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2013 Los Angeles Highlights

The Association of American Geographers 2013 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles hosted more than 7,500 geographers, GIS specialists, environmental scientists, and other registrants from around the world sharing the very latest in research, policy, and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. Of those attending, thousands, representing approximately XX% came from countries other than the USA, which continues a steady trend toward increased international participation at AAG Meetings. For comparison, the 2006 meeting in Chicago registered approximately 20% international attendees, while the 1982 meeting in San Antonio had only 59 international attendees, or 2.8% of the registered total.

Eric Sheppard's Opening Presidential PlenaryAnna L. Tsing, UC Santa Cruz; Jim Glassman, U. of British Columbia; Ananya Roy, UC Berkeley; Eric Sheppard, AAG president; and Fulong Wu, University College London, discussed "Emerging Asias" during the opening presidential plenary.

This year, attendees came from XX different countries, including XX nations of developing or emerging economies. The largest participation of scholars from outside of the U.S. came from Canada, the UK, Germany, and China, with strong representation among geographers in developing regions. Many others attending from countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ghana, France, Iran, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Spain, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and many more enriched the intellectual and social events throughout the week-long conference.

The AAG Annual Meeting also featured several diversely themed research tracks and special events, many with strong international dimensions. One major themed track focused on Global Urbanization and Symposium on New Geographies of Urban China, with more than 100 sessions during the course of the conference, beginning with the outstanding Opening Presidential Plenary, “Emerging Asias,” organized by AAG President Eric Sheppard.

AAG Past President Audrey Kobayashi presents Bobby Wilson with the Presidential Achievement AwardAudrey Kobayashi delivers her Past President's address and presents Bobby Wilson with the Presidential Achievement Award.

Past President Audrey Kobayashi informed attendees on the importance of diversity with “Dialectica Interrupta: The Idea of ‘Race’ in the Discipline of Geography,” and presented this year’s AAG Presidential Achievement Award to Bobby Wilson. Additional distinguished awards, including AAG Honors, were conveyed during the AAG Awards Luncheon on the final day of the conference.

????International Reception; Young Leaders Mapping Sustainable Development Challenges: My Community, Our Earth Beyond Rio+20 Poster Session & AAG Diversity Ambassadors Networking Reception.????

Other themes developed for the Los Angeles meeting included Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice; Climate Change, Variability, Adaptation and Justice; Activist Geographies: Struggles for Social and Environmental Justice and Geographies of Hope Symposium; Borders; Milestones in Geography Education; CyberGIS Symposium; Land Systems Science Symposium; Spatiotemporal Thinking, Computing and Applications; Geographies of Media; and much more.

Wide-ranging plenary addresses were delivered by Jack Dangermond, Esri president; Robert J. Sampson, author; Authors Jared Diamond and Charles Mann; and Michael T. Jones, Google’s chief technology advocate; Michael Dear, UC-Berkeley; Roger Sayre, USGS; Gilbert M. Grosvenor, National Geographic.

The above summary represents only a few of the many exciting sessions and international activities that took place at the 2013 AAG Annual Meeting. Numerous other paper, poster, and panel sessions and presentations highlighted geographic work organized by AAG members and AAG Specialty and Affinity Groups. Field trips, workshops, and a special emphasis on Careers in Geography also greatly enriched the experience of AAG conference participants. A selection of photographs from the conference follows below.