2016 AAG Dissertation Research Grants

Every year the AAG provides support for doctoral research in the form of small grants to PhD candidates of any geographic specialty. Three recipients were chosen this year from among 25 applicants and will each receive $1,000.

Clifton Barrineau from the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University is a quaternary scientist studying a large sand plain of aeolian origin in South Texas. The funds from the grant will be used for Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating of sand samples collected from soil cores. This dating will determine periods of aeolian activation across the sand plain and be used to generate a detailed landscape history of the area. An understanding of the landscape’s history can be used to predict the future response to forecast changes in climate and to mitigate negative side effects of land degradation and soil loss via desertification.

Lucia Hussey from the Department of Geography at Western University in Ontario is seeking to identify the infectious diseases that are likely to have the most severe impacts from climate change in her native Ghana. The funds from the grant will support her field research during summer 2016. Her mixed methodology includes a multi-criteria evaluation approach to prioritize climate sensitive infectious diseases, then a survey, in-depth interviews and focus groups in two ecologically and climatically different districts to assess determinants of current vulnerabilities to endemic diseases. Her findings will inform the development of adaptation measures and policies to minimize infectious disease risks due to climate change in Ghana.

Sandy Wong from the Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is conducting research on the causes of low rates of employment and overall well-being among individuals who are visually impaired. The funds from the grant will be used to support her travel to and lodging at her fieldwork site in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her fieldwork will involve collecting qualitative data on individual experiences and perspectives through interviews and participant observation. Her study seeks to demonstrate that space actively creates and strengthens social processes that continue to marginalize individuals with disabilities.

The AAG Dissertation Research Grants are supported partly by the AAG and partly from the Robert D. Hodgson Memorial Ph.D. Dissertation Fund, the Paul Vouras Fund, and the Otis Paul Starkey Fund.