Association of American Geographers
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AAG Council Earmarks Nearly $1 Million to Support Geographers


• Membership Renewal Dues Assistance: AAG's most vulnerable current members' renewals may be extended for those who apply. Those eligible are: current undergraduate students, graduate students and postdocs, developing regions, and/or who receive income at or below $25,000/year and whose membership expires by May 31, 2021. 

• Mentoring Program: The AAG Career & Research Mentors program launched in August 2020. Current AAG members can sign up online to volunteer as mentors and are then added to the online database. As of September 2020, there are 40+ mentors listed with a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise.

Bridging the Digital Divide: Nearly $250,000 was awarded to minority-serving institutions towards laptops, software and connectivity for students to continue their studies within hybrid or virtual settings.

Career and Leadership Resources: AAG's Jobs & Careers web pages have been completely refreshed and a fall professional development webinar series will add an interactive aspect to the website as well.

• AAG COVID-19 Internship Assistance Program: This program enables faculty with qualified internship opportunities for 2021 to apply for assistance and identify qualified geography students for a limited number of openings within each regional division. Interns will receive a stipend for their semester's work and are invited to attend either their regional division conference or AAG's annual meeting. The funds will be split equally among the nine regions with additional support going to students from underrepresented communities.

• Methods Training for Students: This program, including a series of webinars and workshops, is designed to help students with their research methods impacted by COVID-19. Workshop organizers will discuss the possibilities and versatility of geography, and adapting methods or processes challenged by the pandemic. These online workshops will enable students to connect with experts and with one another. Although students are the focus, these resources are available to all members.

Stabilizing AAG Regional Divisions: AAG will provide funds for regional divisions and their meetings affected by the impact of pandemic.

If you would like to help support the membership renewal fund and our other COVID-19 rapid response initiatives, please consider
making a donation. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic grew in severity, the AAG Council recognized that the work of geographers is more crucial than ever, yet the teaching and practice of geography is at risk. While the impacts to public health affect every geographer around the world, the economic impacts also threaten the institutions and businesses that support our discipline as a whole.  

In response, the AAG Council formed the COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force. This group consisted of more than 60 AAG member volunteers on five subcommittees, each focused on a facet of AAG membership (i.e., students, departments, regions, members, and virtual connections) charged with developing proposals that answer this question: What can the AAG do to address the systemic crisis facing geographers and geography?

Proposals were evaluated by a Blue Ribbon Panel, composed of former AAG presidents, AAG fellows, students, and others covering a wide-ranging set of expertise and perspectives, which then recommended the most feasible and impactful projects to the AAG Council. Of the original 34 proposals, nine were chosen to receive nearly $1 million in funding. Some projects will launch immediately, while more complex plans may take longer to roll out. All will strengthen and benefit geography and provide means of support to AAG members most affected by the pandemic.

Highlights include: supporting vulnerable members with dues assistance, expanding jobs and career resources, funding new mentoring and internship opportunities, providing aid for computer equipment needed for virtual learning, and reinforcing regional and national annual meetings. Other relief will include various degrees of support for the AAG’s regional divisions, specialty and affinity groups, and academic departments. At this critical time, the AAG will continue to raise awareness of the relevance of geography to both decision-makers and to the public. 

Diversity and inclusion is a key focus when implementing these proposals. For example, the AAG will donate funds to faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities to provide their geography students with laptops, internet service, and software through its Bridging the Digital Divide project.

More details on projects will be announced as they become available.