learning.

Travel Dates: June 17 – 23, 2018

To learn more download the attached info. packet & application or access a google doc version at (Just save a copy of the google doc to your own google drive and then edit the application)

Feel free to contact Chris Bunin ( or Andy Mink ( if you have any questions about the program or the application.


MIGRATION and REFUGEES IN the MODERN WORLD. A  teacher’s workshop, sponsored by the VGA, to be held at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus, on December 2, 2017. For more information and registration link see brochure.

The Virginia Geographic Alliance, in partnership with Library of Congress’ TPS Eastern Region Program, is offering the Placing Primary Sources Teacher Scholars Program.

Program Overview

Teacher Scholars will take part in workshops that emphasize skills related to searching, selecting appropriate primary sources and implementing these sources to promote inquiry learning in the classroom, along with WebGIS Story Mapping techniques. Scholars will then collaborate with VGA leadership to create interactive, media-rich WebGIS Story Maps and lesson plans that mirror effective instructional practices promoted by the TPS Eastern Region program. The VGA seeks six TPS Teacher Scholars to work in a blended learning environment with scholars, master teachers, technology experts, and archivists to weave our nation’s archives with WebGIS technology to uncover meaningful and authentic sources and Story Maps to better teach the story of America from a geographic and digital perspective.

Program Benefits

  • $1200.00 Stipend for successfully completing the Program.
  • Travel support to attend a Fall TPS Institute (Meals & Lodging).
  • 75 Recertification Points
  • Authorship of two leading-edge teaching resources that will be shared at the regional, national, and international levels.
  • Optional Teacher Consultant opportunity designing and leading a Teaching with Primary Sources Institute. Additional stipend will be provided.

The application to be considered to be a Teacher Scholar is attached and due by 11:59 PM, June 25, 2017.  The completed application should be sent to Chris Bunin, VGA Geospatial Technologies Co-Coordinator at

Questions – If you have any questions about Placing Primary Sources and teacher participation in the program, contact Andy Mink, Project Manager or Chris Bunin, VGA Geospatial Technologies Co-Coordinator

FIELD STUDY to CUBA. July 12-22, 2017
A VGA-sponsored trip for teachers to Cuba will be led by Johnny Finn. Apply soon, as slots will fill quickly. Find more information, including fees, tentative itinerary, and application on flyer. Application deadline is April 28.

2017 STRATFORD HALL SUMMER INSTITUTE for TEACHERS: Historic and Geographic perspectives: Slavery in Virginia 1607–1758

The institute will be held July 26 – 29, 2017 at Stratford Hall, Virginia, and is sponsored by the Virginia Geographic Alliance in partnership with the University of Richmond, School of Professional and Continuing Studies.

Complete program, application, registration form, and other information is available at


GeoCONNECTS: WORLD REGIONS (online course coming in the Fall)

MIGRATION and REFUGES IN the MODERN WORLD. A  teacher’s workshop, sponsored by the VGA, to be held at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus, on December 2, 2017. For more information and registration link see brochure.


Fall 2016 APHG ACADEMY: Rural Landscapes & Folk Cultures of Southwest Virginia

A teacher training academy for AP Human Geography, World Geography, Environmental Science, and pre-service teachers sponsored by the VGA.  See summary and find resources developed.

AMTRAK Across AMERICA VI, June 15-30, 2016

This train-based institute wss sponsored by the VGA and led once again by Bill Carstensen and Bob Morrill. Scholarships of nearly $2000 were available for Virginia teachers and pre-service teachers.  See brochure.

NOVA AP ACADEMY, March 11-13, 2016 

See flyer for more information.

GEOFEST, February 27, Andrew Lewis Middle School, Salem

This successful one day workshop for k-12 teachers and pre-service teachers was offered by Martha Smith and Judith Painter on February 27, 2016. Teachers had the opportunity to attend geographic content presentations related to all social studies and elementary areas throughout the day.


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