Professional Organizations and Conferences
Students may choose to connect with other geographers and practitioners in their field of study, and professional organizations provide not only excellent resources for doing so, but they also enable students to identify opportunities for professional and educational developent. Many professional organizations offer student memberships and the opportunity to gain 'in training' status for professional designation. Professional organizations also hold annual or semi-annual conferences that also offer outlets for student research and engagement.
Canadian Association of Geographers: Canada's largest geographic organization, the CAG oversees a national conference, regional conferences, job boards, study groups, and other professional resources. They also publish the Canadian Geographer. Student memberships are available. The CAG also maintains lists of helpful project resources and student awards in their Student Zone. The CAG ListServe is an email service where universities and private employers post job opportunities and the latest geographic news. The CAG Twitter feed posts fun and timely geographic news items.
The Canadian Quaternary Association includes members researching earth history, particularly during the Quaternary period. UFV students have presented at their conferences, which are excellent opportunities to network with geologists and academics.
The Canadian Institute of Planners is the country's largest planning professional association. It provides informational, research, and certification resources in urban planning, and publishes Plan Canada. Student memberships are available.
The British Columbia Institute of Agrologists oversees Professional Agronomy (P.Ag) training and certification for provincial practitioners in agriculture and other resource fields. Depending on a student's program choices and work experiences, P.Ag designation may be career-relevant. Student memberships are available.
The British Columbia Environmental Industry Association brings together industry professionals and employers, and produces the British Columbia Environment Industry Guide. They also maintain a job board, facilitate networking events, and maintain lists of other helpful resources. Student membershiph is very affordable--$25 annually as of 2015.
Connecting Environmental Professionals works to connect and support young environmental professionals. In addition to organizing events, they also have a long-running mentorship program.
The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is the world's largest geographic organization. The AAG, not coincidentally, also organizes the world's largest annual geographic conference. The AAG website also has excellent resources available for students around the world, and student memberships are available.
GATE encourages student participation in professional conferences. Every year, UFV Geography students attend and present at the annual meeting of the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers (WDCAG), the Association of Washington Geographers (AWG), and other regional and national conferences. Students need not be presenting at a conference to attend. Whenever possible, GATE will assist in transportation and accommodation arrangements for students to attend regional conferences, when faculty is also attending.
Students presenting at a conference are usually often eligible for reimbursement of travel and registration expenses through institutional resources like the Research Office.