Association of American Geographers
About AAG Membership Annual Meeting Projects & Programs Education Publications Calendar Of Events Jobs & Careers

AAG Honors Committee B

(two to be elected)


Richard Kujawa

RICHARD KUJAWA. Professor of Geography at Saint Michael’s College, Vermont (I also hold a courtesy appointment as Professor of Geography at the University of Vermont.) Ph.D. Geography (University of Iowa, 1990); M.A. Geography (University of Iowa, 1984); M.A. Urban and Regional Planning (University of Iowa, 1983), B.Sc.(Hons) Building Technology (Brunel University, UK, 1980)

Service to AAG and Geography: Regional Representative to AAG Council for New England and Saint Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) (2012-2016), Chair of Regional Councilors for AAG Council (2015/2016); Secretary to Executive Board of NESTVAL region; Vermont Representative to NESTVAL Executive Board; Coordinator of Vermont Geographic Alliance (1997-2010); Editorial Board of Northeastern Geographer

Honors and Awards: 2016 Distinguished Service Award, New England Saint Lawrence Valley Geographical Society; 2010 Saint Michael's College Joanne Rathgeb college-wide Teaching Award; 2010 Vermont Law School Faculty Scholarship.

Research and Teaching Interests: I am a current member of the Social Science team of an NSF-Funded EPSCoR grant focused on Resilience to Extreme Events in the Lake Champlain Basin (five-year grant valued at $20 million; 2016-). I was a member of the Social Dimensions team of a previous grant, which focused on Regional Adaptation to Climate Change in the same region. This was also funded by NSF (five-year grant valued at $20 million; 2011-2016). My interests in these grants focus on evolving environmental governance regimes at different scales using a mixed methods approach. I am also interested in non-regulatory instruments for conservation and working landscapes (e.g. conservation easements). As a long-term singleton Geographer, my teaching assignments have included a wide range of systematic and applied Human Geography and Policy/Planning courses. My most recent explorations in teaching involve the use of cloud-based GIS and other data products for critical human and environmental geographies (e.g. environmental justice; environmental planning) in the Liberal Arts and across the curriculum. I’ve presented at regional and nation meetings on these pedagogical strategies. I’ve been a strong advocate for the relevance of critical spatial inquiry and Geography for the span of my career.

Publications. I wrote a recent entry on Urban Managerialism for The International Encyclopedia of Geography. A co-authored an article in the American Review of Canadian Studies, titled “Envisioning a Green Energy Future in Canada and the United States: Constructing a Sustainable Future in the Context of New Regionalisms?” which was published in 2015. I co-authored a working paper in 2014 from one of the grants above, titled “Public Willingness to Pay for Water Quality Policy and Project Implementation.” In 2013 one of my teaching cases, “Hazardous Waste and Toxics: Real Data for Real Places,” was published as part of the Carleton College Integrate project “On the Cutting Edge” Peer Reviewed Teaching Collection. That case is available at:


Matt McCourt

MATT MCCOURT. Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Planning, University of Maine at Farmington. Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 2004), M.S. (University of Kentucky, 2004), B.A. (University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1993).

Service to AAG and Geography: Executive board, New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (2011-2018), Co-organizer, Annual Meeting of the New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (2012); Leadership Team, Maine Geographic Alliance (2009-2018); Judge, Maine State Geography Bee (2013-2016) Co-organizer of Summer Institutes and Workshops for Educators (2009, 2013, 2015, 2017); Maine Geospatial Institute (2017-19), Maine GIS Consortium (2006-2018), Maine Geospatial Learning Initiative (2013-14).

Honors and Awards: Walter Sargent Undergraduate Research Mentor Award (2014), awards and recognition for service-learning from university and Maine Campus Compact; awarded over $800,000 (2010-2018) in external grants and contracts from NSF, National Geographic Education Foundation, ESRI, and foundations supporting conservation and community development.

Research and Teaching Interests: I have developed 20 courses in cultural landscape, planning, GIS, sustainability and globalization which regularly involve students in hands-on work with local partner organizations. My research interests are in social and cultural geography with a focus on sustainability and community GIS. Current collaborations use mobile apps and web mapping to create and share inventories of local sustainabilities or assess watershed conditions, in efforts to strengthen institutions for commons governance.

Publications: I have published articles in journals such as Human Geography, Social and Cultural Geography, and Southeastern Geographer, as well as statewide news media. 


Julie A. Silva

JULIE A. SILVA Associate Professor of Geographical Sciences at University of Maryland, College Park, previously Assistant Professor of Geography at University of Florida (2006-2010). Ph.D. (Rutgers University, 2005), M.C.R.P. (Rutgers University, 2000), B.A. (UCLA, 1995).

Service to AAG and Geography: Chair (2017-present), and Vice-Chair (2016-2017), for the Geographical Perspectives on Women (GPOW) Specialty Group; board member of the Economic Geography Specialty Group (2008-2012); Nystrom Award Committee member (2014); AAG Finance Committee member (2013-2016); Associate editor for the African Geographical Review (2016-present); NSF GSS ad hoc reviewer and panelist and NSF CNH panelist; Editorial board member of the Professional Geographer; peer-reviewer for 23 scholarly journals in geography and its cognate fields.

Honors and Awards: National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) Sabbatical Fellow (2017-2018); NSF CNH Interdisciplinary Team Exploratory Project Award (2014-2018); NASA Early Career Scientist Grant (2012-2014); NSF CAREER AWARD (2008-2015); NSF DDRI GSS award (2004-2005); AAG J. Warren Nystrom Award (2007); Best Dissertation Award, Economic Geography Specialty Group (2006).

Research and Teaching Interests: My research program centers on the drivers of multidimensional poverty and inequality in sub-Saharan Africa. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, I examine how local-level dynamics shape regional patterns of vulnerability in the context of rapid socio-economic, demographic, and environmental change. My research has broadened from initial analyses of export-based development strategies to investigate dynamic interactions between socio-economic and physical processes of global change. In collaboration with physical and Earth scientists, I examine the influence of extreme weather, land cover/land use change, and urbanization on human well-being and environmental sustainability. My teaching experience includes over 10 years of instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels on topics including economic geography, the human dimensions of global change, theories of poverty and uneven development, and contemporary slavery in global supply chains.

Publications and Presentations: I have authored or co-authored 26 peer-reviewed articles published in such journals as Applied Geography, Development and Change, Economic Geography, Environmental Research Letters, Environmental Science & Policy, Geographical Journal, Geography Compass, Growth and Change, Human Ecology, Journal of Development Studies, Natural Hazards, The Professional Geographer, and WIREs Climate Change. I have given 27 research presentations at national and international conferences and 29 invited talks or colloquium presentations. I have also given multiple guest lectures at the University of Namibia, and the Universidade Pedagógica and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique.