FERNANDO J. BOSCO. Professor of Geography and Joint Doctoral Program Advisor, San Diego State University; Ph.D. in Geography, The Ohio State University (2002); M.A. in Geography, The Ohio State University (1997); B.A. in Geography, Wittenberg University (1994)
Service to Geography and the AAG: AAG Enhancing Diversity Committee (Member, 2016-present); AP Human Geography Test Development Committee, College Board (Member, 2015-present); National Science Foundation, Geography and Spatial Sciences (Senior Panelist, 2011-2014); Editorial Board, Geography Compass - Urban (2015-present); Editorial Board, Emotion Space and Society (2014-present); Editorial Board, Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (APCG) (2008-present); Latino/a American Travel Scholarship Committee, APCG (Member, 2010-present); APCG Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October (Co-Chair and Co-Organizer, 2009); APCG Student Awards Committee (Member, 2007-2009); AAG Qualitative Research Specialty Group, (Co-Chair, 2005-2007); AAG Economic Geography Specialty Group (Board Member 2005-2007); AAG Qualitative Research Specialty Group (Board Member, 2004-2005)
Grants and Awards: Research grants: National Science Foundation, Geography and Spatial Sciences Award #1155844 “Food, Ethnicity and Place: Feeding Families and Nourishing Communities” (with Pascale Joassart Marcelli, 2012-2016); TFK Foundation Open Spaces, Sacred Places Planning Grant “The Space Within” (with Pascale Joassart Marcelli and Stuart Aitken, 2012); Canadian Embassy Grant “Mapping North American Youth Cultures” (with Stuart Aitken and Tom Herman, 2008); Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award, National Science Foundation (1999). Other awards and fellowships: Most Influential Faculty Member in Urban Studies, San Diego State University (2015); Food Equity Hero Award, Project New Village, San Diego, CA (2014); Mentor Recognition Award, University of California, San Diego (2007); Presidential Dissertation Fellowship, The Ohio State University (2001); E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Fellowship, The Ohio State University (2000)
Publications: I have written over 50 journal articles, book chapters, policy reports and review articles. My publications appear in journals such as the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Antipode, Children’s Geographies; Emotion, Space and Society, Global Networks, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and Social and Cultural Geography. I have co-edited and co-authored three books: three editions of Placing Latin America: Contemporary Themes in Geography (with Ed Jackiewicz, published in 2008, 2012 and 2016), Young People, Border Spaces and Revolutionary Imaginations (with Stuart Aitken, Kate Swanson and Tom Herman, published in 2011) and Food and Place: A Critical Exploration (with Pascale Joassart Marcelli, forthcoming in 2017).
Research and Teaching Interests: I am a human geographer who works at the intersections of urban, social, and political geography, with overarching interests in issues of social justice and social change in the United States and Latin America. My research interests include the geographic dimensions of social movements and collective action, geography and human rights, social and political geographies of children, young people and their families, food geographies in urban contexts, emotional geographies, geographic thought, and qualitative research methods. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on these topics and I emphasize the importance of community-based geographic research and critically engaged scholarship.
Personal Statement: Geography, the AAG, and the AAG regional divisions (first East Lakes, then the Pacific Coast) have been my disciplinary, academic, and professional “homes” since I migrated to the United States from Argentina as a young undergraduate student, almost 25 years ago. My story is not that different from the story of many others who champion and love the discipline: it took one amazing and inspiring professor, and just one geography class, to discover a world that I never wanted to leave. I have seen our discipline and our association change in the past two decades to become more inclusive and diverse and welcoming of people with different personal backgrounds, intellectual positions, and academic, professional, and life experiences. This has been the result of the hard and committed work of many members who together developed several initiatives that have made the AAG stronger. As I matured as an academic, I benefitted from this hard work, and for that I am grateful. But, as a result of the multiple subject positions I occupy, I also know of the challenges that remain, including tensions about inclusion and recognition in our association and the larger discipline. I also know that despite an increasing and welcome prominence for geography in the United States, ongoing questions about the future of our discipline—what it is and represents to us, and what it is and represents to the rest of the public—still need to be tackled. How can we improve access to, and the quality of, geographic education across a range of diverse institutions serving an increasingly diverse student body? How can we better connect the work of higher education with the increasing number of geography courses taught in K-12 environment? How do we attract geography majors and maintain the health and vitality of our departments in the face of competition from other units and dwindling resources? And how do we best train our graduate students, who face a hyper-competitive job environment? These are questions I ask myself often, and of course I do not know how to answer them by myself. But I am a firm believer and supporter of working collaboratively, building bridges across diverse ways of thinking in order to enhance our broader geographic thinking and the standing of our discipline. That is the perspective that has guided my service to the AAG and the discipline of geography so far, and that is the perspective that I commit to embrace, if elected, in my duties working within AAG Council—even if the questions we will face are narrower than the ones I posed. I would like to help in the ongoing work of enhancing the standing, recognition, and services that our association provides. I also would like to help, in whatever way possible, to make sure that our association attracts and embraces a wider spectrum of all of us who marvel at how thinking geographically can change the way we understand the world and each other. It is because of the change we have experienced so far, and the challenges that are still ahead, that I am honored to be nominated to run in the election for national councillor.
LORRAINE DOWLER. Associate Professor, Penn State University, Departments of Geography and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Penn State University, Department of Geography, 2008-2012; Department Head, Department of Women Gender and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University, 2004-2007; Assistant Professor, Penn State University, Department of Geography and Women’s Studies, 1997-2003; Visiting Research Fellow, The Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University-2008.
Service to Geography and the AAG: During my 22 years as a member of the AAG, I have served as a participant on several workshop and conference organizing committees including: The Gendered Landscapes conference, (1999) at Penn State University; Rights to the City Conference (2002) at the Home of Geography in Rome; and the Circuits of Justice geography graduate workshop at Penn State University (2015). I am a long time member of the AAG specialty group, Geographic Perspectives on Women, and I have been a reviewer for the student paper competition. I was also the inaugural treasurer for the AAG Qualitative Methods Specialty Group. I have collaborated with members of these specialty groups and others to organize a number of paper sessions and panels at the AAG focused on issues of gender, politics and violence. I am currently on the editorial boards of Geography Compass and Geopolitics.
Within my own departments at Penn State, I served as department head of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (2004-2007) and as Director of Undergraduate Studies (2008-2012) in the Department of Geography. I have been the faculty advisor for the inaugural Penn State chapter of Supporting Women in Geography. I am deeply committed to promoting social justice on campus. I was a member of several “teaching through” university-organizing committees for teaching after 9/11, the Sandusky Scandal and, more recently, teaching geography during the aftermath of the presidential election.
Awards, Honors and Grants: The College of Earth and Mineral Science, College Mentoring Award, Penn State University (2003 and 2016); Visiting Fellow, The Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University (2008); The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, College Teaching Award, Penn State University (2001); University Dissertation Award, Syracuse University; 1997: Graduate, Marshall Syracuse University at the May 1997 commencement.
Research and Teaching Interests: Research: My work sits at the intersection of feminist and political geography, with a particular focus on how globalizing forces operate at various scales. When examining society more generally, I am interested in the connections between the gendered processes of militarization and how this influences the creation of dominant norms and narratives. For example, concepts such as ‘homefront’ and ‘frontline’ have historically been imbued with understandings of what are appropriate actions for men and women during a time of intense conflict. The militarization of discourse often renders women incapable of certain tasks in the public sphere, thereby justifying their lack of representation in certain areas of civic participation, such as state leadership. Teaching: Education is a fluid process whereby I work to empower both undergraduate and graduate students to act for social change. My approach to teaching has been recognized through several teaching awards (outlined above). I have taught large lecture undergraduate classes, such as Introduction to Cultural Geography, World Regional Geography and Introduction to Human Geography, and an upper divisions seminar, Gendered Geographies. My graduate teaching is focused in the areas of geopolitics and methodologies.
Publications: I have authored and co-authored more than 32 essays, refereed journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. I have published in some of our prominent journals such as Political Geography, Society and Space, Environment and Planning A, Area, Geography Compass, GeoJournal, Urban Geography and Gender Place and Culture. I have co-edited one book, Gender and Landscape. Several of my articles have been reprinted in other venues.
Statement: We live in challenging times. Evidence that the old political, social and economic order is changing is seen daily in newspapers and on the news. As a result of this reality, it is imperative that we make geographic knowledge central to policy makers and educators. As a discipline, geography is uniquely situated to address issues related to global, national and local well-being. Geography is exceptionally well positioned to address global challenges in that it links the social sciences with the physical sciences along with cutting edge geographic technologies for understanding and mitigating a myriad of challenges. For this reason, I believe that geographic research and teaching are paths for social change. I view geographic education as not only crucial to the University's work of knowledge production but to the broader efforts to build a more inclusive and democratic society.
My career as a feminist educator takes inspiration from the view that the discipline is uniquely situated to address global social justice issues, while at the same time making connections with local communities. Therefore, the promotion of inclusivity and democratic citizenship are critical to the mission of a discipline that is uniquely outfitted to challenge social power relations that promote racism, sexism and homophobia. As a discipline, we need to continue to look outward but also need to build upon and strengthen inward looking programs such as the Healthy Geographies Initiative and the Aligned program to promote geography in historically Black Colleges and Universities. These are initiatives that I will be proud to support as a national councillor for the AAG.
Many scholars and educators from across the discipline work with and are involved in the formation of social movements. However, at our national meeting these engagements with actual political struggles are generally theoretical and scholarly, rather than strategic. One way to build on geography’s rich history of social justice work is to open formal spaces at the national meeting for organizing and promoting opportunities for people to come together and talk about political actions and share calls for solidarity. Engaging with the colonial legacies of our discipline and its contemporary impact upon Indigenous lands would be one way to open up spaces of potential for collaboration with Indigenous peoples. For example, with the guidance of the Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group, we can as a discipline support Indigenous Initiatives such as water protection at Standing Rock. For these reasons, I would advocate for the discipline to be a leader in education and society more generally in promoting economic justice, political freedom, environmental stability and cultural acceptance. I am excited and honored to offer my abilities as a researcher and educator to the AAG in the role of national councillor.
MICHAEL PRETES. Professor, Department of Geography, University of North Alabama. Ph.D. Australian National University, 2006; M.A. Northwestern University, 1986; B.A. University of California-Berkeley, 1984. I also hold a Graduate Certificate in African Studies from Northwestern University, 1986.
Service to Geography: Over the past 30 years I have served the field of geography as a geographic consultant to organizations such as the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement of South Australia, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, the governments of the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories in Canada and of Murmansk Province in Russia, the Village Enterprise Fund microfinance agency in East Africa, and the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, I have served on the editorial advisory boards of The Northern Review and the McGraw-Hill Series in Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism; as a reviewer for manuscripts for 20 different journals including Professional Geographer, Geographical Review, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, and Political Geography; as a board member of the North American Institute; as secretary of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association; as secretary of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Arctic Centre in Finland; and as a co-organizer of conferences in Australia, Canada, and the United States. I am also very active in geography outreach to elementary and secondary schools as well as to organizations for working and retired people.
Awards, Honors, and Grants: Recent awards include being named as the recipient of the AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors for 2017, the SouthEastern Division of the AAG (SEDAAG) Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015, the Phi Kappa Phi Eleanor Gaunder Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of North Alabama in 2013, and American Education Week Recognition and Award from the National Education Association in 2013. I have received a variety of research grants from such organizations as the Nordic Council, the Tampere Peace Research Institute, and the Canadian Embassy to the United States.
Professional Experience: I have taught at the University of North Alabama for more than 10 years. Previously, I have held research and/or teaching positions at the following universities: University of Wyoming, University of Central Missouri, Stanford University, University of Hawaii-Hilo, Australian National University, University of New Mexico, University of Lapland (Finland), University of Oulu (Finland), and University of Calgary.
Research and Teaching Interests: Economic development, geopolitics, tourism and recreation, historical geography, national parks, cultural geography, history of geography, geography of wine, Polar Regions, Australia and Pacific Islands, and North America. I have taught 37 different courses in human and physical geography, many of them multiple times, and have led geography study abroad trips to China and Peru as well as field courses to the American West.
Publications: I have published over 30 refereed book chapters and articles in such journals as World Development, Marine Policy, Resources Policy, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, Annals of Tourism Research, Accounting Organizations and Society, Social Science Journal, Arctic, and Polar Record. In addition, I co-edited Coup: Reflections on the Political Crisis in Fiji (Pandanus Books, 2001) and have authored over 70 encyclopedia articles, atlas entries, study guides and teaching aids, consulting reports, and other publications.
Statement: I have been a member of the AAG since 1992. I have held geography teaching and/or research positions in five of the nine AAG regional divisions: University of Hawaii-Hilo and Stanford University (Pacific Coast-APCG), University of New Mexico (SWAAG), University of Wyoming (Great Plains-Rocky Mountains), University of Central Missouri (West Lakes), and University of North Alabama (Southeast-SEDAAG). I am currently active in both Pacific Coast-APCG and Southeast-SEDAAG divisions, regularly attending their meetings, as well as national AAG meetings. In addition, I have held positions in Finland, Canada, and Australia. I believe this gives me a national and international perspective on the AAG and its purposes and goals. My experience at a variety of institutions, public and private, small regional teaching schools and flagship universities, and universities with and without graduate programs, has made me aware of what is similar and different about AAG members and institutions. As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I am particularly aware of the need for outreach to underrepresented communities. In addition to AAG, APCG, and SEDAAG membership, I also belong to the Royal Geographical Society, the Arctic Institute of North America, and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.
The AAG faces numerous challenges, of which I would identify these as among the most important:
- Adapting and responding to the changing political environment in the United States and the world;
- Ensuring that the position of Geography remains strong in our colleges and universities;
- Promoting Geography outreach to elementary and secondary schools and to the broader public;
- Encouraging greater contact and collaboration across our regional divisions and internationally;
- Continuing the promotion of diversity in our membership; and
- Embracing all fields of geography—physical, human, geo-techniques, and others—and ensuring that these are all equally represented in our meetings, journals, and in other activities.
As a national councillor, I would bring national and international experience to bear in addressing these challenges. I look forward to serving the AAG.
MARK D. SCHWARTZ. Distinguished Professor and Chair, Geography Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM); Ph.D. (Geography), Kansas (1985); M.S. (Geography), Michigan State (MSU, 1982); B.S. (Lyman Briggs College, Earth Sciences Concentration), MSU (1980). AAG member since 1983.
Service to Geography and the AAG: AAG Climate Specialty Group (CSG), Chair (2010-2012), Vice-Chair (2008-2010), Director (1999-2001); Department Chair, Geography Department, UWM (1996-2001, 2002-2004, 2009-2013, 2016-present); AAG Annual Meeting presenter (1985-2016, including many years as a Session Organizer and Session Chair).
Other Service and Professional Experience: Chair, UWM Academic Senate Executive Committee (2004-2005, 2010-2015); Chair, UWM Chancellor Search Committee (2010-2011, 2014); International Society of Biometeorology (ISB), President (2014-present), President-Elect (2011-2014); Secretary (2008-2013), Chair, ISB Phenology Study Group/Commission (1996-2005, 2008-present); Field Editor for Phenology, International Journal of Biometeorology (2004-present); Co-founder, USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN, 2005); Chair, USA-NPN Board of Directors/Advisory Committee (2006-2013).
Awards and Honors: UWM Distinguished University Service Award (2015); Distinguished Alumni Award/Commencement Speaker, Lyman Briggs College, MSU (2015); UWM Distinguished Professor (2010); Paper of the Year Award, AAG CSG (2007); AAG R. F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors (2005); UWM Foundation/Graduate School Excellence in Research Award (2000).
Grants: Multiple major funded projects, including six from the National Science Foundation since 1995.
Publications: Scholarship includes over 80 peer-reviewed publications, in journals such as Annals of the AAG, The Professional Geographer, Nature, Global Change Biology, Journal of Climate, International Journal of Climatology, Remote Sensing of Environment, and International Journal of Biometeorology, also two editions of the edited book Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science.
Research and Teaching Interests: My research focuses on plant phenology/lower atmosphere interactions during the onsets of spring and autumn in mid latitudes, detecting climatic change, mid-latitude synoptic climatology, and assessing vegetation condition with remote sensing. Phenology is the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate. I teach courses about climatology and remote sensing.
Statement: My attraction to a geographic worldview started early. During high school I was especially captivated by two courses (ironically titled history not geography), because the teacher emphasized the important role of spatial interactions in human activities. Throughout my graduate work, I sharpened my appreciation for the overall richness and diversity of geographic inquiry, while building my specific expertise in physical geography and climatology.
My first disciplinary challenge came as a just-tenured associate professor, who had further agreed to become department chair. Soon, my colleagues and I realized that our graduate programs, and perhaps even our whole department might be targeted for elimination by a campus-wide “review” process. To make a long story short, we emerged successfully from these difficulties, and were given reinvestment in faculty positions to stabilize our department. I am convinced that we succeeded partly because outside geographers were allowed in as experts to help us redesign our programs, but more so, because the plans developed with their guidance were coherent and forward-looking, thanks to the breadth, relevance, and robustness of a geographic educational vision. For me, by learning how to explain the advantages of keeping my diverse faculty colleagues together in the same department, I succeeded in getting both UWM faculty in other fields and administrators to comprehend and accept the importance of geography as an academic discipline. My understanding of the essentials of our discipline, and comfort in communicating them to decision makers, are skills I would bring to the role of national councillor.
My recent service as UWM Academic Senate Executive Committee Chair greatly broadened and enhanced my experience in understanding and facilitating discussion among scholars and administrators from the full range of university disciplines and campuses (the UW-System has two-year, four-year, and research universities). I have also gained experience advocating for the university and the discipline in conversations with regents, state legislators, reporters, and members of the general public. As a natural scientist, who resides in and understands the perspectives of a department classified in the social sciences, I have been given many opportunities to provide guidance and direction to campus and multi-campus group deliberations, and concurrently to clarify the vital role for geography as a university discipline. I have also served in executive roles within other interdisciplinary professional societies. These experiences have prepared me well to provide leadership and facilitate productive discussion within the diverse collaborative environment of the AAG Council, as well as to communicate effectively with others within or outside of the discipline as needed.
I am thoroughly convinced that geography still has much to offer in terms of addressing the world’s most pressing problems, and have dedicated my life to working tirelessly to promote more collaboration among geographers and other scholars to that end. I am deeply honored to be selected to stand for election as a national councillor, and am confident my perspectives and skills will be useful to further serve the AAG and the discipline of geography in this role.
JAMIE WINDERS. Professor and Chair. Department of Geography. Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Syracuse University. Ph.D., 2004, University of Kentucky; M.A., 2000, University of British Columbia; B.A., 1998, University of Kentucky.
Service to AAG: Co-leader of the 2014 Geography Faculty Development Alliance Workshop. AAG Awards Committee, 2009-2012. Chair of the Historical Geography Specialty Group, 2009-2011. Session organizer at multiple AAG meetings. Panelist or discussant on 20+ AAG sessions. Involvement in AAG diversity initiatives. Reviewer for Annals of the Association of American Geographers and Professional Geographer.
Other service: Associate Editor, International Migration Review (2011-present); Book Review Editor, International Migration Review (2011-present); Associate Editor, cultural geographies (2016-present); Editorial board member, cultural geographies (2006-present); Editorial board member, Historical Geography (2007-2013); Editorial board member, International Migration Review (2014-present); Editorial board member, Journal of Cultural Geography (2014-present); Editorial board member, Social and Cultural Geography (2008-present); Chair, Faculty Council for the College of Arts and Sciences, Syracuse University (2016-present); Chair, Research Committee, University Senate, Syracuse University (2015-present); Faculty Oversight Committee for the Athletics Department, Syracuse University (2016-present); promotion and tenure reviews within and beyond geography; reviewer for domestic and international funding agencies; policy consulting with Center for American Progress (2010) and Center for Migration Studies (2011-present); consulting on immigration trends, Americas Society and Council of the Americas (2009), Tennessee Immigrant and Refugees Rights Coalition (2005), and community organizations in Louisiana (2010).
Awards, Honors, and Grants: Multi-year grant on immigrant reception, Russell Sage Foundation (2005-2008); Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation (2010-2011); AAG Research Grant (2005); Co-PI on four NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants; Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Kentucky (2016); O’Hanley Faculty Scholar, Syracuse University (2014-present); Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service, Syracuse University (2008); Meredith Teaching Award, Syracuse University (2007); Jacob Javits Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education (1998).
Professional Experience: Department Chair (2014-present); Director of Undergraduate Studies (2009-2013); Professor, Syracuse University (2016-present); Associate Professor, Syracuse University (2010-2016); Assistant Professor, Syracuse University (2004-2010).
Research and Teaching Interests: My research addresses (1) new immigrant destinations, (2) racial formations and dynamics, (3) the politics of social reproduction, and (4) cultural geography. My research on new immigrant destinations includes both descriptive works designed to elucidate dynamics in new destinations and programmatic and theoretical arguments about how and why new destinations should be studied within and beyond the U.S. My writings on racial formations/dynamics have examined the workings of race as an organizing grammar of society and space in historical and contemporary contexts, in the U.S. and beyond, and through a range of methods. My work on social reproduction involves collaboration with a sociologist. Together, we have examined the politics of social reproduction as related to immigration, class, and labor. Finally, my work in cultural geography includes co-editing The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography, articles on pedagogy, and an in-progress book. My teaching addresses these four themes, as well as feminist and urban geography, social theory, research methods, migration and mobility, and contemporary North America.
Publications: I have authored or co-authored two books, 25 articles, 18 book chapters, and a range of other publications. I have published in geography’s top journals – Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Professional Geographer, Social and Cultural Geography, Antipode, Urban Geography, and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers – and in flagship journals in other fields – International Migration Review, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Latino Studies. My publications span multiple sub-disciplines, as well as fields including urban studies, Latino studies, and migration studies. Most recently, I have begun writing for a wider public audience on topics like the 2016 presidential election.
Statement: I spend a lot of time outside geography, often with scholars who know very little about geography as a discipline. I publish in other fields and am an editor at International Migration Review, an international and interdisciplinary journal. I regularly write with a sociologist and spent 10 years involved in a funded research group that included political scientists, social psychologists, sociologists, demographers, and me, the lone geographer. This involvement in other disciplines has helped me better understand geography’s place vis-a-vis the social sciences. It has helped me see our discipline’s strengths, and weaknesses, and made me a better advocate for geography and a geographic perspective. In most of this interdisciplinary work, I was also one of the only qualitative scholars. That, too, has given me a new perspective on what geography does well and on what it could do better.
Within geography, I have been actively involved with several sub-disciplines. I was hired, and still identify, as an urban geographer. I chaired the Historical Geography Specialty Group. I am finishing a book on cultural geography, sit on the editorial boards of three cultural geography journals, and am an editor at cultural geographies. I come from a department with strong traditions in nature-society dynamics and economic geography. Thus, I have a broad view not only of how geography is situated vis-a-vis other fields but also how sub-disciplines in human geography work together.
I also chair a department in a university that has experienced substantial transitions under new leadership. My department has a Community Geography program, a large and well-known human geography focus, a smaller physical geography focus, and expertise in various geospatial techniques, with graduate and undergraduate components of each of these fields. We have cultivated strong connections to the humanities, especially the digital humanities, and are working to forge better ties to departments from physics to public administration, from economics to engineering. Being chair has forced me to become a strong and vocal advocate for all parts of geography and for the institutional infrastructure and support that successful geography departments need. This role has made me find ways to make an argument for geography as an undergraduate major, as a career choice, as an integral part of both the social and natural sciences, and as a way of understanding the world. It has helped me learn not just to say that geography matters but to show how it does so.
Higher education is changing rapidly. Geography, as a discipline, must be aware of these changes. More importantly, we must be responsive to them. We need convincing ways to articulate why geography needs both human and physical geography – a mix that does not make sense to many deans and administrators. We need convincing ways to argue for labs that do not look like biology or chemistry labs but are integral to the work that we do. We need convincing ways to recruit young students who think geography is about memorizing capitals and rivers and whose parents are worried about what their children will do with geography degrees. Geography has always been a bridging discipline, linking theory and practice, the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, nature and society, and past, present, and future. Those bridges that define our discipline are central to the work that we all love. They also, however, require work and effort to maintain, both in our scholarship and teaching and in the institutions within which we are situated. I would love to help maintain those links, and to foster new ones, as an AAG national councillor.