Association of American Geographers
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AAG Honors Committee A

(one to be elected)

Thomas J. Baerwald

THOMAS J. BAERWALD. Retired, previously National Science Foundation. Ph.D. and M.A. (University of Minnesota), B.A.-Honors (Valparaiso University)

Service to the AAG and Geography: AAG President (2007-2008), AAG Past President (2006-2007), AAG Past President (2008-2009), AAG National Councilor (2003-2006), AAG West Lakes Regional Councilor (1985-1988), National Council for Geographic Education Executive Board member (1987-1989), AAG Long-Range Planning Committee Chair (1986-1989 and 2000-2002) and AAG Long-Range Planning Committee member (2013-2016), NCGE Long-Range Planning Committee Chair (1989-1991), AAG Nominating Committee member (2013), AAG Finance Committee member (1989-2002), AAG Urban Geography Specialty Group Chair (1980-1982) and newsletter editor (1980-1984)

Awards and Honors: AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors (2019), AAG Fellow (2018), NSF Director's Award for Program Management Excellence (2013), NSF Director's Awards for Collaborative Integration (2007, 2009), American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow (2003), NSF Director's Superior Accomplishment Award (2001), Distinguished Service Honors (1997), NSF Director's Award for Management Excellence (1994)

Administrative and Research Experience: Employed by the National Science Foundation (1988-2018). During most of his 31 years of service at NSF, Baerwald was one of the program directors administering the Geography and Spatial Sciences Program. He also played lead roles in many NSF interdisciplinary activities, including the Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems, Human and Social Dynamics, and Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research competitions. Baerwald periodically served in administrative positions at NSF, including terms as Deputy Assistant Director for Geosciences and as an interim/acting director of the Social and Behavioral and the Behavioral and Cognitive Science divisions. Major emphases of Baerwald's own research have been metropolitan development and urban transportation and the conduct of interdisciplinary research.

Major Publications: "The Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation: lessons learned in interdisciplinary funding program development and management" (with Penelope L. Firth, and Sarah L. Ruth), Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2016); "The Legacy of Andrew Isserman at the US National Science Foundation", International Regional Science Review (2013); "Prospects for Geography as an Interdisciplinary Discipline", Annals of the AAG (2010); "Defining and Unraveling Biocomplexity" (with William K. Michener and four others), BioScience (December 2001); "Changing Sales Patterns in Major American Metropolises, 1963-1982", Urban Geography (1989), "How to Plunge into the Research Funding Pool" (with Ronald F. Abler), Professional Geographer (1989); "Land Use Change in Suburban Clusters and Corridors", Transportation Research Record (1982); "The Site Selection Process of Suburban Residential Builders", Urban Geography (1981);  "The Emergence of a New 'Downtown'", Geographical Review (1978). Baerwald also was co-author (with Celeste Fraser) of World Geography: Building a Global Perspective, World Geography: A Global Perspective, and Prentice Hall World Geography, a series of secondary school textbooks published over 11 editions by Pearson Prentice Hall.  


Michael Solem

MICHAEL SOLEM. Professor, Department of Geography, Texas State University. Ph.D. (University of Colorado) and M.S. & B.S. (Penn State).

Service to AAG and Geography: From 2003-2017, I was a full-time staff member at the AAG, holding the positions of Educational Affairs Director and Deputy Director for Research and Education. I currently serve AAG as Senior Advisor for Geography Education and co-Director of the National Center for Research in Geography Education. Since 2002, I have contributed to the AAG’s annual Geography Faculty Development Alliance workshops for early career faculty. As an AAG representative for the Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP), I chaired study groups for an Advanced Placement course in Geographic Information Science & Technology (AP GIS&T) and a Trends in International Geography Assessment Study. I currently serve as Treasurer for the International Geographical Union's Commission on Geographical Education and am a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Geography in Higher Education and Review of International Geographical Education Online.

Awards, Honors, Grants: I am the 2015 recipient of the AAG Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education. I have twice received the Journal of Geography in Higher Education’s award for promoting excellence in teaching and learning for research on faculty development and graduate education in geography. In 2003 I received the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award. I have been principal investigator on several large-scale, federally funded projects supporting geography and geographers at all levels of education. My grants include 14 awards from NSF totaling $4.5 million.

Research and Teaching Interests: Geography education, particularly 1) curriculum theory, 2) teacher education and professional development, 3) large-scale educational assessment studies, 4) diversity and inclusion, and 5) professional development for geography students and early career faculty.

Publications: My publications include articles (44) in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, The Professional Geographer, Research in Higher Education, Education About Asia, The Geography Teacher, the Journal of Geography in Higher Education, and the edited books Aspiring Academics, Teaching College Geography, Practicing Geography, and Learning Progressions for Maps, Geospatial Technology and Spatial Thinking: A Research Handbook.