Association of American Geographers
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Vice President

(one to be elected)

Derek Alderman

DEREK H. ALDERMAN. Professor and Head, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee. Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1998; M.A., University of Georgia, 1993; B.A. (summa cum laude), Georgia Southern College, 1990. Twitter: @MLKStreet

Service to Geography: AAG service includes: Regional Councillor (2011-2014); Chair, Publications Committee (2012-2014); Editorial Board, AAG Review of Books (2013-Present); Co-Organizer, Annual Meeting Featured Theme “American South” (2014); J. Warren Nystrom Dissertation Award Committee (2011-2012); Co-Founder, Study of the American South Specialty Group (2007); Chair, Cultural Geography Specialty Group (2002-2004); Awards Director, Cultural Geography Specialty Group, (1998-2001). Service to Southeastern Division of AAG includes: President (2007-2009); Past President (2009-2011); Co-Editor, Southeastern Geographer (2004-2007); Chair & Chair-Elect, Honors Committee (2001-2002); Annual Meeting Program Committee (2000, 2003, 2005, 2008); Southern Studies Committee (1998-Present); Editorial Board, Southeastern Geographer (2000-2003, 2007-Present).

Other Academic Service: (Co)organizer of 85 special paper or panel sessions at professional conferences (including 45 AAG sessions); Invited speaker to 75 universities, museums, and community organizations; Peer reviewer for numerous book publishers, granting agencies, and academic journals (194 manuscript submissions to 50 different outlets); Guest editor for 11 special journal issues; Editorial board member for Journal of Cultural Geography (2013-Present), Journal of Geography in Higher Education (2013-Present), Tourism Geographies (2013-Present), Historical Geography (2004-2008), and Journal of Geography (2001-2004);  Advisory Board, Tennessee Geographic Alliance (2012-Present); Co-Coordinator, North Carolina Geographic Alliance (2002-2004); Curriculum and Training Specialist, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (2001-2010); President & Vice-President, North Carolina Geographical Society (2001-2003).

Awards and Honors: Media Achievement Award, AAG (2014); Outstanding Service Award, Southeastern Division of the AAG (2011); Meredith F. Burrill Award, AAG (2011); Best Journal Article Award, Urban Communication Foundation (2010); UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009); Globe Book Award, AAG (2008); Research Honors Award, Southeastern Division of the AAG (2006); Five-Year Research Achievement Award, East Carolina University (2006); Scholar-Teacher Award, East Carolina University (2005); Distinguished University Teaching Achievement Award, NCGE (2002); J. Warren Nystrom Dissertation Award, AAG (2000).

Professional Experience: Professor, University of Tennessee (2012-Present); Assistant Professor to Full Professor, East Carolina University (2000-2012); Research Fellow, Center for Sustainable Tourism, East Carolina University (2010-2012); Assistant Professor, Georgia College & State University (1998-2000); Visiting Lecturer, Georgia Southern University (1995).   

Research and Teaching: I am a broadly trained human geographer with interests in cultural and historical geographies of the American South, race and social justice, public memory and heritage tourism, and critical place name studies. My work focuses on the commemorative landscape as an arena for conflicts over racial identity, paying close attention to the struggles and inequalities that face African Americans when (re)naming streets for Martin Luther King, Jr. I founded the RESET (Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism) Initiative in 2010, and currently work with five universities on a large NSF-funded project that examines the contested place of slave heritage at southern plantation museums. My scholarship informs journalists and engages the larger public, and I have provided unpaid consultation to over 40 government organizations, non-profit groups, and minority initiatives. I integrate research and public engagement into classroom teaching and enjoy mentoring early faculty and students. I am the (co)author of one book and 98 journal articles, book chapters, and other essays—many of which are published with students, including undergraduates. 

Personal Statement: I have worked in a variety of university settings—as a stand-alone geographer, a faculty member in a regional, MA-level graduate program, and now as a department head at a flagship university. These employment experiences have demonstrated to me the value of a holistic approach to understanding the different perspectives and workplace experiences of geographers. My time as Regional Councillor allowed me to lead the development of a new AAG award to recognize Geography programs of excellence at both the baccalaureate and master levels. Building upon this momentum, I wish to explore other ways that the AAG can assist non-doctoral Geography departments along with those offering a PhD. It is important to ensure that our professional organizations actively measure how well they are doing in addressing members’ wide-ranging goals and concerns. The AAG has a long history of being responsive to members. If elected, I will support this effort by advocating for an assessment of the needs of geographers within different institutional and professional settings, as well as their level of satisfaction with AAG publications, meetings, and programs. One challenge that unites many of us is that Geography still has an under-developed public image, notwithstanding the impressive popularity of GIS. I am keen to consider a revamping of Geography Awareness Week and developing an aggressive social media campaign for the discipline. Finally, the AAG is working harder to broaden the diversity of voices within the discipline. I will advocate for marshalling resources, talent, and time to focus Geography advancement efforts at HBCUs, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and women’s colleges.


Glen MacDonald

GLEN M. MACDONALD. John Muir Memorial Chair and Distinguished Professor of Geography, UCLA. Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1984; M.Sc, University of Calgary, 1980; AB University of California Berkeley 1978.

Service to Geography: Member of NRC Committee on Transformative Research in the Geographical Sciences (2014-Present), NRC Standing Committee on the Geographical Sciences (2011-Present), NRC Committee on Strategic Directions in the Geographical Sciences (2008-10), Chair AAAS  Geography and Geology Committee (2011-13), Chair AAG Biogeography Specialty Group (1999-2001), Treasurer International Biogeography Society (2001-2002), AAG  Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group Board (2005-06), AAAS Geography and Geology Nominating Committee (2005-08), CAG Global Change Committee (1991), Advisory Committee National Atlas of Canada (1989), Editorial Board - Annals of the AAG (1996-2000), Physical Geography (2002-2010), Journal of Biogeography (2004-2006), Geography Compass (2005-2007), Great Lakes Geographer (1993-1997), Fieldtrip Co-Organizer AAG (2002), Fieldtrip Organizer CAG (1987) , Workshop Co-Organizer AAG (2013), Session Organizer AAG(1990), Session Organizer CAG (1986), Elector for Geography University of Oxford (2008 and 2010). AAG 1995-Present.

Other Service: President Canadian Association of Palynologists (1995), International Coordinator International Boreal Forest Research Association (Global Change) (1991-93), Chair NSF PARCS Program (2001-05), Chair IsoTrace Laboratories Board Physics University of Toronto (1993-95), Chair Committee on the Future of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (1989), Council of Advisors Heritage Canada/The National Trust  (2014-Present), Associate Editor, Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research (2006-Present), Editorial Board - World Agriculture (2010-Present), Ecological Applications (2000-03), Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology (1989-2007), Quaternary International (1997-Present), Guest Editor – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Section  (2010), Journal of Paleolimnology (2000), Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology (1993), Canadian Geographer (1988).

 Professional Experience: Full Professor to Distinguished Professor UCLA (1995-Present), John Muir Memorial Chair (2014-Present), UC Presidential Chair (2009-14), Director UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (2009-2014), Chair UCLA Canadian Studies Program (2012-Present), Chair UCLA Geography (2002-06), Vice Chair UCLA Geography (1998-02),  Visiting Fellow St. Catherine’s College Oxford (2009), Assistant, Associate and Full Professor McMaster University Canada (1984-1995), Visiting Fellow and Life Member Clare Hall Cambridge, (1989), Associate Chair McMaster University Canada (1991-94).

Research and Teaching Interests: Geography with emphasis on Theoretical and Applied Biogeography, Climate Change and Its Environmental and Social Impacts, Human-Environment Interactions, Sustainability Science.

Awards, Honors, Grants: Rockefeller Bellagio Resident (2013), Guggenheim Fellow (2008-09), Fellow AAAS (2006), University of Helsinki Medal (1995), AAG BSG Cowles Award for Excellence in Publication 2004 and 1999, Discover Magazine Top 100 Science Story (2005), UCLA Friends of Geography Atlas Award (2005), UCLA Vasa Cube Award for Fiat Lux Seminars (2005), UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award (2001), McMaster University Award for Teaching Excellence (1987), Comeaux Lecture, Arizona State University (2011), American Association of Geographers Plenary Lecture (2009), Haynes Lecture, Texas AM University (2009), Marshack Lecture, UCLA (2009), Atwood Lecture, Clark University (2009), Bjerknes Lecture, University of Bergen, Norway (2008), Hilldale Distinguished Lecture, University of Wisconsin at Madison (2007), Mayer Lecture, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (2006), Brown Day Lecture, University of Minnesota (2005), Astor Visiting Lecturer, Oxford University (2003), PI or Co-PI on over $6.4 million in external grants and awards from NSF, NSERC, Royal Society of Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs, Government of the NWT, Government of Alberta, EPA, NPS, DoI, PAGES, Marisla Foundation.

Publications: Author/co-author >150 peer-reviewed journal articles over 10,000. Articles appearing in Nature, Science, Nature Communications, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, American Naturalist, Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Biogeography, Geology, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research,  The Holocene, Quaternary Research. Award winning book Biogeography: Time, Space and Life Wiley (2003). Op/Eds LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

Statement: Beyond its inception in 1904 the AAG has not experienced such relevancy, opportunity and challenge as it does today.  In academic fieldsranging from Regional Economics to Digital Humanities, from Genomics to Earth Systems Sciences geographical perspectives, theory and tools are being increasingly embraced and applied. The recognized importance of geography extends well beyond the academy and is central to the challenges of social and environmental justice, regional economic development, food, water and energy resources and biodiversity conservation. I see tremendous opportunities for the AAG to be at the center of this exciting renaissance.  We can achieve this by both leading with new theories, applications and tools and partnering with other disciplines in their development. To do this we must walk the talk in terms of the strengths we so often espouse – strength in the analysis and understanding of space and place as defining properties of many phenomena, strength in integrating natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to tackle pressing academic and societal questions, strength in the deep understanding of nature-human interactions and the world created by such interactions.  To be at the center of the 21st century geographic revolution, the AAG must be proactive.  My priorities would be to work with AAG leadership and members to - 1. Aggressively promote the AAG and discipline of geography to other academic units, agencies and the private sector to develop awareness and active partnerships, 2. Actively promote through targeted publications, targeted sessions and workshops collaboration between geographers from the natural science, social science, humanities and technology traditions, 3. Through targeted sessions and workshops create a new generation of geographers equipped with the culture and capability for such integrated cross-disciplinary work and prepared with professional career training to be effective in the academy and outside, 4. Actively draw in geographers from the rest of the Americas to make the AAG more fully an international and Americas-wide organization, 5. Actively draw in the many neo-geographers now working in our tradition but outside geography departments and make the AAG the must-go-to place for accepted wisdom, new ideas and intellectual community for all who embrace the geographic perspective, 6. Expand our relevance and reach in professional geography communities outside of the academy. The Professional Geographer for example could be the must-read journal for the geographic practitioner, 7. Aggressively pursue new revenue streams through foundations, agencies. corporate partners and donors to support the initiatives above.  The priorities I have enumerated do have an appreciable outward looking component. Considering the many disciplines represented by the founding members of the AAG and its wide focus beyond the few geography departments in existence in 1904, I think this is in the best tradition of our organization and is the recipe for growth and impact in the 21st century. Furthermore, the agenda above would rely upon engagement with AAG geography departments to share my experiences and ideas and learn from theirs. As Director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, I gained extensive experience and much success in fund raising, building, expanding and managing a multidisciplinary academic and professional  organization. As the chair and/or associate chair of geography departments in the US and Canada I have broad knowledge and deep appreciation of our discipline. I would like to now put this experience to work with AAG leadership and members so that together we can take our organization to new and greater heights in this exciting second century of the AAG.