Association of American Geographers
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Nominating Committee

(three to be elected)

Natalie Koch

NATALIE KOCH. Associate Professor, Department of Geography, O’Hanley Faculty Scholar, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Ph.D. (Geography, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2012), M.A. (Geography, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2009), B.A. (Geography, Russian Area Studies, Dartmouth College, 2006).

Service to AAG and Geography: President, Political Geography Specialty Group (2015-2017); Secretary/Treasurer, Political Geography Specialty Group (2013-2015); Secretary/Treasurer, Middle East Specialty Group (2015-2017); Faculty Board Member, Eurasian Specialty Group (2015-2017); Editorial Board member of Eurasian Geography & Economics; GeoJournal; Geopolitics (2017-present); Peer reviewer for 48 journals (15-25 articles/year) and NSF GSS.

Other Professional Service: Faculty Coordinator, SU Maxwell School Central Asia and the Caucasus Research Group (2017-present); Executive Committee Member, Maxwell School BA & MA International Relations programs (2017-present); Editorial Board member of Nationalities Papers; Syracuse University Press (2018-present); Executive Board member, American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (2018-present); Awards Committee, Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (2018-present); Secretary, Central Eurasian Studies Society (2014-2016); Fulbright Fellowship Campus Evaluator (2016-present); Peer reviewer for American Councils; Kazakhstan National Centre of Science and Technology; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, etc.

Professional Experience: Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Syracuse University (2017-present); O’Hanley Faculty Scholar, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University (2017-present); Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Syracuse University (2012-2017)

Honors, Awards, and Grants: Merget Fellow, SU Maxwell-in-Washington program (2019-2020); Fulbright Core Scholars, Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program (2019); Aleksanteri Institute Fellow, University of Helsinki (2014, 2018); SU Maxwell School Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service (2016); SU Meredith Professors’ Teaching Recognition Award (2016); SSRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for Transregional Research (2013); select graduate awards included NSF DDRI, GRF, IREX (2009-2012).

Research and Teaching Interests: I am a political geographer focused on geopolitics, nationalism, and authoritarianism in the post-Soviet space and the Arabian Peninsula. My empirical research explores alternative sites of geopolitical analysis such as sport, spectacle, higher education, sustainability, urban development, and other allegedly positive expressions of authoritarian state power, which differentially engage individuals as political subjects. In my diverse projects, I am ultimately interested in how people (re)produce place-based affinities and identities, and in so doing, construct moral geographies of liberalism and illiberalism. My teaching focuses on topics in urban and political geography, but has included courses on Middle East regional geographies, sports geography, and qualitative methods.

Publications: I havepublished extensively in a range of edited volumes and journals such as Political Geography, Progress in Human Geography; Geoforum, Geography Compass; Urban Geography, Area, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers; Eurasian Geography and Economics. As a member of PONARS Eurasia, I also publish with the group’s flagship policy memo series, and am the author of The geopolitics of spectacle: Space, synecdoche, and the new capitals of Asia (Cornell University Press, 2018) and editor of Critical geographies of sport: Space, power, and sport in global perspective (Routledge, 2017). 


Patrick Lawrence

PATRICK LAWRENCE.  Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toledo (2011-present). Ph.D. Geography, University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada (1996). M.Sc. Geography, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada (1991). B.E.S. Honors Geography, University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada (1989).

Service to the AAG:  AAG National Council - East Lakes Division Regional Councilor (2015-2018), AAG National Council Regional Councilors Chair (2017-2018); AAG Committee on Committees member (2017-2018), AAG International Research Committee Interim Chair (2017-2018), AAG East Lakes Division Executive Committee (2006-2012), Local Organizing Committee Chair 2013 ELDAAG/CAGONT Annual Meeting, Local Organizing Committee Chair 2006 ELDAAG Annual Meeting, AAG Member since 1990, attended and presented and/or organized special session at every AAG Annual meeting since 2000.

Other Professional Service: Partners for Clean Streams Inc., Founding President and Board member (2006-2016), The Coastal Society Board of Directors member and Chair of the Membership Committee (2010-2012), International Association of Great Lakes Research Nominations Committee Chair (2007-2009), Coastal Zone Canada Association Board of Directors-Vice President Great Lakes (1998-2008), Maumee RAP Public Advisory Committee Member (2001-2014) Chair (2018-2014); Grant Reviewer:  National Science Foundation, USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Ohio Sea Grant, Maryland Sea Grant, NIWR-USGS National Competitive Grants Program, NOAA Prevention, Mitigation, and Control of Harmful Algal Blooms Program, NASA Postdoctoral Program, Social Science and Humanities Research Council Canada, US EPA STAR/GRO Graduate Fellowship Programs Grant Review Panel; Journal Reviewer: Canadian Geographer, Environments, Great Lakes Geographer, Ocean & Coastal Management, Journal of Environmental Management, Geomorphology, Journal of Geography, Cities, Water International, International Journal of Lakes and Rivers, Journal of Human Ecology, Proceedings of the Applied Geography Conference, Research in Geographic Education, Environmental Management.

Professional Experience: Associate Dean College of Arts and Letters University of Toledo (2016-2017), Chair Department of Geography and Planning University of Toledo (2010-2016), Associate Professor Department of Geography and Planning University of Toledo (2006-2011), Assistant Professor Department of Geography and Planning University of Toledo (2000-2006), Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toledo (1999-2000).

Honors, Awards and Grants: Clean Streams Partner Award-Partners for Clean Streams Inc., Dean’s Recognition Award for Service as Department Chair, UT Jefferson Award for Community Service, Edith Rathbun Award for Excellence in Outreach and Engagement, College Faculty Excellence Award; 39 external research grants awarded totaling $2.4 million including: National Science Foundation, NASA Climate Change Education Programs, USEPA, Ohio EPA, USDA, US Fish & Wildlife Service, State of Ohio, Joyce Foundation, Ohio Sea Grant.

Research Interests:  Water Resources, Watershed Management, Wetland Planning, Great Lakes Water Levels, Great Lakes Water Quality, Harmful Algae Blooms, Planning for Urban Stream Restoration, Climate Change Education, Use of GIS and Remote Sensing Technology in Community Based Environmental Decision-Making, Management of Parks and Protected Areas, Impacts of Land Cover & Land Use Change, Great Lakes Coastal & Shoreline Management and Geomorphology, Natural Hazards theory and assessment, Great Lakes management and education.

Publications and Presentations: 125 total publications including peer reviewed and edited journal papers and book chapters, edited book volumes, edited conference papers, project reports and others, that includes: Places: Linking Nature and Culture for Understanding and Planning-co editor with J. Gordon Nelson (University of Calgary Press), Geotechnologies and the Environment: Geospatial Tools for Urban Water Resources (Springer Press), Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Coastal Management, Ocean & Coastal Management, Geomorphology, Land Use Policy, Journal of Coastal Research, Great Lakes Geographer, Natural Areas Journal, Land and Water, Journal of Parks, Protected Areas and Cultural Sites, Environments, Shore and Beach.  Given 250+ presentations at international, national, regional and local conferences, professional meetings and community events (and serving as key note speaker on several occasions) with forums including AAG, Canadian Association of Geographers, International Association of Great Lakes Research, American Meteorological Society, George Wright Parks Forum, Applied Geography Conference, AAG East Lakes Division, Coastal Zone Canada Association, Coastal Society, International Erosion Control Association, Academic Chairs Association, American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing, National Sea Grant Program, USEPA Great Lakes Program Office, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Council for Geographic Education.

Teaching Interests: Have taught over 2,000 total students across 70+ courses for undergraduate students, geography majors, general education, Masters and PhD programs with formats including lecture, online and blended learning: Environmental Geography, Geography of United States and Canada, Environmental Planning, Climate Change, Geographic Research and Natural Disasters, Geography of the Great Lakes, Graduate Seminar in Environmental Planning, Graduate Seminars in Research Design, Professional Development in Geography, Environmental Aspects of Spatially Integrated Social Sciences (PhD program), Great Lakes Environmental Issues and Human Impacts; have advised 30+ MA and Ph.D. candidates with 12 successful defenses and program completions, four current graduate students.


Kefa Otiso

KEFA M. OTISO. Professor of Geography, Bowling Green State University. Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 2000). M.A. (Ohio University, 1993). B. Ed. (Kenyatta University, 1990). 

Service to Geography: Member, Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference Board (2018). Associate Editor & Editor, African Geographical Review (2008 –2012). Member, East Lakes AAG Planning Committee (2005). AAG Conference Session Organizer and Chair (2003-2015). Reviewer of tenure and promotion dossiers for various geography programs (2007-16). Editorial board member, African Geographical Review (2012 - Present). Manuscript reviewer for geography journals (2000-2018) including Economic Geography, Environment and Planning A, The Geographical Review, Geoforum, Urban Affairs, Applied Geography, and Urban Geography. Development of undergraduate and graduate geography curriculum and research capacity in Kenya (2015, 2016).  Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography Reader (2006-8, 2009-10).

Other Professional Service: Member, [Ohio] New African Immigrant Commission (September 2018 - Present). Past president, Kenya Scholars and Studies Association (2008-2018). Grant reviewer for the NSF, Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, Austrian Science Fund, and Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Textbook and book proposal reviewer for McGraw-Hill, Wiley, and Oxford University Press.  

Professional Experience: Director of Global Village Learning Community, Bowling Green State University (2010-Present). Associate Professor of Geography, Bowling Green State University (2006–2014). Assistant Professor of Geography, Bowling Green State University (2000-2006). Instructor of Geography, University of Minnesota (Fall 1998). Teaching/Research Assistant, University of Minnesota (1993-1999). Teaching Assistant, Ohio University (1991-1993)

Awards: Professor of Service Excellence, Bowling Green State University (2017-2020). Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear national honors, Republic of Kenya (2008). 

Research and Teaching Interests: I am an urban and economic geographer focusing on urbanization, globalization, economic development, immigration, cultural change, governance, and environmental management in the context of Africa and North America.

Publications: Two books, various book chapters, and many articles in journals like Applied Geography, Cities, Geojournal, African Geographical Review, South African Geographical Journal, and Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.


Murray Rice

MURRAY D. RICE. Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, University of North Texas. Ph.D., M.A., and B.Sc. (University of Saskatchewan, 1995, 1990, 1988).

Service to the AAG: Past Chair (2016-2018), Chair (2014-2016), Vice-Chair (2012-2014), and Secretary-Treasurer (2010-2012), Business Geography Specialty Group of the AAG. Past Chair (2014-2015), Chair (2012-2014), Secretary (2011-2012), and Treasurer (2010-2011), Southwest Division of the AAG.

Other Professional Service: Executive Director, Applied Geography Conferences (2018-present). Member of the Board of Directors, Applied Geography Conferences (2010-2018). Master of Science in Geography Program Advisor, Department of Geography and the Environment, University of North Texas (2011-2015). Co-Editor, The Industrial Geographer (2008-2014). International Editorial Board Member, Geography Research Forum (2008-present). Editorial Board Member, The Southwestern Geographer (2014-present). Reviewer for The Professional Geographer, Urban Geography, The Canadian Geographer, Applied Geography, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Journal of Transport Geography, Geoforum, Geographical Review, Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography, Growth and Change, FOCUS on Geography, and other journals. Chair and member of numerous University of North Texas departmental and college committees, including graduate, curriculum, personnel assessment, and faculty search committees.

Honors, Awards and Grants: Business Geography Distinguished Scholar Award, AAG Business Geography Specialty Group (2018); University of North Texas Excellence in Advising Award (2014); P.I. of a Kauffman Foundation Research Grant (2014); P.I. of three Foreign Affairs Canada Research Grants (2006, 2008, 2010); P.I. of an Alteryx LLC software grant (2010); P.I. and co-P.I. on numerous University of North Texas-funded internal grants.

Research and Teaching Interests: Research specialization in Business Geography, with a focus on issues related to business location and development, high-growth firm evolution, corporate information and infrastructure networks, retail geography, and the relationship between business development and urban change. Teaching experience covering a broad spectrum of courses, ranging from introductory world regional and human geography to advanced undergraduate and graduate urban geography, economic geography, location intelligence, business GIS, retail geography, transportation geography, research design, and multivariate and spatial statistics.

Recent Publications: On the geography of high-growth firm development in Papers in Applied Geography (2018), Growth and Change (2017), and Urban Geography (2015); decoding the development strategy of Walmart, The Professional Geographer (2016); the development of the location intelligence field, Papers in Applied Geography (2016); the geography of corporate board membership and business performance in Urban Geography (2015), Geographical Research (2013), Geoforum (2012), and The Professional Geographer (2012).


Stephen Young

STEPHEN YOUNG. Professor, Geography Department, Salem State University; Ph.D. Clark University 1997; M.E.S. Yale University 1985; B.A. University of Vermont 1982; National Taiwan Normal University, Mandarin Training Center 1989.

Service to the AAG and Geography: AAG Local Arrangements Committee 2008, 2017; Massachusetts State Representative, New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL) 1998 – 2002; NESTVAL World Geography Bowl Coordinator: 2000-02, 2006-present; NESTVAL Conference Chair, Salem, MA, 2009; Program Chair, Salem, MA 1997; Program Committee member, NCGE Boston, 1999; Northeast Geographer Editorial Board 2008-present. Participant in AAG and NESTVAL annual meetings, 1997-present.

Other Professional Service: Manuscript reviewer for over 20 different journals. Outside faculty reviewer: University of Southern Maine, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, Teri University, New Delhi, India and United Arab Emirates University (Al Ain).

Honors, Awards and Grants: NESTVAL Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), Inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2015), Certificate of Appreciation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (2015), Shanghai Normal University Honorary Professor (2015). Over 30 internal university grants as well as others from the National Science Foundation, AAG, New England Biolabs Foundation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, International Crane Foundation, Shanghai Normal University, and the Kunming Institute of Zoology. China Specialty Group, best student paper 1991.

Professional Experience: Salem State University (1995-present), Chair (2007-2010), sabbaticals at: Shanghai Normal University, China, (2018); Ecology, Conservation, & Environment Center,Yunnan, China, (2011); University College London, Department of Geography, (2002-2003). Poverty Alleviation Program, Guizhou Environmental Protection Bureau (1993); Greenpeace – Cambridge MA (1987-89); Forest Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (1986). National Geographic Society, Washington, DC (1982-83).

Research and Teaching Interests, I work at a teaching University (4 – 4 course load) and teach in the areas of sustainability, remote sensing and climate change among other geography classes. Current research interests: climate change in Northeastern North America (where I live and work), forest and biodiversity conservation in China with field work in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Tibet. In addition to traditional research, I explore the intersection between art and geography through art gallery exhibitions, with shows in Australia, Iran, Canada, Philadelphia, Boston’s Science Museum and the headquarters of the National Science Foundation to name a few locations. Art exhibitions have been written up in the Smithsonian on-line as well as in the journal Geohumanities.

Publications and Academic Presentations: co-edited two books (Global Environmental Change and Sustainability, 2013 and International Perspectives on Global Environmental Change, 2012), co-edited a special edition of the journal Northeastern Geographer, and articles in: Asian Geographer, Biological Conservation, Biotropica, Conservation Biology, Forest Ecology and Management., Genocide Studies and Prevention Journal. Geohumanities, Mountain Research and Development, Northeastern Geographer, International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research,International Journal of Remote Sensing, Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing,Vegetation. In addition, annually I give 10-15 public lectures (libraries, Rotary Clubs, churches and schools) concerning climate change as well as extensive public outreach on various geographic topics with over 30 K-12 school lectures, over 150 public lectures and more than 20 art gallery lectures. 


Yolonda Youngs

YOLONDA YOUNGS, Associate Professor, Department of Global Studies, Idaho State University (2012 – Present). Ph.D. in Geography, Arizona State University (2009), M.S. in Earth Sciences - Geography, Montana State University (2004), B.A. in Anthropology, Florida State University (1993).

Service to AAG and Geography: Fourteen years of attendance and presentations at the annual AAG meeting. Secretary/Executive Committee, AAG regional Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (2015 – 2019); Reviewer for the Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Organizer of multiple sessions, over a decade, about national parks and protected areas for the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Member of the cultural geography Specialty Group, Digital Geographies Specialty Group, Environmental Perception and Behavioral Specialty Group, Geographica Information and Science and Systems Specialty Group, Historical Geography Specialty Group, and the Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group.

Other Professional Service: Editorial Board Member (2016 - present) Historical Geography; Reviewer for Journal of Historical Geography, Journal of Cultural Geography, Geographical Review and Oxford University Press. Co-organized two paper sessions for the International Conference of Historical Geographers at the Royal Geographic Society, London. Served as Conference Planning Committee member and Keynote Speaker Selection Committee member for the 13th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (2015 - 2016). Served on numerous university, college and department committees at my home institution including University Research Council, University Curriculum Council, Early College Program Liaison, and Nominations Committee (Chair, department level).

Professional Experience: Associate Professor (2018 – present); Assistant Professor (2016 – 2018), Department of Global Studies, Idaho State University; Assistant Professor (2013 – 2016) and Visiting Assistant Professor (2012-2013), Department of History, Idaho State University; Visiting Assistant Professor (2009-2012), Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University; Graduate Teaching Associate (2006-2009), School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University; Graduate Research Associate (2005 – 2009) Department of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the Department of History, and the Decision Center for a Desert City (alternating semesters); Graduate Teaching Assistant (2004 - 2005), School of Geographical Sciences, Arizona State University, Graduate Teaching Assistant (2002-2004), Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University.

Honors, Awards, and Grants: Outstanding Researcher Award (university wide award, peer-reviewed), Idaho State University (2018); Apple Distinguished Educator Award for iPad use in the classroom, Apple, Inc. in coordination with the Apple in Education Division; U.S. Scholar Award, International Cartographic Association, National Science Foundation ((2011, 2009); International Geographical Union Scholar Award, National Science Foundation and American Association of Geographers (2008); First Place Poster Presentation Award for best faculty/professional poster, Intermountain GIS Conference; Larry Ford Fieldwork Award in Cultural Geography, Association of Pacific Coast Geographers; National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrated Graduate Education Research and Training (IGERT) Associate Award in Urban Ecology (2004 – 2006); Melvin G. Marcus Award for doctoral level fieldwork and research; Carville Earle Award for best student research proposal doctoral level, Historical Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers. External funding for research through grants from the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. National Park Service, Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, Idaho Humanities Council, University of Wyoming-National Park Service Research Center. 

Research and Teaching Interests: Environmental geography, cultural landscapes, tourism, outdoor recreation, GIS and digital geohumanities, and national parks and world heritage sites. I teach classes in World Regional Geography, Cultural Geography, Environment & Geography, Global Tourism, National and International Parks.

Publications and Grants: Co-Editor and Author, The American Environment Revisited: Environmental Historical Geographies of the University States (with Geoffrey Buckley, Rowman & Littlefield Press, 2018). I have published numerous book chapters, book reviews, reports, and scholarly essays including journal articles in the Geographical Review, Environmental History, and Society and Natural Resources: An International Journal. Recent book chapters include hazards and risk in U.S. national parks in Explorations in Place Attachment: A Geographic Perspective (Routledge, 2017), U.S. tourism history in North American Odyssey: Historical Geographies for the Twenty-First Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), and a forthcoming book chapter about Yellowstone Lake in Designs Upon Nature: The Cultural Landscape of Yellowstone National Park (George Thompson Press). My next book project is Framing Nature: The Making of an American Icon at the Grand Canyon explores one hundred years of popular iconography, tourism, cultural landscape change, and environmental management and policy at the Grand Canyon (under contract with the University of Nebraska Press).