Geography Awareness Week was established in 1987 when U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed legislation that established the third week in November as Geography Awareness Week. Geography Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and other geographic organizations at the national, state, and local level.
Organizations will often establish lesson plans or events surrounding the Geography Awareness Week theme. These are available through various websites usually established for that year's Geography Awareness Week. My Wonderful World's Geography Awareness Week site provides information about Geography Awareness Week to the public while the National Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week website serves to provide resources for educators about Geography Awareness Week.
GIS Day is an outgrowth of Geography Awareness Week. GIS Day is held on the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week and seeks to encourage Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users and vendors to open their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public to showcase real-world applications of this important technology. GIS Day has an official website at http://www.gisday.com
Educational Themes of Geography Awareness Week
November 17-23, 2013 - The New Age of Exploration
November 11-17, 2012 - Declare your Interdependence!
November 13-19, 2011 - Geography: The Adventure in Your Community
November 14-20, 2010 - Freshwater
November 15-21, 2009 - Get Lost in Mapping: Find Your Place in the World
November 16-22, 2008 - The Americas
November 11-17, 2007 - Asia
November 12-18, 2006 - Africa in 3-D: Demographics, Diversity, Discovery
November 13-19, 2005 - Migration - A Human Journey
November 14-20, 2004 - Cultures: The Sound of Place
November 16-22, 2003 - Habitats: Home Sweet Home
November 17-23, 2002 - America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands
November 11-17, 2001 - Rivers
November 12-18, 2000 - Here Today - Here Tomorrow: A Geographic Focus on Conservation
November 14-20, 1999 - Geography and Technology: Think the WORLD of Your Community
November 15-21, 1998 - People, Places and Patterns: Geography Puts the Pieces Together
November 16-22, 1997 - Explore the World! Geography Takes You Places
November 17-23, 1996 - Geography: Exploring a World of Habitats, Seeing a World of Difference