ⓘ EUROGEO-European Association of Geographers
EUROGEO is a European scientific society, which networks geographers. It is an international non-governmental organisation. Since 1987 EUROGEO has been a participative member of the Conference of International NGOs of the Council of Europe. The association is involved in national and international activities and projects in geography including those related to education and training. It is a not profit organisation, which aims to develop, support and promote policies designed to advance the status of geography; establish and promote cross-border cooperation; promote education and training in geography from a European perspective and represent nationally and internationally the views of its members.
EUROGEO activities include organising events, producing publications, supporting geographers in their jobs and careers, the teaching of geographical sciences, identifying and promoting good practise, co-operating with the European Union, Council of Europe, European Commission and other relevant organisations; lobbying at global, European and where relevant national level, providing a forum for the discussion of matters of common interest to geographers, giving advice on geography and making recommendations to policy makers.
1.1. History Origin
EUROGEO was first established in 1979 under the name of European Standing Conference of Geography Teachers Association ESCGTA. In the beginning it was an association of associations. In 1994, when other European countries became members, the association took the name of its bulletin, EUROGEO: European Network of Geography Teachers´ Associations. The principal aims of that organisation were to advise and promote the European dimension in geographical education and teaching about the countries of Europe as a contribution towards the development of a European dimension in education. Members were geography teacher associations and geographical associations from around Europe. Presidents of these associations or their representatives attended the bi-annual meetings that were originally organised and funded by the European Commission in Brussels.
1.2. History First activities
EUROGEO was led by a small committee of volunteers headed by Henk Meier representing the Dutch Geographical Association KNAG. In between each of these conferences a EUROGEO bulletin was published.
1.3. History Twentieth century
In 1987 EUROGEO applied for and was accepted as an international NGO with representation at the Council of Europe. Since this time representatives from the association have participated in NGO meetings in Strasbourg, being the voice of geography and geographers there. In 2003 the status of EUROGEO, along with other NGOs, was reviewed and the association became a fully participating NGO at the Council of Europe.
In 1999 a successful application was made by EUROGEO for a European Minerva Project Euro.Geo to produce materials that promote European citizenship through the use of ICT in teaching geography in school education. The project was coordinated by Karl Donert at Liverpool Hope University.
At the Liverpool meeting of EUROGEO in 2001, members of the association decided to apply for a project to share news and information about the state and status of Geography in Europe. The project produced a Web site, interactive maps of Europe as well as teaching and training resources in different languages.
Henk Meijer decided to stand down and in 2002 and during the EUROGEO Annual meeting held in Madeira, Portugal at elections for new Presidium Karl Donert was elected President of the association.
1.4. History Twenty-first century: Networking: the HERODOT Network for Geography in higher education and teacher training
In 2002, the proposal to establish a Socrates-Erasmus Thematic Network project on university Geography and the Bologna Process funded by the European Commission was successful. This was the HERODOT Network for Geography in Higher Education. This thematic network was coordinated by Liverpool Hope University and led by Karl Donert. HERODOT sought to improve the quality of learning and teaching in higher education and teacher training and address issues raised by the Bologna Process like quality assurance, the use of new technologies and research in geographical education.
There were two phases of the project that ran from 2002–2005 and 2006–2009. A large number of publications were produced and many events were held around Europe dealing with issues relating to Geography in higher education and teacher training. Members of EUROGEO participated in the funded network. Under HERODOT, Geography became a subject assessed under the project Tuning Educational Structures in Europe.
By 2009 HERODOT had connected more than 300 organizations throughout all European countries and 60 partners from other countries around the world. These partners joined HERODOT meetings and workshops to share their ideas, innovations and best practice online and face-to-face. The broad partnership of the network included universities and research centres, companies and NGOs as well as teacher training and other education bodies like Ministries of Education. Many of those who participated in the work of HERODOT are still actively collaborating in follow up activities, project and meetings.
The idea to establish a European Geography association that supported not only teachers and educators, but also geographers working in other professions came as a result of the discussions that took place at several Herodot meetings.
At the annual meeting of EUROGEO in Liverpool in September 2008, member associations unanimously agreed to change the legal status and remit of the association. This was presented to HERODOT partners, after which members of the EUROGEO Presidium and the HERODOT Core Group held a joint meeting to form a working group to restructure the association as a membership organisation.
After lengthy discussions both organisations held a joint meeting in Ayvalik, Turkey in June 2009, where the new EUROGEO association held its first elections and passed its revised statutes. Karl Donert was then elected president of EUROGEO. This was the final meeting of the HERODOT network. The new, restructured organisation now deals with educational, scientific, research and applied parts of Geography with a European perspective.
EUROGEO cooperates with many other international institutions and associations including the AAG, SEAGA and the International Geographical Union IGU and is a stakeholder organisation in the UNEP, EyeonEarth and "Geo for All" initiatives.
EUROGEO members are geographers and related professionals who work in the public, private, and academic sectors. They work in a wide range of careers, as teachers and trainers, state and local government employees, planners, cartographers, scientists, non-profit workers, entrepreneurs, business people, graduate students, retirees, and university administrators.
There are three categories of membership:
- Individual members
- Young members including EGEA European Association of Young Geographers
- Organisational members
EUROGEO has published a large number of books, articles, magazines and conference proceedings and the society has developed the European Journal of Geography. The European Journal of Geography published its first issue in 2010 and since then has regularly produced issues and widely cited articles on geographical themes relevant to the activities of the association. In February 2014 the European Journal of Geography was accepted and indexed in Scopus.
EUROGEO is associated with the geography education journal, the Review of International Geographical Education Online, which developed as an initiative from HERODOT members.
4. Recent projects
EUROGEO regularly applies for new projects, currently under the Erasmus +, Jean Monnet, Citizenship and Horizon 2020 Programmes.
Since 2009, the number of innovative geographical projects EUROGEO has been involved in has increased. Four types of projects have been developed and supported i) networks, ii) multilateral projects iii) awareness raising and iv) support for associations.
EUROGEO has been responsible for the creation of networks of academics and educators on specific priority themes, such as the digitalearth.eu: geomedia in schools network Lifelong Learning Programme, where a number of Digital Earth Centres of Excellence were accredited, and since 2013, the School on the Cloud network: connecting education to the Cloud for digital citizenship.
EUROGEO has participated in a large number of multi-lateral education development projects. These have established training of teachers and educators in important geographical areas, such as GIS the iGuess and iGuess 2 Projects, data and statistics in schools the I-Use Project and more recently powerful disciplinary knowledge the GeoCapabilities project.
GeoCapabilities is a 3-year project with a key objective to create teacher training materials to develop teachers as curriculum leaders through a capabilities approach. The project embraces diversity in culture and language and in how geography is understood and expressed in national school standards. The project believes that a capabilities approach helps geography educators in all jurisdictions articulate the relevance and power of learning how to think geographically. The key output is "to develop and pilot an online professional development communications platform for teacher preparation in geography." This includes resources teaching materials and communications tools, international collaboration and online teacher exchanges.
EUROGEO participates in the SeaChange Horizon 2020 Project, raising awareness of the importance of Ocean Literacy. The project aims to establish a fundamental "Sea Change" in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them, as Ocean Literate citizens, to take direct and sustainable action towards a healthy ocean and seas, healthy communities and ultimately a healthy planet.
EUROGEO has been coordinating since 2016 the YouthMetre Forward Looking Project that addresses EU Youth Priority 7 "Using e-participation as an instrument to foster young peoples empowerment and active participation in democratic life". The aim is to empower young people to become engaged and affect EU youth policy. An e-tool will be produced to close the gap between youth and institutions by collecting the perceived needs of youth in key policy areas and providing guidelines to public institutions that help address them. Through training YouthMetre will provide youngsters with necessary skills and knowledge to foster effective implementation by policy makers of the guidelines provided by the "Youthmetre".
In 2013 EUROGEO was awarded a Jean Monnet grant for pan-European associations.
EUROGEO is managed by its Presidium, which consists of a President, Secretary General, and Treasurer and up to five Vice Presidents. The Presidium is responsible for the finances and administration of the association and in maintaining the web site of the association and other information sources. Co-opted members may be invited to join the Presidium for specific activities. The current Presidium: Rafael de Miguel Gonzalez President, Karl Donert Past President and VicePresident, Luc Zwartjes Treasurer and VicePresident, Maria Luisa de Lazaro y Torres Secretary General and VicePresident, Daniela Schemeinck, Tjiana Illic, Gerry O’Reilly and Gert Rupert VicePresidents and Co-opted members: Kostis Koutsopoulos and Yorgos Photis European Journal of Geography, Harry Rogge, Michaela Lindner-Fally,
6. Some publications
- Donert K 2013, digital-earth.eu – a European network for Digital Earth education, SPIE Journal.
- Donert K 2014, Building Capacity for Digital Earth education in Europe, p11-38, In De Miguel. R., & Donert, K. Eds., 2014. Learning Geography in Europe: new challenges for the 21st Century. Newcastle: Cambridge
- Solem, M., Chalmers, L., Dibiase, D., Donert, K., & Hardwick, S. 2006. Internationalizing professional development in geography through distance education. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 301, 147-160.
- Donert, K. 2003, April. HERODOT: a thematic network for geography departments in higher education. In Geography and Citizenship Education: Research Perspectives: Proceedings of the London Conference.
- Donert, K. Ed. 2005, Higher Education GIS in Geography: A European Perspective. 2007. Teaching geography in and about Europe. Herodot Network.
- Donert, K., Charzynski, P., & Podgorski, Z. Eds. 2008. Bilingual geography: aims, methods and challenges. Herodot Network.
- Donert, K. 2009. Thematic network projects in European higher education: An analysis of agents of change. Higher Education in Europe, 341, 105-111.
- HERODOT Network 2009. The benchmarking statements for GIS in geography education. Learning with Geoinformation IV. Heidelberg, Wichmann, 235-240.
- De Miguel Gonzalez, R. 2011 "I Congreso Europeo de Didactica de la Geografia", Didactica Geografica 13: 151-154.
- Schulze, U., Kanwischer, D., & Reudenbach, C. 2011. Competence dimensions in a Bologna-oriented GIS education. Learning with GI, 108-117.
- Wall G 2004, HERODOT Thematic Network and the Tuning of Geography, Planet, 12,
- Donert K 2005 Changing horizons in geography education. Herodot Network.
- Higgitt, D., Donert, K., Healey, M., Klein, P., Solem, M., & Vajoczki, S. 2008. Developing and enhancing international collaborative learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 321, 121-133.
- Jekel T and Koller A 2008 Learning with Geoinformation III: result of the Conference Learning with Geoinformation, held within the framework of AGIT and organised in co-operation with the HERODOT network and the GI-Forum on July 2–4, 2008 in Salzburg. Berlin, WichmannVerlag.
- The European Geography Association abbreviated EGEA, is a European network of geography students and young geographers with the intention of exchanging