Public Invited for High-Tech Scavenger Hunt

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Department of History and Geography invites all ages from the community to join CSU students, faculty and staff for a high-tech scavenger hunt using Global Positioning Systems (GPS).|

This geocaching event, starting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, is free and open to the public and will cover Columbus’ downtown, parts of the historic district and the RiverWalk. Previous geocaching experience is not required. 

CSU will provide the GPS units for participants who will form teams and compete for prizes. The starting point is in front of the Yancey Center at One Arsenal Place on CSU’s downtown Columbus RiverPark campus.

The teams will look for clues and hidden objects called geocaches during a 30-40 minute adventure. But significantly, “the participants have an opportunity to learn more about Columbus’ rich history and its future,” said CSU geography professor Tim Hawthorne, who is organizing the activity. “The geocachers will explore a portion of the RiverWalk, stop at a local business or two, discover the location of CSU’s soon-to-be completed GIS lab and classroom space on the RiverPark campus, and examine a downtown building being considered for rezoning as a mixed-use space.

Hawthorne, who this fall has joined professor Amanda Rees on CSU’s geography faculty, said community participants also can expand their understanding of geography, GIS and related geospatial technologies. “Specifically, they have an opportunity to gain perspective on how spatial thinking and geography might help them solve community-based problems now, while also planning for Columbus’ exciting future.”

Hawthorne said a broader objective for the Sept. 7 program is for community members to interact with CSU students and make connections for future class and research partnerships using GIS. “As geographers,  Dr. Rees and I are committed to working in the local community,” he said. “To facilitate this, we want to engage residents not only in our students’ learning, but also in informal settings —like through geocaching — where working relationships and new ideas can develop.

For more information, call 706-507-8350.