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SDSU team wins regional GeoBowl, member moves on to world competition

Members of the SDSU GeoBowl team
Members of SDSU’s GeoBowl team are, from left, Kaila Brudelie, Elijah Myers, Ashish Pandey, Colton Aftanski, DeAndre French and Natalie Toben.

A team of students representing the South Dakota State University Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences won the regional Geography Bowl competition for the third year in a row.

As the leading scorer on the GeoBowl team, SDSU junior Elijah Myers has qualified to move on to the World Geography Bowl competition in Denver this spring.

“It feels great getting to contribute and showing the talent that SDSU has,” said Myers, a geographic information sciences and geography double major from Anton, Colorado.

Five other SDSU students competed in the regional competition that took place at the University of Denver on Oct. 14, including Ashish Pandey, Colton Aftanski, DeAndre French, Kaila Brudelie and Natalie Toben.

Students earn points from both individual and team questions, with the top two teams participating in a championship round.

Competing against Brigham Young University, the University of Nebraska, Metropolitan State University of Denver, the University of Denver and the U.S. Air Force, SDSU faced more competition than in past years, according to graduate student Kaila Brudelie.

“This year there was so much more competition, so it felt even more meaningful to win. As a whole, I think we were proud to represent SDSU in the moment, and especially proud of Elijah,” said Brudelie, who is president of the Geography Club.

The GeoBowl is hosted by the American Association of Geographers (AAG).

SDSU is a part of the Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division, representing geographers and geography departments in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Colorado and Kansas.

AAG creates a space for geographers through a variety of programs, meetings and events. Offering exclusive grants, connections with colleagues and public policy outreach, AAG has served geographers for more than 100 years.