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

National Councilors

(two to be elected)


LaToya Eaves

LATOYA EAVES. Assistant Professor, Middle Tennessee State University; Ph.D. in Global and Sociocultural Studies (Major Field – Geography), Florida International University (2014); M.S. in Higher Education Administration, Florida State University (2007); B.A. in English Literature and B.A. in Communication (Theatre Concentration), North Carolina State University (2004).

Service to Geography and the AAG: Founder and current chair, AAG Black Geographies Specialty Group (2016-present); Co-Chair, Black Geographies Featured Theme, 2018 AAG Annual Meeting (2017-2018); Harassment-Free AAG Task Force (2018-present); Member, AAG B.A. Program Excellence Award Committee (2017-2018); Co-facilitator, Geography Faculty Development Alliance (2016-2017); AAG Task Force on Diversifying the Curriculum in Geography (2016); Student Representative, Study of the American South Specialty Group (2013-2015); AP Human Geography Table Leader and Reader (2016-present); AAG Presenter (2011-2018); SEDAAG Presenter (2015-present); referee for more than ten journals.

I am a founding faculty member of the Global Studies and Human Geography Department at Middle Tennessee State University, launched in 2017 and the culmination of 31 months of collective work following my arrival as a Lecturer in January 2015. Additionally, I have mentored and advised dozens of graduate students and faculty in and beyond the U.S., primarily as a result of my leadership with the Black Geographies Specialty Group.

Other Service: Affiliated Faculty, Africana Studies Program,Women’s and Gender Studies Council Member, Middle Tennessee State University; Facilitator, Women of Color Leadership Program, National Women’s Studies Association (2015-2017); Interim National Vice President for Membership Affairs (2015), National President (2007-2009), and National Director for Graduate, Alumnae, and Professional Intake (2006-2007), Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.

Honors, Awards, Grants. 2019 AAG Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; 2019 AAG Enhancing Diversity Award; Curriculum Integration Grant, MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women, $2,700 (2018); Senegal Education Abroad Program Grant, $5,392 (2018); Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Connecticut, $30,000 (2013-2014); Student Paper Competition Winner, Study of the American South Specialty Group (2013); Delores Auzenne Fellowship, $15,000 (2011-2014); Willie E. Williams Endowment Award (2011).

Research and Teaching Interests. My research and teaching interests intertwine, as they represent my commitments to social and spatial justice. I am interested in decolonizing methods and approaches to teaching and applying geography. By doing so, my work centers and magnifies the knowledges and experiences of otherwise peripheral geographies. My research is grounded in the disruptions of power, the spaces of resistance, and the place-making practices of Black queer women in the southeastern United States, which provide opportunities for dismantling hegemonic perspectives of Black subjects and spaces in the U.S. South. In turn, my research allows for reassessing needs and establishing collaborative relationships between researchers and communities that are built with integrity to and affirm lived experiences. My research and teaching merge in that I approach teaching geography in ways that asks students to trace their lives through space, materiality, and time and apply their baseline understanding towards engaged conversations with and about the spaces and places we encounter in coursework. These conversations take shape through field experiences, digital and internet-mediated research, and creative/artistic work that serve to enhance the classroom based experience.

Publications. I have co-edited a special issue of Southeastern Geographer on Black Geographies as well as a co-edited thematic issue for Southeastern Geographer in light of the Black Geographies Featured Theme at AAG 2019. My work has appeared in Southeastern Geographer and Gender, Place & Culture in addition to the edited volumes Queering the Countryside: New Directions in Rural Queer Studies and Sexuality/Rurality/Geography. My book Unbounded South: Race, Gender and the Politics of Place is in progress, and I am currently editing the book Unknowable: Geography and Black Feminisms.

Statement. Like a significant number of people in the discipline, I stumbled upon geography by chance. I enrolled in the graduate course “Theory in Geography” and found the frameworks for my interests in spatial and social justice. That disciplinary foundation has shaped how I view and apply geography and, subsequently, running for AAG Council. If elected National Councilor, I will focus on the following during my term:

  1. Strengthening relationships with programs at teaching-oriented colleges and universities, HBCUs, and HSIs. As a faculty member at a large, public, undergraduate-serving institution, I am interested in promoting the needs and opportunities for programs on campuses where teaching, rather than research, is the primary focus. In application, this would mean developing professional development opportunities, collaborations, and exchanging ideas for programmatic and teaching success.

  2. Engaging in community-engaged collaborations. Similar to above, this area would support and interconnect human and physical geographers with community members and groups. This approach would augment geography’s impact on and understanding with the communities we work with and/or that are impacted by our research.

  3. Broadening participation in geography. Similar to how I have worked on Black Geographies, I am interested in convening spaces that elevate the voices and needs of geographers not currently represented in AAG leadership.  


Jon Harbor

JON HARBOR. Professor, Departments of Geography and Geosciences (joint appointment) and Provost and Executive Vice President, University of Montana. Ph.D., 1990, University of Washington; M.A., 1984, University of Colorado; B.A., 1982, Cambridge University (UK).

Service to Geography and the AAG: AAG Healthy Departments Committee (Member, 2015-present); AAG Geomorphology Specialty Group (Chair, 2007-08); AAG special sessions organizer, including co-initiating the Human Impacts in Geomorphology sessions; Associate Editor, Anthropocene (2012-2015); Editorial Board member: Physical Geography (2008-2015); The Geographical Journal (U.K.) (2010-2015); Geomorphology (1999-2007); Editor for Earth Surface Processes, Earth Science Reviews (2002-2011). Special Issue editor, Physical Geography, Geomorphology. Honorary Professor, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. Adjunct appointments in Geography departments: Stockholm University, Sweden (Physical Geography, 2014-present); University of Tennessee (2012-present); Kent State University (1990-94).

Awards, Honors, Grants: Honorary Doctorate, Stockholm University, Sweden, 2015; American Council on Education Fellow, 2014-15; Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow, European Commission, 2013-14; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2010 – present; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK, 2010 – present; Fulbright Senior Scholar, Department of Geography, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2000-2001. Purdue University: Provost’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor, 2013; Murphy Teaching Award, 2000 (top award for undergraduate education); Inducted in to Purdue University’s “Book of Great Teachers”, 2008; Over fifty external grants as PI or Co-PI for research and education, including NSF (Geography, Polar Programs, Graduate Education, Undergraduate Education, Geosciences, Research on Learning), NASA, EPA, USDA, and National Geographic.

Professional Experience: Currently serve as chief academic officer at the University of Montana. Leadership training includes: Society of College and University Planning (SCUP), Planning Institute, 2014-15; American Council on Education national higher education leadership development program, 2014-15; AAG Department Leadership workshop 2012. Purdue University leadership roles included: Executive Director of Digital Education and Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, 2015-2018; Founding and Interim Director, Global Sustainability Institute, 2009-13; Head, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, 2010-13; Associate Vice President for Research, 2007-08; Founding Co-Director, Discovery Learning Research Center, 2003-05. Past member of the Purdue ADVANCE advisory board and the Salish Kootenai College hydrology program external advisory board.

Research and Teaching Interests: Geomorphology: international research teams focused on paleoglaciology in central Asia and Antarctica. Environment: Modeling, assessment, and management of impacts of land use and climate change on water resources in US, Guatemala, and China. Education Research: Assessing evidence-based pedagogical interventions and graduate students’ developing conceptions of SoTL. Recent teaching: Introduction to Geography (fully online), senior undergrad and grad course in glacial geomorphology (online collaborative hybrid with study abroad), grad course in K-12 engagement (service learning).

Publications: Author/coauthor of two books and ~150 journal articles in physical geography, education research, environmental science, and higher education leadership, including: Professional Geographer; Annals AAG; Journal of Geography; Physical Geography; Progress in Physical Geography; Nature; Nature Geosciences; Geomorphology; Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management; Innovative Higher Education; Multicultural Perspectives; International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Journal of Research in Science Teaching; International Journal of Climatology; Journal of the American Water Resources Association; Water Resources Research; Journal of the American Planning Association.

Statement: The leadership community of the AAG draws upon the perspectives of councilors with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and institutional settings; this diversity is essential for planning and decision making. As a Provost and Executive Vice President I bring current insights into university-wide strategy and decision-making, and my perspectives have been shaped by a career largely at a university that does not have a standalone Geography Department (which provides challenges of relative isolation as well as opportunities for much broader engagement with other disciplines), as well as extensive work with geographers outside the US, and a deep commitment to fostering the engagement, learning, and career success of diverse students and faculty.

Geography should be transitioning to much greater visibility because of our relevance to societal concerns and policy decisions, increasing understanding of and access to good spatial technologies, and the key role of geographers and geographic principles and methodologies in transdisciplinary team approaches to addressing global grand challenges. For example, the recent focus on the Anthropocene draws on the third pillar of Geography, human-environment interaction, and provides a framework in which academics and practitioners in our community are contributing leadership and perspectives for knowledge production and application (the first major journal with this focus, Anthropocene, was launched by a geographer). This visibility provides a promising future for geographers but, as a community, we must leverage this to address the funding and legitimacy challenges that some Geography Departments and standalone geographers have been facing in academia. Another ongoing transition that can enhance the impact and role of AAG members is being driven by increasing use, research and assessment of digital education approaches; there is considerable potential for geographers to have a wider and deeper impact by using a portfolio of teaching strategies, including embracing technologies and social media that can make higher education more accessible, more learner-centric, and more affordable.

AAG meetings, journals, and newsletters are critical to supporting members’ needs for information sharing, community, professional growth, and critical interactions, and we need to ensure that they include a key focus on emerging research and education themes. I see service as a national councilor as an opportunity to give back to a community that has been a central support for me and my students over several decades, and an opportunity to play a role in developing and implementing strategies that leverage emerging trends to support the interests and aspirations of all AAG members. 


Wei Li

WEI LI. Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, School of Social Transformation; Senior Sustainability Scientist, Arizona State University (ASU). Ph.D. (University of Southern California, 1997), M.S. (Peking University, 1985), and B.S. (Beijing Normal College, 1982).

Service to AAG (2006—2018): Elected member, AAG Honors Committee A (2016—2018; Chair 2017—2018); AAG Nomination Committee (2013); AAG Honors Committee B (2006—2008). Appointed member, J. Warren Nystrom Award Committee (2012—2013), International Research and Scholarly Exchange Committee (2006—2008), and Affirmative and Minority Status Standing Committee (co-chair 2006—2007). AAG Editorial Board, in collaborating on the Teaching with Data Project (2011). Past Chair (2008—2010), Chair (2006—2008) of the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group (EGSG); and the 2009 president of Population Specialty Group (board member 2004—2010).

Major Professional or Public Service: Ad-hoc reviewer and review panelist for NSF’s Geography and Spatial Sciences Program, East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Program, Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program, and Sociology Program. Member, Advisory board, Global Migration Issues (2012—2015); International Advisory Board, SpringerBriefs in Geography, Springer Science+Business Media (2011—). North America Director, the International Society of Studying Chinese Overseas (2010—2019); Member, International Steering Committee, the International Metropolis Project (2008—). Member, the National Advisory Committee on Race, Ethnic and Other Populations (2012—2013), the Census Advisory Committee on the Asian Population, Race and Ethnic Advisory Committees (2003—2012; Vice Chair, 2004—2010; Chair 2010—2012), U.S. Census Bureau.

Major Honors, Awards, and Grants: Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar, India (2016—2017); Visiting Geographical Scientist (Gamma Theta Upsilon-AAG, 2016); Outstanding Faculty Mentors Award, Faculty Women’s Association, ASU (2015); AAG Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honor (2014); Writing Residency Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (2014); Distinguished Career Award (2013), Distinguished Scholar Award (2012), EGSG, AAG; Outstanding Services and Contributions (2012), Valued Partner of Census 2010 (2011), U.S. Census Bureau; 2009 Book Award in Social Sciences, Association for Asian American Studies (2011); National Asia Research Associate, The National Bureau of Asian Research and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2010–2011); Visiting Fulbright Research Chair in Ethnicity and Multicultural Citizenship (2006–2007); Nystrom Dissertation Award, AAG (1999).

Research funding includes the National Science Foundation (four grants), the Government of Canada (three grants), U.S. Federal Reserve System, U.S.–India Educational Foundation, and Canada-U.S. Fulbright Foundation. Funded projects analyze highly-skilled international migration and transnational connections among Canada, China, India, and the U.S.; financial institutions and immigrant community developmentin Canada and the U.S.; and studying the impacts of Hurricane Katrina on African American and Vietnamese American communities in New Orleans East.

Research and Teaching Interests: geography of race and ethnicity, migration and integration, financial sector and minority community development, highly-skilled migration and transnational connection; human migration and comparative immigration. Funded research informs and was incorporated into classroom teaching. Involving students (graduate and undergraduate) in research, publication, and grant proposal writing is the hallmark, and mentoring students is the passion.

Publications: Co-editor of the Sage Handbook for International Migration (forthcoming);author of Ethnoburb: The New Ethnic Community in Urban America (2009; University of Hawaii Press), co-translator of Ethnoburb (2018; in Chinese, Commercial Press); editor of From Urban Enclave to Ethnic Suburb: New Asian Communities in Pacific Rim Countries (2006; University of Hawaii Press); co-editor of The Housing and Economic Experiences of Immigrants in North American Cities (2015; University of Toronto Press); Immigrant Geographies of North American Cities (2012; Oxford University Press); Landscape of Ethnic Economy (2006; Rowman and Littlefield), and theme issues of Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies (2009) and GeoJournal (2007). A total of 138 journal articles, book chapters, other scholarly or educational publications have appeared in journals such as Annals of Association of American Geographers; Environment and Planning A; GeoForum; Geographic Review; Professional Geographers; Urban Studies; Urban Geography; Journal of Asian American Studies; and AAG’s CGGE website.

Statement: I came to the U.S. as a junior exchange scholar from China. I became a Ph.D. student, obtained a tenure-track position, and advanced through the tenure-promotion process from Assistant to Full Professor. I also progressed from F-1 visa international student to naturalized U.S. citizen. As a woman of color, immigrant, non-native-English speaker/writer who has always held joint appointments between Geography and Asian American Studies, I bring a unique perspective of surviving both academic and immigration processes in hoping to thrive as a scholar, mentor, and global citizen.

I have participated in all but one AAG Annual Meeting since 1988, witnessing changes in geography and AAG itself. I took part in the Department Leadership Workshop and Early Career GFDA Workshop as a participant and a mentor respectively. AAG potentially can do more in advancing geography, scientific knowledge and societal impacts. If elected an AAG National Councilor, I will support AAG’s existing initiatives while working specifically on:

  1. Making geography more inclusive by promoting equality and equity. For example, working to make the composition of students and faculty more reflective of the general population; supporting female scholars, foreign-born faculty, first-generation and international students, and underrepresented minorities (ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, and religion) by providing more tailored mentoring programs; and recognizing the achievements of diverse scholars so students and junior faculty have role models whose experiences they can directly relate to (evident in the 2019 AAG Honoree list).

  2. Engaging efforts to ensure geography departments are welcoming and anti-racist/sexist/xenophobic work communities. In light of the #MeToo movement, the recent Supreme Court hearing, and increasing racist and xenophobic hate crimes in the U.S., I hope to advance policies and mechanisms that support victims of physical/racial/religious/sexual violence and allow them to feel comfortable in the reporting process.

  3. Exploring a new initiative on “Geography and Mobility/Migration”. This would parallel AAG’s existing initiatives “Geography and Humanities,” “Geography and Health,” “Geography and Climate Change,” “Geography and Human Rights” and “Geography and Ethics.” It is to engage and promote mobility/migration-related research, publication, teaching, and outreach, while searching for alternative job prospects for students and junior faculty.

  4. Bridging different subfields, theoretical and methodological expertise, and international perspectives (e.g., critical social theories, traditional geographical theories, quantitative/spatial sciences, and qualitative/humanistic approaches). To encourage transformative scholarship and address societal needs collaborative work is required across areas and national boundaries with joint publications with non-U.S.-based scholars, more participation in international conferences, and training our students with a global perspective to counter the nationalist trend in the world.

  5. Promoting public scholarship. We can assert what NSF terms “broader impacts” by encouraging publications outside traditional scholarly journals and involvement in public service and community engagement. However, geography departments also need to develop mechanisms to recognize such work in hiring and tenure/promotion processes.  


Rashad Shabazz

RASHAD SHABAZZ. Associate Professor, Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation; Affiliate Faculty, Geography, School of Geographical Sciences, Affiliate Faculty The Design School Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Ph.D., 2008, University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. 2002, Justices Studies Arizona State University, B.S., 2002, Political Science/Philosophy, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Service to Geography and AAG: I have been an active member and participant of the AAG since 2008. In addition to being on many panels over the years, I have also served on the AAG diversity taskforce in 2016 and I am an active member in the Black Geographies specialty group. I have served on this group since its inception in 2017. Before that, I was part of group of scholars that held panels to mark out the intellectual terrain of Black geographic thought. I am currently serving as a mentor for Black geographers interested in GIS and physical geography. I am also serving on the sexual harassment taskforce for the AAG, which is charged with the task of writing a statement and policies regarding sexual harassment and assault for all AAG gatherings.

Since entering the discipline in 2008, I have actively advocated for geographic education. I was a faculty member in the department of Geography at The University of Vermont from 2009-2015. There I taught and mentored students in department. I developed the departments human geographic side through creating courses on race, gender, sexuality, cultural production and geography. I also developed the departments first class on theory and geography. As a faculty member I served on numerous department committees, which helped to strengthen the unit. During my tenure at UVM, our undergraduate majors steadily grew. Since 2015, I have been a faculty member in the School of Social Transformation, in the program of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University. I am the only geographer in the unit and one of two in the school. I have introduced human geography into the curriculum, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. This fall I developed and taught a new graduate seminar on Just and Unjust Geographies. This course introduced students to human geography, focusing on how geographers use space, place and mobility as lenses to understand, illuminate, and solve social problems. The students have enjoyed the course so much that much of the class will be attending the AAG in Washington D.C. where they will deliver papers developed over the course of the semester. In the fall of 2018, I became an affiliate faculty member in the Geography program in the School of Geographical Sciences, at ASU. As an affiliate faculty member, I will teach one course per year, advise graduate and undergraduate students, and serve on committees.

I have helped to grow the intellectual field of race geographies in general the Black geographies in particular. As stated, I am part of small group that mapped the intellectual terrain of Black geographies. I have given over thirty presentations on race, blackness, and geography at the AAG since 2008. I co-organized (with Kathrin McKittrick) a 2010 gathering at the AAG in Washington D.C. on race, gender, and geography, which brought two dozen people, many from outside the disciple, to present their work. I spoke on several panels at the 2018 AAG in New Orleans, which focused on Black geographies. I have also been asked to serve as a panelist on three author’s meets critics panels, where I reviewed books on race, gender, sexuality, and geography.

Since 2015 I have served on the editorial board of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. I have also served on on the editorial board for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers since 2016. In addition, I have also reviewed book manuscripts on race, gender, and geography for Temple University Press, The University of Georgia Press, The University of Chicago Press, among others.

Research: My academic work has focused on spatializing the study of race and racializing the study of space. My academic expertise brings together human geography, cultural studies, gender studies, and critical prison studies. My research explores how race, gender, power, and culture are informed by geography. My most recent work, Spatializing Blackness, (University of Illinois Press, 2015) examines how carceral power within the geographies of Black Chicagoans shaped urban planning, housing policy, policing practices, gang formation, high incarceration rates, masculinity, and health.

Publications: I have published 16 journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. My scholarship has appeared in Souls, The Spatial-Justice Journal, ACME, Gender, Place and Culture and Occasions. I have recently published a chapter (City) in the edited volume Keywords in African American Studies (University of California Press, 2018). I am currently working on two projects: the first examines how Black people use public spaces to negotiate and perform race, gender and sexual identity as well as to express political or cultural identity. The second project uncovers the role geography played in the rise to "the Minneapolis sound." 

Statement: As a member of the national council I would like to continue the work of creating space for people of color, sexual minorities, and women in the discipline. In the years that I’ve been attending the AAG, I have witnessed a change in who attends. More students and faculty of color have been drawn to the meeting. As part of the national council I want continue to bring underrepresented people and ideas into the organization, because these perspectives and ideas will enrich our discipline. In addition to expanding our tent, I think it is important, that we utilize the wealth of knowledge in our organization to influence the public. As scholars we have an obligation to share our work with people outside of academy. If elected to the national council I want to organize a task force to engage with everyday citizens about issues like climate, wealth inequality, racism, and war. Geographers have a lot to say about what is happening in the world and how to make it better, and it’s time the AAG took the lead in helping them to share their ideas with the public.