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ASU Professor Received Travelocity’s Excellence in Geography Education Award

022704lineback_dl.jpgBOONE–As a high school geography teacher in the mid-1960s, Neal Lineback always searched for ways to help students understand current events and issues by illustrating patterns and concepts with geography.

For more than 17 years, Lineback, a geography professor at Appalachian State University, has helped others better understand the link between geography and economics, politics, agriculture, and other topics through his newspaper column “Geography in the News.”™ Lineback recently published his 715th column.

His efforts have been recognized by Travelocity and The Geographic Education National Implementation Project. The organizations have honored Lineback with the 2003 Travelocity Award for Excellence in Geography Education for “Geography in the News.”™ The $5,000 award, donated by Travelocity, honors professionals whose work has positively impacted the field of Geography Education in the United States during the previous year. It will be presented March 19 at the Association of American Geographers meeting in Philadelphia.

“Neal Lineback’s work clearly helps demystify the world for students everywhere and of every age, and we’re extremely excited to honor him with this award,” said Michelle Peluso, Travelocity’s chief executive officer. “Our goal with this award is to promote geography as a way to break down barriers between peoples, inspire future travelers to explore their world and share their observations on their return, all while improving geography education.”

Originating as a newspaper column in 1987, “Geography in the News”™ has been reprinted in a range of journals and is also available online at for classroom use. Each story is built around a map, draws on detailed research, relies on thoughtful editing and captures an abiding passion to show students how they can interpret the world using geography. Lineback recruits both undergraduate and graduate students to help research, write and produce maps.

Lineback also helped develop the World Geography Bowl into a popular regional and national competition, pitting college and university geography students against one another in the Jeopardy-like event.

Lineback was awarded the Association of American Geographer’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999 for this endeavor.


About Travelocity

Travelocity is a pioneer in online travel. With 41 million members, Travelocity is the sixth largest travel agency in the United States and has been recognized for its global leadership in online travel.


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