Adam Csank takes a sample of a 3.5 million year old log in the Canadian High Arctic summer 2017.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s Assistant Professor of Geography Adam Csank is now the Geography Steward of Nevada as named by National Geographic.

Csank was given this title on behalf of his work in the geography field of study. In this role, Csank is fostering the next generation of geographers at the university.

“Csank is the National Geographic Geography Steward for the state of Nevada, a prospect that will usher in new geography opportunities to teach and inspire students throughout Nevada,” the university said in a statement. “In his role as Steward, Csank will be working on starting a state advisory standard for geography curriculum as well as organizing a statewide geography trivia contest, where the winner gets to travel to Washington, D.C. He will also help teachers have access to National Geographic online tools to teach and inspire students in the class.”

“The Geography Steward will encourage students toward geography interests before college by providing a connection between National Geographic Explorers and Nevada classrooms. Explorers could be geographers, scientists or other academics, such as the University of Nevada, Reno’s Zeb Hogan, a research assistant professor in the College of Science, who also partners with National Geographic documenting his travels and research on the Nat Geo Wild television show, Monster Fish. Hogan is also a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow.”

University staff feel Csank’s appointment to be a step in the right direction for the future of geography in schools — specifically in Nevada.

“Dr. Csank’s appointment as the National Geographic Nevada Geography Steward is a critical step forward for K-12 geography education opportunities in the state of Nevada,” Chair of theDepartment of Geography Jill Heaton said. “Currently, geography is only taught as part of the social sciences curriculum in K-12 in Nevada, but this is just half of what geographers do. Dr. Csank’s liaison opportunities with schools across Nevada will further shed light on the importance of geography and geographic education in our everyday lives.”

Working in this field has provided Csank with a myriad of projects from reconstructing past climate in the Canadian Arctic to studying hydroclimate variability in the Upper Colorado River Basin to studying drought and tree mortality in Alaska. He also has worked in Bermuda using isotope dendrochronology to determine where the timbers used to construct historic forts came from. This information is useful to historians studying Bermuda’s historic timber trade.

According to Csank, geography was not his first career venture. Csank completed his bachelors in earth sciences at Dalhousie University and later went on to complete a Master of Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Csank went on to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona.

“After his doctoral program came to an end in 2011, he had to choose between geology and geography,” the university said. “Ultimately drawn to the geography program at the University of Nevada, Reno, Csank has the opportunity to work with geographers from various backgrounds studying diverse topics.”