- About AAG Honors
- Categories of AAG Honors
- Nomination Guidelines
- Honors Committee
- Previous Recipients
Deadline: September 29, 2023
AAG Honors are offered annually to recognize outstanding accomplishments by members in research and scholarship, teaching, education, service to the discipline, public service outside academe and for lifetime achievement. As a scholarly association committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, we strongly encourage nominations from and of people underrepresented in the discipline of geography, including women and persons who are trans/non-binary and/or underrepresented minority groups. AAG Honors have been awarded since 1951 (see below for complete list).
Categories of AAG Honors
We invite nominations reflecting the breadth of the discipline from individual AAG members, specialty groups, affinity groups, departments from all types of institutions, and other interested parties. Please scroll down on this page to the bullets providing more detail on the broad and inclusive criteria we encourage nominators to consider for AAG Honors. Currently, honors are awarded in several categories, including:
This category of AAG Honors recognizes exceptional Geography teachers who have demonstrated a sustained track record of innovative, creative, and effective ways to convey geographical concepts and topics to their students (at any degree level). It may also recognize candidates who have developed new curricula, certifications, or degree-paths. Candidate impact is measured in the sustained quality of their courses over time, whether their students continue pursuing the discipline (majors, alumni career paths, etc.), and teaching and mentoring style.
This category of AAG Honors celebrates geographers who have promoted the discipline in the public, private, or non-profit sectors either through their own work or impactful collaborations with others. Examples of such success may include developing pioneering applications to support more transparent and effective governance, promoting the use of geographical concepts and applications in addressing key societal and/or natural challenges.
This category of AAG Honors celebrates service to the Association and the community of AAG members. Examples of such service include but are not limited to: the launch of a successful new AAG Specialty Group to fill a significant gap in the Association’s sub-disciplinary offerings, improving the AAG’s profile and increasing its visibility, contributing significantly to special AAG initiatives or member-focused efforts, and/or sustaining a career-long arc of service and leadership on AAG committees, task forces, Specialty/Affinity Groups, and in AAG governance.
This AAG Honors category recognizes geographers who have significantly advanced geographic education. Examples include preservice training, professional development, and/or related support for educators. Candidates may be recognized for having developed state/local/national academic standards, serving as editors on key geography education journals, or for supporting development of geography teacher resources and peer-reviewed research. Successful candidates demonstrate a positive influence on contemporary geographic education.
This AAG Honors category celebrates a career-long, distinguished track record of high-quality research in geography which has moved the discipline forward. Candidates may be recognized for transformative scholarship in any sub-discipline of geography, an extensive and impressive record of funding from foundations or government agencies, and/or setting standards of exemplary behavior in scholarly practice. A significant and impactful publication record is also an important factor for recognition under this category of AAG Honors.
This AAG Honors category celebrates those geographers who have had a unique and path-breaking impact on the discipline through a combination of research and public engagement, perhaps as leaders in academia or other sectors where they have championed the discipline, in their publication record, and in their service to the discipline. Recipients of the AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors demonstrate excellence across the range of honor categories and in the significance of their contributions.
Nomination dossiers must have at least 3 and not more than 5 letters of support documenting the nominee’s contributions to and impact on geography in the specific Honors category for which they are being nominated, and must also include the candidate’s CV. Efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the discipline need to be addressed in the nomination letters. Self-nominations are allowed, but must include the required letters of support.
Nomination dossiers should be submitted by the deadline by completing the online application form. Please gather all required supporting documents before completing the online application. The Application Form will require you to upload all supporting documents before being able to complete your submission. You cannot save a partially completed form and return to it later, so it is important to have all materials ready before accessing the online Application Form. For questions, please reach out to email@example.com.
The nominations are reviewed by the AAG Honors Committee, comprised of at least two members who have previously received AAG Honors. A final slate of nominees is presented to the AAG Council at its annual Fall meeting. The names put forward to the Council are accompanied by an award citation indicating the contribution which forms the basis of the proposed award. The final decision for awarding AAG Honors rests with the Council.
Nominations for these awards are solicited in late spring and announcements are published in the AAG Newsletter and on the AAG’s social media platforms, along with electronic distribution to specialty and affinity groups, department chairs, all AAG members, and other interested parties.
In addition, AAG Councilors and members of the AAG Honors Committee may also share the call for nominations and encourage submissions to the AAG Honors program. AAG Honors Committee members are not allowed to submit nominations for AAG Honors and must recuse themselves from deliberations on a candidate they may have close and active professional or personal ties to (some examples: departmental colleague; research, fieldwork or grants collaborator; mentor/mentee; supervisor or supervisee; spouse or domestic partner, etc.).
In making a nomination, please be aware that under current guidelines:
- No more than eight individuals may be awarded AAG Honors in a single year. However, depending on the pool of nominees, fewer than eight awards are sometimes made.
- Normally only one award is made annually in each category, although more than one is permitted. However, there is no requirement to make an award in every category if there are insufficient nominations.
- Nominees must be AAG members if they are residents of the United States; if they reside elsewhere, the membership requirement is waived. In some cases, professionals from other disciplines or professions are eligible for consideration.
- Nominations of a group of individuals for an AAG Honors are allowed if the achievements of the group clearly demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in one of the following areas: research & scholarship, teaching, education, service to the discipline, public service outside academe. All individuals in the group being nominated must be eligible under these eligibility criteria. Groups of individuals are not eligible for the AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors.
- Previous AAG honorees (see list below) may be nominated for a second AAG honor in the same category but, if nominated again, the nomination must be for distinction achieved since their first award.
- The contributions of some nominees may span two or more of the award categories. In this situation, nominators may suggest more than one category for the award. The final decision of award category rests, however, with the AAG Council.
- No more than one AAG Honors can be awarded posthumously in any given year in any Honors category, while still not exceeding the total maximum of eight Honors per year.
- Nomination dossiers will be automatically carried forward for two years after the initial nomination, unless the nominee or the nominator withdraws the nominee from consideration, or unless the nomination is judged not to meet the minimum requirements for AAG Honors.
- The AAG strongly encourages nominators and the Honors Committee to consider broad and inclusive criteria for AAG Honors nominations and selections. Such criteria can include (but are not limited to): race, age, religion, creed, color, ancestry, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, disability, military or veteran status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, but also institutional diversity (i.e., teaching institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, tribal institutions, research institutions, Associates’ degree-granting programs, private or public sector organizations, non-profit organizations, etc.).
- As with all other AAG awards, eligibility also rests on the nominee being in compliance with the AAG Professional Conduct Policy. Nominations may be revoked, and the AAG Honor may also be revoked for any candidate or AAG Honoree who is found in violation of the AAG’s Professional Conduct Policy.
The AAG Honors Committee is elected by the AAG Membership. The committee for the 2024 AAG Honors is comprised of: Megan Ybarra, University of Washington (chair); Kavita Pandit, Georgia State University (member – honoree); Alexandra Ponette-Gonzalez, University of North Texas (member); Carol Harden, University of Tennessee (ret.) (member – honoree); Godwin Arku, Western University Ontario (member); Kate Derickson, University of Minnesota (member); LaToya Eaves, University of Tennesee (observer – honoree); Kara E. Dempsey, Appalachian State University (observer); Yongmei Lu, Texas State University (observer)
AAG Honors Recipients
Li An, Geraldine Pratt, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; John Strait and Ava Fujimoto-Strait, Distinguished Teaching Honors; David R. Butler, Mark Monmonier, Linda Peake, William Wyckoff, Lifetime Achievement Honors
Doug Richardson, Clyde Woods, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Shaowen Wang, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Laura Pulido, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Craig Colten, Gilbert F. White Distinguished Public Service Honors; Jerry T. Mitchell, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education.
Carol Harden, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Cindi Katz and James Tyner, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Joseph Oppong and Patricia Solis, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Timothy Trainor, Gilbert White Distinguished Public Servic Honors; Barbara Buttenfield, Distinguished Teaching Honors; Richard Campanella, Media Achievement Award.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Michael Watts, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Jamie Peck and Qihao Weng, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; William Solecki, Gilbert White Distinguished Public Service Honors; Robert Lake, Distinguished Teaching Honors; Keith Debbage, Media Achievement Award.
Joe T. Darden and Thomas J. Baerwald, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Alexander Stewart Fotheringham and Helga Leitner, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; LaToya Eaves, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Rebecca Torres, Gilbert White Distinguished Public Service Honors.
William Clark and Richard Peet, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Katherine Gibson and Henry Yeung, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Iain Hay and Michal LeVasseur, Gilbert Grosvenor Geographic Education Honors.
Ruth Fincher and David Robinson, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Patrick Bartlein and Michael Storper, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Julie Winkler and Kent Mathewson, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Michael Pretes, Distinguished Teaching Honors
Susan Christopherson and George Malanson, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Linda Mearns, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Carrie Stokes and Aaron Wolf, Gilbert F. White Public Service Honors; Kavita Pandit, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, Distinguished Teaching Honors; William R. Strong, Gilbert Grosvenor Geographic Education Honors
John Paul Jones, III and Bobby Wilson, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Anthony Bebbington and Ruth DeFries, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Elizabeth Oglesby, Gilbert White Public Service Honors; John Frazier and Rita Gardner, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Michael Solem, Gilbert Grosvenor Geographic Education Honors
Anne Buttimer and Alexander Murphy, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Meric Gertler and Amy Glasmeier, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; James W. Harrington and Wei Li, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Darrel Hess, Gilbert Grosvenor Geographic Education Honors Eve Gruntfest, Gilbert White Public Service Honors;
Edward Soja and Sallie Marston, Lifetime Achievement Honors; John O’Loughlin and Judy Carney, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Gwenda Rice, Gilbert Grosvenor Geographic Education Honors; Ruth Shirey, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Thelma Glass, Gilbert White Public Service Honors; Dawn Wright, Distinguished Teaching Honors.
Kevin Cox and James C. Knox, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Richard Walker, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Robert Morrill, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; David Unwin, Distinguished Service Honors; Briavel Holcomb, Distinguished Teaching Honors.
Susan Cutter, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Diana Liverman and Mei-Po Kwan, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Joseph Stoltman, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education; Ros Whitehead, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Philip Pryde, Gilbert F. White Distinguished Public Service Honors.
Ronald J. Johnston, Lifetime Achievement Honors; James S. Duncan and Daniel A. Griffith, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; David A. Lanegran, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education
John R. Jensen and Audrey Kobayashi, Lifetime Achievement Honors; David F. Ley, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Donald G. Janelle and Laurence J.C. Ma, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Donald J. Zeigler, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education.
Lawrence A Brown, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Paul L. Knox, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Richard D. Wright, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Barbara Hildebrant and Alexander B. Murphy, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Michael O. Sutcliffe, Gilbert F. White Distinguished Public Service Honors.
Reginald Golledge and Peirce Lewis, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Nigel Thrift, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Darrell Napton, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Sarah Witham Bednarz, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education.
Christopher “Kit” Salter and H. Jesse Walker, Lifetime Achievement Honors; John Agnew and William E. Doolittle, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Susan Hardwick and Charles F. “Fritz” Gritzner, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education.
Joan Clemons and Kenneth E. Foote, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education; Joni K. Seager, Media Achievement Award; Jennifer Wolch, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Mark D. Schwartz, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; John Fraser Hart and Allan R. Pred, Lifetime Achievement Honors.
Osa Brand, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education; Charles F. (Fritz) Gritzner) , Distinguished Teaching Honors; Edward J. Malecki, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Gordon Matzke, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Philip W. Porter, Lifetime Achievement Honors.
J. Ronald Eastman, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Susan Hanson, Lifetime Achievement Honors; James F. Marran, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education; Richard A. Marston, Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Peter J. Taylor, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; John Western, Distinguished Teaching Honors
Richard G. Boehm, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Malcolm L. Comeaux; Distinguished Teaching Honors; Arthur Getis, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Janet Kodras, Distinguished Service Honors; Rickie Sanders, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Gilbert F. White, Lifetime Achievement Honors
Ronald E. Beiswanger, Distinguished Teaching Honors; Mildred Berman, Distinguished Service Honors (posthumous); Gary L. Gaile, Distinguished Service Honors; M. Duane Nellis, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Stephen J. Walsh, Distinguished Scholarship Honors
George O. Carney, Distinguished Teaching Honors; Philip J. Gersmehl, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Sidney R. Jumper, Distinguished Service Honors; Janice J. Monk, Lifetime Achievement Honors;Neil Smith, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Cort Willmott, Distinguished Scholarship Honors
Michael P. Conzen, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; John E. Estes, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Neal Lineback, Distinguished Service Honors; Salvatore J. Natoli, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Eric S. Sheppard, Distinguished Scholarship Honors
Roger M. Downs, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; John R. Mather, Lifetime Achievement Honors; Robert W. Marx, Distinguished Service Honors; Gerard Rushton, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Joseph P. Stoltman, Distinguished Teaching Honors; and Norman J.W. Thrower, Lifetime Achievement Honors
Thomas J. Baerwald, Distinguished Service Honors; James M. Blaut, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Michael R. Greenberg, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Melvin G. Marcus, Lifetime Achievement Honors; and Edward T. Price, Distinguished Teaching Honors
Anthony R. de Souza, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Maynard Weston Dow, Distinguished Service Honors; Michael F. Goodchild, Distinguished Scholarship Honors; Maynard and Joan Miller, Distinguished Teaching; and Harold M. Rose, Lifetime Career Honors
Between 1976 and 1995, all awards were “AAG Honors.” These awards were made for accomplishments in scholarship, teaching, education, and service, but were not labeled by category as they are now (1996 to the present). The first named category “Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education,” was introduced in 1995.
Ronald F. Abler and Alice C. Andrews, Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Michael J. Dear, Fred E. Lukermann, Marvin W. Mikesell, and Billie Lee Turner, II
Stanley D. Brunn, Donald R. Deskins Jr., Robert David Sack, Werner H. Terjung, and Michael J. Watts
Barry C. Bishop, Susan Hanson, Robert G. Jensen, Duane F. Marble, and Norbert P. Psuty
Athol D. Abrahams, A. David Hill, Robert E. Huke, Janice Jones Monk, and Thomas T. Veblen
Denys Brunsden, Harm de Blij, Ronald Johnston, and Roger Kasperson
William L. Graf, James C. Knox, E. Willard Miller, Judy M. Olson, and John N. Rayner
Samuel Newton Dicken, Ronald Leslie Heathcote, Allen G. Noble, James O. Wheeler, and Harold A. Winters
John S. Adams, Daniel J. Boorstin, William P. Cumming, and Philip L. Wagner
William A. V. Clark, William Denevan, John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Allen J. Scott, and Alan G. Wilson
Roger G. Barry, Anne Buttimer, Owen Lattimore, and Thomas J. Wilbanks
Larry S. Bourne, Kevin R. Cox, Raymond E. Crist, George Hoffman, and David Ward
Jacqueline Beaujeu-Garnier, Emilio Casetti, John M. Hunter, Gunnar Olsson, and Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Lawrence A. Brown, Geoffrey J. Martin, Risa Ileen Palm, James .T. Parsons, and Ake Sundborg
James R. Anderson, Roland J. Fuchs, Walter Isard, Terry G. Jordan, Shannon McCune, and Edward .T. Taaffe
Lewis M. Alexander, Richard Chorley, and Reginald G. Golledge
Lewis Mumford, George R. Stewart, David W. Harvey, Harold M. Mayer, and Rhoads Murphey
Saul Bernard Cohen, E. Estyn Evans, Preston E. James, Robert W. Kates, George Kish, Clyde F. Kohn, T. Warren Nystrom, Jarnes E. Vance Jr. and Julian Wolpert
Fred B. Kniffen, A. William Kuchler, and Allan Pred
H. Clifford Darby, John B. Leighly, Peirce F. Lewis, and H. Jesse Walker
John R. Borchert, Chauncy D. Harris, and Leslie J. King
Between 1951 and 1975, awards were made in the categories of “Meritorious Contributions” and “Outstanding Achievement.”
Meritorious Contributions: Louis DeVorsey Jr., George H. Dury, and Peter R. Gould Outstanding Achievement: Glenn T. Trewartha
Meritorious Contributions: Kenneth J. Bertrand, Meredith F. Burrill, David S. Simonett, and Paul Wheatley Outstanding Achievement: Gilbert F. White Special Award: Carl O. Sauer
Meritorious Contributions: Peter Haggett, John C. Sherman, and Yi-Fu Tuan Outstanding Achievement: Robert C. West
Meritorious Contributions: H. Homer Aschmann, Evelyn L. Pruitt, and M. Gordon Wolman Outstanding Achievement: Robert E. Dickinson
Meritorious Contributions: Michael F. Dacey, Richard L. Morrill, and Waldo R. Tobler Outstanding Achievement: Reino Ajo
Meritorious Contributions: none Outstanding Achievement: none
Meritorious Contributions: John Fraser Hart, Theodore Shabad, and Leslie Curry Outstanding Achievement: Arch C. Gerlach
Meritorious Contributions: Brian J.L. Berry, Karl W. Butzer, Clarence J. Glacken, and Edwin H. Hammond Outstanding Achievement: Torsten Hagerstrand and Joseph E. Spencer
Meritorious Achievement: Richard E. Harrison, Joseph R. Schwendeman, and Leonard S. Wilson Outstanding Achievement: none
Meritorious Contributions: J. Lewis Robinson, William Von Royen, and Wilbur Zelinsky Outstanding Achievement: Paul A. Siple
Meritorious Contributions: Otto E. Guthe, Leslie Hewes, Donald W. Meinig, and Kirk H. Stone Outstanding Achievement: Herman R. Friis and Harold H. McCarty
Meritorious Contributions: Wilma Fairchild, J. Ross Mackay, and Robert C. West Outstanding Achievement: Walter Christaller
Meritorious Contributions: John B. Jackson, Merle C. Prunty, and Dan Stanislawski Outstanding Achievement: Gilbert H. Grosvenor
Meritorious Contributions: Jean Gottmann, George H.T. Kimble, and Walter M. Kollmorgen Outstanding Achievement: none
Meritorious Contributions: Edward B. Espenshade Jr., F. Kenneth Hare, and William L. Thomas Outstanding Achievement: Charles B. Hitchcock
Meritorious Contributions: William L. Garrison and David Lowenthal Outstanding Achievement: Richard Hartshorne and Richard J. Russell
Meritorious Contributions: William Applebaum, Carleton P. Barnes, Clarence E. Batschelet, and Norton S. Ginsburg Outstanding Achievement: Stephen B. Visher
Meritorious Contributions: George F. Carter, Hildegard B. Johnson, and Edward L. Ullman Outstanding Achievement: Rafael Pico
Meritorious Contributions: none Outstanding Achievement: none
Meritorious Contributions: Victor Roterus and Robert Burnett Hall Outstanding Achievement: John K. Wright
Meritorious Contributions: Henry M. Kendall, Erwin Raisz, and John C. Weaver Outstanding Achievement: Gilbert F. White
Meritorious Contributions: Francis J. Marschner, Raymond E. Murphy, and James Wreford Watson Outstanding Achievement: Homer Leroy Shantz
Meritorious Contributions: Wallace W. Atwood, Jr., Walter M. Kollmorgen, Jacques M. May, and Arthur H. Robinson Outstanding Achievement: Warren C. Thornthwaite
Meritorious Contributions: Edward A. Ackerman, Lloyd D. Black, George F. Jenks, and Clara E. LeGear Outstanding Achievement: none
The first individual recognized by the Association was Gladys M. Wrigley, who received a Distinguished Achievement Award in 1951.