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Students Win National Paper Competition

By Meghan Dusek
UWRF University Communications

NOV. 10, 2006--Two UW-River Falls geography students won the top two student prizes at the 2006 Association of American Geographers Joint Annual Meeting of the Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Division and the West Lakes Division. The conference, Oct. 5-7, was held in Lincoln, Neb.

Seniors Amy Fox, from Cannon Falls, Minn. and Peter Tufigno, from Wyoming, Minn., were awarded $100 and $50 for first and second prize, respectively, in the Student Paper Competition.

Their papers were developed from research projects from Geography 401, Senior Colloquium, taught by assistant Professor of geography John Heppen, who accompanied the students to Nebraska as faculty advisor. UWRF had the largest showing of any UW school at the conference, said Heppen.

"It really speaks well of the program," said geography department chair Charlie Rader. "It's well-done, socially relevant research."

The focus of both papers was environmental racism. Fox's winning paper was titled "Environmental Inequity: Nuclear Power Plant Location and Race Composition," focusing on environmental racism in regards to nuclear power plants. Tufigno studied the changing social, economic and ethnic composition of Lake Street in Minneapolis from 1960 to 2000 in his paper, "The Changing Face of Lake Street, Minneapolis."

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is a 100-year-old institution devoted towards promoting research, geographic literacy, learning and understanding. For more information see


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