Col. George Simpson Sr., second from right, taught geography from 1916-51 at what is now UW-Eau Claire. A veteran of both world wars, he also coached football and basketball while on the faculty. He's pictured here leading a group of students on a geography field trip in the early 1920s.
Today, a $4.3 million estate gift from his son, Lt. Col. George L. Simpson Jr., to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation benefits the geography and anthropology department and university athletics. In geography and anthropology, the gift supports student scholarships, faculty-student research, faculty development and other areas of need.
Students in a field methods class with Joseph Hupy, associate professor of geography, gathered imagery over UW-Eau Claire’s Bollinger Fields in spring 2013 using cameras on a kite, a drone and a rocket. The imagery was later used in the geography department’s successful Geospatial Education Initiative grant proposal.
The GEI, now in its second year, is cultivating and promoting the skills needed for today’s students entering the geospatial workforce.