2020 AAG Specialty and Affinity Group Awards

Photo of bright sparkly lights on dark background

The AAG’s 75 interest-based specialty groups and eight affinity groups recognize their members accomplishments over the course of the year. Following are the awardees within each group for 2020:

Africa Specialty Group

Florence Margai Paper Competition Award

  • Moses Kansanga
  • Emmanuel  Kyeremeh, University of Western Ontario

Applied Geography Specialty Group

Research Awards

  • Fikriyah Winata
  • Emily Barrett
  • Abby Therese Boylan
  • Wataru Morioka
  • Paula Perilla Castillo
  • Alana Rader
  • John Swab
  • Junghwan Kim

Asian Geography Specialty Group

AK Chakravarti Award for Best Paper South Asia, Kevin Inks

Best Student Paper Award

  • Yining Tan
  • Sharif Abdul Wahab (runner up)

Biogeography Specialty Group

M.A. Student Research Grant, Keonhak Lee

Ph.D. Research Grant Award, Audrey Denvir

Masters Student Research Award, Keonhak Lee, Seoul National University, Ecological and geomorphological changes after radical coastal management in a temperate dune, South Korea

Ph.D. Student Research Award, Audrey Denvir, University of Texas-Austin, Avocados Become a Global Commodity: Consequences for Forest Carbon

James J. Parsons Award for Lifetime Achievement in Biogeography, Janet Franklin, University of California-Riverside

Cartography Specialty Group

CSG Master’s Thesis Grant, Levi Westerveld

Master’s Thesis Grant Award, Yuhao Kang

China Specialty Group

Best Paper Award

  • Ronghao Jiang
  • Samuel Kay (1st runner up)
  • Jiang Chang (2nd runner up)

Climate Specialty Group

Lifetime Achievement Award, Mark Schwartz

John Russell Mather Paper of the Year, Matthew Dannenberg

Coastal and Marine Specialty Group

Norbert Psuty Student Paper Competition

  • Zachary Hilgendorf (winner)
  • Joshua Hodge (honorable mention)

Critical Geographies of Education

Dissertation Award, Shereen Fernandez

Cultural and Political Ecology

Field Study Award

  • Zachary Goldberg
  • Kripa Dongol

Scholar Activist Award, Jennifer Rice

Student Paper Award

  • Elizabeth Shoffner
  • Kevin Inks

Cultural Geography Specialty Group

Denis Cosgrove Ph.D. Research Grant, Michelle Padley

Scholar Award, Elizabeth Sibilia

Bychkov Ph.D. Paper Award, Samuel Neilson

Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group

Robert Raskin Student Competition

  • Alexander Michels, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Particle swarm optimization for calibration in spatially explicit agent-based modeling (1st place)
  • Yun Li, George Mason University, A spark and density-based algorithm for clustering multivariate geospatial raster data (2nd place)
  • Jiaxin Du, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Interactive visual analytics for sparse trajectory data (3rd place)
  • Zhiqian Wang, George Mason University, A comprehensive analysis for spatiotemporal metadata in NASA EARTHDATA portal based on data relevancy and intelligent algorithms (4th place)
  • Kejin Cui, University of Southern California, Regional environmental cognition: the spatial-temporal semantic analysis of different responses about environmental topics on social media (4th place)

Disability Speciality Group

Todd Reynolds Competition Award, Xuan Zhang

Economic Geography Specialty Group

Best Dissertation Award, Catherine Jampel, Scales of Inclusion: Disability Employment in the U.S. Federal Government and Fortune 500 Companies

Best Student Paper Award, Lisha He, The rise of Chinese foreign investment in the United States: Disentangling investment strategies of state-owned and private enterprises

Student Research Award, Melissa Haller

Energy and Environment Speciality Group

Dissertation Data & Field Work Award, Sara K. Peterson

Earl Cook Award for Best Paper, Danya Al-Saleh

Professional Geographer Award, Michael Simpson

Travel Award

  • Dong Liu
  • Natallia Diessner
  • William Delgado

Ethnic Geography Specialty Group

Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Outstanding Dissertation Proposal Award, Sara Tornabene, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Latinx’ Diverse Economies in the United States: Understanding the Emergence, Development, and Socio-spatial Implications of Collaborative Food Practices in Boston (MA) and Charlotte (NC)

Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Student Paper Award, Qiuxi Li, Cultural Preservation Dilemmas Under Disaster Risk and Modernization – A case study of Chinese traditional villages

Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Early Career Award, Caroline Faria, University of Texas at Austin

Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Distinguished Scholar Award, Qingfang Wang, University of California at Riverside

Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Distinguished Service Award, Heike Alberts

Eurasian Specialty Group

Graduate Paper Award

  • Chelsea Cervantes De Blois
  • Samuel Nielson

Feminist Geographies Specialty Group

Glenda Laws Student Paper Award, Cynthia Morinville

Jan Monk Service Award

  • Lynda Johnston
  • Lorraine Dowler

Susan Hanson Dissertation Proposal Award, Gabrielle Kirk

Geographic Information Science and Systems

Best Student Paper, Seonga Cho (2nd place)

Master’s Thesis Grant Award, Yuhao Kang

Geographies of Food and Agriculture

Graduate Research Award

  • Erica Zurawski
  • Rebecca Wolff

Geomorphology Specialty Group

Reds Wolman Research Award, Anais Zimmer

Graduate Student Affinity Group

Travel Award

  • Theresa Johnson
  • Shelby Loft

Hazards, Risks, and Disasters Specialty Group

Dissertation Award, Yago Martin Gonzalez

Gilbert White Thesis Award, Jennifer Langill

Health and Medical Geography

Jacques May MA Thesis Award, Elaina D Gonsoroski

Peter Gould Paper Award, Lirong Kou

Travel Award

  • Fikriyah Winata
  • Lirong Kou
  • Shelby Loft

Human Dimensions of Global Change

Student Research Award, Alana Rader

Latin America Specialty Group

Best Paper Award, Diego Melo Ascencio, University of Colorado, Reframing the Legal Personhood of Rivers and Forests in Colombia: A Critique of Liberal Territoriality Through an Emphasis on Extractivism, Racialization, and the Hegemony of Rights

Field Study Award Ph.D., Claudia Diaz-Combs, Syracuse University, Project title: From Repression to Resistence: Environmental Social Movements in Ecuador

Field Study Award M.A./M.S., Natalie Gordon, University of Wyoming, Project title: Social Reproduction and Identity Politics of the Coca Leaf in Bolivia

Media and Communications

Stan Brunn Award

  • Hilary Faxon (runner up)
  • Dylan Harris(runner up)

Middle East Specialty Group

Student Paper Award

  • Danya Al-Saleh
  • Hanieh Molana

Mountain Geography Specialty Group

Chimborazo Student Research Grant Award, Anais Zimmer

Mauna Kea Student Presentation Award, Danika Mosher

Paleoenvironmental Change

Butzer Award, Glen Sproul dit MacDonald, UCLA,

Mosley Thompson Award, Jiaying Wu, University of Georgia, Wu et al. Wu, J., Porinchu, D., Horn, S.P.  2019. Late Holocene hydroclimate variability in Costa Rica: Signature of the Terminal Classic Drought and the Medieval Climate Anomaly in the northern tropical Americas. Quaternary Science Reviews 215: 144–159.

Political Geography

Travel Award, Sanan Moradi

Dissertation Award, Jennifer McGibbon

Graduate Student Paper Award

  • Jonghee Lee Caldararo
  • Hilary Faxon

Travel Award

  • Sharif Abdul Wahab
  • Sameera Ibrahim
  • Dylan Brady
  • Isabel Airas
  • Esra Alkim Karaagac

Undergraduate Paper Award, Sara Kaminski

Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award, Lindsay Naylor, University of Delaware,  Fair Trade Rebels: Coffee Production and Struggles for Autonomy in Chiapas (University of Minnesota Press)

Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award,  Austin Kocher, TRAC Reports/Syracuse University

Stanley D. Brunn Junior Scholar Award, Andrew Curley, University of North Carolina/University of Arizona

Virginia Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award, Kate Coddington, SUNY Albany, The slow violence of life without cash: borders, state restrictions, and exclusion in the U.K. and Australia (Geographical Review 2019)

Population Specialty Group

Lifetime Achievement, Patricia Gober

Queer and Trans Geographies Specialty Group

Paper Competition

  • Suad Jabr (1st place)
  • Jacklyn Weier (2nd place)

Recreation, Tourism, and Sport

Paper Competition

  • Minji Kim (winner)
  • Danielle Nagle (runner up)
  • Michelle Harangody (runner up)
  • J.A. Cooper (runner up)

John Rooney Award, Jarkko Saarinen

Roy Wolfe Award, Patrick Brouder

Remote Sensing

RSSG Student Illustrated Paper Competition Award

  • Yanzhe Yin, University of Georgia, Identifying urban heat vulnerability by integrating foot-traffic information with remote sensed temperature (1st place)
  • Thomas Bilintoh, Clark University, Methods to compare cases concerning categorical transitions during various time intervals (2nd place)
  • Kayla Bradford, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Remote sensing of the urban heat island effect in Wisconsin (3rd place)

RSSG Student Honors Paper Competition Award

  • Zijun Yang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, A robust hybrid deep learning modeling framework for spatiotemporal image fusion (1st place)
  • Dao Phuong, University of Toronto, Improving hyperspectral image segmentation by applying inverse noise weighting and outlier removal for optimal scale selection (2nd place)
  • Ying Lu, University at Buffalo, Automatic training sample collection method for timely large-scale mangrove mapping (3rd place)
  • Jie Dai, San Diego State University, Mapping understory invasive plant species with field and remotely sensed data in Chitwan, Nepal (3rd place)

Spatial Analysis and Modeling

John Odland Award

  • Ziqi Li (1st place)
  • Nana Luo (2nd place)
  • Paul Jung (3rd place)

Stand Alone Geographers Affinity Group

Helen Ruth Aspaas Innovator Award, Daniel Novik Warshawsky

Transportation Geography

Dissertation Award, Joris Beckers

Masters Thesis Award, Grace Chen

Student Travel Award

  • Aimee Krafft, University of Nevada-Reno
  • Elina Shepard, University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Edward L. Ullman Award, Julie Cidell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for her contributions to the field of Transportation Geography

Urban Geography Specialty Group

Dissertation Award

  • Lea Ravensbergen-Hodgins
  • Myungln Ji

Glenda Laws Undergraduate Paper Award, Holden Dempsey

Graduate Fellowship Ph.D., Maegan Miller

Graduate Paper Award, Melissa Heil

Water Resources Specialty Group

Gilbert White Distinguished Career Award, Dr. Christopher Lant, Utah State University

Olen Paul Matthews and Kathleen A. Dwyer Fund for Water Resources Award, Birendra Rana, University of Nevada-Reno

Student Research Proposal, Joseph Dehnert, University of Montana

Student Research Presentation, Jaclyn Best, Oregon State University

Student Research Paper

  • Andrea Beck, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Porcha McCurdy, East Tennessee State University