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2007.04.04 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

2007 Nebraska State Geography Bee Results

Omaha - Andrew Vinton, a seventh grade student from North Plate, Neb., is the 2007 winner of the 19th annual Nebraska State Geographic Bee competition held Friday, March 30, on the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) campus.  Vinton, one of 100 students from the state who participated in the competition, is the son of George and Lori Vinton and a student of Steve Weber at North Platte St. Patrick’s Middle School. 

The second-place winner was Nathan Kellogg, a 7th grade student from McMillan Magnet Center in Omaha.  He is the son of Chris and Mary Kay Kellogg and a student of Elizabeth Figueroa.  The third-place winner was Ryan Fenster, a 7th grade student at Trinity Lutheran School in Grand Island, Neb.  He is the son of Kevin and Deann Fenster and a student of teacher Karl Bergdorf.

Conducted by the National Geographic Society (NGS), the bee is a nationwide event with participants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools. It was developed in 1989 in response to a concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.

Those taking part in the UNO state bee competition include Nebraska students in grades four through eight who won their respective school bees and earned top scores on a written exam prepared by the NGS. The state bee is the second level of the national competition, which began in November 2006 with competitions in thousands of schools nationwide.

Tom Gouttierre, dean of international studies at UNO, was the moderator at this year’s event.  Judges for this year were Randy Bertolas, a professor of geography at Wayne State College; Kathleen Fimple, Nebraska State Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education; Jeffrey Peake, an associate professor of geography/geology at UNO; Michael Peterson, a professor of geography/geology at UNO; and Larry Starr, director of social science education for the Nebraska State Department of Education.

The winning question in the competition was  “The City of Los Angeles, located in southern California, is affected by a hot, dry wind believed to be named after the canyon through which it often blows.  Name this wind.” The answer: Santa Ana.

As the first-place state winner, Vinton will receive a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals.   Each state winner also receives $100 and a Discover Globe from NGS.  The national finals are set for May 23. 

For more information, contact Gildersleeve at (402) 554-4803 or University Affairs at (402) 554-2358.

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