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AAG Workshop Series: Geography Methods during a Pandemic

We understand graduate students have been affected by COVID-19 in many ways, and maybe particularly so in terms of their research progress. The AAG is piloting two workshops for members only, which we hope graduate students will be interested in participating in.

These pilot workshops are part of the first phase of a new AAG workshop program meant to provide support to our graduate student members so they can adapt their research to this new virtual reality. From this pilot, we are hoping to help, but are also hoping to better understand the extent of your needs. Based on what we learn from this pilot, we will develop about 20 more workshops this academic year. Each workshop would showcase a research method in geography that is feasible during the pandemic or showcase a method's new strategies to adapt to the pandemic.

As a member you will have access to all of them and will be encouraged to attend as many workshops as you can to gain a better understanding of the versatility of geography, its possibilities, and so you can adapt your method or process in case it was impacted by the pandemic. We are also hoping these workshops will serve as a venue for students of any geographic specialty to connect with one another.


Pilot Workshop 1: The strength to cope with Qualitative Research Methods in a Pandemic! 

About the workshop organizer:

Iain Hay taught qualitative research methods in Australia for over 25 years and is editor of Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography (Oxford University Press), now in its 4th edition. He has supervised many diverse and successful projects and theses employing qualitative methods. Iain is Vice-President of the International Geographical Union.

Pilot Workshop 1 Description: 

If you have little experience with Qualitative Research (QR), you will learn about data used, questions asked, and the ways knowledge is produced and used. If you are in the early stages of a QR project, you will learn about particular strengths of qualitative methods and ways of ensuring your project is trustworthy even in a pandemic!

Pre-recorded part of the Workshop

Here, you can find the three pre-recorded lectures or mini-lectures from Iain. They cover the following:

  • Mini Lecture 1: What is Qualitative Research (QR) and what is the use of it? (14 min.)
  • Mini Lecture 2, Part 1: How is QR conducted and how are cases selected? (13 min.)
  • Mini Lecture 2, Part 2: How is QR conducted and how are cases selected? (continued) (16 min.)
  • Mini Lecture 3: What strengths do QR offer in a pandemic? How can you ensure the trustworthiness of your QR? (27 min.)

Interactive part of the Workshop

On September 14 (6:30 pm ET), Iain will organize a 1.5h-session during which materials will be further discussed and you will be able to ask questions. There are only 20 seats available for this part, and you can register at this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcsc-6hqTwjGdOBwvFTb_hjmLOFZe8rSVgP


Pilot Workshop 2: Is this pandemic the time I will learn GIS basics? 

About the workshop organizer:

Joslyn Zale is a GIScientist and has been teaching GIS for ten semesters. When COVID hit, she adapted her course to use QGIS to allow students free and easier remote learning on many operating systems.

Pilot Workshop 2 Description: 

If you have little experience with GIS, you will learn what questions you can answer with it, what data you could use and where to obtain them, and basics on where to find GIS software, and how to use it. If you are in the early stages of a GIS project or if you have never used QGIS before, you will learn the basics of QGIS, which is free and open-source.

Pre-recorded part of the Workshop

Here, you can find the three pre-recorded lectures from Joslyn. They cover the following:

  • Lecture 1: What is GIS, what kinds of research questions can I answer with it, and where can I obtain data?  (30 min.)
  • Lecture 2: Coordinates and datums (17 min.)
  • Lecture 3: Map Projections (19 min.)

You can download QGIS for free here: https://qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html 

Interactive part of the Workshop

On September 16 (2 pm ET) Dr. Zale will organize a 1h-session during which materials will be further discussed and you will be able to ask questions. If you want to participate in the interactive part, you will be asked to complete a few basic tasks ahead of the meeting (including downloading QGIS). There are only 20 seats available for this part, and you can register at this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMoc-qrpzMsG9fK8eknTPT9vhLIaM49rC1t