About Us

About The Arizona Geographic Alliance
The Arizona Geographic Alliance (AzGA) was founded in 1992 as part of a national network of state geography alliances sponsored by the National Geographic Society and is an affiliate of  the Arizona Council for the Social Studies.  AzGA currently has over 3,200 members and more than 160 teachers in its Teacher Consultant leadership cadre.


The purpose of the Arizona Geographic Alliance is to strengthen geography education in Arizona. We are funded through grants and receive support from Arizona State University's School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning where the AzGA office is located. We are proud to partner with ASU in addition to the Arizona Council on Economic Education, Arizona Foundation on Legal Services and Education, and the Arizona Council for the Social Studies, as well as other national and state groups.

Join AzGA

Membership in this organization is free. Just click on Become a Member and fill out the form.

Contact Us

Arizona Geographic Alliance
Arizona State University
School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning
P O Box 875302
Tempe, Arizona 85287-5302
Voice: +1 480 965 5361 Fax: +1 480 965 0831
Ronald Dorn
Arizona State University
Professor of Geography
E-mail: ronald.dorn@asu.edu
Heather Moll
Arizona State University
E-mail: Heather.Moll@asu.edu

Coordinator Profiles

Dr. Ronald Dorn
Ron is a product of the California school system. Graduating from University of California at Berkeley with his bachelor's degree, Ron majored in geography. He also completed his M.A. degree at U.C.Berkeley and his Ph.D. degree at U.C.L.A. Ron's research interests are in geomorphology, specifically how rocks decay. Ron started volunteering on Alliance projects in 1995, slowly learning the ropes. When Bob Mings retired, Ron became an Alliance Co-coordinator in 1998. Ron's interests in geographic education rest in helping teachers develop professionally, but he also enjoys working with kids in the classroom and in the field. 

Heather Moll
Heather graduated with her bachelors from ASU in 2004 and became a science teacher at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. She taught Earth and Space Science, Chemistry, and many other sciences for 13 years. While she was teaching, she joined the first cohort class for ASU’s Master of Advanced Study Geography Education and graduated with her masters in 2009. Since June 2018, Heather has been employed by the STEMSS Cruise EL grant and assisting AzGA in its PD efforts directed towards STEMSS.  Heather is also working on her Ph.D. with Dr. Ronald Dorn in Geography Education research. 


Past Coordinator Profiles

Gale Olp Ekiss
Gale Olp Ekiss was a Co-coordinator for the Arizona Geographic Alliance from 2001 - 2019. Gale has a Bachelors of Education degree from the University of Arizona and a Masters of Education degree from Arizona State University. Gale taught for 28 years in the Mesa School District (1975-2001) as a teacher of social studies, gifted, and language arts. She has received the "Distinguished Teaching Award" from the National Council on Geographic Education (1999) and a "Great Moments in Teaching Award" from the Arizona Council for the Social Studies (1997). Gale was one of the original teacher consultants for the Arizona Geographic Alliance. She has been Project Manager for the Grosvenor GeoLiteracy and GeoMath Grants, LOC TPS grants, the TL3C Project grant, and most recently the start of the STEMSS CRUISE EL Grant. 

Dr. Robert Mings
Bob Mings was a co-founder of the Arizona Geographic Alliance in 1992, in partnership with Malcolm Comeaux. Bob and Malcolm were Co-coordinators of the Alliance during the formative years until Bob retired in 1997. With degrees from Indiana University and Ohio State University, his teaching included world regional geography, Latin America, recreation, and research methods. His geographic research focused on travel and tourism, with an emphasis on southwestern snowbird movements. As a Professor Emeritus of Geography, he continues helping plan and conduct Alliance functions such as GeoFest, Alliance Summer Geography Institutes, and GeoDayTrips. Along with Malcolm Comeaux, Bob is a co-recipient of the coveted Wilbur Murra Award from the Arizona Council for the Social Studies, in recognition of their lifelong service to the field of social studies.

Dr. Malcolm Comeaux
Malcolm Comeaux was born and raised in south Louisiana. He attended the University of Louisiana-Lafayette for his B.A., Southern Illinois University for his M.A., and Louisiana State University for his Ph.D. Malcolm came to Arizona State University in 1969. His specialty is cultural and historical geography. His major research interests focus on the Cajuns of Louisiana, fishing in the Mississippi River system, and on Arizona and the Southwest. He is also a recent winner of the Wilbur Murra Award for his dedication to the field of social studies. Malcolm retired in July of 2001 but he is still active with the Alliance.

List of Partners

Principal Partnerships:
Arizona Department of Educaiton (ADE)
Arizona State University School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Other Partnerships:
Arizona Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT)
Arizona Council of the Social Studies (ACSS)
Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE)
Arizona Foundation on Legal Services and Education (AFLSE)
Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Central Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (CARSEF)
Center for Geography Education in Oregon (C-GEO)
Central Michigan University
Colorado Geographic Alliance (COGA)
Geography Alliance in Nevada (GAIN)
Mesa Community College
Michigan Geographic Alliance (MGA)
National Board Certified Teachers
National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE)
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
National Geographic Education Foundation (NGEF)
North Carolina Geographic Alliance
Phoenix Zoo
The Geography Teacher magazine
University of Arizona Center for Latin America Studies
University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Utah Geographic Alliance
Various Arizona school districts
West Phoenix Reading Council.