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, McGill 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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The State of Geography: Data and Trends in Higher Education 

By Mark Revell and Mikelle Benfield

This year, AAG debuts The State of Geography report, presenting trends and indicators in post-secondary geography education in the United States. This report uses Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes, established by the National Center for Educational Statistics, to provide a snapshot of geography degree conferral patterns at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These data help identify trends and areas in need of additional attention, such as decreasing degree conferral in geography, racial and gender diversity across the discipline, and more.  

Recent changes in geography majors and graduation rates observed in this report take place against a broader backdrop of change in higher education, where uneven or declining growth in enrollments and degrees has taken place in numerous majors since 2012, and has been aggravated more recently by COVID-19. Our findings indicate a similar slowing of the robust growth in geography majors that began in the 1990s and peaked in 2012. The overall number of geography degrees has steadily declined since then, tracking with declining degree conferrals in many other disciplines, with the greatest impact felt in the social sciences and humanities, and at the undergraduate level. The trends for post-graduate degrees are more encouraging, with steady growth until very recently, almost certainly due to the impacts of COVID-19. 

Geography by Many Other Names

This report only captures trends for the six CIP codes that are currently related to geography, acknowledging that geography is also interdisciplinary and embedded in other disciplinary studies not clearly addressed by CIP codes. As new codes have been added over the years, we can see trends in disciplinary growth. In particular, GIScience and cartography degrees take up a larger proportion of current degree conferrals, particularly among master’s degrees. The proportion of GIS-related degrees is less dramatic at the bachelor’s and doctorate levels. 

Image of a portion of page 4 of the PDF report showing just the change in proportion among master’s degrees over time
Master’s degrees have shown higher proportions of GIScience and cartography degrees in recent years.

 

Reviewing CIP categories that have been added since 1980 yields insight into directions for the discipline. Three categories that are used most often date from, respectively, 1980 (Geography), 2000 (Geography, Other), and 1990/amended 2010 (GIScience and Cartography was Cartography from 1990-2010). Three additional categories created in 2020 have yet to be widely adopted, but identify known directions for geography practice: Geospatial Intelligence, Geography and Environmental Science, and Geography and Anthropology. 

While the interdisciplinary nature of geography makes it widely appealing for study, it also makes the discipline a challenge to track due to the variety of non-geography CIP codes that departments can apply to their programs. For example, GIScience programs may use a computer science CIP code; physical geography may be classified through a natural sciences CIP code. The reason behind the choice of codes by program coordinators could range from codes that are better suited to visa programs to choosing high-growth non-geography CIP codes more likely to be favored by college administrations. In fact, AAG’s Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas already notes some CIP codes used by geography programs that were not included in this initial report, such as public health. Then, too, geography is being taught in other programs that are experiencing very high growth, such as atmospheric sciences, natural resources and conservation, and computer science and IT. These could be masking geography study, or could represent combined programs and departments.  

Minding the Undergraduate Gap

Along with geography degrees at all levels, undergraduate degrees climbed steadily from just over 3,000 in 1986 to peak at roughly 5,000 in 2012. Growth has declined since then, reaching the level last seen thirty years ago at roughly 4,000 degrees conferred. When compared with all social and physical sciences, however, The State of Geography report found that geography has held its own, with a similar rate of growth to the combined rates for all social and physical sciences. Notably, natural resources conservation is the top physical science degree, and growing swiftly. This is a relevant finding to the capacity of geography studies to appeal to undergraduates, since spatial skills are indispensable to natural resources conservation. Almost all the sciences have experienced a dip in degree conferrals since 2008, and most lag far behind fields such as business management, marketing, computer sciences, and engineering. Part of this is likely the fallout from the Great Recession: The share of students majoring in social science and humanities degrees dropped steadily between 2008 and 2018, while the share of majors perceived as “recession-proof” grew. 

Line chart showing Geography’s performance relative to select other social sciences

Line chart showing Geography’s performance relative to select other physical sciences
Geography’s performance relative to select other social and physical sciences.

 

In short, geography as a major makes a good showing within both families of science to which it has affinities. This indicates the enormous opportunity that lies in breaking geography out of silos and rethinking the breadth of its appeal to undergraduate students. In fact, Stoler et al. found in their 2020 study of student preferences that the actual word ‘geography’ rated far lower in undergraduate students’ minds than words suggestive of many geographic focus areas, such as ‘environment’ or ‘sustainability.’ The news about conventional geography degrees for undergraduates is sobering, and the discipline’s influence among college students seems far from waning. 

Graduate Study Strong Despite Setbacks

While the net number of bachelor’s degrees conferred has grown by only one-third since 1986, effectively falling from historical highs to 2000-era levels, graduate studies grew by almost 100% (96% and 98%, respectively). Since 2016, however, graduate degrees have dipped sharply along with other disciplinary degrees in social or physical science compared with other disciplines, possibly a partial consequence of economic factors that are now aggravated by COVID-19.   

Line chart showing the comparison of Geography with other fields of study
Geography majors across all levels of study (bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate), compared with select other fields of study.

 

Among the comparison fields in the report, geography graduate studies outperform virtually all other social sciences we examined at the graduate level when it comes to percent growth: they are second only to economics at the master’s level, and the number one choice at the doctorate level among the social sciences we compared. Among the physical sciences we compared, geography is second only to the rapidly growing field of natural resources and conservation at the master’s degree level (the same scientific field that has also greatly grown in undergraduate degrees). Doctorates in geography are outpaced by those in three physical sciences that all have close affinity with our discipline: natural resources and conservation, geology, and atmospheric science. It is worth asking why, if geography is such an attractive post-graduate degree, it has less traction among undergraduates. Are many geographers drawn to the discipline too late to change majors for their bachelor’s degree? Does the major even exist at their college? A student cannot earn a geography degree if none is available. Bjelland (2004,) found that only 7% of undergraduate liberal arts colleges offered a geography degree. For their part, the state university systems have made program changes since 2008, including combining or eliminating programs, due to increasing budget pressure and austerity. These changes yielded many more hybrid departments that may not explicitly recognize their geographic components (this is especially true in departments of urban planning and environmental science).  

Notes on the Future

The overall decline in growth in geography degrees in the U.S. in recent years, especially among undergraduates, is concerning. Yet the relative strength in advanced degrees demonstrates staying power for the discipline, even at a time when so many disciplines and degrees are also declining. This could indicate that geography, often referred to as a “discovery” major, is resonating with students once they have discovered the field. Additional promising news, although outside the scope of this first report, is the apparent growth among associate degree geography or GIS programs at community colleges. There are now 210 community colleges in the United States that grant associates’ degrees in geography and GIS, compared with an estimated 158 in 2018. Shabram and Housel have found that many community colleges are “agile and demand-driven,” responding to the growing, unmet workforce need for spatial skills, noted by Solem et. Al. (2008). 

Geography is also better positioned as a STEM science in future: the Geography and Environmental Studies CIP offers an important chance to increase geography’s visibility in this popular scientific area. Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security recent added Geography and Environmental Studies to its list of STEM degree programs.  

These new developments can contribute to heightened awareness of geography, as well as better understanding of its power as a major and a career choice. 

Note: The State of Geography Report also covers the conferral of degrees by race, ethnicity, and gender. These dimensions are crucial to a full understanding of the momentum of the discipline, and will be covered in future articles. 

Get Involved in the Next State of Geography Report:

We look forward to further expanding on our findings in the State of Geography Report in the future, with data from a variety of sources, including NCES, AAG surveys, and AAG member expertise. We welcome questions, ideas, or suggestions about the findings at data@aag.org.  

Further Reading

Bjelland, M. (2003) A place for geographers in the liberal arts college? The Professional Geographer, Vol 56, Issue 3 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.0033-0124.2004.05603001.x  

Revell, M. Community colleges are changing the landscape of higher education. (2021) ArcNews, Fall. https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/arcnews/community-colleges-are-changing-the-landscape-of-geography-education/  

Shabram, P,, and J. Housel, (2021) Building a partnership to build a pipeline for geographers. New Directions for Community Colleges, 194 Sum. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cc.20453 

Solem, M., I. Cheung, M.B. Schlemper. (2008) Skills in professional geography: An assessment of workforce needs and expectations. The Professional Geographer, Vol. 60, Issue 3.  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00330120802013620  

Stoler, J. D. Ter-Ghazaryan, I. Sheskin, A.L. Pearson, G. Schnakenberg, D. Cagalanan. (2021) What’s in a name? Undergraduate perceptions of geography, environment, and sustainability keywords and program names. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. Vol 111, Issue 2. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2020.1766412 

View the report
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Closing the Gap between Curriculum and the Professional Realities of the Geospatial Technology Industry 

Geographers participate during a MapGive open mapping event for humanitarian aid. Credit: U.S. Department of State
Credit: MapGive, U.S. Department of State

Jessica Embury and Atsushi Nara 

If you ever started a new job and felt unprepared for the role, you are not alone. According to a recent survey by Cengage, nearly half of recent graduates feel underqualified for entry level jobs. Although the mismatch between curriculum and the needs of professional industry is not confined to the field of geography, it becomes especially important in the context of low student enrollment in US geography programs. Continuing participation in geography programs hinges upon student awareness of viable career prospects. Curricular materials must align with industry requirements to maintain student interest and adequately prepare students for successful integration into the workforce.  Students may be more likely to pursue a geographic education if they understand their career prospects and have the ability to assess the relevance of their developing skillset.  

The Encoding Geography initiative is working to raise student awareness of career prospects and develop curricular materials in alignment with industry needs. Encoding Geography is a collaborative effort between Southern California schools, community colleges, and universities (San Diego State University [SDSU], University of California Riverside, San Diego Mesa College, Sweetwater Union High School District), and supporting stakeholder organizations (the AAG, the National Center for Research in Geography Education, Texas State University, and the California Geographic Alliance). The goal of the initiative is to connect students of all backgrounds with geography and geocomputation through an inclusive curriculum spanning multiple education levels.  

To support Encoding Geography’s goal, researchers at SDSU conducted a survey of 140 professionals working in the geospatial technology industry. Participants answered questions about their demographics, education, current employment, and use of spatial and computational knowledge and skills at work. To supplement the survey’s findings, the research team interviewed geospatial technology professionals and compiled detailed descriptions about career preparation and trajectories, and the knowledge and skills needed during recent work projects.  

Of the 140 survey respondents, 60% identified as male, 37% identified as female, and 3% declined to answer. 76% of the respondents described themselves as White, 8% described themselves as Asian, and 8% either did not identify with any of the options or declined to answer. The remaining 8% of respondents described themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native, Filipino, a combination of choices, or with a self-description. 14% of the respondents are of Hispanic or Latino origin, 83% are not, and 3% declined to answer. Regarding academic degree attainment, 44% have master’s degrees, 37% have bachelor’s degrees, 18% have doctoral degrees, and 1% have an associate’s degree or vocational certificate. During their degree programs, 61% of the respondents studied geography (e.g., human geography, geographic information science, geospatial science) as a major, minor, or special emphasis. 

Survey respondents listed a variety of reasons why they chose to study geography, but many expressed passion for the subject matter, related methods and tools, career prospects, and the geographic community. Interviewed professionals reiterated many of these reasons for choosing a geospatial career. Hsiao-Chen Shih, a data scientist, recognized that “geographic information represents real-world big datasets that can be used to solve real-world problems.” Chaz Olloqui, a GIS specialist, “chose to pursue an education in GIS because [he] was interested in making a positive change in our natural environment.” 

Figure 1. When asked why they chose to study geography over other options, professionals working in the geospatial technology industry expressed passion for geography itself, geographic methods and applications as well as potential job opportunities and connection to the geographic community.
Figure 1. When asked why they chose to study geography over other options, professionals working in the geospatial technology industry expressed passion for geography itself, geographic methods and applications as well as potential job opportunities and connection to the geographic community.

 

When asked to identify the tools that support geographic/spatial thinking at work, survey respondents pointed to geographic information systems (e.g., Esri software, QGIS), python programming, data processing software (e.g., Excel, SQL), statistical and spatial analysis techniques, and domain knowledge.  

Keaton Shennan, a GIS web developer, stressed the importance of programming and database management skills:  

It’s helpful to know a framework and have something that you’ve built, have examples of work that you’ve done, and [be able to] explain what’s happening behind the scenes – that’s pretty critical to getting a job in the field.

 

In contrast, Carmen Leedham, a senior GIS analyst, focused on the value of a flexible mindset and collaborative teamwork: 

Be flexible because a lot of things aren’t going to work and you need a plan B, C, D, and so on. It’s very helpful to know people within your line of work so you can ask questions and be nudged along in the direction you need.

 

Figure 2. Geospatial technology professionals identified geographic information systems, python programming, data processing software, statistical and spatial analysis techniques, and domain knowledge as essential tools for work. 
Figure 2. Geospatial technology professionals identified geographic information systems, python programming, data processing software, statistical and spatial analysis techniques, and domain knowledge as essential tools for work.

 

During the interview series, most of the professionals expressed satisfaction from their work in the geospatial technology industry and felt that they contributed to the greater good. Carmen said, “I like working for an organization that is helping people and making sure that things are working as they should be. It makes me feel good — like harm reduction is occurring.” In a similar vein, Hsiao-Chen stated, “[My] knowledge of remote sensing, GIS, and geocomputation perfectly helps me achieve the goal of moving the world toward a decarbonizing future.” Statements like this demonstrate the applicability of geography to real-world issues and may inspire students to pursue geographic education.  

These early findings clarify career prospects and highlight focus areas for the development of curricular materials. More detailed findings from SDSU’s survey and interview series will be available in an upcoming peer-reviewed journal. 

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Newsletter – November 2022

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PRESIDENT’S COLUMN
Photo of wind turbines on a farm by Karsten Wurth for Unsplash
Credit: Karsten Wurth for Unsplash

 

Geography and Geographers in a Changing World

By Marilyn Raphael

Our students… are wondering how their geographic education is going to help them find jobs as well as answers to [the world’s] pressing problems. Indeed, they are demanding a truly synthetic geography education that gives them a broad toolkit to tackle the world into which they will graduate. To meet their questions, it is worth reminding ourselves of who we are as geographers, from where we’ve come and to think about where we might be going. And how we fit into today’s world. It helps to take stock of what has happened in context, as we move to the next phase.

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FROM THE MERIDIAN
Image of the word ACT spray-painted on cement by Mick Haupt for Unsplash
Image by Mick Haupt for Unsplash

Taking Responsibility: AAG Acts on Climate Change

By Gary Langham

In late 2021, AAG and the Climate Action Task Force asked members to weigh in on our role in responding to climate change. An overwhelming majority – 93 percent! — of responding members called upon us to be a leader on climate change, not only in our public actions but also in every aspect of our operations. Your responses provided us with a mandate for transforming our organization’s policies and practice, as well as helping us ground-truth our efforts so far.

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GEOWEEK 2022

Photo of hand holding glowing globe by Greg Rosenke for Unsplash

Next Week! 35th Annual Geography Awareness Week

 

Only a few more days until Geography Awareness Week. Our theme this year is World of Possibilities: Geographers at Work. Celebrating the vast career possibilities for geographers, Geography Awareness Week will showcase the work of geographers in strikingly diverse areas. Make sure to tag us on social media with #GeoWeek2022 and share your events so we can put them on our map. Here are other ways to get involved:

  • Sign up to become a GeoAdvocate (individuals) or a GeoWeek partner (Institutions and organizations).
  • Pick up AAG’s Idea Kit: useful resources for teaching, sharing on social media, and learning more about the challenges and opportunities in geography.

Learn More about GeoWeek

 

Powerful Geography logo - PG letters with small globe

Powerful Geography at Work – Celebrating a Proven Approach to Teaching

By Michael Solem, Brendan Vander Weil, Richard G. Boehm, and Joann Zadrozny

Growing and diversifying the geography discipline and workforce is a complex challenge that needs to be met with an “all-hands-on-deck” effort by geographers and geography organizations. A recent AAG newsletter article made the case that this process should start well before students graduate from high school… Here, we highlight some of the work at the National Center for Research in Geography Education to address the nation’s priorities for broadening participation and workforce development.
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Photo of students at Lakeland Community College participating in an introductory geography class; by Bobby Oliver
Students at Lakeland Community College participate in an introductory geography class. Credit: Bobby Oliver

New AAG Series Highlights Geography Program Excellence

The AAG proudly announces the launch of our new Geography Program Profiles series, featuring top geography programs throughout the United States. This series will showcase exceptional geography programs, from community colleges to R1 PhD-granting universities, that demonstrate best practices for building and sustaining healthy geography programs at all levels.

The first two profiles have been published. Click here to learn about Salisbury University’s Geography and Geosciences Department and Lakeland Community College’s Geography and Geospatial Technology Program.

If you’d like to nominate your program for the series, or recommend another program for us to feature, please contact Mark Revell at mrevell@aag.org.


ANNUAL MEETING

Tomorrow – Abstracts due for #AAG2023!

Several important dates are forthcoming for registering and submitting abstracts to the 2023 AAG Annual Meeting. Attendees wishing to submit an abstract for a paper presentation must do so before the deadline on November 10, 2022. Abstracts can be edited until February 9, 2023. As a reminder, the AAG accepts all submitted abstracts and organized sessions for presentation. Note: all abstracts for all presentation types are due on the same date – November 10.
Register and submit your abstract today

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Be a Career Mentor at #AAG2023

AAG currently seeks volunteers encompassing a wide range of professional backgrounds, interests, and experiences to participate as Career Mentors during the 2023 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. Career mentoring provides an open forum for students and job seekers to receive one-on-one and small-group consultation about careers in a variety of industries and employment sectors. To volunteer, please contact us at careers@aag.org with a brief note indicating your interest by December 1, 2022.


ASSOCIATION NEWS

End of Year Deadlines for Grants and Awards, Students and Professionals

Image showing AAG award pin and certificateAs the calendar year comes to a close, several deadlines for grants and awards are approaching. December 31st marks the deadline for multiple student awards such as the George and Viola Hoffman Award for student research in Eastern Europe and the Hess Community College Geography Scholarship. Students and professionals are invited to apply for fieldwork related awards through an AAG Research Grant or, for individuals and groups working at the intersection of geography and policy, the AAG Meredith F. Burrill Award, both also due on December 31st.

Nominations are currently being solicited for a variety of books in geography awards including the , the , and the , all of which are due on December 31st. Members may also nominate their colleagues for the  due November 15, as well as the  for social justice and the , both due December 31.

For colleagues who have made contributions to geography in teaching, consider nominations to the , also due December 31st.

See all grants and awards deadlines


PUBLICATIONS

Fall Issue of the AAG Review of Books Published

Cover of the AAG Review of Books
The latest issue of The AAG Review of Books, Volume 10, Issue 4, is now available with 12 book reviews on recent books related to geography, public policy and international affairs. The new issue also includes two book review forums and three book review essays. One of the essays is available free to read, Pollution is Colonialism; Feminist Queer Anticolonial Propositions for Hacking the Anthropocene: Archive, by Sasha Engelmann.

Check out the latest from the other AAG journals online


MEMBER NEWS

November Member Updates

“One lesson that emerges in the Sanibel [Island] is that what was visionary in the past may not be acceptable in the future,” writes member J. Kenneth Mitchell, professor emeritus at Rutgers.

Read more


RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES

GTU Travel Grant Accepting Applications

The AAG-GTU Travel Award provides support for student members of Gamma Theta Upsilon to attend the national annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Denver. Travel awards are available with preference to geography undergraduate and graduate students who are attending an AAG meeting for the first time and who will serve as an author or co-author on a paper or poster being presented at the meeting. The awards will be reimbursed to GTU students for the cost of the virtual ($50) and in-person (up to $200) registrations if they attend the 2023 meeting. The application deadline is December 1, 2022.
More information

 

Join American Geographical Society in New York City in November

The annual AGS Fall Symposium, Geography 2050, is back in person in New York City at the Columbia University campus after two years of hosting their symposia online. The event will be held November 17 and 18, 2022 and the AAG is one of the event’s sponsors. For the 9th installment of Geography 2050, the theme will be The Future of Food. The Symposium will explore how geography and the use of geospatial technology will affect and transform global food systems.
Learn more

Call for Submissions for you are here: the journal of creative geography

you are here: the journal of creative geography is now accepting submissions for the 2023 issue, counter/cartographies. We seek submissions that trouble and reinvent dominant spatial representations, imaginaries, practices, and knowledge. Recognizing the power of geographic knowledge to shape the world in its image (for better or for worse), we invite radical reimaginings of space, place, and landscape that demonstrate the possibility, necessity, and contours of other worlds — worlds yet to come into being or worlds already here but at the margins of dominant geographic representations and itineraries. We accept submissions in all creative genres, including but not limited to poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, maps, visual art, film, multimedia, virtual art, and soundscapes. Submissions close January 15, 2023.
Visit you are here

 

Research Fellowships for Cartographers, Geographers

The American Geographical Society Library at UW Milwaukee offers 4-8 fellowships to scholars from around the world. The distinguished collections have strengths in geography, cartography and related historical topics. Read more about the criteria, application process and other information.

 

GISCI Exam Period Opens in December

The next testing window for the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® is December 3-10, 2022. Part of the GISP Certification, the exam will once again be administered by PSI Online through its worldwide testing facilities in a computer-based testing (CBT) format.
More information about the GISP Exam

 

Upcoming virtual events hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is AAG 2022's gold sponsorJoin the Kauffman Foundation for the November installments of two of their professional development series: the Entrepreneurship Issues Forum on November 14 at 1:30 PM CST and the Early Stage Professional Development Series on November 18 at 1 PM CST.

The November Entrepreneurship Issues Forum will feature various researchers and heartland community partner organizations from the Kauffman Foundation’s Inclusive Ecosystem portfolio— comprised of three-year projects that will explore entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Heartland states, these grants will emphasize holistic, community-led approaches to research on entrepreneurial ecosystems. Grantees will discuss the impact of systemic forces on entrepreneurial ecosystems, as well as highlight ways to engage communities in conversation around geographic inequality, structural racism, and overall community wellness. They will also discuss their work to develop research-driven case studies and tools for assessing equity in ecosystems. Learn more about their work or Register Now.

The November installment of the Early Stage Professional Development Series hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation features the Kenan Institute’s Managing Director, David Knowles, and Director of Research Services, Ashley Brown, who will share about how the Kenan Institute partners with academic researchers to translate and disseminate research, as well as the value that research has on both business and policy audiences. They will discuss ways that PhD students and early career researchers can work with their institutions to develop and promote their research. They will be joined by Travis Howell, assistant professor of strategy at UC Irvine and former Kenan-Flagler PhD student, who will speak to his experience of supporting translational work during his time as a PhD student. The session will include a short presentation and then time for a Q&A. Samples of the Institute’s work in translational entrepreneurship research can be found hereRegister for the November session here.

 

Abstracts Invited for VI International Congress on Risks

The Portuguese Association of Risks, Prevention and Security (RISCOS), in collaboration with the Department of Geography and Tourism, Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra (FLUC), and other institutional partners, is organizing this conference, under the theme “Risks and Territorial Conflicts: From natural disasters to geopolitical tensions.” The event will be held at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, Portugal May 23-26. Abstracts are being accepted until November 15, 2022.
Learn more

 


IN MEMORIAM

The AAG is saddened to hear of the passing of William Laatsch and David M. Mark this past month.

 


AAG EVENTS CALENDAR
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Geography and Geographers in a Changing World

Photo of wind turbines on a farm by Karsten Wurth for Unsplash
Credit: Karsten Wurth for Unsplash

Photo of Marilyn Raphael by Ashley Kruythoff, UCLA

October and November are AAG Regional Meetings months, and I was preparing to go to my first as AAG President. As is customary, I asked what members would like to hear about, and was offered a number of different but related topics including “anything related to the future of geography and the role of the AAG.” The latter was especially important because a large proportion of the members attending the regional meetings are students — graduate and undergraduate. Instead of choosing a single topic, I integrated the two, and before I knew it, I had committed myself to speaking on Geography and Geographers in a Changing World.

Now, anyone looking at that title would instantly realize that this is not a 40-minute oral presentation; rather, it is the topic of a multi-authored manuscript (for example, this one) suitable for publication in a medium much like the Annals, or an edited book suitable for use in a “History of Modern Geography” class. In fact, a day or so after the presentation I casually googled the topic and found several related titles, including Gilbert White’s Geographers in a Perilously Changing World.

Graduate and undergraduate students in our discipline are trying to put their geographical education and their hopes for jobs into context as they prepare to leave university. They are entering a world that is more interconnected than ever — the speed with which information and misinformation are spread via social media is one example of that connectedness. Another is the reliance on mapping technologies for nearly everything, from finding the fastest route home through traffic to understanding public health trends. Our students face a world in which the economy is unstable, the global political state is tenuous, the climate is changing, and environmental degradation is a perennial problem. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, we have just experienced three years of a pandemic that has fundamentally changed the way we live and work.

Our students are so concerned about these issues that they are wondering how their geographic education is going to help them find jobs as well as answers to these pressing problems. Indeed, they are demanding a truly synthetic geography education that gives them a broad toolkit to tackle the world into which they will graduate. To meet their questions, it is worth reminding ourselves of who we are as geographers, from where we’ve come and to think about where we might be going. And how we fit into today’s world. It helps to take stock of what has happened in context, as we move to the next phase.

Changes in Geography and the AAG

“Change is a constant” is an overused phrase, but it is good to be reminded. Geography has been changing along with the world, very recently as well as over the last few decades. The discipline was once the static study of place concerned with how things are arranged on earth’s surface, with the map being the geographer’s tool. Geography’s quantitative revolution and the technological development of computers in the mid-20th century facilitated the development of geographic information systems (GIS), initially the tool of geographers but now used almost universally where spatial data analysis is needed. GIS, as well as new ways of thinking about things geographical, for example critical (human) geography and critical physical geography, means that geographers can ask different, arguably better, questions, potentially increasing the richness of their answers.

There has also been significant change in the leadership of the AAG, from one where men were far overrepresented, to one where women are more visible and active as leaders. The Association was founded in 1904. Seventeen years later, it elected its first female President. It took another 63 years before the second female president was elected (1984). Now, in the 21st century, a female president has become commonplace, so much so that I am the third female president in the last three years and next year there will be a fourth.

Other evidence of change within the AAG is apparent in the 2023 Annual Meeting theme: Toward More Just Geographies. This theme was chosen “in recognition of the urgency, centrality, and interdependence of equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice within our discipline and in the world” and reflects a core shift within the institution, matching changes that are occurring worldwide. This is not a singular action, but part of a fundamental change in the ways in which we operate. The AAG is now implementing a Council-approved 3-Year JEDI (justice, equity, inclusion and diversity) strategic framework.

The Outlook for Geography (as the Landscape Changes)

The point that I am making is that even with all of the changes that are occurring around us and within our organization, the core geographic ideas will not change. Geography, as in what we do, will change. A perfect example is how GIS has allowed us to ask new questions and to frame pre-existing questions differently, while still focusing on the richness of space moving from the static study of places on maps to the more revealing and arguably more interesting concepts such as the processes underlying the formation and interconnectedness of these places. A present-day working definition of geography is now closer to something like this: Geography examines human (e.g., social, cultural, economic, political) and physical (eg climatological, geomorphological, biogeographical) phenomena within the context of space, that is to say, how their location and their connections to others over space contribute to their characteristics and impacts and to the definition of the others.

The tools of geography are being used by other disciplines, and not just GIS. What I mean is that the interdisciplinary approach to understanding is becoming (or has become) commonplace. The contemporary movement in the social sciences, where I note many geography departments are housed, is towards addressing questions of global interconnection; migration, urbanization; environmental sustainability; climate change and its impacts, among others. There is a movement toward the use of more synthetic approaches to answer these questions. The synthetic approach is embedded in geography as is evident in the working definition that I outlined above and practiced in approaches like critical physical geography (and including critical remote sensing, qualitative GIS).

Finally, the demographic makeup of geographers is changing (or becoming more evident)

I am especially delighted that we see more geographers, representing many more identities: cultural, gender, ability/disability, and ethnic identities bringing with them a greater diversity of experience and knowledge. This expanding diversity means that different points of view are being introduced and incorporated into the body of geography. This can only make for a healthier discipline. There has never been a better time to be a geographer.


Please note: The ideas expressed in the AAG President’s column are not necessarily the views of the AAG as a whole. This column is traditionally a space in which the president may talk about their views or focus during their tenure as president of AAG, or spotlight their areas of professional work. Please feel free to email the president directly at raphael [at] geog [dot] ucla [dot] edu to enable a constructive discussion.

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Program Profile: Lakeland Community College’s Geography and Geospatial Technology Program

Photo of geography students receiving instruction on UAS operation during a class lab. Credit: Bobby Oliver
Geography students receive instruction on UAS operation during a class lab. Credit: Bobby Oliver

“Keeping up with technological change in the industry is key to our program,” explains Bobby Oliver, M.A., GISP professor and department chair for the Geography and Geospatial Technology program at Lakeland Community College (LCC) in Kirtland, Ohio. “We’re constantly updating and revising our curriculum to meet all of the changing needs, to ensure our students have access to the most current and advanced geospatial technologies out there.”

At LCC, keeping pace with the geospatial industry is essential to ensure the success of the hundreds of students who enroll in the Geography and Geospatial Technology program. Not only do Oliver and the LCC faculty accomplish this goal, but they do it well. In 2020, the program was recognized with the AAG Award for Associates Program Excellence. We asked Oliver what it was that made them stand out from the rest and her response was threefold: service-learning opportunities, a community engagement focus, and a highly connected professional network.

Photo of students at Lakeland Community College participating in an introductory geography class; by Bobby Oliver
Students at Lakeland Community College participate in an introductory geography class. Credit: Bobby Oliver

 

Community-oriented learning as a pathway to excellence

Since the program’s inception in 2011, LCC geography students have completed service-learning projects with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the City of Euclid’s Shore Cultural Center, and many other Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations. In response, these projects have often translated into internship opportunities for students.

We do a lot of community and college-wide engagement and make it a goal to create service-learning projects for students. We require our students to go out and be part of professional organizations within the community.

—Bobby Oliver

The involvement of LCC students within the local Cleveland community facilitates a symbiotic relationship centered around the value of a geographic education. For Oliver, this is a key component to the program. It enables students to apply their growing knowledge and skills in the real world while also building connections and bringing awareness to organizations that may not have previously understood the value of geography.

Finding success through championing the students and championing the program

Program faculty have also taken a proactive, integrative approach to teaching students about how the skills they’re learning in the classroom translate to professional careers, something geography students often aren’t aware of. Internships with local employers, job shadowing, alumni engagement, and professional meetings are well engrained elements of the program. “We have what’s called a career service checklist our students go through within each one of the courses in their program,” explains Oliver. “All of these things have helped build their job search skills for when they hit the job market.”

Developing and maintaining relationships with local professionals working in geography, GIS, and other related professions has been critical to the program’s success. Many of these professionals are on the program’s advisory board, which has strong and diverse representation from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This has the added benefit of ensuring that students learn on the latest software platforms used by industry professionals.

GIS poster project by Lakeland Community College Geography student Caroline Petersen on Flow Map Analysis of Cambodian Refugee Migration, 1976-1995
GIS project by Lakeland Community College Geography student Caroline Petersen on Flow Map Analysis of Cambodian Refugee Migration, 1971-1995

 

How increased visibility is essential to program viability

As with many geography programs, maintaining strong enrollments is the foremost challenge the program faces, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the difficulty of recruiting and retaining students. However, Oliver and other program leaders have developed innovative solutions to attracting students, by exploring opportunities with other departments on campus, leveraging a dual enrollment program with area high schools, and making ongoing efforts to increase the program’s visibility on campus and in the community.

For our program to be successful, we have to make sure that people see what we’re doing, and how it impacts our community. Making sure the campus is aware that we’re here and [that] what we do is very essential—especially when it comes to [LCC’s] enrollments and long-term viability.

—Bobby Oliver

 

Video of LCC alumni Caroline Peterson sharing her experience in the LCC GIS program and how she uses those skills in her career.

An annual GIS Day event, Women in GIS luncheons, presentations to the Math Club and Model U.N., and collaborative projects with other departments across campus have all helped to highlight the program’s value. “We’re really trying to get the students to see how our community and region use GIS, and how geographic and geospatial skills are used in real jobs,” says Oliver. “These are the things that I feel really put us ahead, for a two-year program.”

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Powerful Geography at Work

By Michael Solem, Brendan Vander Weil, Richard G. Boehm and Joann Zadrozny

Growing and diversifying the geography discipline and workforce is a complex challenge that needs to be met with an “all-hands-on-deck” effort by teachers, geographers, and geography organizations. A recent AAG newsletter article made the case that this process should start well before students graduate from high school. That article included a Call for Participation for a panel session on this topic, being organized for the 2023 AAG Annual Meeting.

Here, we highlight some of the work at the National Center for Research in Geography Education to address the nation’s priorities for broadening participation and workforce development. Powerful Geography is an initiative involving students, teachers, community college faculty, university researchers, and professional geographers and employer organizations. The project aims to raise awareness and appreciation among students about geography and its applicability to a wide array of job and careers.

Detailed logic model for assessing teacher and student success with Powerful Geography approaches, including changed perceptions, ability to engage, exposure to new concepts, and connection to students’ interests
Logic model covering detailed steps for assessing and reinforcing the success and effectiveness of Powerful Geography approaches. Credit: Michael Solem

 

Powerful Geography’s teaching and learning approach begins with teachers acquiring knowledge about the life and career aspirations of their students. Using this information, researchers seek out and interview professional geographers working in related career areas (environmental management, energy, transportation, social work, agriculture, business, and so forth). The two datasets are then used by schoolteachers and college faculty to design and develop state-based curriculum resources for schools and undergraduate programs.

Two current initiatives supported with NSF funding illustrate Powerful Geography at work. The AAG’s Encoding Geography research-practice partnership in Southern California is applying the Powerful Geography approach to support the development of an inclusive curriculum pathway in geocomputation. The RPP is currently interviewing professionals with a combined background in geography and computer science, using a protocol with questions aligned to a model of issues-based geographic inquiry. To date the RPP has interviewed professionals who use geocomputation for a variety of purposes including to monitor health equity, promote sustainable agriculture, improve city transportation, and enhance habitat management.

Accessible two-page digests are created for each interview with examples of questions, data, geography applications, a suggested learning activity, and a profile of the interviewed geographer. Schoolteachers and college faculty use the digests and other sources to design and develop grade-level curriculum resources that engage students in authentic applications of content to solve problems they care about.

View these helpful career digests

The second project, Geoscience Exposure and Training in Texas (GET Texas), is working to create a place-based geoscience learning ecosystem (GLE) that includes informal educational institutions (Houston Museum of Natural Science and a local YMCA), high schools, a Hispanic Serving community college institution (Lone Star College), and a regional four-year, undergraduate-focused Hispanic Serving institution (Sam Houston State University). The fundamental purpose of this GLE is to raise awareness and appreciation of geoscience and geoscience careers among high school students in the greater Houston region, potentially encouraging them to consider and pursue geoscience-related postsecondary degrees. The GET Texas team uses student aspirations data to inform the content of the project’s informal and formal geoscience learning activities.

As the Encoding Geography RPP and GET Texas projects experiment with the Powerful Geography approach in a variety of courses and settings, researchers are measuring the extent that students gain confidence and interest in related degree programs and careers. Early indicators from external evaluations show promising returns on investment and geography educators at all levels have offered testimonies of their experiences with implementing Powerful Geography in their courses.

Powerful Geography’s “bottom up” and inclusive approach to teaching and learning can be replicated anywhere to design and develop curriculum resources attuned to student aspirations and workforce needs. In addition to the U.S., we are working with geography educators in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas to coordinate the creation and implementation of Powerful Geography resources. The outcomes of this work will be published in an edited volume for the Springer Geography book series.

In the spirit of Geography Awareness Week (November 14-19), we hope the message of Powerful Geography resonates with a broader group of parents, policy makers, and other key stakeholders. We know from the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s 2015 report on geography education that geography is often perceived by the public to be a trivial subject and that it perennially suffers from relatively low levels of funding support. Changing this will not be easy, but it starts with understanding students’ aspirations and attitudes and conveying the relevance and applications of geography in schools across the country.

We consider the challenge of growing and diversifying the geography discipline and workforce to be a “north star” for geography education. In the coming year the Powerful Geography website will expand to include new state-based curriculum resources connecting students and teachers with professional geographers and geography degree programs. We continue to pursue external funding to support this work and invite anyone interested in being involved to contact us at ncrge@aag.org.


NCRGE is a research consortium with headquarters at the American Association of Geographers and Texas State University.

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Taking Responsibility: AAG Acts on Climate Change

Image of the word ACT spray-painted on cement by Mick Haupt for Unsplash
Image by Mick Haupt for Unsplash

Photo of Gary Langham

In late 2021, AAG and the Climate Action Task Force asked members to weigh in on our role in responding to climate change. An overwhelming majority — 93 percent! — of responding members called upon us to be a leader on climate change, not only in our public actions but also in every aspect of our operations. Your responses provided us with a mandate for transforming our organization’s policies and practice, as well as helping us ground-truth our efforts so far. We have made tremendous progress in just one year. Let me share the good news.

Bar chart taken from an AAG survey on climate showing actions members would like to see AAG take, the top of which is taking a role in policy and advocacy for climate action.
This bar chart depicts results from a survey of AAG members. Among the 93% who urged AAG to take leadership on climate change, the top suggestion was that AAG take a role in policy and advocacy for climate action.

 

AAG’s Commitment to Climate Action: Policy and Advocacy

AAG’s increased engagement with policy issues has centered our attention to climate change. Most recently we acted on our unequivocal stance on the climate crisis by mobilizing our membership in support of the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage. In the past three years, we have also taken action to protect access to science, participated in COP26 and the upcoming COP27, and frequently participated in the community of scientists calling for action on the climate crisis, such as the joint statement by International Geographical Societies on the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies.

AAG’s recent investments in new software and staffing will also help us scale our climate action policy work for maximum effectiveness and help geographers’ voices be heard on the issue of climate change during 2023 and beyond.

Climate-Forward Investments: Divestment from Fossil Fuel

Next to policy and advocacy leadership, divestment was the single most important issue to 3 out of 4 members who responded to AAG’s questionnaire. Over the past three years, this issue was a common topic of discussion, but it seemed impossible to maintain a broad set of indexed funds while meeting the goal. New options became available this year as global interest in ESG investing grows. I am pleased to announce that AAG has now fully divested from fossil fuel holdings and retargeted them to socially just and environmentally friendly options. AAG is now 100% free of fossil-fuel investments.

Smaller Carbon Footprint for Meetings

Despite—or at times because of—the paradigm shift caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, AAG has made many changes over the last three years to address our role in creating less carbon-intensive meetings. From 2020 until now, AAG has renewed its approaches not only to the annual meeting, but to all of our convening activities.

Back in 2019, when AAG responded to member calls for renewed commitment to this issue by forming a Climate Task Force, we first addressed the need to rethink the annual meeting for significantly reduced CO2 emissions. That early work toward this goal in 2019 prepared us for the unexpected challenges of COVID-19. AAG now has adopted a method to estimate carbon emissions from meeting participation, which I summarized in this column last year, and which is described further in our report. We adopted a peer-reviewed method, based on a study of travel patterns to the American Geophysical Union Fall 2019 Meeting, coauthored by AAG member Debbie Hopkins. This method enables AAG to not only estimate past and future emissions to increase transparency, but also to determine whether we are meeting the stated goals of the member petition in 2019. The goal is to reduce emissions from the annual meeting by 45% by 2030 and by 100% by 2050.

Introducing virtual and hybrid options will allow each member to determine how best to participate in future AAG meetings. We are working to make these options available while keeping costs as low as possible. AAG is also experimenting with watch parties and so-called nodes to create additional options for participation. This approach reflects our commitment to ensure that however the meeting is experienced, it is a rich and rewarding one.

Changing how AAG convenes to address the carbon emissions burden of conventional meetings has not always been easy, but it has provided new benefits we did not anticipate, in terms of broader access to events, new modalities for presenting and networking, and less pressure on hosting communities. We continue to learn, innovate, and enhance our offerings in keeping with our commitment to address climate change.

Lower-Carbon Operations and Office Space

Nearly 60 percent of respondents to our questionnaire signaled the importance of increasing the energy efficiency of AAG’s headquarters and operations. In November, AAG will move to a new, LEED-Gold building that provides significant efficiencies over our former headquarters. We are also now a fully hybrid office, promoting remote work and telecommuting for all our staff.

Conclusion

AAG’s work on climate action will never be fully done, nor should it be. There will always be room for improvement and new opportunities to show up for our planet. Yet we have already made remarkable progress. We continue to be responsive and adaptable — not only to the demands of climate change, but also to our members’ ideas, insights, and priorities for the Association. We look forward with excitement to our first hybrid annual meeting, in Denver March 23-27 — another first in our work to provide high-quality programming that also reduces our carbon emissions and energy use. I thank the Climate Action Task Force members for their partnership on this critical issue.

Please continue to send your suggestions for AAG’s approach to addressing climate change to HelloWorld@aag.org.


Please note: The ideas expressed by Executive Director Gary Langham are not necessarily the views of the AAG as a whole. Please feel free to email him at glangham [at] aag [dot] org.

 

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Program Profile: Salisbury University – GIS

Photo of Michael Scott
Michael Scott

GIS has been taught at Salisbury University since at least the early nineties, says Dr. Michael Scott, a graduate of the Department of Geography and Geosciences and now a professor in the department and dean of the Henson School of Science and Technology. Continuing the success of their GIS program, in 2007, the department expanded into graduate education with their M.S. in GIS Management (MSGISM).   

Photo of Andrea Presotto
Andrea Presotto

“We realized that our students were doing very well in terms of finding employment and working in the field,” said Dr. Andrea Presotto, director of the MSGISM. “But the organizations they worked for were not particularly strategic about managing their GIS implementations.”   

The new M.S. program was conceived as a combination MBA and GIS degree, to better equip students with the skillsets necessary to become not only effective GIS practitioners, but also address this gap in data management and become leaders in public administration, grant writing, enterprise operations management, and a host of other skills beyond the technical level. This outside-the-box thinking and response to employment realities have elevated the program to one of the most respected departments on campus.  

A Regional Approach

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, agriculture, tourism, fisheries, residential and commercial development all face challenges in response to increasing climate change. The Department of Geography and Geosciences at Salisbury University has positioned itself as a big part of the solution for the communities in the region. In 2004, department faculty formed the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC), which Dr. Scott directs, to help organize the region’s small towns to pool their resources for much-needed GIS project support.    

“One small town doesn’t have the ability for a GIS staff to do data collection and analysis. If you put seven or eight little towns together, suddenly there are enough resources to hire somebody to actually get that done,” explains Scott.    

[Our students] are able to get this very intensive, on-the-job experience, but the only way that works, of course, is the ESRGC has to know that the quality of the students getting GIS education coming out of the department is great, because they’re going to put them right to work.”

—Michael Scott

An outreach unit of Salisbury University and joint effort between a collection of Maryland Eastern Shore regional councils and the university, the ESRGC has grown to include 10 full-time staff, nine of whom are alumni of the department. In good years, Scott estimates that the cooperative hires anywhere from 25 to 30 interns from the department, where they acquire the invaluable real-world experiences and skills needed to move directly into professional GIS positions, even before they graduate.  

“[Our students] are able to get this very intensive, on-the-job experience,” Salisbury University’s Dr. Michael Scott explains, “but the only way that works, of course, is the ESRGC has to know that the quality of the students getting GIS education coming out of the department is great, because they’re going to put them right to work.”

Photo of students in a Salisbury University GIS class demonstrating mapping on their computers
Photo courtesy Salisbury University

If you build it, they will come…

Students and alumni of the Department of Geography and Geosciences have earned an excellent reputation throughout the region, a credit to the dedication of the department’s faculty, and their student-centered approach. As Dr. Art Lembo, a professor in the department and Technical Director of the ESRGC explains, this starts with the physical building itself:   

“We requested the faculty offices be located in an off-hallway suite that allows our doors to be open all the time, so the students can better interact with the faculty. We made structural changes to accommodate better interaction, because it’s just in our DNA to give the students this kind of experience.”  

It trickles into [our students] bringing their friends, who can become majors as well.”

—Dr. Andrea Presotto

Dr. Dan Harris, a professor and chair of the department, notes that unlike other academic buildings on campus, which typically close at midnight, the Geography and Geosciences faculty years ago made a special request to the president of the university to allow the department lab to remain open 24 hours to provide students with the opportunity to be in the building at any time. This level of attention to detail concerning the physical learning space is representative of the student-first, innovative thinking that has set the program apart.    

“It trickles into [our students] bringing their friends, who can become majors as well,” Dr. Andrea Presotto, Geography and Geosciences professor at Salisbury University.   

Photo of Dan Harris
Dan Harris

“We have faculty who are really good at getting [undergraduate students] in for field courses, and we embed field experiences in their classes. It’s really important to show the students that it’s not just a discipline where we come in and lecture in a classroom, and you walk away and read a textbook. We actually want them to get out and see it,” says Dr. Dan Harris, department chair.

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Newsletter – October 2022

Would you like to receive this newsletter in your email inbox? Sign up for a free AAG account now and select AAG Newsletter under your communication preferences.


PRESIDENT’S COLUMN
Message painted on wall that says "asterisk" Leave no one behind; photo by Etienne Girardet for Unsplash
Image by Etienne Girardet for Unsplash

Climate Justice Demands an Integrated Geography

By Marilyn Raphael

In geography, there is an is an emerging body of work called Critical Physical Geography, which may be used as a lens and guiding framework for bringing climate justice into climate science. Critical physical geography advocates paying more reflexive attention to how knowledge is produced – how we conceptualize our research and the methods that we use. It argues that social inequalities and power relations are implicitly woven through what we study and should not be ignored if a thorough understanding of our science is our goal.

Continue Reading


ANNUAL MEETING

Toward More Just Geographies: AAG 2023 Theme

within our discipline and in the world, AAG invites abstracts, panels, posters, and discussions that examine the spatial dimensions, scope, and scale of racial and social justice, as well as obstacles to its realization.

AAG welcomes presentations and sessions that will confront injustice in its many forms, offer ways to embrace and support diversity, and contribute to a welcoming environment for all. In recognition that these concepts extend beyond the human realm and across the breadth of geographical study, we welcome presentations that examine ecologies and habitats through the lens of inclusiveness, equity, diversity, and justice.

Learn more

Upcoming Deadlines for #AAG2023

Several important dates are forthcoming for registering and submitting abstracts to the 2023 AAG Annual Meeting. Attendees wishing to submit an abstract for a paper presentation must do so before the deadline on November 10, 2022. Abstracts can be edited until February 9, 2023. As a reminder, the AAG accepts all submitted abstracts and organized sessions for presentation. Note: all abstracts for all presentation types are due on the same date – November 10.

Register and submit your abstract today

Support the AAG Student Travel Fund

How can you help the next generation of geographers? One way is to support the AAG Student Travel Fund. Your gift at any level will be a tremendous boost to a student who is keen to make a difference through this profession that we love and is eager to present their research, network with geographers from around the world, and connect with potential employers.

Make your gift now to help students offset their travel expenses to attend the AAG 2023 Annual Meeting. We hope to support at least 25 students with $500 grants, plus the cost of in-person registration. The more money that is raised, the more students we can support.

Thank you to all of those who have already made a gift and we invite many more of you to invest in the future of the discipline. Consider making a recurring donation that will have an even greater impact. Today’s the day to make a difference in the career trajectory of a young geographer.

Donate now

Are you a student seeking funds for attending #AAG2023 in Denver? Apply for AAG’s student travel grants by October 17, for a chance to receive $500 for travel and free in-person registration.

Find out more

Be a Career Mentor at #AAG2023

career-mentors-300x200-1AAG currently seeks volunteers encompassing a wide range of professional backgrounds, interests, and experiences to participate as Career Mentors during the 2023 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. Career mentoring provides an open forum for students and job seekers to receive one-on-one and small-group consultation about careers in a variety of industries and employment sectors. To volunteer, please contact us at careers@aag.org with a brief note indicating your interest by December 1, 2022.


ASSOCIATION NEWS

New Paper and Educator’s Guide on Ethics of Locational Data

AAG has released a new white paper, “Locational Information and the Public Interest,” culminating an effort of more than a year by its Organizing Committee, and bringing together the insights of scholars and professionals in a breadth of disciplines throughout the humanities, social and computer sciences. Developed alongside our partners at the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara and Esri, as well as participants in a June 2022 summit, this white paper, and a companion Quick Start guide for educators, are a response to growing concern within the research community about the ethical implications in the application of geospatial technologies.

Download the white paper and guide

Broadening Participation in Geography

Faculty at geography programs in the U.S. regularly reach out to the AAG to ask which strategies they can use to attract more students, and especially how to reach students who have been underrepresented in their program(s). AAG worked on projects and efforts over the years to help us answer these questions… What these efforts have not been able to do yet is measure our overall progress toward including more perspectives and identities in our geography community and the effectiveness of certain strategies.

Read more

Planning an Event for Geography Awareness Week? Get on the Map!

Share your Geography Awareness Week events on AAG’s GeoWeek map. The 35th annual Geography Awareness Week is November 14-19, 2022. Fill out our form to share your plans. Use hashtags #GeoWeek and #GeoWeek2022 so we can follow your posts.

Help AAG tell the world about geography. Sign up now to become a GeoAdvocate (individuals) or a GeoWeek partner (institutions and organizations). We’ll send you materials beginning in October to share with your networks on social media, your students, and your colleagues.

Learn more about GeoWeek

Upcoming AAG Grants and Awards Deadlines – October 15 and November 1

Image showing AAG award pin and certificatePlease consider submitting applications or nominations to four AAG grants and awards with approaching deadlines, two for students and one for career geographers. The AAG Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Awards aim to recognize 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. The AAG Harold M. Rose Award for Anti-Racism in Research and Practice honors geographers who have served to advance the discipline through their research, and who have also had an impact on anti-racist practice.

Lastly, the AAG Community College Travel Grants support outstanding students from community colleges, junior colleges, city colleges, or similar two-year educational institutions to attend the next AAG Annual Meeting. Community College Travel Grant applications are due November 1, 2022 while nominations and applications for the two awards are due October 15, 2022.

See all grants and awards deadlines


PUBLICATIONS

NEW Annals Alert: Articles with topics ranging from health care data privacy to COVID-19 among migrant workers to the digital village

Annals journal coverThe most recent issue of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers has been published online () with 17 new articles on contemporary geographic research and two article commentaries. Topics in this issue include ; the ; and. Locational areas of interest include the ; the ; and . Authors are from a variety of research institutions including ; and .

All AAG members have full online access to all issues of the Annals through the Journals section of the . Each issue, the Editors choose one article to make freely available. In this issue you can read  by Adam Moore and Nour Joudah for free.

Questions about the Annals? Contact .

NEW The Professional Geographer Issue Alert: Articles with topics ranging from flexible qualitative methodologies to housing discrimination

The Professional Geographer Cover FlatThe most recent issue of The Professional Geographer has been published online () with 15 new research articles on current geographic research. Topics in this issue include ; the ; and . Locational areas of interest include ; the ; and . Authors are from a variety of research institutions including ; and .

All AAG members have full online access to all issues of the Annals through the Journals section of the . Each issue, the Editors choose one article to make freely available. In this issue you can read  by Alida Cantor, Bethani Turley, Charles Cody Ross & Mathern Glass Burnett for free.

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African-Geographical-Review-cvr-212x300-1New issue of African Geographical Review

The latest issue of the journal of the Africa Specialty Group of the AAG, the African Geographical Review, has recently been published.  is available online for subscribers and members of the Africa Specialty Group. This issue contains 8 new research articles on topics such as health emergency response vehicles; COVID-19; soil fertility assessments; electricity access; and more.

Note about AAG Journals

Beginning in 2023, both the Annals of the American Association of Geographers and The Professional Geographer will be increasing the number of issues published annually. The Annals will publish ten issues per year, beginning with Volume 113. The Professional Geographer will publish six issues per year, beginning with Volume 75. As part of this increase, the Annals will add a fifth ‘General Geography’ editor. AAG will issue a call for this editorship later this year, with the term for this editorship to be January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2027.

Check out the latest from the other AAG journals


Member News

October Member Updates

Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate, a new book edited by Jennifer Collins and James Done, and inspired by the AAG-sponsored Symposium on Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate, was recently published. The book contains 14 chapters, eight of which are available in open access format, and details the outcomes of new research focusing on climate risk related to hurricanes in a changing climate.

Learn more


RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Join American Geographical Society in New York City in November

The annual AGS Fall Symposium, Geography 2050, is back in person in New York City at the Columbia University campus after two years of hosting their symposia online. The event will be held November 17 and 18, 2022 and the AAG is one of the event’s sponsors. For the 9th installment of Geography 2050, the theme will be The Future of Food. The Symposium will explore how geography and the use of geospatial technology will affect and transform global food systems.

Learn more

National Council on Public History Award Deadlines

The National Council on Public History offers several upcoming opportunities for acknowledgement of work in public history. Nominations and self-nominations will be accepted for the NCPH Book Award through November 1, 2022. All other awards (the Outstanding Public History Project Award, Robinson Prize for Historical Analysis, Grassroots Public History Award, New Professional Award, Excellence in Consulting, and Student Awards) are due December 1.

Learn more

AAAS Science, Technology and Human Rights Conference

Registration for the 2022 AAAS Science, Technology and Human Rights Conference is now open. The conference will be held online October 17-19.

GISCI Exam Period Opens in December

The next testing window for the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® is December 3-10, 2022. Part of the GISP Certification, the exam will once again be administered by PSI Online through its worldwide testing facilities in a computer-based testing (CBT) format.

Learn more


In Memoriam

The AAG is saddened to hear of the passing of 50 year AAG member  this past month.


EVENTS CALENDAR

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