Landon Romano, a 1999 graduate of the Department of Geography, initially became interested in geography after taking Geography 5. He established the textbook scholarship fund in order to give something back to the department that made such a positive difference to his career. The funds are used to pay for textbooks used by undergrad students in Geography 3A, 3B, or 5, and calls for applications are made at the beginning of each quarter. Applicants are asked to write a short essay of approximately 100 words, describing why they chose a Geography course/major and what interests them most about geography. Successful applicants receive the UCSB Bookstore cost of the applicable textbooks, usually in the range of $100-$150, within the first three weeks of class. Three undergraduates received the award for the fall quarter, 2014.
Akash Patel took top honors for his Geography 3A (Oceans and Atmospheres) entry: “The ocean covers 70% of the world, meaning it will always be an important subject for politicians and diplomats. We face rising land temperatures and the melting of the polar ice caps, and these events could drastically change the earth’s percentage of dry land and the mating patterns of species. As a Global Studies major and a hopeful diplomat, understanding how the ocean works and interacts with the atmosphere will help me in the event that I need to debate about or make a decision involving our environment and climate.”
Brian Fabela was the awardee for Geography 3B (Land, Water, and Life): “My major is in Economics, but the field of geography has always been of huge interest to me. Growing up near the Salton Sea in southern California I have always been intrigued about how such a body of salt water could exist in the middle of the desert. I am also amazed at how humans were able to shape the barren desert in that same area into an agricultural miracle. By taking a class in geography I hope to understand the driving forces behind the shaping of the earth and how humans can have a more positive impact in the world around us.”
The successful applicant from Geography 5 (People, Place, and Environment) was Bianca Lucero: “Geography, that subject that just covers places and locations, right? No, that’s incorrect. Two days into the course and I have already learned and discovered in depth the analytical and detailed aspects that factor into Geography. The dynamic of how important geography is in relation to everyday life is remarkable. I went into this class blindly, not knowing what to expect. Well, I am surprisingly intrigued and am looking forward to becoming more knowledgeable about our world and the daily aspects that influence our world as a whole.”