Update from the Geography Graduate Association

June 26, 2020

The Geography Graduate Association has had an exciting year since our last update, from our annual retreat to Whistler to traveling the world to present our research. While we have sadly said goodbye to one cohort of graduates, we have been fortunate to welcome many new members from all corners of the globe to join us in our graduate school adventure. We acknowledge that many of our events, and our lives take place on the unceded Traditional Coast Salish Lands including the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.

This year we returned to Whistler for our annual retreat to welcome our new friends to the department and to give those coming from abroad and across Canada an introduction to beautiful British Columbia. We gathered at Platform 7 Coffee before driving to Whistler. Along the way we stopped at Shannon Falls for team building activities, the Cloudburst Café for lunch, and Brandywine Falls for another short walk. We explored Whistler Village before making dinner at our hostel. After a night of games and fun, we went on a morning hike to the Whistler train wreck before hitting the road again. After a stop in Squamish for lunch we returned home with newfound friends and colleagues, ready to take on the year.

While the retreat is our largest event of the year, we have continued to have monthly social events to foster a sense of community within the department by going to shows, bar/brewery events, and our annual bowling night with our colleagues from UBC. This year our bowling night had a great turnout from both schools and was followed by going to the Legion next door.


Our Geography graduate students continue to make an impact across the university, including multiple positions on the TSSU executive committee. This occurred during the “Research Is Work” campaign that fought for and won the unionization of Research Assistants as part of the TSSU. Our members have also been active in other aspects such as running seminars and participating in departmental committees.

The GGA is proud to support our members in attending conferences near and far, presenting their research and work in many venues. This past year our students have travelled close to home here in Vancouver and Seattle, across Canada including Winnipeg, to Washington D.C., San Francisco, and San Diego, and all the way to Dublin, Ireland and Bad Aibling, Germany.

Excitement for fieldwork and stress for defending are both building as we pack up our skis in anticipation for the summer sun, eager to ascend mountains and patios alike. While travel abroad may be as limited as facemasks and hand sanitizer, we look forward to exciting frontiers this summer and welcoming new students this fall.

- The GGA Executive