2024 AAG Awards Recognition

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AAG members are recognized for their work throughout the year and for their dedication to the discipline. Of the hundreds of nominations received, AAG committees, groups and leadership choose exemplary members who contribute to the field of geography in many different ways and celebrate their role in advancing geography. Following is a compilation of all of AAG’s awards conferred in 2024.


AAG Honors

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.

AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors

Jennifer Collins

Jennifer CollinsThe 2024 AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honor is awarded to Jennifer Collins for her research in physical climatology and human geography, most notably for her studies of hurricanes, hurricane risk, and hurricane evacuation behavior. Her research has substantially advanced knowledge of hurricanes and tropical storms and led to improvements in forecasting. She is highly regarded for her analyses of the combined contributions of El Nino and the Madden-Julian Oscillation to the 2009 hurricane season in the eastern North Pacific, and of the environmental conditions affecting the record-breaking 2015 Pacific hurricane season. Collins and her co-authors also transformed the known history of Atlantic hurricanes by finding that the 1846 Great Havana Hurricane was the first known Category 5 hurricane to make landfall there.

Collins’ research on hurricane evacuation has expanded community awareness and preparedness and been recognized for ultimately saving lives. Her 2020 survey, disseminated to Florida residents in English and Spanish through media, regional planning councils, and emergency management, documented fears and perceived risks of more than 7,000 respondents about the possibility of evacuation and shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. In earlier research, immediately after Hurricane Irma in Florida, Collins and co-authors, including students, showed the significant roles played by the density and diversity of social networks in decisions to evacuate or not. Collins has paid special attention to vulnerable populations in her research and is commended for the diversity of her student research groups. She currently holds a NOAA grant to study tornado risk perception.

Dr. Collins is highly respected by scientific peers and practitioners. In numerous invited talks and media interviews, as first author of the 2017 book, Florida Weather and Climate: More than Just Sunshine, and as co-editor of the books, Hurricane Risk (2017), Hurricanes and Climate Change (2018), and Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate (2022), she has conveyed scientific results to public audiences and decision makers. She has been interviewed and/or quoted by scores of national and local media, including major U.S. television networks, the BBC, National Public Radio, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

The high quality and insightful results of her published research have garnered high national and international regard. Dr. Collins has received two Outstanding Research Achievement Awards at the University of South Florida, her home institution, and she is a Fellow of the AAG, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Collins’ research addresses timely, urgent questions that have important impacts in the scientific community and for the public.

AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors

Patricia Lopez

Patricia LopezThe 2024 AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors is awarded to Patricia Lopez for her teaching, mentoring and pedagogical accomplishments at Dartmouth College. As Chris Sneddon, former Chair of Geography at Dartmouth College states, “Dr. Lopez is the most extraordinary teacher and mentor in higher education I have yet to encounter.” In her early career work at Dartmouth, she developed and taught eight courses, as well as engaged in high­ stress and deeply important work, such as teach-ins that responded to political crises that affected campuses and the US. Even in the most isolating times at the beginning of the COVID- 19 pandemic, Professor Lopez demonstrated pedagogy that taught students to value collaboration as central to knowledge production and to embrace multiple modes of learning across audio, visual and written media. Her courses span the breadth of student lea ming from leading introductory courses to teaching Global Poverty & Care, Geopolitics of Humanitarianism and co-teaching a class on #BlacklivesMatter. This is because her work centers on bringing care into labor, life, teaching, and mentoring.

In 2017, 2019, and 2021, Dartmouth College named Dr. Lopez as one of their “Top 20 Professors” in the yearbook The Aegis, a rare accomplishment for a junior faculty member. She has similarly been awarded Dartmouth’s Class of 1962 Teaching Fellowship and a Classroom Enhancement Grant through the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. Professor Lopez inspires and collaborates with undergraduate students to build from introductory courses towards self­ directed research projects, including the intensive mentoring process that is required for applications for intramural Dartmouth funding, the Mellon Mays program, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Lizet Garcfa, who identifies as a first­ generation low-income student, shared that Dr. Lopez both “often challenges me” and “her support and belief help me power through it all” – including the undergraduate thesis at Dartmouth College, a successful NSF GRF application, and admission to all PhD programs applied to. Beyond the work of developing stellar courses and community-based experiences, Professor Lopez has encouraged her students to understand themselves as teacher-scholars and to act accordingly in terms of developing theory and engaging in accountable geographies.

Dr. Lopez’s engaged and rigorous mentorship has borne fruit throughout the discipline of geography, and beyond. She has served as a mentor for four Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship recipients who are underrepresented in geography; three have gone on to PhD programs and a fourth was a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship. Less than ten years after filing her PhD, Lopez is clearly shaping the future of geography as a discipline. Graduate Mariana Penaloza Morales describes her as a “North Star” in guiding their path towards excellence in research, teaching, and service.

AAG Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education

Rafael de Miguel Gonzalez

Rafael de Miguel GonzalezThe 2024 Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education is awarded to Dr. Rafael de Miguel Gonzalez for his exceptional service to the discipline of geography and unique contributions to the geographic education community. Currently the President of EUROGEO (the European Association of Geographers) and Professor of Geography Education at the University of Zaragoza (Spain), De Miguel is one of the preeminent scholars of geography education in the world today. De Miguel is recognized as one of geography’s key public advocates of national and international educational reform and innovation, through his work for about 30 years as a geography school teacher, later university professor, lead researcher, project manager, editor, writer, map-maker, higher education administrator, speaker and -as Board member of several geographical institutions- representative of the community of geographers and geography educators in front of national education policy makers and international organizations like the UN, the European Commission or the Council of Europe.

He provides initial and in-service geography teacher training for more than 100 students per academic year at Bachelor, Master and PhD levels. He has been the Principal Investigator of 32 research and innovation projects on geography education, most of them funded by the European Commission, but also by Esri, or sponsored by the Spanish National Science Foundation. In addition to providing pre-service training and professional development for geography teachers in Europe and in Spanish language worldwide, his contributions to geography education include developing instructional materials for teaching geography based on cutting-edge geospatial technologies and creating accessible pathways to resources for geography teachers. Two notable outputs are the Digital Atlas for Schools and the geography textbooks for secondary education. De Miguel has widely published articles on geography education in prominent geography journals, served as author and editor for the Book Series Key Challenges in Geography and the International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, among numerous significant book contributions. Among several awards and honors, Professor de Miguel was elected a member of the Academia Europaea. His remarkable influence on contemporary geography draws upon his theoretical framework of geographical competences for lifelong learning, as well as his determination for geographical practices in sustainable development, global understanding, and smart citizenship, and ongoing contributions to creating bridges between geography educators from different continents and sharing innovative ideas on geography education on local, national, and international forums.

Lifetime Achievement Honors

Cindi Katz

Cindi Katz portraitThe 2024 AAG Lifetime Achievement Honor is awarded to Cindi Katz for her enduring scholarly contributions to feminist scholarship and social theory, and the subfields of cultural, social, and economic geography and political economy; as well as shedding light on the political-ecological conditions that affect the lives of children. Dr. Katz has contributed to diversifying the field through her mentorship of women and scholars of color.

In a career spanning four decades, Katz has authored and edited six influential books, published over 75 articles, delivered over 65 invited keynotes and plenary lectures, and trained more than 40 graduate students. Katz has served on the editorial boards of many major journals in geography and related disciplines, including associate editor of the Annals of the AAG and editor of Children Environment Quarterly. Katz has held several leadership positions at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where she has spent her career, and at the Dartmouth Institute on the Futures of American Studies. She has held fellowships and visiting professorships at Khartoum University, Helsinki University of Technology, Harvard, and Cambridge. Her colleagues have described her as dedicated, influential, inspirational, brilliant, humorous, generous, innovative, and inclusive.

Katz’s work has been at the intersections of race, gender, age, and class for her entire career. She has studied these intersections in a global frame, drawing connections, for instance, between the lives of children in Sudan and New York City. In her widely cited and agenda-setting book, Growing Up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives (@1900 citations, Google Scholar), Katz revealed the disruptions in children’s lives in the village of Howa, Sudan and in New York City, as the local economy was brought into capitalist agricultural relations of production and reproduction associated with processes of ‘development’ in the 1970s. Katz showed that the globalization of capital is not just about trade agreements, negotiations of the IMF, and the movements of financial capital; but importantly, the ways these processes bear down on the lives of children, in their education, work, and play. As these developments in Howa were underway, restructuring was also felt in New York City, with the loss of its manufacturing base, and this recalibrated and destabilized children’s lives and life chances. Katz documented the punishing effects of restructuring, including unemployment, poverty, reductions in the social wage, stunted educational opportunities, growing criminalization of young people, and increasing inequality; drawing ‘contour lines’ between these disparate settings to illuminate the translocal effects of economic restructuring.

Whether in New York City, Howa, Detroit or elsewhere, Katz’s scholarship has shed light on the effects of capitalist relations of production on the lives of the most vulnerable. Katz’s research has created influential and pioneering concepts such as: time-space expansion, counter­ topography, childhood as spectacle, and minor theory. Her work has been extremely effective in bridging the divide between theory and practice, and in particular has demonstrated the importance of practicing scholarship through the concrete conditions of everyday life.

 


AAG Fellows

The AAG Fellows is a recognition and service program that applauds geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing geography.

The 2024 AAG Fellows selection committee: Daniel Block, Chicago State University (Chair); Heike Alberts, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Anne Chin, University of Colorado Denver; Doug Allen, Emporia State University; Sara McLafferty, University of Illinois; Alex Moulton, University of Tennessee.

Daniel Arreola

Daniel ArreolaDr. Daniel Arreola is an emeritus professor at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. He is a prolific scholar who focuses on the Hispanic experience of the American Southwest and the Mexican border. Several of his seven books have won major AAG awards, and he is described as knowing the Mexican American borderlands better than anybody else. He has passed his passion on to his students and is widely considered to be an outstanding educator. Dr. Arreola served the AAG through his long-standing engagement with the APCG. He was instrumental in designing the AP Human Geography course, thus leaving his mark on the geography education of countless young geographers.

Ling Bian

Ling BianDr. Ling Bian is a leading GIScientist whose extensive research, service, and outreach efforts, over three decades, have contributed greatly to the growth and development of quantitative approaches in geography. Her many research contributions include the development of a ground-breaking spatio-temporal approach for modeling the spread of communicable diseases among people and through social networks – an approach that has high relevance to understanding COVID-19 spread. Dr. Bian has provided outstanding service to our community through her leadership in national GIScience initiatives, her participation in national and international committees, and her dedicated efforts as section editor of the Annals of the AAG. She led a program to teach web GIS to high school students, creating pathways into geospatial careers for students from diverse backgrounds.

Heejun Chang

Heejun ChangDr. Heejun Chang is an accomplished geographer who has achieved the highest levels of scholarship, practice, and service. His research focused on human modifications of hydrologic systems (including climate change), its impacts on society, and spatial integrative methodological approaches has produced more than 170 well-cited publications and over 100 invited talks. Chang is recognized with major awards that include the Abe Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council and Japan Foundation, Sigma-Xi, and the E. Willard and Ruby S. Millar Award from the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students is also among Dr. Chang’s exceptional work, which also includes many publications co-authored with students. Additionally, during service as chair of the Geography Department at Portland State University, Chang was instrumental in substantially enhancing the diversity of its faculty. A 25-year member of the AAG, Chang has also provided leadership as Chair of the Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, board member of the Water Resources Specialty Group, organizer of numerous special sessions, and editor-in-chief of the Professional Geographer.

Min Chen

Min ChenDr. Min Chen, professor of geography at Nanjing Normal University, is a leading mid-career scholar in the field of GIScience. With his boundless energy and vision, Dr. Chen has played a key role in building and sustaining GIScience through his extensive research and service activities. Co-author of more than 180 publications, he is widely known for his development of a model-sharing and collaborative simulation platform that facilitates knowledge-building in an open web environment. As executive editor of the Annals of GIS, he has greatly elevated the journal’s profile, making it a leading outlet for GIScience research worldwide. His leadership in various AAG specialty groups and international GIS organizations like the International Association of Chinese Professionals in GIScience have greatly advanced GIS scholarship and provided essential support for emerging scholars in the field.

Andrew Curley

Andrew CurleyAndrew Curley is an exceptional early career geographer at the University of Arizona who has been instrumental in supporting the recent growth of Indigenous Geographies and the community of Indigenous geographers within the AAG. A member of the Navajo (Diné) Nation, Dr. Curley has been an exceptional mentor for new Indigenous geographers, as well as scholars of energy and political geographies. His research focuses on addressing urgent questions relating Indigenous sovereignty, climate change, and development. He is also one of a group of new political ecologists, who focus their work on questions of tribal sovereignty. He has been particularly involved in public facing scholarship among the Diné.

Kate Derickson

Kate DericksonDr. Kate Derickson is an outstanding geographer who has significantly advanced the discipline through innovative, community-engaged scholarship that tackles urgent issues of environmental justice, urban development, racism, and climate change with and for impacted communities. She has developed a rigorous research record that includes contributions to the top journals in geography, distinguished by the significance of community engagement. Derickson is perhaps best known for developing and applying the concept of “resourcefulness”—articulated in an article in Progress in Human Geography with over 1,200 citations—that directs researchers and university leaders to prioritize capacity building of community partners to participate in research design and policy advocacy. She also co-founded the CREATE (Co-Developing Research and Engaged Approaches to Transform Environments) Initiative, a multifaceted program to advance research and education at the intersection of equity and environment through community engagement, interdisciplinary scholarship, and graduate training. Her extensive efforts in training the next generation of community-engaged scholars are reflected in the Community Engaged Scholarship Award from the University of Minnesota. For the American Association of Geographers, Derickson has also demonstrated leadership as Chair of the Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group and as member of the Awards Committee and Editorial Board of the Annals of the AAG. She was also Convener of the Antipode Summer Institute. Derickson has a record of path-breaking scholarly interventions in urban theory and community engaged research and for radically opening spaces in the discipline for junior scholars.

Chunyuan Diao

Chunyuan DiaoDr. Chunyuan Diao is an outstanding early-career scholar whose extensive research contributions and service to the AAG have strengthened and advanced the field of remote sensing and geographers’ roles in it. Her publications in leading journals and extensive grant-funded research activities have creatively advanced our ability to monitor and model ecosystem dynamics across natural, human-natural, and disturbed biogeographical systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Dr. Diao’s leadership and service to the AAG Remote Sensing Specialty Group have fostered a supportive and expanding scholarly community; and her effective teaching and mentorship activities are helping to develop a new generation of remote sensing scholars whose gender and race/ethnic diversity more fully represent the populations impacted by global eco-environmental change.

Jerome Dobson

Jerome DobsonDr. Jerome E. Dobson is a professor emeritus of geography at the University of Kansas. He has a rare combination of experience in government, academia, and the private sector. He is recognized as a pioneer of Geographic Information Science. He led development of the current world standards for estimating populations at risk during disasters of all sorts and for how landmines and mine fields are represented on maps worldwide. He coined the term “geoslavery” to raise awareness of geospatial technology in human tracking coercively or surreptitiously. Dr. Dobson has a record of dedicated service to AAG, including co-founding the AAG Energy Specialty Group, chairing the Honors Committee and GIS Specialty Group, and serving on the Editorial Board of The Professional Geographer and on various AAG committees. Dr. Dobson served as president of the American Geographical Society. His innovative and diverse scholarship and commitment to helping people across the world through research and action are exemplary. Recently he and two Italian colleagues retrospectively mapped ocean floors from 30,000 BP to the present and digitally discovered scores of islands, which they named the Bering Transitory Archipelago and which may have served as stepping stones for the first crossings from Siberia to Alaska.

Song Gao

Song GaoDr. Song Gao is an associate professor of geography and the director of the Geospatial Data Science Lab at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He has established himself as one of the thought leaders and highly cited scholars in the field of geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) and was heavily involved in the geospatial modeling of the spread of COVID-19. He has successfully mentored young scholars and students in GIScience, offered workshops and webinars for the AAG and other organizations, and is an associate editor for AAG’s International Encyclopedia of Geography and International Journal of Geographical Information Science. Dr. Gao’s involvement with cutting-edge data science and AI techniques, his commitment to taking on and solving important challenges, and his enthusiasm for working with different international organizations make him a strong asset to the AAG.

Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern

Laura-Anne Minkoff-ZernLaura-Anne Minkoff-Zern is an exceptional mid-career geographer who is a leader in a growing group of geographers who focus on issues of labor, race, and class within agriculture and food systems. Dr. Minkoff-Zern is the author of two books, one of which, The New American Farmer: Immigration, Race, and the Struggle for Sustainability, tells the story of Mexican and Central American immigrants, who are reshaping American farming by drawing on agricultural knowledge and practices from their home countries. Her second book, Will Work for Food: Labor Across the Food Chain, forthcoming in 2025, looks at exploration of the labor across the food chain, from farms to food processing and into the home, exploring the intersections between sustainability movements and labor organizing. Beyond her excellent research, she is also a leader in the subfield of food and agriculture, having served as chair and in many other roles in the AAG Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group. In this position she helped steward the specialty group towards new programs, such as a scholarship for community food and agriculture partnership research. As an associate professor in the Food Studies Program and an affiliate of the Department of Geography and the Environment at Syracuse University, she is at the forefront of bridging the disciplines of Geography and Food Studies.

Chandana Mitra

Chananda MitraDr. Chandana Mitra is an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at Auburn University. She uses her training in urban climate, GIS, and remote sensing to work across disciplinary boundaries on topics such as the sustainability and resilience of cities in the face of climate change. She is committed to addressing STEM education and importance of science communication in her research. She is an advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), for example by mentoring girls interested in STEM at the EmpowHER conference, co-founding GeoFIDE, a DEI organization the Geosciences, and by supporting underrepresented students. Dr. Mitra has held various positions in the AAG’s Asian and Regional Development and Planning Specialty groups and brings a strong commitment to social justice issues and cross-disciplinary approaches to the AAG.

Jessie Poon

Jessie PoonDr. Jessie Poon is among the world’s leading economic geographers, with a substantial record of research that includes four co-authored books and more than one hundred journal articles and book chapters. Her research—from early path-breaking work on the geographical structure of trade patterns and dynamics of regionalization to more recent explorations of social, cultural, financial, and information networks and to digital economies more generally—has been remarkably consistent over the last three decades, with uniformly high-quality writings distributed across leading journals in human geography and into related fields of regional science, business, communications, trade and development, and allied social sciences. In many leadership roles, Poon was also chair of the Regional Studies Association, Committee Member of the Council of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), Chair of the Southeast Section of the Asian Geography Specialty Group, member of the AAG Research Grants Committee, and editor or member of the Editorial Board of numerous top journals in her field. A longtime member of the AAG, Dr. Poon has also worked tirelessly to make geography, and the academy more broadly, a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community. She has published extensively on the state of women in her field, advocated for other female scholars, championed increasing representation of female scholars in research journals, including editorial boards, while serving as the first female editor of Papers in Regional Science. Her trailblazing efforts have opened space within economic geography for women to both contribute to important debates and flourish while doing so.

Danielle Purifoy

Danielle PurifoyDanielle Purifoy is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Despite being just a few years beyond her PhD, she has already established herself as a prominent scholar of Black Geographies, political geography, and legal geographies. She also engages in community work and practical environmental engagement well beyond the university. She studies, in particular, “the making and unmaking of Black Towns,” focusing on their experiences of environmental racism. She found, in particular, that towns in the Southern US often developed two parallel communities, one white and one Black. The Black town was often not included within the incorporated boundaries, allowing for a devastating amount of environmental racism. Beyond this research, Dr. Purifoy is growing leader and mentor within the Black Geographies community, is a co-leader of the Mapping Black Towns project, has been a co-editor of numerous special journal issues, and has given invited lectures at universities around the world. She is truly an impressive early-career geographer.

Mark Rosenberg

Mark RosenbergDr. Mark Rosenberg is a distinguished health geographer who has been a tireless advocate for geography and geographers throughout his career. His leadership, vision, and enduring commitment to mentorship have propelled the growth and development of health and medical geography. His influential research contributions provide rigorous evidence about how geographical and sociopolitical processes shape unequal access to health care, especially for vulnerable populations. Bringing energy, vision, and leadership to a wide range of national and international geographical organizations, including health geography groups of the AAG, CAG, and IGU, he has offered critical insights and direction that have strongly supported the groups’ health, growth, and development. By effectively mobilizing enthusiasm, wisdom, care, and practical advice, Dr. Rosenberg has excelled in mentoring diverse graduate students and early-career faculty, many of whom have achieved successful careers in health geography research and policy.

Shih-Lung Shaw

Shih-Lung ShawDr. Shih-Lung Shaw is a leader in the areas of time geography and the applications of GIS to transportation geography. He is current Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His research developed a space-time GIS framework, which has been used to analyze a large variety of human dynamics phenomena, including both longtime issues such as travel dynamics and more recent phenomenon such as COVID infection patterns. Beyond his innovative, important, and useful research, Dr. Shaw has been a leader in the AAG. He is a former chair of the Transportation Geography Specialty Group and treasurer of the GIS group, and has been the lead organizer of the Human Dynamics Symposium at AAG annual meetings for eight years. Shih-Lung has also been president of the UCGIS and has been a strong supporter of a project to promote the professional development of women in GIScience.

Selima Sultana

Selima Sultana portraitDr. Selima Sultana is Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is an outstanding scholar, a committed member of the AAG, and a mentor to many, specially to early career academics, and women and BIPOC geographers. Her service to the AAG is varied and extensive. She has been President of the AAG Regional Division of Southeast, Chair of the Transportation Geography Specialty Group, served on the AAG Council as Regional Councilor, representing the Southeast Division, Chair of the AAG Publications and the Status of Women in Geography Committees, and co-founder of the new Protected Areas Specialty Group. In addition, Dr. Sultana has been on the editorial board of many publications including The Professional Geographer and Southeastern Geographer, the latter where she served as editor. She is also on the AAG Mentoring Task Force, which highlights her ongoing mentorship. Likewise, at her home campus of UNC Greensboro, she has been a leading mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Sultana’s is also an exceptional researcher focuses on a large variety of social justice issues, including accessibility and the low visitation rates of African Americans at National Parks, and how the changing structure of urban areas increases commuting times for BIPOC women.

Yehua Dennis Wei

Yehua Dennis WeiDr. Yehua Dennis Wei is an internationally renowned urban/economic geographer whose research centers on effects of globalization and institutional change on cities, regions, and sustainability. A pioneer in the study of regional development and regional/ spatial inequality in China, Wei has published five books and more than 250 journal articles and book chapters. He has also edited a dozen journal special issues and served as editor-in-chief of Applied Geography. His awards and honors include the Excellence in Research Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and a role as Overseas Evaluation Expert of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Over nearly 30 years, Dr. Wei has provided valuable leadership to the AAG by organizing numerous special sessions and international conferences, and by chairing three AAG specialty groups (China Geography, Asian Geography, and Regional Development and Planning). The quality and impact of his service are also reflected in the Distinguished Service Award from each of these groups. In addition to revealing spatial inequality and equity issues in China through his research, Dr. Wei has also worked hard to enhance diversity and inclusion in geography and the academe by serving on the AAG’s Enhancing Diversity Committee, and at the University of Utah, on the Diversity Committee, Senate Advisory Committee on Diversity, and Senate Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

 


AAG Media Achievement Award

Patricia Solís, David Hondula, Jennifer Vanos, Ariane Middel and Melissa Guardaro

The 2024 Media Achievement Award is awarded to Patricia Solís, David Hondula, Jennifer Vanos, Ariane Middel, and Melissa Guardaro for their work at Knowledge Exchange for Resilience at Arizona State University. This accomplished team of researchers employs a diverse range of geographic methods and approaches to generate world-class research on the urgent challenges posed by extreme heat. They adeptly transform their findings into actionable knowledge in the policy and community spheres. Their work has been featured in various high­ profile outlets, including Nightly News with Lester Holt, the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Geographic, Rolling Stone Magazine, Slate, The Guardian, The Weather Channel, National Public Radio, Scientific American, High Country News, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Wired, The New Yorker, CBS Sunday Morning, and many more. Their sustained efforts in science communication and sharing concrete, actionable steps to address extreme heat are significantly influencing the public policy landscape in Arizona, effectively demonstrating the value of geographical research in addressing our most pressing environmental problems.

For all these reasons, the AAG proudly recognizes Patricia Solís, David Hondula, Jennifer Vanos, Ariane Middel, and Melissa Guardaro with the 2024 AAG Media Achievement Award.

 

Posing for a group photo are David Hondula, Jennifer Vanos, Ariane Middel, Melissa Guardaro and Patricia Solis. Credit: Kevin Bushaw, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, ASU
Standing LR: David Hondula, Jennifer Vanos, Ariane Middel. Seated LR Melissa Guardaro and Patricia Solís.
Credit: Kevin Bushaw, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, ASU

 

Learn more about the AAG Media Achievement Award

 


AAG Honorary Geographer

Recognizes excellence in research, teaching, or writing on geographic topics by non-geographers

Charles Nainoa Thompson

Charles Nainoa ThompsonExplorer, Pwo Navigator, cultural revivalist, educator, and storyteller Charles Nainoa Thompson is this year’s Honorary Geographer, an award given annually by the American Association of Geographers to recognize an exceptional leader in the arts, research, teaching, and writing whose work addresses geographic topics.

Thompson is being recognized for his ground-breaking efforts in reviving ancestral wayfinding practices and policy-shifting advocacy on behalf of the health of our planet. Inspired by the ancient art of wayfinding, Thompson learned to sail across the vast Pacific Ocean from Mau Piailug, a legendary master navigator from Satawal, and learned lessons on astronomy from Bishop Museum Planetarium Lecturer Will Kyselka.

In 1980, he embarked on his first journey as navigator from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti, guiding the Hōkūle‘a with only the stars, the winds, and the waves. Since then, he has led many more voyages of Hōkūleʻa, a traditional double-hulled canoe, to reconnect with the diverse cultures and lands of Polynesia.

He currently serves as CEO of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, where he continues to pass down knowledge to students of navigation and voyaging.  Thompson is a former chair of the Board of Trustees for Kamehameha Schools and a former member of the Board of Regents for the University of Hawaiʻi. Thompson received his Honorary Doctorate from University of Hawai‘i in 2016.  His natural leadership skills have galvanized vast and diverse sectors throughout the community to realize the importance of caring for our planet and all of humanity. These efforts have earned him numerous awards including the 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Marine Exploration, the 2001 “Unsung Hero of Compassion” award from his Holiness XIV Dalai Lama on behalf of Wisdom in Action, the Native Hawaiian Education Association’s Manomano Kaʻike Educator of the Year, the 2015 Asia Pacific Community Building Award from the East-West Center, the 2013 Visionary Award from the Maui Film Festival, the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, the 2017 Hubbard Medal from National Geographic Society, and the 2017 Explorers Club Medal.

Previous AAG Honorary Geographer awardees have included authors Rebecca Solnit and N.K. Jemisin, philosopher Judith Butler, architect Maya Lin, Nobel Laureate in economics Paul Krugman, sociologist Saskia Sassen, economist Jeffrey Sachs, among others.


Further Reading:

Learn more about the AAG Honorary Geographer Award

AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography

Given to an individual geographer or team that has demonstrated originality, creativity, and significant intellectual breakthroughs in geography.

Margaret Wickens Pearce

Margaret Wickens PearceThis year’s recipient of the Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography is Margaret Wickens Pearce, cartographer and founder of Studio1:1, a cartographic artistic practice. A member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Pearce is dedicated to cartography as a form of writing that can combine and highlight narratives and dialogues across cultures and viewpoints. A focal point of her work is the application of cartography to express and elevate Indigenous geographies.

Pearce’s creative work in mapping has brought Indigenous knowledge more prominently into public discussion. Working with the elements of cartographic language, informed by Indigenous methodologies, she seeks to create ruminative spaces for restoring shared memory and creating change. Recent work includes the Land-Grab Universities project (2020), and numerous projects that map Indigenous place-name knowledge into the present, such as Coming Home to Indigenous Place Names in Canada (2017). Pearce and her collaborators often use mapping to open up literal and figurative spaces of consideration, such as the large-scale 2020 installation of two maps at the Field Museum as part of Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories. The maps create a place in which to confront and investigate the concept of “Removal” through the mapped experiences of Myaamia and Hoocąk people.

Among Pearce’s current projects is Inuit Nunangat, a map about the ways our carbon emissions interfere with Inuit self-determination and earth’s balance, and Mississippi Dialogues, a public art project resituating testimonies about flooding into an Indigenized Mississippi River.

Learn more about the AAG Stanley Brunn Award

 


Diversity & Inclusion Award

Honors geographers who have pioneered efforts toward or actively participated in efforts toward encouraging a more diverse discipline over the course of several years.

Elizabeth Olson

Elizabeth OlsonDr. Elizabeth Olson, professor of geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is recognized for the breadth and depth of her commitments to fostering inclusivity and care. Dr. Olson has been an outstanding mentor for scholars of color and women. As department chair, she made a concerted effort to create a more diverse faculty, focusing on the recruitment and retention of scholars of color.  She has worked continuously to build a department culture in which faculty and students of color can thrive. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Olson’s expertise in care work informed how the university responded to the pandemic, contributing to the formulation of policies to support early-career faculty. Finally, Dr. Olson’s scholarship on care ethics, youth, and religion speaks to her dedication to creating more welcoming and inclusive spaces in the university and in the discipline.

Learn more about the Diversity & Inclusion Award

 


Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award

Given to an individual geographer, group, or department who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in building supportive academic and professional environments in their departments, associations, and institutions and guiding the academic and or professional growth of their students and junior colleagues.

Derek Alderman

Photo of Derek AldermanDr. Derek Alderman is recognized for his outstanding and impactful contributions to mentorship of students and early career faculty colleagues. The committee particularly noted the caring and inclusive environment Dr. Alderman creates which supports a highly valued climate of collegiality within the University of Tennessee Department of Geography and Sustainability, the impressive number of students mentored throughout his career, his holistic “coaching up” mentorship style that centers diversity, equity, and inclusion, draws upon his own life experience, and goes far beyond a one-size-fits-all mentorship approach. The committee was moved by the testimonies and letters of support submitted by Dr. Alderman’s mentees which embody the spirit, memory, and legacy of the late Dr. Susan Hardwick.

Learn more about the Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award
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AAG Recognized for Diversity and Equity Work by EDGE Geospatial

AAG has received an innaugural Professional Organization Award from EDGE Geospatial.
EDGE Geospatial was founded to “build a diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused network within the geospatial community that increases the exposure, opportunities, and advancement of individuals and companies of ethnically diverse backgrounds.” EDGE provides a job board, community board for geospatial professionals, events and community outreach.

“AAG is a significant partner in finding new ways to create a more representative, just and equitable geospatial industry,” said Keith Searles, EDGE Founder. “Through their annual meeting, reports and guides, initiatives, and many collaborations all year, AAG has truly shown up to support the vision for transformative action to extend and deepen representation in our field. 

“AAG is a significant partner in finding new ways to create a more representative, just and equitable geospatial industry.”

—Keith Searles, EDGE Founder

Keith Searles (left) presents the 2023 EDGE Award for Professional Organization to American Association of Geographers representative and Community Manager Emily Fekete (right). Credit: Kevin Freese
Keith Searles (left) presents the 2023 EDGE Award for Professional Organization to American Association of Geographers representative and Community Manager Emily Fekete (right). Credit: Kevin Freese

The new Professional Organization Award recognizes AAG’s efforts to prioritize and follow through on their commitment, through its Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion plan; its educational and professional programming; such as the ALIGNED project, the Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education (EDGE) in Geography initiative, and the Diversity Ambassadors program as well as past efforts that generated resources (e.g., a few books from the EDGE project) and advanced conversations on these opportunities (e.g., during sessions at our Annual Meeting) in addition to Rapid Response programs such as the $500,000 COVID Rapid Response two-year Bridging the Digital Divide program, with significant funding from Esri, which directly addressed educational obstacles and opportunities for students in historically underserved communities at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In addition to the JEDI plan and programming, AAG has supported or conducted research on equity outcomes in geography, notably the State of Geography report; as well as tracking and promoting geography programs at Minority Serving Institutions through its Guide to Geography Programs. AAG has published articles highlighting equity in its regular column for ArcNews and celebrated the specific accomplishments of community colleges in leveling the playing field for many young geographers.

“This recognition by EDGE is all the more meaningful as we see a trend toward more geographers entering degree programs from diverse backgrounds,” AAG President Marilyn Raphael said. “Organizations like EDGE are instrumental in assuring strong career paths and networks for these geographers.”

“It Is an honor to be recognized by EDGE,” said Gary Langham, executive director of AAG. “One of the best measures of the relevance and success of our work is recognition by peer groups that foreground social and racial justice, as EDGE does. Keith Searles and his team are valued colleagues on the path to a more just and diverse geography discipline.”

AAG Community Manager Emily Fekete accepted the award in a ceremony on April 28 at EDGE’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

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2023 AAG Awards Recognition

Photo of bright sparkly lights on dark background

AAG members are recognized for their work throughout the year and for their dedication to the discipline. Of the hundreds of nominations received, AAG committees, groups and leadership choose exemplary members who contribute to the field of geography in many different ways and celebrate their role in advancing geography. Following is a compilation of all of AAG’s awards conferred in 2023.


AAG Honors

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.

2023 AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors

Li An 

Photo of Li AnThe 2023 AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors goes to Li An, Professor of Geography at San Diego State University and fellow of the AAG and the American Association for Advancement of Science. An is an internationally recognized geographer known for his pioneering contributions to agent-based modeling and space-time analysis that strengthen our ability to understand spatiotemporal variability of complex human-environmental processes. His work is motivated by his longing for peace and strength in human-environment interactions through improved sustainability—a motivation inspired by his name: Li, his first name, means strength or power, and An, his last name, means peace or safety. An has contributed to this mission by using geovisualization, modeling, and simulation to bridge the division between social science and ecological modeling that previously limited the capacity to address environmental issues that are inherently human influenced, for example, panda conservation and invasive species. 

An’s innovations on spatial analysis and modeling tools both increase our capacity for representing complex processes and draw inferences in the temporal dimension. One such innovation is the development of a digital, high performance, and 4-D holographic methodology for space-time representation and modeling. An actively applied these methods to address challenges spanning climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services, wildlife habitat degradation, urban transition, and more. A broadly applicable innovation for the field of geography is An’s work addressing the grand challenge of spatial autocorrelation in space-time data. An developed a methodology fusing the eigenvector spatial filtering approach and geography latent trajectory analysis to filter out bias arising from spatial autocorrelation, introducing a new methodology to GIScience and transforming the field. A third example of An’s many innovations is his having creatively weaved survival analysis—typically used in social science disciplines to study the timing of discrete events—with modern GIScience methods to generate a subfield called land survival analysis.  

An recently published a book, Conservation Effectiveness and Concurrent Green Initiatives, in which he presents his discovery of concurrent green efforts—overlapping conservation efforts that may have positive synergies or negative interactions that may hamper conservation efforts. The work reflects An’s exceptional interdisciplinary approach to addressing problems in sustainability. An’s focus on merging the spatial and human-environment identities, in this book and across the rest of his work, concurrently advances subfields in geography while, more importantly, developing new subfields and methods that have greater capabilities for finding solutions for complex human-environment problems.  

Geraldine Pratt

Photo of Geraldine PrattThe 2023 AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors is awarded to Geraldine Pratt for her contributions to the fields of feminist geography, economic geography, and labor. She does so by demonstrating how labor markets work, tracing the relationships between domestic workers in Canada and their transnational families, as well as the debates over the ethics of care at home and abroad. Pratt has served as an inspiration to human geographers, demonstrating that dedication to ethical collaborations can also lead to highly-cited and influential publications. It is particularly notable that Pratt has engaged in multiple modalities of inclusive scholarship and co-production of knowledge, including the media of film, art installation, and theatrical performance. Dr. Pratt has engaged in crucial work that lays out agendas for feminist geography, including 16 years in leadership with the journal Environment and Planning D: Society & Space and two editions as co-editor of the Dictionary of Human Geography. Over decades of innovative publications, Dr. Pratt’s body of scholarship demonstrates how unpacking the role of race, class, gender and nationality shape geographic relations of migration and work. Her single-authored book, Working Feminism, published in 2004, reveals the way that place and race shape late capitalism in the work of caregiving and temporary migration programs. Pratt’s subsequent monograph, Families Apart (2012), illustrates administrative state violence in the rules and regulations that migrant caregivers navigate in their displacement from the Philippines to live-in family care in Canada. In addition, Pratt has served as primary advisor to over 25 doctoral students, contributing to a more gender-diverse human geography along the way. Pratt’s innovative work on gender, care and migration is increasingly relevant in thinking through how wealthy countries like Canada manage care of their aging populations, as well as the rising need for live-in caregivers that the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic portends. 

2023 AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors

John Strait and Ava Fujimoto-Strait 

Photo of John Strait and Ava Fujimoto-StraitThe 2023 AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors is awarded to John Strait and Ava Fujimoto-Strait for their joint teaching, mentoring, and pedagogical accomplishments at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). As Pat Harris, Chair of SHSU’s Department of Environmental and Geosciences stated, “Individually, John and Ava are great ambassadors for geography … it is hard to talk about one without talking about the other because their course and teaching styles are so intertwined.” Not only is the breadth of their teaching impressive, but they also offer innovative instruction that is engaging, place-based, and student-centered. Collectively, they have taught several different courses at SHSU, many of which are recognized for their academic community engagement, due to their emphasis on community partnerships and service-based learning opportunities. Since 2006, they have coordinated and co-directed a host of immersive field courses, both within the United States and abroad. These field courses offer students hands-on interdisciplinary experiences in such diverse locales as the Mississippi Delta, Hawaii, Spain, Italy, Morocco, as well as other locations. These transformative travel experiences, in conjunction with field-based activities incorporated within their traditional in-class courses, directly immerse students into relevant subject matter, ultimately creating strong bonds and facilitating a passion for geographic inquiry. 

At SHSU, Fujimoto-Strait delivers workshops on creating “Engaging Classrooms” and has received multiple teaching awards, including the Staff Excellence Award in 2019 and the Adjunct Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2014. Strait regularly offers a popular seminar on the Blues culture of the Mississippi Delta, a field-based course that uses the region’s musical culture as a lens to focus attention on various linkages between musical evolution and the geographic dimensions of the Civil Rights movement. He also shares his expertise with music and-place-based pedagogies in summer teacher workshops and institutes, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer K-12 Teacher Institute hosted by the Mississippi Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University. Since 2008, his lectures and field endeavors at this Institute, entitled The Most Southern Place on Earth, have been exceptionally well-received and highly rated by participating teachers from private and public schools from across the country. 

Strait and Fujimoto-Strait’s co-authored 2017 paper in The Geography Teacher, focused on the cultural and environmental diversity across Hawaii through field-based learning, was recognized by the National Council for Geographic Education as the year’s “Best Content” article. They both have been contributing faculty on the SHSU-directed “Pacific Undergraduate Research Experience in Mathematics,” a NSF-funded academic program based in Hawaii designed to increase the representation of Pacific Islanders in STEM-based degree paths. More recently, with other SHSU geography faculty, they received a National Geographic Society grant entitled “Building an Engaging Place-Based Geography Community in Metro Houston.” This endeavor entailed developing workshops with K-12 educators to demonstrate how place-based field endeavors, combined with the use of geospatial technologies, can enhance student learning and engagement, and increase interest in higher education among under-represented communities across Houston, Texas. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, John and Ava serve as mentors and academic advisors for numerous students and teachers, many of whom provided enthusiastic letters in support for this award.

Lifetime Achievement Honors

David R. Butler 

Photo of David ButlerThe American Association of Geographers awards AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors to Dr. David R. Butler. Over his 37-year academic career, Butler’s influential work at the interface of geomorphology and biogeography has advanced knowledge and understanding in physical geography. He has displayed exemplary devotion to teaching and mentoring both at the college and K-12 levels, putting diversity and equity principles at the forefront of his program. He has promoted and strengthened physical geography through his scholarship and his leadership and service. 

Butler’s extraordinary publication record includes hundreds of peer-reviewed articles, as well as monographs, book chapters, edited books, and special issues of journals. His award-winning book, Zoogeomorphology: Animals as Geomorphic Agents, laid the foundation for this subdiscipline of physical geography and is widely considered a classic text. His comprehensive works on alpine treelines have advanced our knowledge of the ways in which topography and geomorphology, including geomorphic hazards such as avalanches and debris flows, shape plant communities at high elevations. These insights have bolstered our understanding of the forces that drive stability and change in mountain ecotones. He led and edited the AAG Annals special issue on The Anthropocene (2021). 

David R. Butler also merits this award for his exceptional commitment to education. He has mentored dozens of successful master’s and doctoral students, many of whom are now professors, and has co-authored numerous publications with them. For his teaching effectiveness, he has received many honors and awards, among them the Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award from the National Council for Geographic Education. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have always been core tenets of Butler’s mentoring program, and he is widely recognized by colleagues for seeking to increase the presence of underrepresented groups in graduate programs and beyond. 

Coupled with exceptional scholarship, teaching, and mentoring, Butler has an impressive record of professional service, including editorial and leadership roles within the AAG. Despite his emeritus status, he continues to be AAG Annals Editor for the Physical Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences section, editor for Progress in Physical Geography, and an editorial board member for Physical Geography and Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. As Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium Steering Committee Chair, he worked to diversify the board and include more early-career scholars. Within the AAG, he has chaired the Geomorphology and Mountain Geography Specialty Groups and been on the Executive Board of the Biogeography Specialty Group

Mark Monmonier 

Photo of Mark MonmonierThe American Association of Geographers awards AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors to Mark Monmonier. Over the course of five decades, he has made outstanding contributions to geographic research, most notably in the fields of cartography and geographic communication. He also has an extensive record of distinctive leadership at national and international levels, and in service to the discipline of geography and the AAG. He is a valued colleague and esteemed mentor and inspiration to hundreds of students, many of whom have become leaders in the academic community, government agencies, and industry. 

Monmonier’s scholarship in the history of cartography, environmental cartography, geographic information, and map design has resulted in a plethora of articles, book chapters, and books, including three titles that received the Globe Book Award and the Outstanding Academic Books by Choice for Public Understanding of Geography. Monmonier’s works are timeless and have transformed how people see, analyze, and interact with maps. For example, his widely acclaimed and classic text How to Lie with Maps (1991, 1996, 2018) continues to inform how the maps we produce and circulate represent unique perspectives on the places where we live. This single book has been translated into Chinese, Czech, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish, evidence of its global research impact. With the explosion of the field of data visualization, lessons learned from Monmonier’s research are as relevant today as they have been in the past. 

Monmonier’s professional leadership and service to the discipline of geography and to the AAG is exemplary. He served as vice president and president of the American Cartographic Association and on the Coastal Elevation and Sea-Level Rise Advisory Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Within the AAG, he twice served on the editorial board of the Annals, and he chaired the Cartography Specialty Group. Monmonier’s peers and those whom he has mentored describe him as “a model of organization and administration, trailblazing, and generous.” He has received the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award by Syracuse University.

Linda Peake 

Photo of Linda PeakeThe 2023 AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors is awarded to Linda Peake for her scholarly contributions to feminist and urban geographies and for a career dedicated to extending equity, diversity, and inclusion at her institution (York University, Canada) and across the discipline of geography. 

Linda Peake’s four decades of scholarship have spanned feminist, social and urban geography, studies of race and racism and mental health. Her early research was focused on feminist urban geography and led toco-edited volumes such as Women, Human Settlements, and Housing (1987) and Women in Cities (1988). In the 1990s, her perspective broadened to include race and sexuality, and engaged the idea of intersectionality—a hallmark of Peake’s scholarship—long before this term came to be commonly used and understood in geography. Peake has also helped shape these fields through her editorship of Gender, Place and Culture (GPC) and Social and Cultural Geography. 

Peake’s later research has expanded to the exploration of comparative urban feminist theorizations. This work has been funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and is reflected in co-edited volumes that include Rethinking Feminist Interventions into the Urban (2013), A Feminist Urban Theory for our Time (2021), and The Elgar Handbook on Gender and Cities (forthcoming). In 2017, as Director of the City Institute at York University, she assumed leadership of a multimillion-dollar SSHRC Partnership Grant: “Urbanization, gender, and the global South: A transformative knowledge network (GenUrb). “This project expands understanding of urban place ecologies of precarity and violence, engaging a transnational team of researchers working in six cities across the global South. This research project includes many early career and non-academic researchers and exemplifies Peake’s commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion. 

Linda Peake’s commitment to social justice is demonstrated by her engagement with activist organizations and in efforts to transform the discipline and the academy. She has worked with the grassroots women’s organization, Red Thread, in Guyana to train women scholars and build local research teams. She serves as an expert witness for U.S. law firms representing Guyanese deportees. In partnership with Beverley Mullings and Kate Parizeau, Peake has organized conference sessions and workshops to raise awareness of and prompt action on mental health issues in U.S. and Canadian universities. 

For her work, she has received the 2004 Julian Minghi Outstanding Research Award from the Political Geography Specialty Group (together with Eleonore Kofman and Lynn Staeheli). She is also a recipient of the Jan Monk Service Award from the AAG Geographic Perspectives on Women Specialty Group (2015), the Distinguished Scholar Award, Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group (2016), the Inaugural Solidarity Award (2019) from the AAG Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group (as an editor of GPC), and the 2022 AAG Diversity and Inclusion Award (with Mullings and Parizeau). She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2022).

William Wyckoff 

Photo of William WyckoffWilliam Wyckoff, a recipient of the AAG’s Lifetime Achievement Honors, has played a leading role in research focusing on the historical evolution of interactions among people and places in the American West. While serving on the faculty of Montana State University since 1986, Wyckoff conducted a continually evolving set of research projects focusing on several important segments of this vast territory and its diverse population. Some of his research focused on specific places, while other projects were broader regional examinations. Wyckoff’s research built on traditional historical geography themes and approaches, but he employed new perspectives and techniques to provide novel insights into the complex interactions among people and places across the region. 

Many of Wyckoff’s publications were directed at broader audiences, which has enabled students, scholars, and the general public to explore the transformation of landscapes and better appreciate those places; to explore the impacts of economic, cultural and environmental changes; and to enhance their capabilities to care for those places more effectively. Some of Wyckoff’s publications have employed historical photographs and contemporary images taken at the same locales to show changes over time. His book, How to Read the American West (2014), is a creative field guide that provides visual and textual interpretations of myriad landscape features and elucidates the significance of specific features and what they tell us about the region. 

As a professor, Wyckoff engaged students, scholars, and broader audiences in diverse subject areas through lectures that involved the expert weaving of maps, photographs, graphics, stories, and evocative description. Wyckoff’s excellence in the classroom was matched by his reputation for effective mentoring when he met with students individually or in small groups. In addition to his on-campus activities, Wyckoff was a part of a team that co-authored six editions of a leading college-level world geography textbook. 

In all of his endeavors, Wyckoff gave equal attention across the full breadth of humanity. His research publications, classroom presentations, and textbooks examined the actions and impacts of diverse groups. His interactions with students and colleagues made it clear that regardless of who they were, he was willing to discuss their interests and ideas and to give them honest and encouraging advice. Former students from groups historically underrepresented in geography commented that Wyckoff’s explicit attention to their situations and aspirations were critical in helping move their careers forward. 

Because of his innovative research, which has significantly expanded knowledge about the evolution of interactions among diverse groups of people and the broad mosaic of landscapes in the American West, his effective dissemination of new insights to both scholarly and popular audiences, his superior teaching in classroom and field settings and through a widely used collegiate textbook, his contributions to building a broader and more diverse set of scholars in geography through his research, teaching, and mentoring, the AAG honors William Wyckoff.

 


AAG Fellows

The AAG Fellows is a recognition and service program that applauds geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing geography.

The 2023 AAG Fellows selection committee: Anne Chin, University of Colorado Denver; Doug Allen, Emporia State University; Jovan Lewis, UC Berkeley; David Butler, Texas State University; Daniel Block, Chicago State University; and Heike Alberts, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Timothy Beach

Photo of Tim BeachDr. Timothy Beach is an internationally recognized leader in soils, wetlands, geomorphology, and geoarchaeology through hundreds of publications. His research — deriving from his soils lab at UT Austin and a range of field sites across the world including Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Turkey, Italy, and the USA — has substantially elevated our understanding of wetlands, geomorphology, human interactions with soils, and global change, especially relating to Maya civilization. Beach is recognized with major awards from several disciplines, universities, and numerous invited lectures including at the Vatican. The awards include the G.K. Gilbert Award and Ellen Mosely-Thompson Paper of the Year Award from the American Association of Geographers (AAG), the Kirk Bryan Award from the Geological Society of America (GSA), the Carl O. Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award from the Conference of Latin American Geography, and the Fryxell Award from the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). Beach also received fellowships from Guggenheim and Dumbarton Oaks (twice) and is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The University of Texas at Austin honored Dr. Beach’s research with the C.B. Smith Centennial Chair in U.S.-Mexico Relations. In addition, Georgetown University awarded Tim Beach with the Distinguished Research Award and the Georgetown School of Foreign Service Professor of the Year Teaching Award. Beach is also an Alumnus of the Year at California State University-Chico. An active member over four decades, Tim Beach has provided outstanding leadership and service to the AAG, most notably as chair of the Geomorphology Specialty Group and co-founder of the Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group. He has similarly held leadership roles in the GSA, SAA, and the American Quaternary Association. Beach’s long record of service to his discipline also includes the scores of special sessions that he organized or co-organized, that have produced special edited journal issues.

Martin Doyle

Photo of Martin DoyleDr. Martin Doyle is well known as a physical geographer, and he’s also very comfortable in the realms of environmental policy, finance, and aquatic ecology. He has won major awards for his ground-breaking research, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the AAG’s Meridian Book Award for The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade its Rivers and the AAG’s Geomorphology Specialty Group’s G.K. Gilbert Award. He is a strong mentor, including collaborating with and supporting female river scientists, and through his role as Associate Dean at Duke University, where he has been an advocate for female scholars and scholars of color. He served in President Obama’s Department of the Interior, and on the US Army Science Board. He is widely known as a “go-to” figure for interviews in the media, and is an important spokesperson for watershed protection and restoration. He is known as a powerful mentor of students as well as early-career scientists, and although no longer in a geography department, he remains a member and strong supporter of the AAG and the Geomorphology Specialty Group.

LaToya Eaves

LaToya E EavesDr. LaToya Eaves has established a record of transformative research, dynamic teaching, and dedicated mentoring in the field of geography. Her contributions to the fields of Black Geographies, Black feminism, queer geographies, and the U.S. South are particularly noteworthy. Dr. Eaves’ rigorous and accessible scholarship pushes geography as a discipline to engage with the importance of Black geographic thought and practices in the production of space and place. Her scholarship provides accessible entry points for students to engage with Black Geographies, and she has contributed foundational texts for scholars doing work within Black Geographies literature. Her research has been published in Geoforum, Dialogues in Human Geography, Gender, Place & Culture, The Professional Geographer, and Journal of Geography in Higher Education, among other journals and edited volumes. She has received numerous accolades within geography, including but not limited to Department of Geography’s Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Academic Advancement Award by the Tennessee LGBT+ College Conference, the Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors by the AAG, and the Enhancing Diversity Award by the AAG. One of the founders of the Black Geographies Specialty Group, Dr. Eaves’ organization and caring mentorship has transformed the discipline of geography and provided a space and academic home for Black scholars and scholars of Black Geographies.  She is a generous and caring mentor as well. Her reputation within the geography community broadly and within the Black Geographies community specifically speaks to her generous mentorship of students and junior scholars, much of which is invisible, uncompensated, and unrecognized work in institutional settings. She has been committed to recognizing and honoring senior Black scholars, organizing panels, special issues of journals, and award applications to assure that these senior scholars are recognized for their foundational contributions.  Beyond the subfield of Black Geographies, Dr. Eaves has served the AAG in the roles of National Councilor, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. She also contributed to the AAG Harassment Free Task Force and the AAG Task Force on Diversifying the Curriculum in Geography, and she co-chaired the AAG New Orleans Featured Theme Committee. She has served as an editor for Dialogues in Human Geography and on numerous editorial boards.

A. Stewart Fotheringham

Photo of Stewart FotheringhamDr. A. Stewart Fotheringham has been described as the strongest researcher of his generation in quantitative geography and spatial analysis. He has been at the forefront of efforts to improve our understanding of spatially distributed phenomena, and of the social and environmental processes that operate in space and time. His publications on spatial interaction modeling have become the accepted authorities in the field for their theoretical and quantitative rigor and for the richness of their applications. Fotheringham has also significantly advanced our understanding of the problems of making statistical inference from spatial data across the health, social, and environmental sciences. More recently, his work on spatial process heterogeneity has led to powerful new insights from place-based analysis, a topic that he has pioneered through the development of geographically weighted regression and the creation of analogous versions of many standard statistical techniques. He has made these advances readily accessible to researchers in geography, and in the health, social, and environmental sciences more broadly, through software, tutorials, and workshops, and the development of appropriate inferential tests. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and he has done much to promote geography and spatial science across the social sciences and internationally. He has been a long-time member of the American Association of Geographers despite his long periods at European universities, and he has been a regular attendee at AAG meetings and a contributor to geographical debates on both sides of the Atlantic. His research, including numerous papers in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, is very heavily cited.

Nik Heynen 

Photo of Nik HeynenDr. Nik Heynen’s sustained and exemplary record of research, mentorship, and service has left an enduring impact on the discipline of geography. Dr. Heynen’s scholarship has been transformational and field-defining in the areas of urban political ecology, abolition geographies and ecologies, and geographies of neoliberalism and racial capitalism. His work theorizes and demonstrates empirically how racialized processes of capitalism, white supremacy, and settler colonialism produce structurally unjust geographies and ecologies. His work centers Black scholars and their scholarship to create a social justice-oriented research agenda that produces not only rigorous, theoretically sophisticated scholarship but also practical, justice-centered work. Dr. Heynen’s scholarship is only surpassed by his commitment to his advocacy for reparations and service within the discipline. Dr. Heynen has served as part of the editorial collective at Antipode and was the founding Chair of the Institute for the Geographies of Justice. He has served as an editor for Annals of the AAG and is the founding editor of the University of Georgia Press book series Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation, as well as a co-founding editor of Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. Dr. Heynen has a long-standing research and service relationship with the Gullah-Geechee community on Sapelo Island, where he frequently returns to support the restoration of traditional agricultural practices. Dr. Heynen’s service shows a sustained commitment to anti-racist, justice-oriented advocacy and action. Despite his over 100 publications, millions of dollars in external grant funding, and abundant service commitments, Dr. Heynen finds time to be a patient, caring, and selfless mentor within the discipline as well. His students have gone on to accept academic positions at some of the most prestigious institutions and departments in geography and are a testament to his caring, supportive, and effective mentorship. 

Reece Jones 

Photo of Reece JonesDr. Reece Jones is Professor and the Chair of the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He has created influential research on borders and immigration and is dedicated to service within the AAG and the wider academic community. He is currently the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2024 Annual Meeting in Honolulu. He previously served as the president of the Political Geography Specialty Group (PGSG) of the AAG in 2013 and 2014, was the Secretary/Treasurer of the PGSG from 2011-2012, and served on the PGSG executive committee from 2009-2016. Reece has served the discipline of geography as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Geopolitics for the past four years. Prior to becoming Editor-in-Chief, Reece was the Forum and Review Editor at the journal for two years. Reece is also on the editorial boards of the journals Political Geography and the Journal of Borderlands Studies and the editor of the Routledge Studies of Geopolitics book series with Klaus Dodds. In addition to Reece’s service to the AAG and the discipline, perhaps his most significant contribution is in his ground-breaking research on borders and immigration. In April 2021, Reece was named a Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His book Violent Borders, published in 2016, won multiple awards for the best book in political geography and has been translated into French and Slovenian. The citation from the British Royal Geographical Society called it “one of the most influential Political Geography books published in recent times.” 

David H. Kaplan 

Photo of David KaplanDavid H. “Dave” Kaplan is well-known both nationally and internationally for his work in political and urban geography. He has written or edited 14 books, ranging from sophisticated analyses of ethnicity and nationalism to textbooks on urban geography. He has published about 70 journal articles and book chapters, given over 80 invited presentations, and is editor-in-chief for the journal Geographical Review and editor of National Identities. Dr. Kaplan has served the AAG in numerous capacities, including as Council member, President of the East Lakes region, and Chair of the Healthy Departments Committee. Perhaps most significantly, Dr. Kaplan served as AAG President during two of the most significant events during the AAG’s recent history: the transition from AAG Executive Director Doug Richardson to Gary Langham, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter included the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Meeting and the establishment of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force to minimize the impact of the pandemic. To list just one major contribution to the AAG that speaks to his engagement to increase the diversity of the discipline, Dr. Kaplan created the International Councilor position to ensure that AAG leadership also reflects the international membership of the organization. 

Robin Leichenko

Photo of Robin LeichenkoRobin Leichenko is an extremely creative, inquisitive, and giving academic and public scholar whose career has spanned economic and environmental geography, focusing over the past 20 years primarily on economic impacts and responses to climate change. She has been a professor at Rutgers University for over 25 years, where she has chaired 11 Ph.D. committees, served as department chair and graduate director, served as co-director of the Rutgers Climate Institute, and is currently Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is an exemplary public scholar. She has served on multiple committees on responses to climate change, including serving as a review editor on the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), serving as co-chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, and serving as co-lead of the Society and Economy Sector of the New York State Climate Impact Assessment. Dr. Leichenko’s research journey shows her inquisitiveness and willingness to try new things. Early in graduate school, she was an environmental geographer, but during her Ph.D. program at Penn State, she became focused on economic geography, obtaining a M.A. in Economics along with her Ph.D. in Geography. After coming to Rutgers, she began to return to environmental geography, but combined the work with her knowledge of economic systems. Her ability to speak the language of scholars and practitioners across the various fields focusing on climate change has helped her to make immense contributions both to the academic study of climate change and to the debate on public responses to it. She has also been very active in the AAG itself. Among other things, she was chair of the Economic Geography specialty group. She has also acted as a mentor to many early and mid-career geographers, particularly women. Overall, Robin Leichenko is a model geographer, unafraid to cross boundaries, who works both inside and outside the academy.

Wei Li

Photo of Wei LiDr. Wei Li is a highly productive researcher who has published well over 100 academic articles and 10 books, edited books and special issues of journals, and delivered more than 75 invited lectures, with many focusing on urban and ethnic geography as well as highly skilled migrations. She is most known for her work on ethnic and racial settlement patterns, where she coined the now widely known term ethnoburb. Her work is well-respected both nationally and internationally, and she has held various visiting positions both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Li has provided extensive service to the AAG, including leadership positions in the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group, and serving as National Councilor and on the JEDI task force as well as other diversity-related initiatives. Beyond her own valuable contributions, she is also exceptional in drawing attention to and applauding the contributions of others. Dr. Li also deserves praise for her exceptional work in mentoring and advising graduate students and junior colleagues, including an extensive record of co-presenting and co-authoring papers with her students.

Wenwen Li

Photo of WenWen LiDr. Wenwen Li is a nationally recognized researcher at the forefront of geography, developing new methods for spatial pattern analysis and regionalization for solving real-world problems across disciplines. She is among the first to introduce classic inertia theory from physics to the measurement of spatial compactness patterns. Dr. Li has conducted innovative research on cyberinfrastructure, utilizing big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable geospatial intelligence for data-driven discovery and intelligent spatial decision making. For this
pioneering AI transdisciplinary expansion into the geospatial world, she has become widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading scientists responsible for the emergence of GeoAI research. Her approaches have been widely adopted in landscape ecology, climate research, geomorphology, urban studies, as well as in biomedical imaging, bioengineering, and toxicological science.

Dr. Li has a very strong service record to AAG and other research communities. This record includes serving on journal editorial boards, reviewing numerous manuscripts, and serving on multiple proposal review panels. She was a founding member of the AAG Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group and has served as its treasurer, board member, vice chair, chair, and past chair. She has also organized and chaired several dozen activities at AAG annual conferences, and has collaborated with the AAG GeoEthics group to host an Ethics in GeoAI webinar.

Priscilla McCutcheon 

Photo of Priscilla McCutcheonDr. Priscilla McCutcheon has built an eminent record of innovative research, impactful teaching, and dedicated service in geography. Dr. McCutcheon’s work in Black food geographies and land politics weaves together geographies of religious organizations, environmental justice, land/food access, and Black geographies to interrogate the structural inequalities and racial disparities in land ownership, particularly in the U.S. South. Her scholarship on race and environment also highlights racially marginalized peoples as agentic actors rather than simply communities trapped in oppressive struggles. Dr. McCutcheon’s scholarship is an important and vital contribution to geography, food justice, and Black studies. Described as “one of the most important scholars of her generation,” Dr. McCutcheon’s research in many journals including Antipode, ACME, Gender, Place, and Culture, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, and Annals of the AAG has led to numerous awards, including the inaugural Rickie Sanders Junior Faculty Award from the Feminist Geography Specialty Group, Emerging Diversity Scholar Citation from the National Center for Institutional Diversity, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow from the University of Kentucky, and Transdisciplinary Research Award from the University of Louisville. Dr. McCutcheon’s exceptional record of research is matched by her dedicated record of service within the discipline. She has served on the editorial boards of Progress in Environmental Geography, Environment and Planning E, and Agricultural and Human Values as well as serving as Chair of the Black Geographies Specialty Group and committee member on AAG’s Finance Committee, Awards Committee, and Diversity Committee. Dr. McCutcheon also serves as a dedicated and caring mentor and advisor to numerous graduate and undergraduate students as well as Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Dr. McCutcheon is active in community service initiatives and has been generous as an unofficial mentor within the broader discipline to junior scholars and students.

Lindsay Naylor

Photo of Lindsay NaylorDr. Lindsay Naylor is an outstanding researcher, teacher, and member of the AAG who is extremely qualified to become an Early/Mid-Career AAG Fellow. In the past seven years, she has published 27 articles, mainly as a first author, as well as a book, Fair Trade Rebels, published by the highly regarded University of Minnesota Press. This book won the 2020 Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award of the Political Geography Specialty Group of the AAG. She also has a second book under contract with the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on food systems, bodies, care, and agriculture, concentrating on stories and research on material subjects in particular places, and often involves partnering with local community organizations. She is quickly emerging as one of the premier scholars in both political geography and the geographies of food and agriculture. In addition, she is a strong teacher, serves as the current graduate advisor for the Geography program at the University of Delaware, and has been extremely active in the AAG. As a graduate student, she was one of the founders of the Geographies of Food and Agriculture specialty group. Lindsay was instrumental in the AAG Covid-19 Rapid Response and with AAG staff and a committee of AAG members developed the graduate student learning skills program (she is the current chair), which has been a tremendous support system for our members. She is also active in the Political Geography Specialty Group (as a former board member) and as a former board member of the AAG Middle States Region, from which she was elected as a Regional Councilor to the AAG. In sum, in her career to date, Lindsay Naylor has added an enormous amount to the field of geography as a researcher, a colleague, and a mentor.

Duane Nellis

Photo of Duane NellisDr. Duane Nellis has had an outstanding career as a leader in remote sensing in geography, and through his positions as leaders of major universities across the United States. Nellis forged an impressive career as a geographer and as a senior administrator at several public research universities. He has published numerous papers in the field of geography and remote sensing, and he has guided the continual growth of this field serving in his long-standing role as co-editor of Geocarto International. He has carried out this editorial work in addition to his university leadership roles as dean of arts and sciences (West Virginia University), provost (Kansas State University), and president (University of Idaho, Texas Tech, and Ohio University). In all these roles, Nellis crafted creative, joint-venture opportunities between the university and external foundations and corporations, shifting the narrative of public universities being victims of defunding to empowered agents of their own destinies. He also used his bully pulpit to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at every university in which he served. One powerful example of his efforts was the designation of Texas Tech University as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Nellis also served the AAG through his efforts in the Remote Sensing Specialty Group, and especially through his terms as Vice-President, President, and Past President of the AAG. He received many awards and commendations over the course of his distinguished career, and has richly deserved all the recognition. He received the Gilbert Grosvenor Geographic Education Honors in 2001 for his distinguished contributions to geographic education. He also received the highest-level scholarly achievement award from the AAG Remote Sensing Specialty Group and the John Fraser Hart Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the Agriculture and Rural Land Use Specialty Group.

Bimal K. Paul 

Photo of Bimal PaulDr. Bimal K. Paul, a Fulbright-Flex Fellow, has an international reputation as a leading scholar on disasters, hazards, and health and is known for frequently offering deeper understandings of complex issues and debunking long-held myths. Stanford University identified him as among the top two percent of researchers in the world. His research expertise is not just evidenced by his long record of publications, which includes numerous articles and several books, but also by his selection as a member of the observer team at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, and more recently the Paris Climate Change Conference. Dr. Paul’s work is well-known and respected beyond North America, as proven by numerous invited talks in various Asian countries as well as his service as the external reviewer on 20 dissertations at foreign universities. Dr. Paul is recognized as an expert on South Asia both within and outside academia and is frequently interviewed by the media on a wide range of topics including natural disaster mitigation, disaster relief, and health. Dr. Paul has served the AAG in a variety of capacities, including leadership of the Asian Geography Specialty Group, the AAG Affirmative Action and Minority Status Committee, and the AAG Research Grants Committee. He has also held editorial positions for the Geographical Review, and The Professional Geographer (book review section) and has served on the editorial board for the AAG Review of Books. 

William Solecki 

Photo of William SoleckiDr. William Solecki is an internationally recognized geographer whose research has significantly advanced understanding of urban environmental change and transitions to adaptation and resilience in the face of a changing climate. Among Dr. Solecki’s sustained, high-impact contributions are his leadership roles in climate assessments at the international and national levels. For the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2006, he has served as contributing lead author, lead author, or contributing author for chapters in the 4th Assessment, 5th Assessment, and 6th Assessment reports. Solecki was also a lead author for “Chapter 1 Framing and Contexts” of the IPCC Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C. He was also a lead author for U.S. National Climate Assessment chapter reports, most recently for a chapter on the Northeast (AR4). Infusing geographical concepts, and transcending academic scholarship to co-involve policymakers and practitioners, are significant attributes of Dr. Solecki’s work. His engagement with climate change issues in New York City has provided a living laboratory for his research and teaching at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). He was the co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, founding director of the Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College, founding (interim) director of the CUNY-led, Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, co-founder of the Urban Climate Change Research Network, and founding editor of the Journal of Extreme Events. Dr. Solecki received the 2020 Gilbert White Distinguished Public Service Honors from the AAG for “outstanding work to improve the human condition through direct community engagement, wide-ranging public service, and salient, cutting-edge research.” 

David Wilson 

Photo of David WilsonDr. David Wilson is a distinguished urban geographer who has led the excellent urban geography program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 30 years. His research has focused on urban redevelopment, political economy, governance dynamics, and race in Rust Belt Cities of the global north, particularly in Chicago, Flint, Glasgow, and Cleveland. He both studies these cities and has become closely tied to them, particularly their Blues music scene. Dr. Wilson also excels as a mentor, both for urban geography students and for junior faculty. He is a giving scholar, with an open-door policy for all. He is also devoted to the promotion of diversity and inclusion at the University of Illinois and in the field of geography in general. In the AAG, he has been a leader in the Urban Geography Specialty Group, where he co-organizes the annual plenary lecture. He has also been on the editorial board of more than 10 national and international journals. 

 


AAG Presidential Achievement Award

The AAG Past President recognizes individuals who have made long-standing and distinguished contributions to the discipline of geography.

Gillian Hart

Professor Gillian Hart is recognized for her foundational work in the critical human geography of development, agrarian political economy, and postcolonial Marxism.

Dr. Hart has inspired a generation of geographers with her theorizations of relational comparison, conjunctural analysis, and critical ethnography as powerful methodologies for interrogating contemporary social relations. After her earlier research on agrarian Southeast Asia, including groundbreaking contributions to feminist debates about gender and the household, Dr. Hart turned her scholarly focus to post-Apartheid South Africa. Her ground-breaking book Disabling Globalization critiqued discourses of globalization through attention to multiple social-spatial trajectories, while Rethinking the South African Crisis analyzed nationalism and the proliferation of populist politics, focusing on local governments as key sites of contradiction.

Dr. Hart has been a leading figure in demonstrating and interpreting Antonio Gramsci’s contemporary salience, and in offering geographical explications of the contemporary global politics of resurgent nationalisms and authoritarian neoliberalism. At UC Berkeley, she chaired the Center for African Studies for five years and co-chaired the Development Studies major for two decades. She was an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and since 2016 has been Distinguished Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She was awarded the Vega Medal by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography in 2018.

Matthew Turner

Professor Matthew Turner is recognized for his extensive and profoundly interdisciplinary contributions to nature-society geography, particularly of arid and semi-arid regions of West Africa. His research blends a deep understanding of place and cultural practices with expertise in biophysical geography and geospatial analysis.

Bringing long-term ethnographic fieldwork together with household surveys, GIS, remote sensing, and soil analysis, Dr. Turner has made substantial contributions to political ecology, development geography, common property theory, the ecology of tropical savanna vegetation, and rangeland ecology. Moreover, through the integration of rigorous social theoretical engagement with mixed social science and ecological methods, Dr. Turner has fundamentally challenged dominant narratives surrounding environmental science and resource management in the Sahel and across semi-arid ecosystems more broadly. His scholarly interventions also include bringing political ecology together with Science and Technology Studies, and advancing geographical knowledge about pastoralism, gendered dimensions of food insecurity, and climate change and conflict.

Dr. Turner has served as department chair as well as director of the University of Wisconsin Land Tenure Center. Known as an extraordinarily generous mentor to students and junior faculty alike, Dr. Turner has advised 26 Ph.D. students, 43 graduate students overall, and served on roughly 150 additional graduate committees. He is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Learn more about AAG Presidential Achievement Award

 


AAG Honorary Geographer

Recognizes excellence in research, teaching, or writing on geographic topics by non-geographers

Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit, author and activist, is recognized for her consistent witness to shine light on possibilities for a better world, and her engagement in fighting for the planet’s future.

Learn more about the AAG Honorary Geographer Award

 


AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography

Given to an individual geographer or team that has demonstrated originality, creativity, and significant intellectual breakthroughs in geography.

Susanna Hecht

Susanna Hecht, UCLA, is recognized for creative work to contribute to our understanding of the cultural, political, and natural conditions for deforestation and reforestation in the Amazon.

Learn more about the AAG Stanley Brunn Award

 


AAG Wilbanks Prize for Transformational Research in Geography

Awarded to geographers from the academic, public, or private sectors whose research has made transformational contributions to Geography or GIScience, or to Science and Society

Audrey Kobayashi

Audrey Kobayashi, Queen’s University, has conducted transformative research on the intersectionality of gender, race, politics, and place. After initial studies of the experiences of Japanese immigrants in Canada, Kobayashi’s research expanded to examine the ways in which women and people of color encountered and responded to discrimination and other socially constructed barriers. Her theoretical work fostered expansion and integration of feminist and other critical approaches to the study of space, place and racialized landscapes, thereby refocusing geographic inquiry on the complex processes of identity formation, place formation, and inequality.

As one of the first feminist geographers to emphasize the intersectional nature of gender and race, she enhanced basic knowledge about the social and political construction of race in many contexts. Kobayashi also engaged with universities, governments, and other organizations to implement changes in how those institutions combatted racism and other forms of discrimination.

Her consistently innovative and socially relevant research has stimulated new modes of critical analysis and empirical study and helped address fundamental problems in academia and society.

Learn more about the AAG Wilbanks Prize

 


Meredith F. Burrill Award

Honors work of exceptional merit and quality that lies at or near the intersection of basic research in geography and practical applications or policy implications

James K. Mitchell

Professor Emeritus of the Department of Geography at Rutgers University, has devoted his over fifty years as a geographer to the human dimensions of environmental risks, hazards, disasters, and resilience. Incorporating natural, social, and management sciences, he has taken a broad front approach to bridging deep theoretical thinking and geographical knowledge with institutional practices to influence policymaking processes and outcomes in disaster response, recovery, and mitigation.

Mitchell’s work has been pathbreaking, engaging a wide variety of organizations at all levels of governance, and bringing together researchers, policy makers, and members of the public for complex discussions about developing actionable outcomes to help transform landscapes and people’s livelihoods to achieve sustainable development. Over several decades, he has tirelessly encouraged the engagement of geographers in policy making processes and outcomes, and inspired generations of students to move in new and promising directions in hazard and disaster research and mitigation.

Learn more about the Meredith F. Burrill Award

 


AAG Harold M. Rose Award for Anti-Racism Research and Practice

Honors geographers who have served to advance the discipline through their research and had on impact on anti-racist practice.

Malini Ranganathan

Dr. Malini Ranganathan, Associate Professor at American University’s School of International Service, stands out for her sustained and exceptional contributions to debates in racial geographies, political ecology, and urban geography, as well as for her antiracist institutional leadership, intellectual mentorship, community engagement, and advancement of geography.

Dr. Ranganathan’s scholarship engages how processes of racialization, racial capitalism, and racial liberalism can be understood both within and beyond European and American contexts and articulate with projects of coloniality, casteism, ethno-nationalism, and Islamophobia. She studies these macro historical processes primarily in the context of cities and their spatial, housing, and ecological inequities. Her recent work continues her engagement in a deep and ongoing dialogue and study with Dalit-led anti-caste social movements in India that is aimed at supporting their struggles. Her work rigorously establishes and carefully develops crucial transnational connections. Focusing on water access exclusion in peripheral urban areas in both the U.S. and in India, she has called for “comparative learning” on the politics of informality. Within the U.S., her scholarship focuses on anti-Black and anti-Latinx racisms related to water, housing, and climate change, including work on governance and water tragedy in Flint, MI and abolition ecologies, featured and stimulating discourse in popular press and media. Her teaching and institutional service convey her intellectual rigour and care as well, most notably in her role as the interim director of the Center for Anti-racism at American University, cultivating a leadership model to foster a diffuse and inclusive shared governance infrastructure, centering on especially diverse groups of women of color.

Harold M. Rose was a pioneer in geographical research and practice engaging anti-racism and focusing on the social conditions faced by African Americans. Rose’s work is a reminder that scholars can and must go beyond theoretical understandings of racism and intersecting conditions of oppression to make a difference in actual communities. Dr. Ranganathan’s prolific combination of research, mentorship, teaching, and community-building carries the torch of Rose’s work and his commitment to geographical anti-racist praxis.

Learn more about the AAG Harold M. Rose Award

 


Diversity & Inclusion Award

Honors geographers who have pioneered efforts toward or actively participated in efforts toward encouraging a more diverse discipline over the course of several years.

CindyAnn Rose-Redwood

Dr. CindyAnn Rose-Redwood, Associate Teaching Professor of Geography at the University of Victoria, is recognized for her sustained commitment to diversity and equity in her service to her department and university. Dr. Rose-Redwood is also recognized for her consistent efforts to incorporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion themes in the geography curriculum; and for her work to promote the inclusion of international students in higher education. Dr. Rose-Redwood played an active role as a racialized minority, female faculty member on the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Equity & Diversity Committee at the University of Victoria, a position she successfully leveraged to create a department-level Equity & Diversity Committee of which she became the founding committee chair. These efforts paved the way for the appointment of the department’s first Indigenous hire in recent years.

Besides her tireless service in teaching and administration, Dr. Rose-Redwood has conducted research on the international student experience within higher education institutions, specifically addressing issues of diversity and inclusion themes relating to these students’ academic and social experiences. She has also demonstrated leadership in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education through her editorial roles as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and Associate Editor of the Journal of International Students, which are well-known journals that engage with diverse student bodies and call attention to DEI issues within higher education spaces.

Learn more about the Diversity & Inclusion Award

 


Glenda Laws Award

Recognizes outstanding early to mid-career scholars’ contributions to geographic research on social issues.

Shiloh Krupar

Shiloh Krupar’s work combines scholarship on nuclear politics and policy with performance-based community activism.  Her creativity and her commitment to public scholarship are remarkable.  Among her many noteworthy projects are the National Toxic Land/Labor Conservation Service, a faux government agency that enlists artists-activists to propose projects focused on the environmental legacies of American militarism to actual government agencies. In addition, her A People’s Atlas of Nuclear Colorado invites the public to learn about, and to engage with, the history of the Cold War and nuclear landscapes in Colorado. This interactive digital atlas, which tackles Colorado’s nuclear military-industrial complex, represents stunningly innovative, interdisciplinary, collaborative and public facing scholarship that stretches the political and social scope of what it is that an atlas can do. In receiving this award, Dr. Krupar wishes to acknowledge her long-term collaborator on these projects, Sarah Kanouse.  She is affiliated with Georgetown University.

Willie J. Wright

Dr. Willie J. Wright has made his mark in the discipline with his scholarship on Black geographies and urban studies.  He is committed to social justice and to community engagement while also embarking on creative partnerships with cultural institutions.  His current project (with Dr. Sage Ponder) on the Jackson People’s School, funded by the Antipode Foundation, and his year-long Galveston Artist Residency are all worthy of note and praise. He is deeply committed to advancing the fight and struggle for justice in communities long written out of mainstream geographic scholarship. Dr. Wright is also a board member of the Cooperative Community of New West Jackson, Mississippi, a grassroots resident-led community development organization.

As an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, Dr. Wright has made vital contributions to social justice teaching, including a dedicated course on Social Justice in the City and a graduate course on Black Geographies. He is committed to community-oriented scholarship and bridging the gap between the academy and knowledge that exists within communities. This is crucial because knowledge creation is not a one-way street but is reflected in the intersection between the ‘Ivory Tower’ and community activists and organizers working to transform communities.

Learn more about the Glenda Laws Award

 


Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award

Given to an individual geographer, group, or department who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in building supportive academic and professional environments in their departments, associations, and institutions and guiding the academic and or professional growth of their students and junior colleagues.

Heather A. Smith

Dr. Heather A. Smith, University of North Carolina Charlotte, is recognized for her outstanding style of mentorship that emulates, honors, and embodies the spirit, memory and legacy of the late Dr. Susan Hardwick.

Students and colleagues of Dr. Smith praise her generosity, inclusivity and focus on collaboration, service, and leadership. Dr. Smith is recognized for her commitment to providing more access, more opportunity, more attention, more care, more critical engagement, and more professional development than is typical in academia, all while exemplifying high standards for excellence and engagement. Further, she has provided students with the skills and resources they need to succeed as scholars and practitioners. She shows sustained interest in the continued growth, well-being, and success of current and former students and faculty colleagues. The far-reaching impacts of her style of mentorship are carried forward by her mentees into other spaces and places.

Dr. Smith’s professional interests and mentoring strengths have guided a generation of geography students in effective community engagement and in the ethical conduct of engaged research. Through highly impactful professional development meetings and other structured mentoring spaces and activities, Dr. Smith engages and guides students at every level, from undergraduate to Ph.D. She also sustains junior colleagues in effectively and successfully navigating academia and beyond. Her mentorship is exemplary and invaluable.

Learn more about the Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award

 


AAG Award for Associates Program Excellence

Honors U.S. college and university Geography departments and Geography programs within blended departments that have significantly enhanced the prominence and reputation of Geography as a discipline and demonstrated the characteristics of a strong and engaged academic unit.

Sinclair Community College Geography/Geospatial Technology Department

The Geography/Geospatial Technology Department at Sinclair Community College has a well-developed combination offering of an Associates degree in Geography, designed to be the transfer program, aligned with Ohio’s public universities, and an Associates degree in applied GIST, aimed at preparing students for a career track in Geospatial Technology. In addition to this Associates degree line up, Sinclair offers three GIS certificates.

The program has an impressive GIS internship component as a capstone. The Map Dayton project as the platform for applied learning in the classroom has connected the Department with partners and raised awareness of it in the community. Engagement in programs like Vestiges of Redlining provide power learning experiences for both participants and audiences. The program is a wonderful synergy of classroom and place, and this has translated into career opportunities for students and helped Dayton work on pressing issues.

Learn more about the Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award
Honorable Mention: AAG Award for Associates Program Excellence
Grand Rapids Community College Geography Program

The Geography Program at Grand Rapids Community College has risen from a program with 3 lower-level geography courses in 2002 to eleven courses, and has plans to bring a GIS certificate online in a couple of years, with an amazing level of enthusiasm and drive. The leader of this program, Michael DeVivo, clearly has a talent for making a space for students to become excited about geography and able to explore the world (with a program in South Africa, coupled with an initiative to send African women to high school). In addition, DeVivo has embraced student-led efforts to address food insecurity and poverty in Grand Rapids itself.

The other striking feature of this leadership is fundraising and grantsmanship to support students for conferences and fieldwork. The rich history of the program and the current vision of a space to address society is compelling. The alumni and collegial testaments, along with the letters of support indicate a strong and reputable program.

Muskegon Community College Geography Program

The Geography Program at Muskegon Community College (MCC) has been run for many years by 1-2 full-time geography faculty, with faculty and students highly engaged in being part of a geography community emphasizing experience, outreach, and engagement.

It is clear that this program fosters a supportive community of learners. The faculty are deeply dedicated to the practice of teaching. The existence of an active Geo Club and a GTU chapter is evidence that the students are very engaged in the program itself, and the students’ trip to Western Michigan University to meet transfer students allowed them to experience what the ‘other end’ of the transfer process entails. Clearly, the collaboration between WMU and MCC is part of what enabled the hosting of East Lakes Division of AAG meeting – the first community college to do so. Students’ routine participation in AAG regional and national conferences is further testament to the program’s success.

Learn more about the AAG Award for Associates Program Excellence

 


J. Warren Nystrom Award

Recognizes a distinguished paper based upon a recent dissertation in geography.

Gengchen Mai, University of Georgia, “Towards General-Purpose Representation Learning of Polygonal Geometries”

Learn more about the J. Warren Nystrom Award

 


Harm de Blij Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Recognizes an outstanding achievement in teaching undergraduate Geography including the use of innovative teaching methods.

Gabriela Hamerlinck

Dr. Gabriela Hamerlinck (Gaby), an instructional faculty at the University of Florida, is an exceptional geography teacher. Her innovative and rigorous courses focus her students on applied activities and real-world examples such as designing a global pandemic response plan, critiquing how disease is portrayed in popular culture, or creating a zombie movie! She requires students to write, provides detailed feedback, and promotes constructive peer review between students.

Hamerlinck incorporates participatory approaches to teach culturally diverse topics. Examples of her creativity include low technology ‘nanobugs’ as an example ‘game’ on how diseases spread; and social media ‘campaigns’ for effective educational programs. She created multiple new courses, including a required UF Quest course “The Next Pandemic” which she was teaching when COVID hit. Gaby also developed Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) for Geography. This CURE platform increases undergraduate research in the geography department and serves as a pedagogical tool shown to increase learning gains and retention for all students, especially those who have been historically excluded from higher education.

Hamerlinck is also a highly trained PhD in mathematical biology and offers her students a fresh perspective on those tools in geography. In each semester she teaches, more students find geography, and many pursue the discipline as a major. Hamerlinck has also taken several of her courses through the University of Florida’s rigorous processes for confirming access for all.

Learn more about the Harm de Blij Award

 


2022 AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography

Awarded for a book written by a geographer that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography.

Kristian Karlo Saguin

Urban Ecologies on the Edge: Making Manila’s Resource Frontier (University of California Press, 2022) by Kristian Karlo Saguin (University of the Philippines) is an outstanding work of geographical scholarship, balancing empirical and conceptual insights that contribute to current interests in urbanization, the infrastructure turn, and environmental change in cities of the Global South. Saguin provides a relational political ecology that describes the unequal ways that Laguna Lake functions as a resource frontier and as a living ecology and is enrolled in and transformed by the urban political ecologies of Manila.

Saguin’s theoretically rich book is the product of extensive research, which represents an important contribution to political ecology and urban geography, as well as the historical geography of the environment. The writing is lively, highly accessible, and nuanced, and it is likely to serve as a model for students seeking to examine other urban places across the globe. This is a timely book and well-deserving of the AAG Meridian Book Award.

 

Honorable Mentions: 2022 AAG Meridian Book Award
Mirela Altic

Encounters in the New World: Jesuit Cartography of the Americas (University of Chicago Press, 2022) by Mirela Altic (University of Zagreb) is a beautifully written masterpiece, representing an impressive work of scholarship, collating over 150 Jesuit maps from different national archives to examine the development of cartography, exploration, and encounter in the New World. By tracing the paths trodden by Jesuit explorers and mapmakers in Spanish, Portuguese, and French New World possessions, Altic reveals the character of the territories crossed by learned men who offered their interpretations on “flat sheets of paper” to foster deep understanding of the cultural landscapes and natural environments traversed.

Not only does she push forward our understanding of the colonial development of the Americas, Altic also offers ample evidence to support the notion that Jesuit epistemology was more closely aligned with the Enlightenment than heretofore often thought. This book contributes a very important chapter to the history of cartography.

Jessica Barnes

Staple Security: Bread and Wheat in Egypt (Duke University Press, 2022) by  Jessica Barnes (University of South Carolina) provides a captivating account of her noteworthy fieldwork in Egypt, which documents the imperative role bread plays in the Arab World. This splendid narrative offers deep insight into aspects of food insecurity that heretofore have largely remained unexplored. Barnes reveals views, tastes, and aromas of a cultural landscape often shaped by the nuances that glue together strategic elements of Egyptian society.

Her analysis bridges the affective and the structural, working connectively across scales from the personal to the global to untangle the varied significance of bread as food, heritage, commodity, and policy object. This work is certain to be considered a major contribution to ethnographic study.

Learn more about the Meridian Book Award

 


2022 AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography

Given for a book written or co-authored by a geographer that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world.

Daniel D. Arreola

Postcards from the Baja California Border (University of Arizona Press, October 2021) by Daniel D. Arreola (Arizona State University) offers a window into the historical and geographical past of storied Mexican border communities. Once-popular tourist destinations from the 1900s through the 1950s, the border communities explored in Postcards from the Baja California Border used to be filled with revelers, cabarets, curio shops, and more. The postcards in this book show the bright and dynamic past of California’s borderlands while diving deep into the historic and geographic significance of the imagery found on the postcards.

This form of place study calls attention to how we can see a past through a serial view of places, by the nature of repetition, and the photographing of the same place over and over again. Arreola draws our focus to townscapes, or built landscapes, of four border towns—Tijuana, Mexicali, Tecate, and Algodones—during the first half of the twentieth century. With an emphasis on the tourist’s view of these places, this book creates a vivid picture of what life was like for tourists and residents of these towns in the early and mid-twentieth century.

Postcards from the Baja California Border is a rich and fascinating experience, one that will take readers on a time-travel journey through border town histories and geographies while celebrating the visual intrigue of postcards.

 

Honorable Mention: 2022 AAG Globe Book Award
Adam Mathews and Chris Ferrie

ABCs of Geography (Sourcebooks, 2022) by Adam Mathews (Western Michigan University) and Chris Ferrie (Centre for Quantum Software and Information) is a fun, accessible, and informative book about the fundamentals of geography aimed at children and, by extension, their caregivers.

Learn more about the Globe Book Award

 


2022 AAG John Brinkerhoff Jackson Prize

Encourages and rewards American geographers who write books about the United States which convey the insights of professional geography in language that is both interesting and attractive to lay readers.

Mrill Ingram, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Loving Orphaned Space: The Art and Science of Belonging to Earth (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2022) provides a thoughtful and carefully crafted ode to landscapes that few of us stop to consider, even though we experience them daily. Ingram counsels the reader to rethink abandoned lots and other ignored slices of land, reconceptualizing them as “orphaned” spaces worthy of love and care. Clearly written and finely illustrated with numerous maps and color photographs, Loving Orphaned Space is structured around three case studies where art-science collaborations bring orphaned spaces to life.

Ingram uses each fascinating example — an abandoned gas station lot on Chicago’s South Side, a hidden and channelized reach of the Bronx River, and stormwater basins in Fargo, North Dakota — to illustrate a variety of themes in cultural geography. By attending to overlooked and disconnected spaces as containers for story and relationship, she offers gentle wisdom about the consequences and meanings of deindustrialization, disinvestment, and neglect. Further, by focusing on community collaborations that “reject the void” and create meaning in orphaned space, the book orients readers toward hope, action, and attention.

Learn more about the Jackson Prize

 


AAG Council Award for Best Student Paper at a Regional Division Meeting

Encourages student participation at AAG Regional Division meetings and supports their attendance at the AAG Annual Meeting.

  • Olivia Cameron, Oregon State University, Pacific Coast, Graduate
  • Naomi Hazarika, University of Colorado Boulder, GPRM, Graduate
  • Lauren Gerlowski, University of Wisconsin, Middle Atlantic, Graduate
  • Xueyuan Eric Gao, University of Maryland, Middle Atlantic, Undergraduate
  • Maria Morresi, West Chester University, Middle States, Graduate
  • Carolyn Weinstein, SUNY New Paltz, Middle States, Undergraduate
  • Sarah Jackson, University of South Carolina, SEDAAG, Graduate
  • Weiying Lin, Texas A&M University, SWAAG, Graduate
  • Sarah Pettyjohn, University of North Texas, SWAAG Undergraduate
  • Jacob Hines, Tarleton State University, SWAAG Undergraduate
  • Ruijia Hu, University of Cincinnati, East Lakes, Graduate
  • Connor O’Loughlin, Northern Michigan University, East Lakes, Undergraduate
  • Theresa Cocola, Southern Connecticut State University, NESTVAL Undergraduate
  • Antoine Lachance, Concordia University, NESTVAL Graduate
  • Owen Bomba, West Lakes
  • Lauren Weber, West Lakes
Learn more about the Council Award for Best Student Paper

 


Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award in Geographic Science

Recognizes excellence in academic performance by undergraduate students from the U.S. and Canada who are putting forth a strong effort to bridge geographic science and computer science as well as to encourage other students to embark upon similar programs.

  • Rachel de Sobrino, University of Minnesota
  • Laurel Sparks, Georgia State University
Learn more about the Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award

 


AAG Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarships

Awarded to outstanding students from community colleges, junior colleges, city colleges, or two-year educational institutions who will be transferring as geography majors to four-year universities receive support and recognition from this scholarship program, provided by Darrel Hess of the City College of San Francisco since 2006.

  • Shemania Accema, transferring from Valencia College to the University of Florida
  • Jeffrey Varga, transferring from Southwestern Oregon Community College to Oregon State University
Learn more about the AAG Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarships

 


AAG Research Grants

Supports direct costs for fieldwork and research.

  • Joynal Abedin, Texas A&M University
  • Michael Desjardins, Johns Hopkins University
  • Emma Gaalaas Mullaney, Michigan State University
Learn more about AAG Research Grants

 


AAG Dissertation Research Grants

Supports for doctoral dissertation Research for Ph.D. candidates of any geographic specialty

Nicole Moller-Gonzalez, Syracuse University
Learn more about AAG Dissertation Research Grants

Specialty and Affinity Group Awards

AAG’s specialty and affinity groups acknowledge members’ work within their specific areas of the discipline and interest.

 

More awards announcements coming soon.
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Regional Divisions Announce 2023 Outstanding Student Papers During their Fall Meetings 

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The AAG is proud to announce the Fall 2022 recipients of the AAG Council Award for Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Papers at a Regional Meeting. The AAG Council Award for Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Papers at a Regional Meeting is designed to encourage student participation at AAG Regional Division conferences and support their attendance at AAG Annual Meetings. One graduate student and one undergraduate student in each AAG Regional Division receives this yearly award based on a paper submitted to their respective regional conference. The awardees receive $1,000 in funding for use towards their registration and travel costs to attend the AAG Annual Meeting. The board members from each region determine student awardees.

The recipients from each region will be presenting their papers in two dedicated paper sessions at the upcoming 2023 AAG Annual Meeting.

Association of Pacific Coast Geographers/Pacific Coast (APCG)
  • Olivia Cameron, Graduate Student Paper, Oregon State University; Paper Title – “Social Identity in Agricultural Decision Making”
East Lakes Division of the AAG (ELDAAG)
  • Ruijia Hu, Graduate Student Paper, University of Cincinati; Paper Title – “The use of remotely sensed data to model habitat selections of pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) in fragmented landscapes”
  • Connor O’Louglin, Undergraduate Student Paper, Northern Michigan University; Paper Title – “Chemical Inhibitor of Methanogenesis: How Does It React in Different Environments?”
Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Division of the AAG (GPRM)
  • Naomi Hazarika, Graduate Student Paper, University of Colorado, Boulder; Paper Title – “Urban ‘Re’-development: Geographies of Caste and the Embodied Infrastructural Realities of Slum Redevelopment in Delhi, India”
Mid-Atlantic Division of the AAG (MAD)
  • Lauren Gerlowski, Graduate Student Paper, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Paper Title – “A Teaching Assistant’s Reflections & Lessons from Covid-19”
  • Xueyuan Eric Gao, Graduate Student Paper, University of Maryland; Paper Title – “Exploration of a Novel Carbon Removal Solution: Lighting Up Tropical Forests at Night”
Middle States Division of the AAG (MSDAAG)
  • Maria Morresi, Graduate Student Paper, West Chester University, Paper Title – “Using GIS to Identify Locations for the Development of Urban Ecological Corridors for Birds: A Philadelphia Case Study “
  • Carolyn Weinstein, SUNY New Paltz, Undergraduate Student Paper; Paper Title – “Breaking Barriers at Land Grant Institutions: A Historic Geography”
New England – St. Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL)
  • Antoine Lachance, Graduate Student Paper, Concordia University; Paper Title – “The history of storms and hurricanes over the past 1000 years in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as told by coastal ombrotrophic peatbogs on the Magdalen Islands, Québec, Canada”
  • Theresa Cocola, Undergraduate Student Paper, Southern Connecticut State University; Paper Title – “Assessing Sustainable Consumption Behavior: A Case Study of Starbucks, Newington, Connecticut”
Southwest Division of the AAG (SWAAG)
  • Weiying Lin, Graduate Student Paper, Texas A&M University; Paper Title – “The influence of urban form and sociodemographic factors on street-level greenery play out at multiple scales and vary across space”
  • Sarah Pettyjohn, Undergraduate Student Paper, University of North Texas; Paper Title – “How does sediment grain size decrease as rocks are transported within the flowing water of a river?”
  • Jacob Hines, Undergraduate Student Paper, Tarlton University; Paper Title – “Examining Red Tide within Florida’s Tampa Bay”
West Lakes Division of the AAG (WLDAAG)
  • Lauren Weber, Graduate Student Paper, University of Illinois; Paper Title – “Crisis, carcerality, and the real estate state: Portland, Oregon’s jail-to-shelter conversion”
  • Owen Bomba, Undergraduate Paper, DePaul University; Paper Title – “Zombies and Ghosts: The Critique of Modern Urban Development with Apparitional Language”
Southeast Division of the AAG (SEDAAG)
  • Sarah Jackson, Graduate Student Paper, University of South Carolina; Paper Title – “Urban-Rural Tornado Occurrence in the Midwestern & Southern U.S.”
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AAG Announces 2021 Book Awards 

The AAG is pleased to announce the recipients of the three 2021 AAG Book Awards: the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, the AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography, and the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography. The AAG Book Awards mark distinguished and outstanding works published by geography authors during the previous year, 2021. The awardees will be formally recognized at a future event when it is safe to do so. 

The John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize

This award encourages and rewards American geographers who write books about the United States which convey the insights of professional geography in language that is both interesting and attractive to lay readers. 

Profiting from the Peak book coverJohn Harner, Profiting from the Peak: Landscape and Liberty in Colorado Springs

(University Press of Colorado, 2021) 

John Harner’s Profiting from the Peak: Landscape and Liberty in Colorado Springs triumphs as an accessibly written, wonderfully illustrated historical geography of a distinctive American place. Dedicated to Peirce Lewis, the book explores how Colorado Springs profited from its singular physical setting as well as its highly distinctive cultural evolution. Laced with dozens of grayscale and color maps and photographs, Harner brings to life a landscape shaped by various forces which are engagingly summarized in nine thematic chapters. 

Harner describes the shaping power of Grass, Water, Air, Metal, Rock, Fun, War, Liberty, and God as he crafts his historical narrative, taking us from Native hunters on the short-grass plains to twenty-first century evangelists who envision the place as a Front-Range crucible of conservative politics. Harner concludes this lovingly crafted and beautifully designed book by arguing that the Springs’ special sense of place derives from its physical setting, its vibrant downtown, and from the unique cultural values of its population. 

The AAG is pleased to recognize John Harner with the 2021 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize.


The AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography

This award is given for a book written or co-authored by a geographer that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world. 

Atlas of the Invisible book coverJames Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, Atlas of the Invisible

(W.W. Norton & Company, 2021) 

James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti’s Atlas of the Invisible is a stunning collection of maps and visualizations that tells the stories of our past, present, and future – turning massive datasets into inviting, intriguing, and sometimes disturbing presentations for both geographers and a broader audience. The volume displays the expertise of Cheshire in geographic data analysis and Uberti in cartography, addressing a wide range of topics from historical geography and climate change to geopolitics and social justice. Compelling essays explore myriad ideas and debates in the discipline: the history of mapping from Alexander von Humboldt to GIS, the power of mapping from redlining and gentrification to lead poisoning and air quality, the ethics and use of mobile phone data – even the role of data and mapping in a crisis as the approaching pandemic turned the abstract and invisible into the present and deadly. 

This is a book that geographers everywhere will recommend to non-geographers with pride. The authors hope that their work will move us from being simply spectators: “We hope that at least one of our stories will have inspired you to act.” Little doubt of that, and little surprise that this volume is scheduled for translation into nine languages. A far broader audience will become happily lost in what Cheshire and Uberti have found.


The AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography

This award is given for a book written by a geographer that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography.  

Dear Science and Other Stories book coverKatherine McKittrick, Dear Science and Other Stories

(Duke University Press, 2021) 

Dr. Katherine McKittrick’s Dear Science and Other Stories is the recipient of the 2021 American Association of Geographers’ Meridian Book Award, which recognizes a book published in the past year that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the art and science of geography. 

Dear Science presents incredibly rich conceptual and methodological contributions for researchers in human geography and beyond. This innovative book traces how multiple forms of Black scholarship, art, and indeed, Black life, move through and beyond the straits of knowledge systems co-constituted with and emergent from white supremacy. It compels the reader to contend with their own spatial praxis through a concerted meditation on metaphor and memory and advances current debates in geography by introducing insights from a broad range of archives and interdisciplinary voices. 

McKittrick’s writing on the forms of productive and destructive erasure that confront Black geographies will become necessary and likely transformative reading for scholars within and beyond the discipline. 

The AAG is pleased to recognize Katherine McKittrick with its 2021 Meridian Book Award. 

The 2021 AAG Meridian Book Award Honorable Mention 

Palm Oil Diaspora book coverCase Watkins, Palm Oil Diaspora: Afro-Brazilian Landscapes and Economies on Bahia’s Dendê Coast (Cambridge University Press, 2021) is an exemplary piece that is certain to withstand the test of time. The longstanding influence of the author’s academic lineage extending from Sauer to Parsons, Denevan, Turner, Doolittle, and Sluyter is evident in the work. Moreover, through the integration of previously uncovered evidence, this book offers new perspectives and raises questions concerning the impact of racism and colonial ways of knowing on academic scholarship. 

The Radical Bookstore book coverKimberley Kinder, The Radical Bookstore: Counterspace for Social Movements (University of Minnesota Press, 2021) presents a new paradigm emerging in American geographic thought that is oriented toward social justice. Splendidly written, The Radical Bookstore not only offers a glimpse behind the scenes of a unique type of establishment that seeks to bring voice to marginalized peoples and perspectives, but it also challenges scholars to explore social movements through the lens of constructive activism. 

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AAG Announces 2022 Award Recipients

The AAG is pleased to announce the recipients of the three 2021 AAG Book Awards: the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, the AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography, and the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography. The AAG Book Awards mark distinguished and outstanding works published by geography authors during the previous year, 2021. The awardees will be formally recognized at a future event when it is safe to do so. 

The John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize

This award encourages and rewards American geographers who write books about the United States which convey the insights of professional geography in language that is both interesting and attractive to lay readers. 

Profiting from the Peak book coverJohn Harner, Profiting from the Peak: Landscape and Liberty in Colorado Springs

(University Press of Colorado, 2021) 

John Harner’s Profiting from the Peak: Landscape and Liberty in Colorado Springs triumphs as an accessibly written, wonderfully illustrated historical geography of a distinctive American place. Dedicated to Peirce Lewis, the book explores how Colorado Springs profited from its singular physical setting as well as its highly distinctive cultural evolution. Laced with dozens of grayscale and color maps and photographs, Harner brings to life a landscape shaped by various forces which are engagingly summarized in nine thematic chapters. 

Harner describes the shaping power of Grass, Water, Air, Metal, Rock, Fun, War, Liberty, and God as he crafts his historical narrative, taking us from Native hunters on the short-grass plains to twenty-first century evangelists who envision the place as a Front-Range crucible of conservative politics. Harner concludes this lovingly crafted and beautifully designed book by arguing that the Springs’ special sense of place derives from its physical setting, its vibrant downtown, and from the unique cultural values of its population. 

The AAG is pleased to recognize John Harner with the 2021 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize.


The AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography

This award is given for a book written or co-authored by a geographer that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world. 

Atlas of the Invisible book coverJames Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, Atlas of the Invisible

(W.W. Norton & Company, 2021) 

James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti’s Atlas of the Invisible is a stunning collection of maps and visualizations that tells the stories of our past, present, and future – turning massive datasets into inviting, intriguing, and sometimes disturbing presentations for both geographers and a broader audience. The volume displays the expertise of Cheshire in geographic data analysis and Uberti in cartography, addressing a wide range of topics from historical geography and climate change to geopolitics and social justice. Compelling essays explore myriad ideas and debates in the discipline: the history of mapping from Alexander von Humboldt to GIS, the power of mapping from redlining and gentrification to lead poisoning and air quality, the ethics and use of mobile phone data – even the role of data and mapping in a crisis as the approaching pandemic turned the abstract and invisible into the present and deadly. 

This is a book that geographers everywhere will recommend to non-geographers with pride. The authors hope that their work will move us from being simply spectators: “We hope that at least one of our stories will have inspired you to act.” Little doubt of that, and little surprise that this volume is scheduled for translation into nine languages. A far broader audience will become happily lost in what Cheshire and Uberti have found.


The AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography

This award is given for a book written by a geographer that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography.  

Dear Science and Other Stories book coverKatherine McKittrick, Dear Science and Other Stories

(Duke University Press, 2021) 

Dr. Katherine McKittrick’s Dear Science and Other Stories is the recipient of the 2021 American Association of Geographers’ Meridian Book Award, which recognizes a book published in the past year that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the art and science of geography. 

Dear Science presents incredibly rich conceptual and methodological contributions for researchers in human geography and beyond. This innovative book traces how multiple forms of Black scholarship, art, and indeed, Black life, move through and beyond the straits of knowledge systems co-constituted with and emergent from white supremacy. It compels the reader to contend with their own spatial praxis through a concerted meditation on metaphor and memory and advances current debates in geography by introducing insights from a broad range of archives and interdisciplinary voices. 

McKittrick’s writing on the forms of productive and destructive erasure that confront Black geographies will become necessary and likely transformative reading for scholars within and beyond the discipline. 

The AAG is pleased to recognize Katherine McKittrick with its 2021 Meridian Book Award. 

The 2021 AAG Meridian Book Award Honorable Mention 

Palm Oil Diaspora book coverCase Watkins, Palm Oil Diaspora: Afro-Brazilian Landscapes and Economies on Bahia’s Dendê Coast (Cambridge University Press, 2021) is an exemplary piece that is certain to withstand the test of time. The longstanding influence of the author’s academic lineage extending from Sauer to Parsons, Denevan, Turner, Doolittle, and Sluyter is evident in the work. Moreover, through the integration of previously uncovered evidence, this book offers new perspectives and raises questions concerning the impact of racism and colonial ways of knowing on academic scholarship. 

The Radical Bookstore book coverKimberley Kinder, The Radical Bookstore: Counterspace for Social Movements (University of Minnesota Press, 2021) presents a new paradigm emerging in American geographic thought that is oriented toward social justice. Splendidly written, The Radical Bookstore not only offers a glimpse behind the scenes of a unique type of establishment that seeks to bring voice to marginalized peoples and perspectives, but it also challenges scholars to explore social movements through the lens of constructive activism. 

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2022 AAG Specialty and Affinity Group Awards

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  • 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 2022:

Africa Specialty Group

Graduate Research Award, Matthieu Ahouangbenon, University of Delaware, Promoting climate smart agriculture within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS): A mixed approach based on smallholder farmers inputs, in the context of climate change

Kwadwo Konadu-Agyemang Distinguished Scholar Award, Aondover Tarhule, Illinois State University


Animal Geographies Specialty Group

Graduate Student Presentation Award, Sarah-Maude Cossette, Observing each other: A multispecies fieldwork experience into the city interstices


Asian Geography Specialty Group

Graduate Student Paper Award, Xiaofeng Liu, University of Hong Kong

Graduate Student Research Fellowship

  • Olivia Meyer, University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa
  • Mei-Huan Chen, Pennsylvania State University

Biogeography Specialty Group

Henry Cowles Excellence in Publication Award, Grant Elliott, University of Missouri

James J. Parsons Distinguished Career Award, Lori Daniels, University of British Columbia

Student Presentation Competition

  • Jared Crain, University of Tennessee Knoxville Department of Geography, Classifying Microscopic Charcoal Morphology to Improve Understanding of Fire History in Sediment Records from Neotropical Lakes (Master’s)
  • Julie Edwards, University of Arizona School of Geography, Development, and Environment, Multiple climate signals in quantitative wood anatomical measurements of Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine (Ph.D.)

Student Grant Proposal, Corey Aldred, University of Missouri – Columbia, Department of Geography, Threshold-induced establishment declines from intensifying drought stress at upper treeline in Southern Rocky Mountains (M.S. – 1st place)

Student Research Grant Proposal, Anaïs Zimmer, The University of Texas at Austin, Human environmental interactions in the deglaciating Alps and Tropical Andes (Ph.D.)

Student Research Award

  • Corey Aldred, University of Missouri, Threshold-induced establishment declines from intensifying drought stress at upper treeline in Southern Rocky Mountains (Master’s)
  • Anais Zimmer, University of Texas-Austin, Human environmental interactions in the deglaciating Alps and Tropical Andes (Ph.D.)

James J. Parsons Award for Lifetime Achievement in Biogeography, Lori Daniels, University of British Columbia

Henry C. Cowles Award for Best Biogeography Publication, Grant Elliot, University of Missouri, Hotter Drought as a Disturbance at Upper Treeline in the Southern Rocky Mountains


Caribbean Geography Specialty Group

Courtney Russell Award

  • Kristinia Doughorty, University of the West Indies, Mona, Assessing the socio-ecological resilience of nutmeg agroecosystems in Grenada
  • -Aleem Mahabir, University of the West Indies, Mona, Alternative domains of injustice: Exploring hope(lessness) and psychosocial resilience among residents of an excluded urban community

Cartography Specialty Group

Student Guided Poster Competition

  • Aiyin Zhang
  • Caleb Winebrenner
  • Lily Houtman

Master’s Grant, Lindsey Rotche, Human-centered avalanche risk mapping

Master’s Thesis Research Grant, Beatrice Abbott

Travel Grant for Underrepresented Groups

  • Caleb Winebrenner
  • Terra McKee

China Specialty Group

Annual Student Paper Awards

  • Mengdi Wu, The University of Hong Kong (winner)
  • Guanchi Zhang, Harvard Law School, The territorial foundation of China’s market transition (runner up)
  • Guannan Zou, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The return of the proactive state? State roles in relation to firms in local development driven by innovative industries (runner up)

Outstanding Service Awards

  • Fulong Wu, University College London; His scholarship is world-class and he has significantly advanced the visibility of China research within and far beyond the geography discipline.
  • Carolyn Cartier, University of Technology Sydney; She is an early chair of China Specialty Group and an excellent author of many high-impact books and articles on China.

Climate Specialty Group

Lifetime Achievement Award, Lesley-Ann Dupigny Giroux

John Russell Mather Paper of the Year, Yuechun Wang, Observed Influence of Soil Moisture on the North American Monsoon: An Assessment Using the Stepwise Generalized Equilibrium Feedback Assessment Method

Student Paper Competition

  • Julie Edwards (1st place)
  • Ben Weinger, UCLA (2nd place)
  • Ye Mu (3rd place)

Coastal and Marine Specialty Group

Norbert Psuty Student Paper Competition Winner, Robin Fail, Duke University, Possibilities for Centering Equity in Mariculture Development


Cultural and Political Ecology

Distinguished Career Award, Nancy Peluso

Field Study Award

  • Rachel Noel Arney
  • Emily Christina Melvin

Outstanding Publication Award, Adam M. Romero, University of Washington Bothell, Economic Poisoning: Industrial Waste and the Chemicalization of American Agriculture

Scholar-Activist Award, Samuel Kay, The Housing Spectrum, Temperature Extremes, and the Costs of Survival: A needs assessment for Unhoused Neighbors and Low-Income Renters

Student Paper Award, Nicole Van Lier, Reproductive Rationalities: Managing Industrial Water Appropriation and White Settler Authority in the St Clair-Detroit River Corridor, 1945-72


Cultural Geography Specialty Group

CGSG Adjunct Award

  • Elizabeth Nelson, Montana State University
  • Jacquelyn Johnston, Florida International University

Denis E. Cosgrove Research Grant

  • Kaitlin Stewart, University of North Texas – Department of Geography and the Environment, How receiving communities structure refugee settlement experiences: the case of Burmese immigrants in DFW (M.A.)
  • Ingrid Diaz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Geography, Feminizing plantation landscapes: Women, labor, and oil palm plantations in the Llanos of Colombia (Ph.D.)

CyberInfrastructure Specialty Group

CISG Robert Raskin Student Competition

  • Yuqin Jiang, University of South Carolina, Event Detection Method with Principal Component Analysis Based Sensor Placement (1st place)
  • Diya Li, Texas A&M University, A Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Street Level Flood Mapping and Emergency Management (2nd place)
  • Rebecca Vandewalle, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Synergizing High-Performance Computing and Network Science for Scalable Agent-Based Modeling of Human-Environment Interactions (3rd place)
  • Rajneesh Sharma, University of Georgia, A Smart-Sensing Based Cyberinfrastructure for Monitoring Belowground Soil Organic Carbon in Tidal Wetlands (4th place)
  • Yu Lan, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, A web-based geographic framework for detecting and visualizing space-time clusters of infectious diseases: Using COVID-19 data in the United States as an example (4th place)

Development Geographies

Gary Gaile Travel Award

  • Siera Vercillo
  • Sujayita Bhattacharjee

Digital Geography

Graduate Student Paper Award

  • Jacob Saindon, University of Kentucky, Towards care-ful distraction: digital well-being and a politics of care during pandemic lockdowns in the U.S.
  • Ashley Hernandez, University of California, Irvine, The hood is not for sale: Collective Identity and Hood Solidarity in the Gentrification Debate in Boyle Heights and Beyond
  • Isaac Rivera, University of Washington, Department of Geography, Undoing Settler Imaginaries, Re-Imagining Digital Knowledge Politics

Racial Justice Research Award, Emma Gaalaas Mullaney, National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Community Sustainability College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University


Disability Specialty Group

IMGS Social Media Correspondent Travel Award, Ampai Thammachack, Queen’s University, In partnership with the RGS-IBG Geographies of Health & Wellbeing Research Group, the AAG Healthy & Medical Geography Specialty Group, and the 19th International Medical Geography Symposium (IMGS), the DSG co-sponsored a Social Media Correspondent funding opportunity at the June 2022 IMGS.

Todd Reynolds Student Paper Award, Erin Clancy, The Fantasy of Anorexia: Historical Entanglements of Evolutionary Thought, Food Restriction, and Curative Imaginaries


Economic Geography Specialty Group

Best Dissertation in Economic Geography

  • Nina Ebner, University of British Columbia, Lives on the Line: The (Re)Making of Uneven Development on the United States-Mexico Border
  • Clare Beer, University of California-Los Angeles, Bankrolling Biodiversity: Philanthro-environmentalism & Not-For-Profit Conservation Finance in Chile

Best Dissertation Award – Honorable Mention

  • Maximilian Buchholz, University of Toronto, A Relational Approach to Regional Economic Development: Essays on Migration, Globalization, and Inequality
  • Araby Smyth, University of Kentucky, Gender and Remittances: Lived Experiences of Women in Oaxaca, Mexico

Early Career Keynote Lecture in Economic Geography, Sage Ponder, Florida State University, Reimagining Public Finance for Climate and Racial Justice

Graduate Student Research Award in Economic Geography, Alejandra Bonilla Mena, Penn State University, Patterns and stages of real estate financialization in Latin American cities

Summer Institute in Economic Geography Travel Award

  • Sam Nowak, UCLA
  • Guillermo Bervejillo
  • Francesca Manning
  • Andrea Pollio
  • Valentina Castellini

Energy and Environment Speciality Group

Dissertation Data and Fieldwork Award

  • Adam Gallaher, University of Connecticut, Energy Transitions in Connecticut: Exploring low carbon solutions for transportation and electricity production
  • Andrea Furnaro
  • Caroline Griffith, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Erik Post, University of British Columbia

Best Student Paper Award, Edgar Virguez, Duke University, Assessing the effect of incorporating land-use parcel-level data and local zoning ordinances when quantifying renewable energy resources potential

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Award, Wellington Romão Oliveira, Cearense Meteorology and Water Resources Foundation – FUNCEME, For promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the field of Energy Geography, Where is the clean energy? Contradictions in the discourse of wind farms in Northeastern Brazil

Professional Geographer Award, Benjamin Sovacool, Institute for Sustainable Energy – Boston University, Sovacool, BK, et al. “Dispossessed by decarbonisation: Reducing vulnerability, injustice, and inequality in the lived experience of low-carbon pathways,” World Development 131 (2021), 105116, pp. 1-14.

Student Travel Award, Hernan Bianchi Benguria, Ph.D. Student in Geography, University of Toronto, Mineral Diplomacy, the Battery Lobby, and Politics of Abandonment in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Travel Award, Claire Burch, University of Oklahoma


Ethnic Geography Specialty Group

Distinguished Service Award, Edris Montalvo, Cameron University

Outstanding Dissertation Proposal Award, Scott Markley, University of Georgia, Planning Spatial Obsolescence: Racial Capitalism, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, and the Production of Racialized Devaluation


Feminist Geographies Specialty Group

Rickie Sanders Junior Faculty Award, Carrie Freshour

Susan Hanson Dissertation Proposal Award, Carla Macal, Cuerpo-Territorio: Intergenerational Trauma, Cultural Memory, and Cartographies of Healing among GuateMaya Feminist Groups

Glenda Laws Student Paper Award

  • Ivana Mulcahy, The Transgressed Body: Coping in a Patriarchal System
  • Jennifer Langill, I shouldn’t have to do this alone: Intersectional livelihoods and single Hmong women in Thailand

Jan Monk Service Award, Rachel Pain

Conference Support Award

  • Siera Vercillo, University of Waterloo
  • Devin Wright, Tulane University
  • Josie Wittmer, Queen’s University
  • Amrita Kumar-Ratta, University of Toronto
  • Melisa Argañaraz Gomez

Geographic Information Science and Systems

Student Honors Paper Competition

  • Wei Chen, Iowa State University, Large-scale Urban Building Function Mapping by Integrating Web-based Geospatial Data (1st place)
  • Hoeyun Kwon, University of Iowa, A space-time-semantics approach to identify and visualize collective discourse and sentiments during events on Twitter (2nd place)
  • Fangzheng Lyu, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, An Integrated CyberGIS and Machine Learning Framework for Fine-Scale Prediction of Urban Heat Island Using Satellite Remote Sensing and Urban Sensor Network Data (honorable mention)
  • Yanan Wu, The University of Texas at Dallas, Location analytics of routine occurrences (LARO) to identify locations with regularly occurring events with a case study on traffic accidents (honorable mention)
  • Karl Tacheron, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, A method of generating pedestrian walksheds to measure neighborhood walkability (honorable mention)

Geographies of Food and Agriculture

Book Award

  • Madeleine Fairbairn, University of California Santa Cruz, Fields of Gold: Financing the Global Land Rush (winner)
  • Pascale Joassart-Marcelli, San Diego State University, The $16 Taco: Contested Geographies of Food, Ethnicity, and Gentrification (runner up)

Graduate Research Award

  • Lilly Zeitler
  • Madison Barbour

Geography Education Specialty Group

Gail Hobbs Student Paper Competition, Kimberly Dare, Propelling UCSC Undergraduates of Color in Environmental Studies Through Mentorship


Geomorphology Specialty Group

Graduate Student Paper Award – Ph.D., Chelsy Salas, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Suspended Sediment Concentrations from Different Floodplain Geomorphic Environments of a Lowland Meandering River


Graduate Student Affinity Group

Research and Support Award

  • Michelle Harangody, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Chantal Victoria Bright, University of Manchester, Water Security, Peace and Fragility in Liberia: An African Ecofeminist Approach
  • Peter DeBartolo, University of Oxford
  • Savannah Collins-Key, University of Tennessee
  • Tami Okamoto
  • Phurwa Gurung, University of Colorado Boulder

Hazards, Risks, and Disasters Specialty Group

Gilbert F. White Dissertation Award, Oronde Drakes, The University of Iowa

Gilbert F. White Thesis Award, Ashleigh Price, University of Southern Mississippi

Jeanne X. Kasperson Student Paper Award

  • Forest Cook, Utah State University
  • Salvesila Tamima, University of North Texas
  • Md Asif Rahman, University of Iowa
  • Wenxin Yang, Arizona State University

Health and Medical Geography

Data Visualization Contest

  • Cara Wychgram, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Dorothy Mandell, University of Texas

Jacques May Thesis Prize, Amanda Hall, University of Maryland (Doctoral)

Melinda S. Meade Student Travel Award

  • Shamayeta Bhattacharya, University of Connecticut
  • Kyunghee Ryu, University of Texas – Dallas
  • Suraiya Parvin, Penn State University
  • Lukman Fashina, East Tennessee State University
  • Yoonjung Ahn, Florida State University

Peter Gould Student Paper Award

  • Changzhen Wang, LSU
  • Rebecca Steed, The University of Utah

IMGS 2022 Travel Award, Penelope Mitchell, The University of Alabama

IMGS Social Media Correspondent Award, Ampai Thammachack

Jacques May Thesis Prize, Aida Guhlincozzi, University of Missouri (Doctoral)


Historical Geography

Andrew Hill Clark Paper Award

  • Emily Holloway, Clark University, Bodies in Transit: Speculation and the Biopolitical Imaginary (1st place)
  • Samuel Brandt, UCLA, The Brazilian Scene (2nd place)

Carville Earle Research Award

  • Samuel Orndoff, San Diego State University & University of California, Santa Barbara, Research proposal in southern California (Indigenous peoples and environmental justice)
  • John J. (Jack) Swab, University of Kentucky, Intertwined Histories?: Urban Geography and Urban Sociology at the University of Chicago (Tie for first place)

Human Dimensions of Global Change

Student Research Award, Matthieu Jean-Claude Ahouangbenon, University of Delaware, To support research for their project, titled Integrating farmers’ decisions and high-resolution geospatial data for an improved crop-climate modeling framework


Landscape Specialty Group

Landscape Photography Competition

  • Mitchell Snyder, University of California, Davis, for his photo “Rodeo” (1st place)
  • Wellington Romão Oliveira, Universidade Federal do Ceará, for his photo of a Brazilian woman fishing (2nd place and People’s Choice Award)

Conference Registration Award, Morgan Rogers, UCLA


Latin America Specialty Group

Best Paper Award, Clare Marie Beer, UCLA, Bankrolling Biodiversity: The Politics of Philanthropic Conservation Finance in Chile

Solidarity Conference Support Award

  • Ulises Moreno-Tabarez, London School of Economics
  • Tami Okamoto, Cambridge

M.A. Fieldwork Award, Andrea Pimentel Rivera, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cooperative Futures and Infrastructure Justice in Passenger Ferry Travel in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Ph.D. Fieldwork Award, Ingrid Alexia Diaz Moreno, University of North Carolina, Feminizing the Agrarian Frontier: Women Workers and Oil-Palm Plantation Landscape in the Llanos of Colombia


Latinx Geographies

Mutual-Aid Funding

  • Aideen Ocallaghan
  • Alana de Hinojosa
  • Camille Samuels
  • Cassidy Tawse-Garcia
  • Alejandra Bonilla
  • Corrin Turkowitch
  • Annelise Straw
  • Katrina Ward
  • Gianmaria Lenti
  • Ana Beatriz da Silva
  • Hilary Malson
  • Inari Sosa Aranda
  • Tagimamao Melanie Bean
  • Lauren Perez-Bonill

Mutual Aid Award, Lucien Meadows

Translation Services, Semaj Moore


Legal Geography

Graduate Student Presentation Award

  • Alicia Danze, A Case for Court Watch as Feminist Geopolitical Method for Immigration Research
  • Yanin Kramsky, A Case Study of Bodily Normativity in California’s Wildfire Governance
  • Jae Page, Necronationalism and the Law: A Legal Geography of Canada’s Deathscapes

Mountain Geography Specialty Group

Chimborazo Student Research Grant Award, Jamie Alumbaugh, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, The Holocene Drought History of an Andean Páramo


Paleoenvironmental Change

Butzer Award, Scott Mensing, University of Nevada-Reno,

Mosley Thompson Award, Anna Klimaszewski-Patterson, California State University-Sacramento, Klimaszewski-Patterson, A., Morgan, C.T. and Mensing, S., 2020. Identifying a Pre-Columbian Anthropocene in California. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 111(3), pp.784-794

Student Poster/Presentation Award

  • Taber Friedel, Florida Atlantic University, Reconstructed vegetation of the past 400 years at Laguna Carse, Costa Rica
  • Ichchha Thapa, Indiana State University, Quantifying interactions of climate and disturbance events that drive forest dynamics in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (M.S.)
  • Hang Li, Indiana State University, The spatial effects of the NDVI reconstruction in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem derived from the tree-ring (Ph.D.)

Political Geography

Alexander B. Murphy Dissertation Enhancement Award, Xiaofeng Liu, The University of Hong Kong, Sustainable Development with Chinese Characteristics? The Politics of the Green Belt and Road Initiative

Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award, Orhon Myadar, University of Arizona, Mobility and Displacement: Nomadism, Identity, and Postcolonial Narratives in Mongolia

Ph.D. Paper Award, Allen Hai Xiao, University of Wisconsin-Madison, ‘The Belt and Road Initiative’ and Chinese Overseas Diplomatic Authorities: Discursive Representations and the Geopolitical Outreach in Africa

Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award, Evan Centanni, Political Geography Now

Stanley D. Brunn Junior Scholar Award, Julie Klinger, University of Delaware

Virginia Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award, Gregory Thaler, with Cecilia Viana and Fabiano Toni: From Frontier Governance to Governance Frontier: The Political Geography of Brazil’s Amazon Transition


Recreation, Tourism, and Sport

Early Career Researcher Paper Award, Anna-Maria Walter, University of Oulu, The self in a time of constant connectivity: Romantic intimacy and the ambiguous promise of mobile phones for young women in Gilgit, northern Pakistan

Student Paper Award, Katarzyna Emin, University of Florida, Brand Awareness in Textual Data: An Analysis of TripAdvisor Reviews on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland


Regional Development and Planning

Ashok K. Dutt Award for Best Graduate Student Paper

  • Grete Gansauer, Montana State University, Beyond city limits: infrastructural regionalism in rural Montana, USA
  • Ning Xiong, University of Utah, Tech Firm Births and Agglomeration Economies: (Un)Related Variety, Specialization, and Spatial Externalities

Remote Sensing

Student Honors Paper Competition Award

  • Xiaoyue Tan, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Modeling the direction and magnitude of angular effects in nighttime light remote sensing (1st place)
  • Chishan Zhang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, A phenology-guided Bayesian-CNN (PB-CNN) framework for crop yield estimation and uncertainty analysis (2nd place)
  • Blair Mirka, The University of New Mexico, Evaluation of thermal infrared imaging from uninhabited aerial vehicles for arboreal wildlife surveillance (3rd place)
  • Yunze Zang, Beijing Normal University, Mapping rapeseed in China using Sentinel data: an automated approach based on index-based sample generation and one-class classifier (ISG-OC) (3rd place)

Student Illustrated Paper Competition Award

  • Yin Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, CropSow: a novel modeling framework to estimate field-level crop sowing date with multi-scale satellite time series (1st place)
  • Shuyu Chang, Pennsylvania State University, The application of remote sensing and machine learning to improve early warning systems for harmful algal events in the Highland Lake Chains, TX (2nd place)
  • Claire Wang, Clark University, Quantifying the time series pattern of a binary variable: land change across 36 years in Brazil (3rd place)

Student Paper Award, Bradi Heaberlin, Department of Geography and School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University


Socialist and Critical Geography SG

James Blaut Award, Deondre Smiles, University of Victoria

Travel Award

  • Mikael Omstedt, University of British Columbia
  • Laura Williams, University of Hawaii Manoa
  • Stefan Norgaard, Columbia University
  • Elisa Favaro Verdi, University of São Paulo (USP)
  • Emma Gaalaas Mullaney

Organizing Fellowship, Leah Montange


Spatial Analysis and Modeling

John Odland Student Paper Competition

  • Lenka Hasova, University of Bristol (1st place)
  • Meiliu Wu, University of Wisconsin, Madison (2nd place)
  • Mehak Sachdeva, Arizona State University (3rd place)

Student Travel Award

  • Changzhen Wang
  • Jingyi Xiao
  • Jiuying Han
  • Yu Lan
  • Providence Adu
  • Weiying Lin
  • Yue Lin
  • Zijian Wan
  • Binbin Lin
  • Yunlei Liang
  • Leonardo Calzada
  • Seonga Cho
  • Gyoorie Kim

Transportation Geography

Edward L. Ullman Award, David Banister, University of Oxford, for contributions to the field of Transportation Geography

Dissertation Award, Paul Jung, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Distance Friction and Spatial Interaction Dynamics of International Freight Transportation

Student Travel Award

  • Kyusik Kim, Florida State University
  • Jeff Allen, University of Toronto

Undergraduate Student Affinity Group

Undergraduate Student Poster Competition

  • Ruthanne Ward, Clark University, Effects of Adjusting the Calibration and Validation Interval on Simulating Forest Loss in Maranhao & Tocantins, Brazil
  • Christina Salzmann, University of Montana, High-Mountain Hazards in the Indian Himalaya: An Assessment of the Causes and Effects of the Chamoli Flood in 2021
  • Aloysie Kwizera, University of Texas at Austin, Change in Gender Role Attitudes Among East African Immigrants in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area

Urban Geography Specialty Group

Glenda Laws Undergraduate Student Paper Award, Poon Kylie Yuet Ning

Graduate Student Paper Award, Albert Rossmeier

Virtual Conference Access Award

  • Sara Maani
  • Zhe Wang
  • Aleem Mahabir
  • Albert Rossmeier
  • Billy Southern
  • Chantal Rietdijk
  • Carolyn Swope
  • Ana Beatriz da Silva
  • Josh Merced

Alternative Modes of Scholarship Award, Billy Southern

Ph.D. Dissertation Award, Robert Chlala

Urban Geography Graduate Student Fellowship Award, Lauren Weber


Water Resources Specialty Group

Olen Paul Matthews and Kathleen A. Dwyer Fund for Water Resources Award, Dr. Thomas LaVanchy, Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University, Finding Community Voice for Water Justice after Day Zero

Student Research Presentation

  • Sumiya Bilegsaikhan, National University of Singapore, When there is too much, yet too little of the Nam Ou left: an everyday geography of water in northern Laos
  • Krista Harrington, Portland State University, Understanding Unlikely Alliances on Snake River Dam Removal through a Political Ecology Lens

Gilbert White Distinguished Career Award, Dr. Chansheng He, Western Michigan University

Student Research Paper, Wenjing Zhang, University of Melbourne, Centre, locality and the transition to sustainable urbanisation in China: water for the future city, Xiong’an

Student Research Proposal, Arun Pallathakda, Portland State University, Detection, classification, and mapping of stormwater infrastructure in Portland using AI and Google Street View


Wine Beer and Spirits

Student Paper/Poster Award, Walter Furness, Texas State University, Yeasty politics and entanglements with humans in synthetic biology

The Publication Award, Karl Raitz, University of Kentucky, Making Bourbon: Geographical History of Distilling in Nineteenth-Century Kentucky

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Author N.K. Jemisin Named AAG Honorary Geographer

Photo of author N.K. Jemisin by Laura Hanifin, copyright 2015
Author N.K. Jemisin; Photo by Laura Hanifin, copyright 2015

AAG has named its 2022 Honorary Geographer: Author N.K. Jemisin. Jemisin is the world-building sci-fi author of The City We BecameThe Inheritance Trilogy, and The Broken Earth Trilogy. Her work is grounded in a keen geographical understanding of the world and of human societies.

Ms. Jemisin, a speculative fiction writer, is the recipient of numerous Hugo and Locus Awards, as well as a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship. She was named to the Time100 list in 2021. Of here work, AAG nominating member Julie Cidell of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, says “Her fiction encompasses multiple genres, always with an eye towards how place and space matter to her characters and their worlds. She considers human-environment relationships as fundamental in her writings, including how power relations unfold and are resisted, demonstrating a keen geographical understanding throughout her varied works.”

Raised in Mobile, Alabama and New York City, Jemisin has been writing since childhood, although she considered it to be “just a hobby” until her early thirties. After attending the Viable Paradise writing workshop, she began seeking publication in earnest. Today, she is the first author in genre history to have won the Best Novel Hugo three consecutive times. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Jemisin’s work is supremely conscious of place, climate, and culture. As described in her award citation:

Struggles against gentrification, white supremacy, misogyny, and the erasure of Indigenous people are all part of a greater battle against the homogenizing forces that seek to erase the unique strengths of the city and make it a bland space subordinate to capital. In her teaching on worldbuilding (creating believable worlds for speculative fiction authors), she. She begins with the physical environment in terms of climate, plate tectonics, natural hazards, and biogeography. She asks students to consider how this environment would shape social interactions, from economic development to architecture to religion. Finally, she asks what kind of social inequities and power imbalances would exist as a result of these physical and social systems, and how human capabilities might alter environments as well. In teaching authors to think this way, she also demonstrates the connections in our world between environment, society, and justice.

Every year the Association bestows its Honorary Geographer Award on an exceptional leader, to recognize excellence in the arts, research, teaching, and writing on geographic topics by non-geographers. Previous AAG Honorary Geographer awardees have included biologist Stephen J. Gould, architect Maya Lin, Nobel Laureate in economics Paul Krugman, sociologist Saskia Sassen, economist Jeffrey Sachs, and authors Calvin Trillin, Barbara Kingsolver, John McPhee and Barry Lopez, among others.

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Geophysicist Marcia McNutt Honored with 2022 AAG Atlas Award

Photo of Marcia McNuttGeophysicist Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, has been awarded the AAG’s highest honor, the AAG Atlas Award. Dr. McNutt will speak at AAG 2022, reflecting on what she has learned in a trailblazing career that includes serving as President and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and as the first woman to direct the US Geological Survey, where she led numerous disaster response efforts, including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

During the Deepwater Horizon crisis, McNutt led a team of government scientists and engineers at BP headquarters in Houston to contain the oil and cap the well. For her contributions, she was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal.

McNutt’s academic career started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was a Professor of Geophysics, and directed the MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science & Engineering Joint Program. She received her BA in physics from Colorado College and her PhD in Earth sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

As AAG’s flagship honor, the Atlas Award was launched in 2010 to recognize and celebrate outstanding, internationally recognized leaders who advance world understanding in exceptional ways. The image of Atlas shouldering the weight of the world is a powerful symbol for this award program, as our nominees are those who take the weight of the world on their shoulders and move it forward, whether in science, politics, scholarship, or the arts. Dr. Marcia McNutt joins esteemed past recipients of the Atlas Award, including Primatologist Jane Goodall, international human rights and political leader Mary Robinson, civil rights icon Julian Bond, public intellectual Noam Chomsky, and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

AAG is honored to offer this recognition to Dr. McNutt and welcome her to speak at AAG 2022. Find out more and register here.

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Regional Divisions Announce 2022 Outstanding Student Papers During their Fall Meetings

The AAG is proud to announce the Fall 2021 student winners of the AAG Council Award for Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Papers at a Regional Meeting. The AAG Council Award for Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Papers at a Regional Meeting is designed to encourage student participation at AAG Regional Division conferences and support their attendance at AAG Annual Meetings. One graduate student and one undergraduate student in each AAG Regional Division receives this yearly award based on a paper submitted to their respective regional conference. The awardees receive $1,000 in funding for use towards their registration and travel costs to attend the AAG Annual Meeting. The board members from each region determine student award winners. 

The winners from each region will be presenting their papers in two dedicated paper sessions at the upcoming 2022 AAG Annual Meeting.

Association of Pacific Coast Geographers/Pacific Coast – APCG

Zihui Lei, Graduate Student Paper, CSU Northridge; Paper Title – “Afro-Latinx Communities in Southern California: Using Cartographies to Understand Social and Environmental Justice”
Cameron Calverley, Undergraduate Student Paper, University of San Diego; Paper Title – “Drought Impacts and Water Management in Semi-Arid Regions: Analyzing Cape Town, South Africa’s ‘Day Zero’”

East Lakes Division of the AAG – ELDAAG

Scott Fitzgerald, Graduate Student Paper, Western Michigan University; Paper Title – “Coastal Geomorphic Change Due to Shoreline Protections – A Study on Lake Michigan’s Eastern Shoreline”

Sean Whelan, Undergraduate Student Paper, The Ohio State University; Paper Title – “Establishing a Climatology of Significant Tornadoes within the Southern United States”

Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Division of the AAG – GPRM

Katie Grote, Graduate Student Paper, University of Kansas; Paper Title – “Controlling the Narrative: Critiquing the Geopolitical Agendas of U.S. Environmental Impact Assessments and Exclusion of Indigenous Communities”

Mid-Atlantic Division of the AAG – MAD

Qian Liu, Graduate Student Paper, George Mason University; Paper Title – “Cross-track Infrared Sounder Cloud Fraction Retrieval Using a Deep Neural Network”

Middle States Division of the AAG – MSDAAG

Logan Gerber-Chavez, Graduate Student Paper, University of Delaware; Paper Title – “How do we plan for compound hazards? Current state emergency plans conceptualizing modern disaster”

Eliza Leal, Undergraduate Student Paper, Colgate University; Paper Title – “Road to Reclaimation: The Impact of PGIS Efforts in the Amazon”

New England – St. Lawrence Valley – NESTVAL

Aaron Adams, Graduate Student Paper, University of Connecticut; Paper Title – “Relation between mobility, extreme weather events, and health: A case study of COVID-19 outbreaks”

Faith M. Kim, Undergraduate Student Paper, Southern Connecticut State University; Paper Title – “Racing to the polls: The voter demographics of New Haven, CT”

Southwest Division of the AAG – SWAAG

Katherine Lester, Graduate Student Paper, University of North Texas; Paper Title – “From Rurual Penalty to Suburban Resilience: Untangling the geography of suicide mortality, urbanization, and race/ethnicity”
Paul Seminara, Undergraduate Student Paper, University of Central Arkansas; Paper Title – “Identifying the Effects of Climatic and Socioeconomic Variables on the Spread of COVID-19 in Arkansas”

West Lakes Division of the AAG -WLDAAG

Austin Holland, Graduate Student Paper, University of Iowa; Paper Title – “An exploratory analysis of land cover and application of conservation easements in the US Midwest”
Jennifer Nguyen, Undergraduate Student Paper, DePaul University; Paper Title – “Chronic Illness & Energy Negotiation: Revisiting Cultural Ecology in Exploring New Avenues for Geographies of Disability”

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