WLAAG will take place at the same time as the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, with which we are partnering to incorporate two authors into our events. On Thursday night, Mike Perry, essayist, humorist and NewYork Times best-selling author known for his upper mid-west explorations of people and place, will open our conference on Thursday evening. Friday lunch will feature two speakers, one of which is the Chancellor of UW-Eau Claire James Schmidt and the other David Wishart, faculty member specializing in Historical Geography at the University of Nebraska-Lincioln and author of Last Days of the Rainbelt. On Saturday, afternoon, award-winning graphic novelist Gene Yang, author of American Born Chinese, will explore issues of identity, race, heritage, and perspective.
In between, on Friday night, we will have a social off campus at The Local Store, the headquarters of Volume One, Chippewa Valley's alternative community newspaper, at which we plan to feature Lazy Monk, a local brew with Bohemian roots.
We have planned three local field trips, one for each day of the conference.Two are walking tours – one is through Putnam Park, a Wisconsin State Natural Area adjacent to our campus and known for, among other things, good birding;the other is on the Settlement Geography of Eau Claire.The third field trip will be a canoe field trip of the Lower Chippewa River. Follow the links for more information.
Part of this conference there will also be a short workshop Saturday on ArcGIS Explorer especially suited for teachers who want to bring mapping activities into the classroom.