Association of American Geographers
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AAG Honors Committee B

(two to be elected)


Chris Brown

CHRISTOPHER BROWN. Associate Professor of Geography and Department Head, New Mexico State University Department of Geography. Ph.D., 1998, San Diego State University, University of California at Santa Barbara, Joint Doctoral Program in Geography. M.S. in Geography, 1991, Michigan State University. B.S. in Economics (Degree with Honors received), 1986, San Diego State University.

Service to Geography: Service as Chair of the Southwest Division of the AAG (SWAAG)  Ad Hoc Committee on Course Materials Gallery, 2014 to present. Founding member representing Geography for interdisciplinary degree in Water Science and Management at NMSU, 2012-present. Chair as NMSU Department of Geography, 2009-present. Member representing Geography on the Executive Committee of the Western Social Science Association (WSSA), 2008-2011. Previous to this, I served as Vice-President of the WSSA, 2011-2012. Member representing Geography on the Association of Borderland Studies (ABS) Executive Committee, 2008 to 2011. Previous to this, I served as as President of the ABS, 2006 to 2007.

Professional Experience: Department Head, NMSU Department of Geography, 2009-present; Associate Professor, NMSU Department of Geography, 2006-present; Assistant Professor, NMSU Department of Geography, 2006-2006; Assistant Professor of Geography and Planning, West Chester University Department of Geography and Planning, 1997-2000; and Ford Foundation/Udall Center Fellow, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, The University of Arizona, 1999.

Honors, Awards, and Grants: Recipient of New Mexico State University Research Council’s Award for Exceptional Achievements in Creative Scholarly Activity, 2006; Designation as a member of the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2002” a national honor that is bestowed on only 5% of teachers in the United States. Award of the Intergraph Young Scholars Award for the 2002 UCGIS Assembly 2002. Ford Foundation/Udall Center Fellow, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, The University of Arizona, 1999. Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on successful grant proposals totaling approximately $2M, with funds awarded by the USEPA, USFS, USDA, US Army Corp of Engineers, US Federal Highways Administration, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Canadian Embassy, New Mexico Department of Transportation, New Mexico Department of Health, El Paso Water Utilities, El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, and numerous internal programs at NMSU.            

Research and Teaching Interests: I teach classes on urban geography, the geography of Latin America, spatial analysis, and GIS applications and modeling. My research interests include US-Mexico and US-Canada transboundary water resource management, regional quality of life issues, comparative regional watershed analysis in binational regions, and the use of GIS to examine regional water and natural resource management issues, including flooding, environmental services, and land use change.

Publications: I am author or co-author of over forty journal articles, book chapters, peer-reviewed proceedings, and research reports, including works published in Environment, International Review of Comparative Public Policy, Journal of Borderlands Studies, Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, Natural Resources Journal, Landscape Ecology, New Mexico Journal of Science, Review of Policy Research, and Social Science Journal. 


Amy Hessl

AMY HESSL. Professor of Geography, West Virginia University. Ph.D. (University of Arizona, 1999), M.S. (University of Wyoming, 1995), B.S. & B.A. (University of California, 1992).

Service to Geography and AAG: Board Member of the Biogeography Specialty Group of the AAG (2009-2011); three-time panelist for the NSF GSS program.

Awards, Honors and Training: West Virginia University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Researcher Award (2012), Visiting Fellow, University of Melbourne (2014), Spatial Perspectives on Analysis for Curriculum Enhancement (SPACE) program, San Diego CA (2004), Geography Faculty Development Workshop, Boulder CO (2002).

Research: Amy studies the connections between human institutions, climate change, and forest ecosystems over the last 2000 years. She uses tree rings and other proxies of past climate to understand how forests and people react to climate variation.  Most of her work has focused on mountain forest systems of North America and Inner Asia.  

Publications and Press: More than 35 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, Professional Geographer, and Physical Geography.  Her recent work on the climate and ecology of the 13th century Mongol Empire has garnered interest from the international press including: The Economist, The New York Times, USA Today, and the LA Times among many others.


Robin Leichenko

ROBIN LEICHENKO. Professor of Geography and Co-Director of the Rutgers Climate Institute, Rutgers University. Ph.D. (Penn State University, 1997), M.A. (Penn State University, 1995), M.A. (University of Colorado, 1991), B.S. (University of Wisconsin, 1989).

Service to AAG and Geography: Chair, Economic Geography Specialty Group (2015-2016); Vice-chair, Economic Geography Specialty Group (2013-2014); Member, AAG Finance Committee (2012-2013); Board member, Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Specialty Group (2009-2011), Board member, Economic Geography Specialty Group (1998-2000); Associate Editor, Urban Climate (2012-present); Editorial board member, Journal of Extreme Events (2013-present); Editorial board member, Economic Geography (2011-present); Editorial board member, Growth and Change (2010-present); Editorial board member, Professional Geographer (2005-2008); Editor, Regional Studies (2005-2007).

Honors, Awards, and Grants: Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution in Geography, AAG (Awarded to Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures, Oxford University Press, 2008); Fulbright Scholar to Norway (2003-2004); Bildner Intercultural Teaching Fellowship, Rutgers University (2003); E.W. Miller Student Paper Award, Department of Geography, Penn State University (1993); Phi Beta Kappa (1988). PI or Co-PI on externally funded grants from NSF, NOAA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, World Bank, Canadian International Development Agency, Fannie Mae Foundation, State of New York, State of New Jersey, among others.

Research and Teaching: Economic geography, globalization, urban and regional development, resilience, adaptation, mixed methods.

Publications: Author or co-author of two books and more than 60 journal articles and book chapters. Journal publications in Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Economic Geography, Growth and Change, Regional Science, Regional Studies, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies, Geography Compass, Global Environmental Change, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Society and Natural Resources, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Die Erde, Environment, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Urban Climate, Nature Climate Change, WIRES Climate Change, Journal of Extreme Events, Climatic Change, Water International, Water Resources Development, International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, among others.


Kendra McSweeney

KENDRA MCSWEENEY. Associate Professor of Geography, Ohio State University. Ph.D. (McGill University, 2000), M.S. (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 1993), B.A. (McGill University, 1991).

Service to AAG and Geography: Editorial Board Member, Annals of the Association of American Geographers (2008-11), Vice-President, Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (CLAG; 2014-16), Chair/member, Meridian Book Award Committee of the AAG (2008-11), Board of Directors, CLAG (2001-04), Secretary and Treasurer, CAPE Specialty Group, AAG (2002-04), Member, Committee on College Geography, AAG (2005-08). I have also sat on review committees for the Geography Fulbright Scholar Program, and the NSF DDRI panel for Geography and Regional Sciences.

Honors, Awards and Grants: Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, Ohio State (2005), Postdoctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC, 2001), Doctoral Fellowship, FCAR, Quebec, 1996-99). PI or co-PI on 20 research grants, internal and external, including grants from NSF’s Coupled Natural Human Systems Program, the National Geographic Society, the Open Society Foundations, the AAG, US Department of Energy, the AGS, and IDRC. 

Research and Teaching Interests: political ecology, conservation and development, indigenous peoples, anthropological demography, Latin America, field-based methods, land use and land cover change.

Publications: Author or co-author of over 30 articles and book chapters, in such journals as Annals of the AAG, Science, Geoforum, Human Ecology, PNAS, Global Environmental Change, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Environmental Management, Conservation Biology, World Development, Latin American Research Review, Geographical Review, Professional Geographer, Economic Botany, and Nature.