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History, Politics, and Social Engagement in Southern Africa
27 December 2014 - 17 January 2015
Lusaka, Zambia
History, Politics, and Social Engagement in Southern Africa is a three-week course to be held in Lusaka, Zambia. The course is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the history and politics of southern Africa and at the same time get immersed in community engagement, projects, and culture in the host country. The course will also feature trips to Zambian historical and cultural attractions to enable students to experience African society and cultural life. It will in addition feature a trip to a game park to expose students to challenges of wild life conservation and learning at a service site. The main objective of this program is to enhance and reinforce academic learning by providing students the opportunity to actively engage with institutions/organizations related to the politics, history, and social activities of Zambia. Cost of the program is US$2,300 which includes: airport transfers, accommodation, orientation, excursion transfers, excursion accommodation, all museum admission fees, two meals a day, and one weekend excursion.

National Geographic Young Explorer Grant (ongoing)

Young Explorers Grants (YEG) offer opportunities to individuals ages 18 to 25 to pursue research, conservation, and exploration-related projects consistent with National Geographic's existing grant programs, including: the Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE), the Expeditions Council (EC), and the Conservation Trust (CT).

National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration Grant (ongoing)

The National Geographic Society awards grants for scientific field research and exploration through its Committee for Research and Exploration. All proposed projects must have both a geographical dimension and relevance to other scientific fields and be of broad scientific interest.
Applications are generally limited to the following disciplines: anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, biology, botany, geography, geology, oceanography, paleontology, and zoology.

International Geospatial Society (IGS) Free Memberships

At its recent meeting, the GSDI Board of Directors passed a motion that allows individuals in low and very low income nations to join the International Geospatial Society (IGS) by providing specific information of value to the global community in lieu of annual cash dues. To join, simply add your professional profile to the growing interconnected network of geospatial specialists across the globe. Benefits of membership in IGS are listed at For further information, contact Harlan Onsrud (, Executive Director, GSDI Association.





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ions at the University of Connecticut (which has an ambitious program to expand the visibility and quality of the graduate program there); at Central Connecticut (with new hires in GIS and Tourism); and at Dartmouth College with two new positions and two new post-docs. The University of Vermont, Westfield State University, and Southern Connecticut University have all made new tenure-track hires.


Programs that offer GIS certificates have seen growth in that sector while Keene State College in New Hampshire is opening a new Community GIS lab. NESTVAL Geographers have continued to support Geographic Alliances to advance Geography in K-12 education. The New Hampshire Alliance has secured a state-wide license for ESRI software for all K-12 schools in the state. Meanwhile, the University of Vermont continues its “across the disciplines” spatial analysis/GIS initiative. Finally it is important to note that several programs have been engaged in cross disciplinary partnerships in Sustainability, the Environment, and Food Systems – some of these at the graduate level.


Pacific Coast Division(Scott Mensing)

The APCG will hold its 2014 annual meeting September 24-27 in Tucson, Arizona. The meeting will be held at the University of Arizona and is being hosted by the School of Geography and Development, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Institute of the Environment and Southern Arizona Geographers Association. Chris Lukinbeal of the University of Arizona and Tina Kennedy of Northern Arizona University are coordinating the conference. Chris also happens to be the President-elect for the APCG.

The organization’s publication, the APCG Yearbook, published once a year since 1935, is now available electronically through JSTOR, exclusive of the most recent three years. APCG president, Sriram Khé, has blogged about once a month on geographical items of interest. The blog can be seen at He is encouraging a meeting-wide discussion at the APCG Presidential plenary entitled Quo vadis “where are you going” or more to the point for Geographers “where are we going?” This theme picks up from ideas generated through the AAG concerning the direction of departments and specialty groups.

APCG's Executive Council and the Women's Network will co-sponsor the Feminist Geography Conference 2014 “Who we are, what we do and why we do it” being held in Omaha, Nebraska. The APCG Women’s Network has a long history in support of women’s activities in Geography.


Southeast Division(Derek Alderman)

SEDAAG will hold its 2014 annual November meeting in Athens, Georgia. It has been 18 years since SEDAAG last met at the University of Georgia and it represents an important effort to encourage the (re)involvement of traditional major Ph.D. program programs in the Regional Division. The participation of faculty members from those programs has fallen off over the past several years. There is some anxiety among the Athens organizers about how to carry out guidelines for AAG-supported childcare at regional meetings. The AAG might consider making an initial contact with local arrangements folks with each region to coordinate, if the association has not already.

At the 2013 SEDAG meeting in Roanoke, Virginia, the Regional Division supported, financially, the participation of several students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It was a major success and the supported students were actively involved in attending papers, posters, social events, and networking with students and faculty. SEDAAG has plans for continuing this support of student attendance from these colleges, with the target being institutions in Georgia for the Athens meeting. The AAG might consider the benefit of a similar program at the national level.


Southwest Division(Ron Hagelman)

SWAAG hosts a regional peer-reviewed journal, The Southwestern Geographer. Until recently, the journal was cooperatively housed at The University of Houston-Clearlake and Texas A&M University. At the fall 2013 business meeting it was agreed that the journal needed to be reinvigorated and reintroduced to potential authors and reviewers. To that end, the Department of Geography at Texas State University volunteered to host the journal (its first home when it was started back in the mid-1990s). The journal will be moving to an Open Access online platform to ensure rapid turn-around, higher visibility, and easier access.

SWAAG has a new website: SWAAG leadership is currently exploring the best way to leverage this site with the capabilities of the Regional Division Knowledge Communities at the AAG. The site will be officially launched this fall in conference with our fall meeting to be held in Albuquerque, NM, and hosted by the University of New Mexico. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Division.

Of both regional and national importance, The Texas State University Department of Geography is happy to announce the formation of the National Center for Research in Geography Education. This Center represents a partnership between the Association of American Geographers and the Texas State Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education. Visit the NCRGE website for details at


West Lakes Division(Laura Smith)

The 2014 West Lakes annual meeting will be held jointly with the East Lakes Division October 17-19 in Kalamazoo, MI, hosted by Western Michigan University. Lisa DeChano is serving as program chair.

Relevant to Council’s larger discussion of “rebranding” of departments, a number of departments across the region have recently been involved in the creation of new programs at varying levels that have been given names other than “Geography.” Last fall, DePaul University began a new MA program in “Sustainable Urban Development” in which about 60% of the classes are taught by Geography faculty. The University of Missouri Geography Department is in the planning stages of establishing a joint doctoral program with Geological Sciences that would be called a Ph.D. in “Geosciences.” The Geography Department at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville has developed three new minors open to any major across campus – Meteorology/Climatology; Urban Studies (interdisciplinary); GIS – that will go into effect fall 2014.

Department chairs from some of the smaller schools in the region report that their libraries no longer subscribe to GEOBASE as a result of restructured pricing options several years ago, which makes student geographic research especially challenging. Might the pricing options for GEOBASE for small schools be something the AAG could address?