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The importance of geography education in an increasingly interconnected world is the topic of a Friday lecture marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America...Author, professor and television personality Harm deBlij delivers the lecture at 4:30 p.m. in the Overby Center auditorium. The free, public program is sponsored by the Mississippi Geographic Alliance at UM and is held in memory of Durant native James Joe Ferguson, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon...DeBlij specializes in geopolitical and environmental issues and has published more than 30 books and 100 articles. His most recent book, "Why Geography Matters," argues that "America's persistent geographic illiteracy constitutes a national security risk.". .Ferguson was director of Geographic Education Outreach at the National Geographic Society. The J. Joe Ferguson Geography Education Fund was established in his memory by the Phil Hardin Foundation and the National Geographic Society to advance Mississippi-focused educational initiatives and provide real-life exploration opportunities for Mississippi students.. Photo by Robert Jordan