Association of American Geographers
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Vice President

(one to be elected)


Julie CidellJULIE CIDELL. Associate Professor of Geography and GIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ph.D. and M.A., Geography, University of Minnesota; B.A., Geography, Mathematics, University of Chicago. E-mail:

Professional Experience: Associate Professor of Geography and GIS, University of Illinois (2012-present); Visiting Professor, Department of Architecture, Building, and Planning, University of Melbourne (2014); Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Illinois (2007-2012); Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, California State University San Bernardino (2005-2007); Assistant Professor, Department of Geography California State University Sacramento (2004-2005); Lecturer, Department of Geography & GIS Saddleback College (2004); Instructor, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota (2003); Junior Transportation Engineer, Howard/Stein-Hudson (1999-2000).

Service to Geography: AAG Treasurer and Executive Councilor (2016-present); West Lakes Regional Councilor (2015-present); Honors Committee B (2014-2017); Local Arrangements Committee (2014-15); Editorial Board of The Professional Geographer (2011-present); Editorial Board of Journal of Transport Geography (2011-present); Transportation Geography Specialty Group Chair (2010-2012); Urban Geography Specialty Group Board (2010-2012); Transportation Geography Specialty Group Board (2004-2006, 2001-2003); California Geographical Society Board (2005-2007); Margaret Trussell Scholarship Committee, Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (2004-2005). Organized over 40 sessions for Annual Meetings; reviewed manuscripts and/or proposals for over 50 journals, publishers, and funding agencies.

Awards and honors: Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois; Geiger Memorial Lecture, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Finalist, J. Warren Nystrom Award; Dissertation Award, Transportation Geography Specialty Group.

Research and teaching: My research focuses on the economic, political, and environmental contexts and consequences of transportation infrastructure and urban sustainability policies and programs, along with the corresponding urban environments that are produced. I have over 40 published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this work, including pieces in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, and The Professional Geographer, plus one book (Imagining Sustainability) and one co-edited volume with David Prytherch (Transport and Mobility in the Production of Urban Space). My teaching has included physical geography at a community college, GIS and world regional geography at a regional comprehensive university, and courses from introductory urban geography to advanced graduate seminars on mobilities at a major research university.

Statement: I have been a geographer for nearly all of my academic life, and the AAG has been vital since my first year in graduate school. By attending regional meetings and annual meetings, I have met fellow alumni, future collaborators, fellow teachers, and good friends. The AAG's official mission is the advancement of geography, including promoting discussion and connections among its members. Beyond this, however, my time on the National Council has taught me that the AAG does a lot of other important work, including policy analysis and advocacy, in-house research, and leadership among peer professional organizations, all while striving to keep a balance among the views of its diverse membership. As the Association's membership has expanded outside of geography and outside the U.S., the opportunities for advancing geography and connecting geographers have grown ever greater.

As Vice-President, there are several ways I would take advantage of these opportunities for advancement and connection. First, I will enhance the value of our regional meetings as places for connections among members, from undergraduates to faculty at major research universities. For example, existing student travel awards could be expanded to include undergraduate students or early-career faculty. I will also work to make the Annual Meeting more accessible online for those who are unable to attend. This means working with AAG and conference staff to see what is feasible, but also asking specialty and affinity groups to consider making selected sessions available through live or recorded media. Finally, I will build on existing initiatives for attracting undergraduate majors through a clearinghouse on departmental strategies and tactics. The AAG is well-positioned to carry out research on the effectiveness of strategies like new degree programs, with potential benefits for all of our departments.


David H. Kaplan

DAVID H. KAPLAN. Professor, Department of Geography, Kent State University. Ph.D. and M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991 and 1986. B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1982. Email: Twitter: @dhkaplanoh

Professional Experience: Assistant to Full Professor of Geography, Kent State University (1995–). Founder and Director of Environmental Studies Program (2017–). Coordinator of Urban Studies Program (1996–). Various administrative positions and committee chairships, Kent State University. Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas (1992–1995). Assistant Professor, University of Southern California (1991–1992).

Research, Advising, Teaching: My research interests include nationalism, borderlands, ethnic and racial segregation, urban and regional development, housing finance, and sustainable transportation. I have written about 60 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, edited four special issues, given about 60 invited lectures, and authored or edited 10 titles. These include the textbooks Urban Geography (3rd ed.) and Human Geography, and two titles published in 2017: Navigating Ethnicity and Scaling Identities. I have received external funding from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, the Ford Foundation, the Academy of Finland, the State of Ohio, the NSF, the Canadian Embassy, and the AAG. I am or have been the principal adviser of 17 Ph.D. students, 25 M.A. students and 3 honors students. I teach courses on many different aspects of human geography from the introductory to the doctoral level.

Service to Geography: Includes positions as President of the East Lakes Division of the AAG (2003–2006), Councilor for the AAG (2006–2009), Panelist for NSF Geography and Regional Science (2007–2009), Organizer of the Race Ethnicity and Place Conference (2016), and Councilor for the American Geographical Society (2014–). As AAG Councilor, I coordinated the Stand Alone Geographers group and worked on other measures to increase diversity. Various other specialty group and AAG committees. External referee for 18 promotion or tenure decisions.

Editorial Experience: I edit a book series by Rowman & Littlefield, Exploring Geography (2017–); editor of National Identities (2001–), an interdisciplinary journal; and editor-in-chief of the Geographical Review (2015–).

Awards and Honors: Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award (2018). Ethnic Geography Career Award (2016). Olson Award for Graduate Service (2015). Kent State University Distinguished Teaching Award Finalist (2014). Carroll Professorship, University of Oregon (2014). Korean Society Fellowship (2013). LaCoste Chair, University of Paris (2011). Marquis Who’s Who in America (2009–). Nations and Nationalism, Best Reference Title (2008); Journal of Urban Affairs, Best Paper Finalist (2001); American Review of Canadian Studies, Most Distinguished Article (1989–1990).

Public Engagement: Leader, Community Engagement Curricular Taskforce (2016–). Strategy Chair, Portage Park Levy—which passed after five previous unsuccessful tries (2013–2014). Founder and Director, City and Community Studies Initiative (2009–). Initiator and Chair, Transportation Advisory Committee (2006–). Successfully proposed a bike-share program between Kent State and Kent (2013). Sustainable Transportation Initiatives for Kent and Kent State (2008–2010). Testimony on predatory lending, Ohio House Committee (2009). Directed Crain Avenue Bridge Study (2002) and a Joint Traffic Study to alleviate congestion in Kent (2002–2004). Co-author, City of Kent Bicentennial Plan (2004). Member, Portage County Farmland Preservation Task Force (1999–2002). Expert Witness, Washington, DC predatory lending lawsuit (1999–2000). Co-director, Feasibility Study for Commuter Rail in Northeast Ohio (1998).

Statement: In a challenging national political environment that invites exclusion, the AAG must double down on a program of radical inclusion: forging greater relevance to all members everywhere, making events more affordable and meaningful, and helping prepare geographers for jobs inside and outside of academia.

In the 34 years that I have been affiliated with the American Association of Geographers, the organization has done an admirable job of expanding its membership, promoting diversity, enhancing its global reach, seeking ways to promote geography outside of the academy, improving the professional lives of faculty and students, and establishing a solid financial profile. The 2015–2025 Long Range Plan is a valuable outline for maintaining the momentum that has been secured.

Yet there is much more left to do. In talking with geographers, I sense that many feel a bit disenfranchised by the organization. Fairly or not and despite its many programs, they feel that the AAG does not always serve their needs. Perhaps this is natural for any large association but it suggests there is room for some improvements. My goal here—for those who like to read these statements—is to articulate four changes for the AAG, ones I would pursue as Vice President and President, so that it better serves all of its members.

First, I believe that the AAG would be well served by promoting more institutional diversity in its outreach. I appreciate that geography is not such a hierarchical field dominated by a few top universities. But we could do more to involve geographers from four-year public colleges, smaller private liberal arts colleges, and community colleges—places where most geography recruitment takes place and where most of our future geographers are taught. Geographers at such institutions have fewer resources, they sometimes feel left out of the larger AAG projects, and may find little of interest at the national meeting. When I was on the AAG Council a few years ago, I championed the cause of Stand Alone Geographers, I considered how to make a visit to the national conference more meaningful, and I explored ways in which the AAG could promote greater engagement. I would like to continue this work and provide resources to give more vulnerable but exceptionally valuable geographers assistance in their universities, in growing their majors and minors, and in enhancing much-needed professional development opportunities.

Second and on a related note, I would work to reduce the cost of attending AAG meetings for those geographers without sufficient resources. I think it is great that the AAG has developed programs for child care so parents can more easily participate, opportunities for students to pay off some of their costs by working the conference, and discounts for unemployed and poorly paid geographers. I would enhance these discounts to cover more geographers who work at places that do not subsidize travel or who work as adjuncts, or anyone for whom providing a break in the registration fee could make a difference. Moreover, I think it would make sense to sharply reduce the one-day fees and try to bring in more people from the local community so they can see what geography is all about. This would be in line with previous initiatives, such as the Developing Regions initiative, that have expanded the AAG’s reach by reducing some of the costs to current and prospective members.

Third and as a part of this effort, I believe the AAG should expend greater resources on its regions and work to enhance the value of regional meetings. These meetings provide greater access, but could use additional help from the central organization. When I was on Council, I worked to increase the amount of money provided to each region. I would argue for even more funds and some additional assistance in making each regional meeting as fulfilling as possible for participants.

Fourth, we need to do a better job preparing geographers for careers outside of academia. The route from the Ph.D. to the tenure-track academic position—while desirable to many—does not fit the pathways of all geographers. More and more students find work outside of the university and we must prepare them for these other opportunities. Does this mean that advanced graduate degrees are less important? Far from it. Masters and Ph.D. training can be the backbone for many fantastic careers and can help bring the value of geography to a wider and wider circle.

These are the ways I believe that the AAG can position itself as it moves into the future. I hope that this statement provides a clear marker for what I would like to achieve as Vice President. 


James A. Tyner

JAMES A. TYNER. Professor of Geography, Kent State University. Ph.D. University of Southern California (Geography); M.A. San Diego State University (Geography); B.A. California State University Long Beach (Geography). Email:; Twitter: @Tynergeography

Academic Appointments and Professional Experience: Professor of Geography, Kent State University (2007-present); Associate Professor of Geography, Kent State University (2002-2007); Assistant Professor of Geography, Kent State University (1997-2002); Lecturer, Department of Geography, California Polytechnic University at Pomona (1996); Lecturer, Department of Math, Science, and Social Science, Long Beach City College (1995-1996); Affiliate Status, Women’s Studies Program, Kent State University (2000-present); Interim Director, Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Kent State University (2015-present); Faculty Senate, Kent State University (2004-2009, 2010-2013); Secretary, Faculty Senate, Kent State University (2007-2009); College Advisory Committee (2003-2005, 2008-present); Provost Advisory Committee (2010-2011, 2013-2014, 2016-present); Chair, Faculty Professional Standards Committee, Kent State University (2007-2009), University Research Council, Kent State University (2005-2007); Joint Appeals Board, Kent State University (2009-2011); Faculty Ethics Committee, Kent State University 2007-2009); University Student Retention Committee (1997-1998)

Service to Geography and the AAG: National Councilor (2011-2014); President, Population Specialty Group (2004-2005); Vice-President, Population Specialty Group (2003-2004); Board Member, Population Specialty Group (2000-2003); Co-Chair, Sexuality and Space Specialty Group (2001-2003); Chair, Asian Specialty Group (2008-2009); Director, Southeast Asia, Asian Specialty Group (2001-2005); Secretary/Treasurer, Asian Specialty Group (2006-2008); Board Member, Military Geography Specialty Group (2007-2008); Faculty Sponsor, Gamma Theta Upsilon (1998-2001); Regional Council, East Lakes Division, Gamma Theta Upsilon (1998-1999); Editorial Board, The Professional Geographer (1999-2000); Editorial Board, The Geographical Journal (2009-present); Editorial Board, Political Geography (2014-present); Editorial Board, Geopolitics (2014-present); Editorial Board, AAG Review of Books (2016-present); Meridian Book Award Committee (2014-2017); Panelist, National Science Foundation (2009-2011; 2014-2015); panelist, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS); manuscript referee and book/proposal reviewer for over 40 journals, publishers, and funding agencies.

Awards and Honors: Fellow, American Association of Geographers (2018); Virginie Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award, AAG Political Geography Specialty Group (2017); Kent State University Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award (2014); David Olsen Appreciation Award for Graduate Mentorship, Department of Geography, Kent State University (2013); Ethnic Geography Distinguished Scholar Award, AAG (2013); Asian Geography Distinguished Service Award, AAG (2012); AAG Meridian Book Award (2010); James Blaut Award, AAG (2010); Glenda Laws Award, AAG (2007); Julian Minghi Award for Outstanding Research Contribution to Political Geography, AAG Population Geography Specialty Group (2007); Visiting Research Fellow, Third World Studies, University of the Philippines (2002).

Research and Teaching: My interests broadly coalesce around political and population geography, with a regional expertise in Southeast Asia. Both my research and pedagogy maintain an explicit engagement with questions of inequalities, inequities, and injustice, with a special emphasis on gender, sexual, and racial violence and the promotion of peace and justice. To date I have published 17 solo-authored monographs, including From Rice Fields to Killing Fields: Nature, Life, and Labor under the Khmer Rouge (Syracuse University Press, 2017); The Politics of Lists: Genocide and Bureaucracy under the Khmer Rouge (West Virginia University Press, 2018), Violence in Capitalism: Devaluing Life in an Age of Responsibility (University of Nebraska Press, 2016).  I have published over 100 refereed articles and book chapters; these have appeared in the Annals, American Association of Geographers; GeoHumanities; Gender, Place, & Culture; Transactions, Institute of British Geographers; Antipode; The Geographical Review; Political Geography; Environment and Planning A; Environment and Planning D; Area; The Professional Geographer; AAG; The AAG Review of Books; GeoJournal; Social & Cultural Geography; Dialogues in Human Geography; The Geographical Journal; Southeastern Geographer; Progress in Human Geography; Genocide Studies International; Rethinking Marxism; Global Networks; Geopolitics; ACME; Human Geography; International Interactions; Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography; Space and Polity; Journal of Geography; Asia Pacific Viewpoint; Journal of Geography; Geography Research Forum; Philippine Population Review; International Journal of Population Geography; Asian Geographer; Asia Pacific Migration Journal; The Geographical Bulletin; Applied Geographic Studies; American Behavioral Scientist; and The California Geographer.

Public Engagement and Synergistic Activities: At Kent State University I have organized/co-organized conferences and have engaged in public events that center around questions of diversity, violence, and social justice; specific activities include the organizing conferences on “The Idea of Violence,” “Documenting Violence: Seeing the Disappeared,” and “Cambodia after Kent State.” I have established Memorandums of Understanding between Kent State University and relevant institutions in Cambodia; these efforts have facilitated the support of students from Cambodia to study at Kent State University and for scholars to obtain training in GIS; I have been interviewed by local, national, and international news organizations, including Voice of America—Cambodia; I have served on various panels at Kent State University and nearby public forums on questions of violence, diversity, racism, including presentations at the Akron Area Interfaith Council on forgiveness and reconciliation and other local churches; I have also provided guest talks to local elementary and middle schools.

Statement: My positionality as a Geographer greatly informs my public platform. As the son of two professional geographers, the discipline of Geography has always been a part of my life. I have seen the tremendous possibilities offered by Geography; but I have also witnessed the very real problems of the field: gendered discrimination and harassment; the abuse of adjunct and part-time faculties; careers cut short because of inadequate institutional infrastructure and mentorship programs. Indeed, these experiences have motivated my professional career and have significantly shaped my long-standing commitment to societal inequalities and injustices. To this end, if elected as AAG Vice-President, the themes of “connections” and “inclusions” will form the pillars of my office. First, Geography is a multifaceted institution; and for many, this statement borders on the banal.  And yet, there is so much more that may be accomplished in the building of bridges—making connections—both within and across institutions. It is vitally important for the AAG to continue its efforts to facilitate the practice of Geography, not only across educational levels but also Geography. As a faculty member at Kent State University I have endeavored to facilitate the teaching and scholarship of Geography, especially GIS, throughout Cambodia; as Vice-President I will continue this work, with an explicit effort to make connections with Geography Departments and related institutions throughout the Global South. It remains my firm belief that a geographic perspective is necessary to redress questions of inequality and injustice, and the attendant violence of these conditions. A second pillar is that of “inclusion.”  Here, the AAG has a long history of engagement; but again, more is needed.  As national councilor I worked alongside other members to establish—unsuccessfully—a blue ribbon commission to address Geography and militarism; likewise, I participated in efforts to raise awareness to issues of all forms of violence, including intimate partner violence, gun violence, and mass violence, comparable to on-going work addressing climate change and environmental degradation. It is necessary for Geography to confront head-on these issues; but also to remain sensitive within our own community.  Stalwart efforts have been and continue to be made—but we are far from complete. As Vice-President I will heed the call for the continued de-colonization of geographic curricula; the establishment of a presidential panel to develop best practices policy with regards to gender, sexual, and racial discrimination and harassment; and a presidential commission to articulate the relationship between geography and militarism. I will continue and expand upon efforts to better address the position of graduate students, adjunct faculty, part-time faculty, and stand-alone geographers. As an organization the AAG requires clear policies and procedures to confront more directly the inequalities and injustices that many of our members endure on a day-to-day basis; and we need to respond better to those people who are not members, who are denied an opportunity to participate because of discrimination and intolerance.