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National Councillor

(two to be elected)

Paul Adams

PAUL C. ADAMS. Associate Professor (2007-present), Assistant Professor (2001-2007), and Director of Urban Studies (2003-present) in the Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Texas at Austin; PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993) MS (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990), Bachelor of Environmental Design with Special Honors (University of Colorado-Boulder, 1984); member of the AAG since 1991.

Service to Geography and the AAG: Founder the Communication Geography Specialty Group 2005; Chair of the Communication Geography Specialty Group 2005-2013; Treasurer of the Communication Geography Specialty Group 2013-2014; Organizer of SWAAG meeting 2000; Organizer of 27 paper, panel or keynote lecture sessions for national AAG meetings between 1996 and 2014; on the editorial board of Aether: The Journal of Media Geography, 2007-present; judge for the student paper competition of the Communication Geography Specialty Group (2006-2013).

Awards, Honors & Grants: NSF DDRI Grant co-PI (2014); UT-Austin’s nominee for the National Academic Advising Award (2012); University of Canterbury Visiting Erskine Fellowship, Christchurch, New Zealand (2011); Fulbright Research Fellowship, University of Bergen, Norway (2010); James W. Carey Media Research Award from the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research (2009); Fulbright Research and Teaching Fellowship, Montreal, Canada (2001); Thomas O. Enders Fellowship, Canada (2001); internal funding/recognition from the following units at UT-Austin: Center for Identity (2015), Rapoport-King Scholarship (2014), UT Humanities Institute (2012), College of Liberal Arts (2010), Office of Graduate Studies (2005).

Professional Experience: Assistant to Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin (2001-present); Graduate Adviser, University of Texas at Austin (2012-2014); Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University (1998-2001); Visiting Assistant Professor, University at Albany-SUNY (1996-1998); Visiting Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech (1993-1994).

Research and Teaching Interests: My primary research interests center on building connections between geographical studies of communication content (representations and discourses) and geographical studies of communication context (infrastructure and social power relations). My research has addressed communications in and/or about North America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, China and India. I teach undergraduate courses in human geography, urban studies, geography of media, research methods, and spatial statistics, and graduate courses in political geography, critical geopolitics, geography of communication and geographic thought.

Publications: My monographs and single and co-authored books include: The Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography (Ashgate Press, 2014); Geographies of Media and Communication: A Critical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) (recipient of the 2009 James W. Carey Media Research Award, from the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research); Atlantic Reverberations: French Representations of an American Election (Ashgate Press, 2007); The Boundless Self: Communication in Physical and Virtual Spaces (Syracuse University Press, 2005); and Textures of Place (University of Minnesota Press, 2001). In addition, I have authored or co-authored 21 articles in refereed journals including the Annals of the Association of American Geographers (1992, 1995, 1998); Progress in Human Geography (2003, 2011); Political Geography (1996, 2004); as well as 17 book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and textbook segments; I have also been guest editor or co-editor for three special journal issues.

Statement: Most members of the AAG have been trained to communicate in-depth knowledge to small groups of people (through teaching) and specialized knowledge to even smaller groups people (through research). These two types of communications allow geographers to speak collectively to a few tens of thousands of people each year. Our well-informed perspectives on issues ranging from climate change to immigration to health care to economic inequality contend with misinformation and disinformation that reaches millions of people. The media used to disseminate this misinformation and disinformation—including television, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet—are available to us if we make an effort to engage more proactively in public debates. As a National Councilor I would work to develop and promote a new communication strategy for the AAG, incorporating both new and old media to reach diverse audiences. The new communication strategy would not only help promote geographical knowledge but also address the ominous agenda to de-fund research in Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

In conjunction with this effort, I would push for a change in the way academic productivity is assessed. Communications via newspapers, magazines, and the Internet are often dismissed as irrelevant (or worse) in hiring and promotion decisions. The existing professional reward system prevents geographers from becoming broadly recognized as contributors to vital current debates and it inadvertently marginalizes geographic knowledge. Geography departments need to find ways of acknowledging the value of efforts to engage in public outreach, for example conveying information through social media, digital games, and the plethora of visual media that constitute the emerging media environment. The AAG needs to be involved in promoting these novel forms of public outreach as part of our mission, in a way that complements and in fact combines research, teaching, and service activities.

I would also work to streamline communications within the AAG however possible. Although I consider these communications to be fairly good, there is room for improvement. I would therefore encourage efforts to improve the efficacy of AAG communications, particularly in conjunction with the annual meeting which may be more costly and complex than necessary. As an AAG Councilor I would draw on over 20 years of research on geographies of media and communication in order to improve communications between geographers and non-geographers, as well as communications among geographers and within the AAG. 


Chris Duvall

CHRIS S. DUVALL. Associate Professor (2013-present) and Assistant Professor (2008-2013), Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of New Mexico (UNM); Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Michigan State University (2007-2008); Ph.D., Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison (2006); M.A., Environmental Studies, San José State University (2000); B.A., History, University of California, Santa Cruz (1994). Member of the AAG since 2002.

Professional service: In my service work, I have primarily sought to improve geography awareness through STEM educational outreach programs. Using the National Geography Standards as a reference, I have provided public instruction to learners ranging from kindergartners to adult professionals, including: three lectures on climate science to 75 adults, through the New Mexico state Environment Department (2010); one lecture on famine to 35 high-school students, through the USDA Agricultural Leadership Program (2011); four interactive educational sessions on sustainable food systems to 80 high-school students, through Sandia National Laboratories Environmental Outreach Program (2012); and three classroom activities about map reading to 64 elementary-school students (2013-2014). Also, I have served on the judging committee for the New Mexico state high-school science fair (2012-2014), and was on the AAG Nystrom Award Committee (2010-2012).

Additionally, at UNM, I chaired an Associate Provost’s committee that manages funds for study-abroad programs (2011-2013), and have served on committees that oversee activities of the Title VI-funded Latin American and Iberian Institute (2010-present). In my department, I have served as Associate Chair since 2013, and helped organize the 2014 SWAAG annual meeting. Finally, since 2003 I have been a member of the IUCN-Species Survival Commission Great Apes Specialty Group (which evaluates global Great Ape conservation efforts), and since 2006 I have provided journal editors about eight manuscript peer reviews per year. 

Research: I have pursued three themes in my research. 1) Human-plant interactions, from perspectives including ecological biogeography (Journal of Biogeography, 2007), landscape ecology (Annals of the AAG, 2011), historical biogeography (Journal of Historical Geography, 2006), human-plant-wildlife relationships (Landscape Ecology, 2008), and cultural studies (Cannabis, Reaktion Books, 2014). 2) Historical political ecology in the Atlantic World, currently focused on labor conditions and medicinal plant use in western Central Africa during c.1730-1940. Additionally, I have published on topics related to plant use in the African Diaspora (Journal of Tropical Geography, 2009), and to colonial forestry (The Geographical Journal, 2003) and geomorphology (in Knowing Nature, 2011) in West Africa. 3) Geographic classification practices in social contexts, including physical geographic features perceived by Maninka farmers in Mali (Geografiska Annaler, 2008), and in industrial classification systems in the U.S. (Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, with Goldsberry & Howard, 2010). 

Teaching: I have taught since 2006. I rely on collaborative teaching and learning practices, and on learning outcomes assessment to evaluate teaching effectiveness. The courses I have taught include introductory physical geography, introductory GIScience, upper-level food geography, and graduate cultural and political ecology. In all courses, I emphasize respect for social, cultural, and intellectual diversity. My efforts in this direction were recognized in 2012 by the Accessibility Resource Center at UNM, and are enhanced by my service as a Safe Zone provider for the LGBTQ Resource Center on campus. 

I seek to make learning relevant beyond the classroom, reflecting my involvement in interdisciplinary teaching units. At UNM, I have collaborated with instructors in the Sustainability Studies and Latin American Studies programs, and, when I worked at Michigan State, in similar interdisciplinary programs, including the African Studies Center. In New Mexico, one of my teaching collaborations was awarded (2010) a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that has enabled us to conduct a food-system field school around the state. 

Statement: It is an honor to have been nominated for the position of AAG National Councilor. If elected, I will continue to support broad-based geographic thought, active community outreach, and ongoing international engagement. I see four broad initiatives as crucial to the long-term strength of geography as a discipline and profession. 

First, the AAG must ensure that the association’s Annual Meeting and journals remain the foremost venues of scholarly engagement for physical geographers, as for other geographers. The forthcoming Symposium on Physical Geography at the 2015 Annual Meeting is an important effort to maintain the discipline’s historic core. The AAG must continue seeking ways to strengthen physical geography within geography, even as physical geographic expertise is increasingly sought elsewhere. 

Second, the AAG must ensure that it addresses the concerns of non-tenure-track, part-time faculty in academic geography. The national shift across disciplines toward contingent faculty has created professional development challenges for individuals, but more broadly it poses challenges to the vitality of the discipline and profession as a whole. The AAG has recognized these challenges, and must further create opportunities for research, training, and networking that address the needs of contingent faculty.

Third, the AAG, in collaboration with its partners in the Geography Education National Implementation Project, must continue actively to promote geography at all levels of learning. Educational outreach is crucial to show how geographic thought can help in understanding, negotiating, addressing, and mitigating global change, and to recruit new scholars and professionals to our field. 

Finally, geographers must embrace and encourage knowledge diversity, by ensuring that the perspectives of non-dominant cultural and social groups are included in any assessment of geographic thought. Through its diversity and inclusion projects, the AAG has shown leadership, and has provided important resources for departments to increase opportunities for historically underrepresented groups. The AAG must continue these efforts, while maintaining dialogue with its membership to identify and address diversity concerns.

The AAG must continue to serve the interests of academic and non-academic geographers by strengthening the discipline’s historic core, improving opportunities for contingent faculty, building society-wide awareness of geography, and enhancing diversity.  


Sue Roberts

SUSAN M. (SUE) ROBERTS. Professor, Department of Geography, University of Kentucky; Faculty Affiliate, Gender and Women’s Studies, Peace Studies, and Member, Committee on Social Theory, University of Kentucky. Ph.D. and M.A., Syracuse University, 1992 and 1986; B.A. (Hons.), University of Leicester, 1982.

Service to the AAG: Board Member (elected), Economic Geography Specialty Group, AAG (2011-14); Member (elected), Nominations Committee, AAG (2009-10); Member (elected), Honors Committee, AAG (2004-06); Member, Nominations Committee, AAG (2001-02); Member, Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Committee, AAG (1997-2000); Board Member, Political Geography Specialty Group, AAG (1995-07); Board Member, Geographic Perspectives on Women, AAG (1995-97); Member, various South East Division of the AAG committees (1992-95).

Service to Geography: Co-Editor of Progress in Human Geography (2012-present); Member of Organizing Committee, Fourth Global Conference in Economic Geography (to be held in 2015 in Oxford, UK); Member, Editorial Board, Localities (2011-present); Member, International Editorial Board, Geographical Research (2011-14); Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Environment and Planning A (1996-2003); Member, Editorial Committee, Southeastern Geographer (1991-96); Member, Fulbright Scholar Area Review Panel (2014-present); Member, American Council of Learned Societies Mellon Dissertation Fellowship Review Panel (2007-10); Member, NSF Advisory Panel (Geography & Regional Science) (1997-99); Plenary speaker at Summer Institute in Economic Geography (2008).

Awards, Honors, Grants: Fulbright Fellowship, University of Turku Scholar Award, Finland (2012-13); Fellow, SECU Academic Leadership Development Program (academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference), (2013-14); Visiting Scholar, University of Newcastle, Australia (2006); William B. Sturgill Award (for graduate education), University of Kentucky (2006); Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Kentucky Undergraduate Geographical Society (2005).

I have received grants for collaborative research from the Australian Research Council and from the NSF, including several to support doctoral student research.

Professional Experience: I taught for a year at what is now Anglia Ruskin University in Britain (1986-87) in a visiting position, and I taught courses at the University of Vermont and St. Michael’s College (1990-91) before joining the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky where, apart from sabbatical leaves (in Mexico, Australia, and Finland), I have been ever since. At the University of Kentucky I have served as Department Chair (2008-12) and before that I had served as Director of Graduate Studies, and briefly as Director of Undergraduate Studies. I have been advisor for 13 completed Ph.D. students (2001-present), with 3 more in progress, and advisor for 11 completed M.A. students (1993-present). I have also been a mentor for 4 postdoctoral fellows (1995-present).

Research and Teaching Interests: I am a human geographer and, more specifically, I am an economic and political geographer. I am particularly interested in questions of development and anti-development, development policy and geopolitics, and the practices of development institutions. In addition, I am intrigued by geographies of inequality, including those associated with international finance, and the role of the transnational super-rich, for example. I am inspired by political economy and feminist thought in my research and writing.

I enjoy teaching a large introductory general education course on global inequalities, undergraduate courses on economic geography, political geography, and development, and graduate seminars on development theory and the history of geographic thought.

Publications: Co-editor (with Roger Lee, Noel Castree, Rob Kitchin, Vicky Lawson, Anssi Paasi, Chris Philo, Sarah Radcliffe, and Charles Withers), Sage Handbook of Human Geography (2014, London: Sage); Co-author (with Andrew Wood), Economic Geography: Places, Networks and Flows (2011, London: Routledge); co-editor of two other books. Author or co-author of articles in journalssuch as Annals AAG, Antipode, Economic Geography, Geoforum, Geojournal, Journal of Latin American Studies, Professional Geographer, Urban Geography, and World Development, plus chapters in various edited handbooks, companions, and collections.

Statement: Like most of us, I have seen and experienced our discipline from various positions (in my case as an undergraduate, graduate student, part-time and visiting faculty member, tenure-track and then tenured faculty member, director of an undergraduate and then a graduate program, department chair, journal editor, and so on). Through all these positions, I have been aware of the special attraction geography holds for those who find other disciplines too constraining or canonical. The value of the discipline’s dynamism and diversity should not be taken for granted. The breadth and relative openness of geography are, in my view, major strengths, but they can make promoting or defending our discipline in times of university restructuring quite challenging. I would like to make a positive contribution to efforts on the part of the AAG to assist members as they seek to explain the geography to a range of constituencies.

In addition to supporting imaginative efforts to sustain geography’s vitality and to help members promote geography, I would bring a couple of particular concerns to the table if I were elected to the AAG Council. These include: (1) assisting with on-going efforts on the part of the AAG to welcome and nurture geographers from under-represented groups; and (2) keeping a very wary eye on the new forms of entanglement between academic geography and militaries and between geographic knowledge and violence. On the former, while it is true that there has been a great deal of positive change, there are still many members who experience discouragement and/or discrimination, and do not feel supported in geography. On the latter, I do not have a dogmatic position, but I am seriously concerned that geography’s value to the intelligence and defense industries (and to the military itself) is a double-edged sword. I think that the AAG could provide a valuable service to its members if this issue was more openly discussed and the stakes clarified.

I have enjoyed and benefitted from the intellectual and professional opportunities the AAG has offered and I would be honored to serve on the Council if elected. 


Susy Ziegler

SUSY S. ZIEGLER. Associate Professor of Environmental Geography and Head of the Department of Earth, Environmental, & Geographical Sciences, and Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Northern Michigan University; Ph.D. (Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999), M.S. (Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993), B.A. (Geography with Honors, Dartmouth College, 1990).

Service to Geography: Member of AAG Committees: Scientific Freedom & Responsibility Committee (2011-14), Awards Committee (Member 2008-11; Chair 2010-11), Research Grants Committee (2002-05); AAG Representative to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Section Committee for Education, 2014-2017, 2011-14; Board Member of AAG Biogeography Specialty Group of the AAG (2001-03); Member of Editorial Boards: Geographical Bulletin (2013-present), Professional Geographer 2009-10; Second Vice President of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) International Geographical Honor Society (term to begin 2015); West Lakes Regional Councilor of GTU (2012-14); Faculty Sponsor for Eta Chi Chapter of GTU 2010-present; Presenter at workshops for K-12 geography teachers; Guest teacher of K-12 geography students.

Professional Service: Reviewer and Panelist for National Science Foundation; Reviewer of manuscripts for journals including Annals of the AAG, Professional Geographer, Geographical Review, Journal of Biogeography, Physical Geography, Geography Compass, Journal of Geography, Geographical Bulletin, Landscape Ecology, Diversity and Distributions, Ecosystems, Silva Fennica, Tree-Ring Research, Plant Ecology; President of NMU Chapter of Sigma Xi­­–The Scientific Research Society (2012-14).

Awards, Honors, and Grants: Henry C. Cowles Award for Best Publication from AAG’s Biogeography Specialty Group for co-authored article (Bryan Shuman et al. 2009); Minnesota Book Award Finalist for Landscapes of Minnesota co-authored with John Fraser Hart (2009); co-PI on grant from Great Lakes Observing System (2014); co-PI on NSF DDRI Awards (2008 and 1997); AAG Research Grant 2007; Fulbright Scholar in Germany (1990-91).

Professional Experience: Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Northern Michigan University (2013-present); Head of the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geographical Sciences at NMU (2011­­-present); Assistant to Associate Professor at NMU (2010-present); Assistant to Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at University of Minnesota (2000-2010); Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Dartmouth College (1999-2000); Instructor in the Department of Geography at University of Wisconsin-Madison (1995-97).

Research and Teaching Interests: Biogeography, Physical Geography, Vegetation Change in the Northern Forest of North America and Europe, Human-Environment Interactions, Geographic Research Methods, Environmental Science.

Selected Publications: Environment, Culture, and the Great Lakes Fisheries in Geographical Review co-authored with John C. Hudson (2014); The Past and Future of the White Pine Forest in the Great Lakes Region in Geography Compass (2010); Landscapes of Minnesota—A Geography monograph co-authored with John Fraser Hart (2008); single-authored and co-authored articles in journals including American Midland Naturalist, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Ecology, Geographical Bulletin, Geography Compass, Geographical Review, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Journal of Geography, Physical Geography, Tree-Ring Research; chapters in volumes published by Indiana University Press, Blackwell Publishing, and University of Wisconsin Press. 

Statement: The future of geography is tied not only to the scholarly activities and intellectual discoveries of academics and professionals, but also to the youth who will develop into the next generation of geographers. I aim to help the AAG foster the development of tomorrow’s geographers. One step would be to enhance support for K-12 geography educators as they inspire their students to open their eyes and ask questions about patterns they observe in our fascinating world. I did not know about the academic discipline of geography until my first fall in college when I took a physical geography course and was hooked immediately. How exciting it will be to have more students arrive at college knowing that they wish to study geography—and the various intellectual realms in the study of the earth, the environment, and society that fit under geography’s umbrella. Another approach to ensuring a bright future for geography would be to increase participation of undergraduates at regional and national AAG annual meetings. Students have much to gain by interacting with established geographers, learning their language, and observing how they practice their profession. If elected as National Councillor I will collaborate with other AAG members to encourage budding geographers from diverse backgrounds to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in geography and related fields. As more students of all ages discover the value of a geographical approach to understanding the world, the discipline will continue to evolve and flourish.