Lyda C. Belthuis, age 101, UMD Geography Professor Emeritus died on February
14, 2014 in Cedar Falls, just a few miles from her birth place on the family farm in
Parkersburg, Iowa on May 29, 1912.
With a BA from Iowa State and an MA from Northern Colorado Lyda Belthuis
taught several years in Iowa public schools before she matriculated to the
University of Michigan where she was awarded her Ph.D. in Geography in
1947. She then joined Robert B Heller and Thomas W Chamberlin as the
UMD Department of Geography and Geology. For the next 30 years she taught
geography and geographic education and conducted research mainly in Australia,
particularly on the Snowy Mountain Development Scheme. During the 1950s and
60s she served for many years as the Head of the Department of Geography.
She retired in 1977 to live in northern Iowa where she continued her ongoing
investigations of the world traveling to numerous countries, walking and skiing
the neighboring region, keeping meticulous records of local wild flowers, and
lecturing-teaching on diverse topics to countless audiences. UMD students and
many others fondly remember her Kodak slide projector presentations.
- GIS TUTOR HOURS in KIRBY 389: Monday -Thursday 12:00-2:00 and F 11:00-1:00
- 2013 Newsletter
- Departmental name has been changed to Geography, Urban, Environment and Sustainability Studies.
- A new GIS major was established last fall and is the only undergraduate GIS program in the state of Minnesota. (Link to GIS Major, Minor, Certificate)
- The department has about 170 students enrolled in its four majors (Geography, Environment and Sustainability, Urban and Regional Studies, GIS). The number of majors has increased 18% in the past year.
- The department has signed an articulation agreement with Itasca Community College in Geography and GIS program.
- Awards: Dr. Adam Pine, together with John Bennett (an alumnus of the department), received the Minnesota Association of Community and Leadership Education Professional Award for Excellence in research; Dr. Mike Mageau received the Staff/Faculty Sustainability Inspiration Award; Dr. Randel Hanson was awarded a resident fellow position within the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota.
2013 Scholarship Winners
Catherine E. Cox Scholarship in Geography: Arne Kallas
Fredrick and Lois Witzig Geography Scholarship: Joshua Sandstrom + Forrest Steinhoff
Matti Kaups Geography Scholarship: Shane Bernard