Newsletter – August 2016


Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century

Glen M. MacDonald
By Glen M. MacDonald

Geography is a big discipline, both in terms of its global purview and the wide spectrum of scholarly perspectives geographers bring to bear. We should not be shy about applying ourselves to some of the biggest and most complex problems facing the world.

What could be a more critical problem then providing bread and water to support the planet’s population now and in the year 2050 when over 9 million people will depend on the finite resources of the earth for sustenance?

This past month the United Nations held a High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and issued its first tracking report on global sustainable development. U.N. officials noted that today approximately 800 million people suffer from hunger and 2 billion face challenges of water scarcity.

Continue Reading.

Recent columns from the President


AAG Proposes New AP GIS&T Course med_boston-spring-03_250x150

Attestations needed by October 1, 2016

The AAG has issued a proposal for a new Advanced Placement course in Geographic Information Science and Technology (AP GIS&T).

All U.S. high schools, colleges, and universities are encouraged to review and support the proposal by visiting

AP GIS&T is designed to introduce high school students to the fundamentals of geographic information science and applications of powerful geospatial technologies for spatial analysis and problem solving. Together with AP Human Geography, AP GIS&T offers an opportunity to engage students in outstanding geographic learning experiences and promote awareness of the many college and career opportunities available in the discipline.

Learn More.


Pre-order ‘The International Encyclopedia of Geography’EncyclopediacoverFINALbabywsh-227x290

The AAG and an international team of distinguished editors and authors are in the final stages of preparing a new major reference work for Geography: The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology.

This 15-volume work, published by Wiley both in hard copy and online, will be an invaluable resource for libraries, geographers, GIScientists, students and academic departments around the globe. Updated annually, this Encyclopedia will be the authoritative reference work in the field of geography for decades to come.

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AAG Letter on Academic Freedom in Turkey

In response to the academic situation in Turkey, the AAG sent a letter to President Erdogan in May to “express our concern with ongoing reports in the United States that academics in Turkey who signed the ‘Petition for Peace’ have faced reprisals from the government.”

In the letter, the AAG also urges “the government of Turkey to be a leader by taking all possible steps to protect free expression and academic freedom by ending any efforts to punish signers of the petition.”

The AAG also has signed on to additional letters, one from American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and another from Middle East Studies Association (MESA)*.

*AAG signed on only to the MESA letter on “Threats to Academic Freedom and Higher Education in Turkey” dated July 21, 2016.


The Chinatown AtlasScreenshot of Chinatown Atlas Website

In this first installment of the Focus on Boston series, Tunney Lee introduces readers to the Chinatown Atlas, a website that “tells the story of the development of Boston’s Chinatown (in the changing context of immigration and the physical and social growth of Boston and the region).”

Lee explains that the Atlas “uses a combination of text, photo, maps, and stories to track the complexity of the changes.”

Learn More.

Show Us the Best of New England

Lead a field trip on the geographies of Boston and New Englandunnamed

New and returning visitors to Boston are looking to learn more about the city, Cape Cod, and New England. You can guide them through the rich cultural and physical geographies the area has to offer by organizing and/or leading a field trip.

Field trips also allow attendees to learn about different areas of geography in an interactive environment. Share what you know and propose a field trip today.

Learn More.


GeoCapabilities Launches Site for Developing Teachers as Curriculum Leaders

The GeoCapabilities project has produced a teacher training website that draws on principles of human capability development as an approach to preparing teachers as future curriculum leaders. The website explains these principles and also features four training modules. The modules are supported with workshop materials, additional key readings, and videos. The website is intended for use in both initial teacher training and the professional development for practicing teachers.

Learn More. 

NCRGE Announces First Round of Transformative Research Grants

The National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE), a research coordination network funded by the NSF, has announced the first cohort of researchers funded by its Transformative Research grant program. Representatives from the three research groups receiving NCRGE grants will be featured on the program for the NCRGE Transformative Research Symposium that is being planned for the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting in Boston.

This symposium will be an all day event on Saturday, April 8, 2017, and will feature guest speakers, paper and panel sessions, and grant-writing workshops for geography education research.

Learn More.

AAG Award Nominations Due in September Awards_luncheon_small

Deadlines for some AAG awards are approaching in September. If you would like to nominate someone or apply on your own behalf, please follow the links highlighted in each award description below to the submission information on each award description page.

The Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award is given annually 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. Deadline for nominations is September 15, 2016.

AAG’s Enhancing Diversity Award honors those geographers who have pioneered efforts toward or actively participated in efforts toward encouraging a more diverse discipline over the course of several years. Deadline for nominations is September 15, 2016.

The AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography is given annually to an individual geographer or team that has demonstrated originality, creativity, and significant intellectual breakthroughs in geography. Deadline for nominations is September 20, 2016.


Lee Pederson 

Leland R. Pederson, Emeritus Professor of Geography and Regional Development at the University of Arizona, a Latin Americanist and a historian of geographic thought, died July 27, 2016, in Tucson, Arizona, at age 88.

Professor Pederson is survived by his wife, Lucy, and daughter, Lisa. Contributions in Lee’s memory may be made, per his wishes, in support of the University of Arizona’s School of Geography and Development through the University of Arizona Foundation. Read More.


Online Art Exhibition to Accompany ‘GeoHumanities’ Journal

The AAG’s newest journal, GeoHumanities, launched in 2015, is not only an exciting new forum for interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of geography and the humanities. It also provides the space for publishing more creative work which crosses over between the academy and practice.

The “Practices and Curations” section of each issue features a range of work not in traditional academic manuscript format. Pieces include poems, visual essays, commentaries on art installations and exhibitions, short stories, collaborations between academics and artists, and biographic reflections.

Call for Manuscripts for The Pennsylvania Geographer
AGS Launches New Digital ‘FOCUS on Geography’
Elin Thorlund Joins AAG Staff as Research Assistant

Some of the artists and arts-practicing geographers whose work has been published in the Practices and Curations section of journal are now featured on a new website: the GeoHumanities Online Art Exhibition.

Learn More.

Environmental Sciences Section Editor Sought for ‘Annals of the AAG’

The AAG seeks applications and nominations for the Environmental Sciences section editor for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. The new section editor will be appointed for a four-year editorial term that will commence on January 1, 2017. The appointment will be made by fall 2016. A letter of application that addresses both qualifications and a vision for the Environmental Sciences section should be accompanied by a complete curriculum vitae. Nominations and applications should be submitted by Friday, October 7, 2016. Learn More.



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