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Geography Field Trips

The city of Poughkeepsie provides fertile ground for exploring cultural, social, and historical geography. Since the 19th century, Poughkeepsie has been a crossroads of trade, people, and culture. To sense our local history, one needs only to drive through the city and to note the Dutch street names next to the old brick factories that now find themselves down the street from more recent suburban neighborhoods. In geography classes, we discuss intersections like these, both locally and worldwide. Field trips offer students the chance to consider geographic change from at a variety of scales—local, regional, and global.

Nearby areas demonstrate human-environmental issues, urban problems, and debates over resource conservation. The Adirondack Mountains, the Catskill region, the historic New England textile towns, incomparable New York City, and the rural towns around Poughkeepsie all provide opportunities to understand these issues and students are encouraged to take advantage of their closeness. Other trips have taken students to more distant locations, such as Brazil, China, and the U.S.-Mexico border.