Newsletter – August 2017


The Serious Business of Public Communication 

By Derek Alderman

If you have not yet examined the AAG Long Range Plan, 2015-2025, then I encourage you to do so. It provides a useful update on the Association’s progress since its 2002 strategic plan and offers 20 specific recommendations important for the future of AAG and the discipline of geography. One of those recommendations calls on us to “promote outreach and engagement,” which includes encouraging and training AAG members to write and speak for general audiences to maximize the contributions of geography to public debates, policy initiatives, and the broader civic society.

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Recent columns from the President


The Call for Papers is Open!

Registration for the 2018 Annual Meeting is now open. Registration fees increase on November 8, 2017, so be sure to register early to get the best rate. AAG accepts all submissions for presentation. In addition to paper and poster submissions, all attendees are welcome to organize sessions, propose field trips, and hold workshops.

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Some Hispanic and Latino Landscapes of New Orleans

FocusOnNewOrleansLogoIf you have a penchant for landscape, be warned: you will be tempted to spend more time outside of the hotels than in the paper sessions of the upcoming AAG conference in New Orleans. Many aspects of the New Orleans landscape might seem generically American, especially within the compact Central Business District upriver from Canal Street, where the conference hotels are located. But venture downriver, across Canal Street into the French Quarter, and you will enter an urban landscape that remains more attuned to the Mediterranean and Caribbean than the North Atlantic. Those interested in the Hispanic and Latino aspects of this compelling landscape might consider the following sampling of spots to visit, mainly oriented toward the city’s historic status as a Spanish colonial capital and U.S. neo-colonial entrepôt for Latin America.

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Focus on New Orleans is an ongoing series curated by the Local Arrangements Committee to provide insight on and understanding of the geographies of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

New Orleans: Place Portraits

Over the next nine months, AAG’s “Focus on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast,” will feature a series of articles on New Orleans by Richard Campanella. Campanella teaches in Tulane’s School of Architecture. His geography training includes a M.S. degree from LSU where he specialized in mapping sciences. Campanella, New Orleans’ unofficial “geographer laureate,” is the author of 10 books and nearly 200 articles on New Orleans. He has received numerous awards for his highly creative integration of mapping and spatial analyses with architecture, social science and the humanities. Most recently, he received France’s highest academic honor – Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Palmes — for his geographical explications of New Orleans, past and present.

AAG’s “Focus on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast” series serves to highlight some of the unique places and spaces attendees will be able to visit during the 2018 Annual Meeting being held in New Orleans from April 10-14, 2018.


Nominations Extended for 2018 Vice President, National Councilors, Student Councilor – Aug. 15!

The AAG Nominating Committee seeks nominations for Vice President (one to be elected), for National Councilor (two vacancies) and Student Councilor (one to be elected) for the 2018 election. Those elected will take office on July 1, 2018. Members should submit the names and addresses of each nominee and their reasons for supporting nomination to any member of the committee no later than August 15, 2017. As part of your nomination statement, please confirm that the person is willing to be considered for the position for which you are recommending her or him. Nominations by email are strongly preferred.

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AAG Staff Participate in Esri Education GIS & User Conferences in San Diego

AAG Staff participated in and exhibited at the annual Esri Education GIS and User Conferences July 8th-14th in San Diego, California. The conferences are a great opportunity for the AAG to conduct outreach to the GIS community, engaging with current AAG members, signing up new AAG members, advertising the Annual Meeting for both attendees and potential exhibitors, and communicating our program efforts in the areas of geography and GIS education.

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Call for Photos/Videos from Undergraduate and Graduate Students of Geography just recently launched an Instagram account. Help us to raise awareness of geography and increase the visibility of your research! How can you help? You can start by submitting photos and/or videos of your summer research projects to feature on @theAAG Instagram account! We ask that you make sure to acknowledge if the submission is an independent research project or if it’s part of a larger team effort.

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AAG Snapshot: How to Make the Most of your Student Membership

AAG-Snapshots-logo-1Over 40% of AAG members are students and it is this 40%+ that I want to speak to and encourage to make the most of your membership to the AAG. While I am currently an AAG employee, I started with the organization just like you, as a student member. It’s how I got started in the geography community beyond my university and it is from that personal experience as a student member (combined with additional AAG insider knowledge gained since then) that I want to talk to you.

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AAG Members Publish New Book on Florida Weather and Climate

AAG members Jennifer M. Collins, associate professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida; Robert V. Rohli, professor of geography at Louisiana State University; and colleague Charles H. Paxton, an American Meteorological Society certified consulting meteorologist, just published, Florida Weather and Climate: More Than Just Sunshine. The book explores the conditions, forces, and processes behind Florida’s varied and remarkable weather. The authors explain the influence of atmospheric circulation patterns such as the Hadley cell, the Coriolis force, and the Bermuda-Azores high. It also covers major weather incidents from Florida’s history and looks ahead to what climate change will mean for the state’s future. The book is aimed for the general public to read, but also as a scholarly resource.

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Preparing NSF Data Management Plans

NSF_logo2sSince 2011 the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has required that all submitted proposals include a Data Management Plan (DMP). A DMP is a plan for the management and sharing of any data and other kinds of products resulting from the activities in a proposal. Why did NSF start to require DMPs? NSF is a U.S. federal agency supported by taxpayer dollars. As such, data and other products generated by NSF-supported research need to be made available in a format for others to use. Investigators need to be sure that their project meets the expectation that data gathered using public funding will be preserved in ways to facilitate long-term public accessibility and use. Making data publicly available in this way will also permit future meta-analysis, which adds value to the original data collection.

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Washington Policy Updates

By Daniel Schwen

The August Congressional recess is in full swing in the nation’s capital, and while we’re hard at work at the AAG, President Trump and lawmakers have left Washington for most of this month.  Here are a few updates on key policy issues:

  • OSTP Appointments: As AAG members may recall, we led scientific community efforts in developing a sign-on letter to the Trump Administration urging appointment of a presidential science advisor and other top officials in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).   
  • Census Bureau Director: Ron Jarmin, a career staffer serving as Associate Director for Economic Programs, has been appointed as the Bureau’s acting head.
  • Science Agency Appropriations: The fall will be a critical time for government funding issues.  Administration officials have signaled that the government is approaching the statutory debt ceiling and that an increase will be needed to prevent a catastrophic default.

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NCRGE Announces New Grants for Transformative Research 

NCRGE_logoThe National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE), a research consortium headquartered at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) and Texas State University, has approved awards for three new projects under its Transformative Research grant program. This investment by NCRGE continues a long-term and broad-based effort to develop a research coordination network supporting implementation of the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education project’s landmark report on geography education research.

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Visiting Geographical Scientist Program Accepting Applications for 2017-18

The Visiting Geographical Scientist program (VGSP) is accepting applications for the 2017-18 academic year. VGSP sponsors Gamma Theta Upsilon visits by prominent geographers to small departments or institutions that do not have the resources to bring in well-known speakers. The purpose of this program is to stimulate interest in geography, targeted for students, faculty members, and administrative officers. Participating institutions select and make arrangements with the visiting geographer.

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NSF Is Recruiting Geographers for its Graduate Research Fellowship Program

national science foundation nsfGrad students in geography and related spatial sciences will have an opportunity to compete in NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in science or engineering at accredited US institutions. NSF seeks GRFP panels composed of researchers and educators from a wide range of institutions, geographic locations, and disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds.

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The Department of Education Calls for Applications for New Awards–Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply is Aug. 10

The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 2017 for the American History and Civics Education—National Activities Grants Program. The National Activities Grants Program promotes innovative instruction, learning strategies, and professional development in American history, civics and government, and geography, with an emphasis on activities and programs that benefit low-income students and underserved populations.

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Anne Buttimer

Anne Buttimer

Anne Buttimer, emeritus professor of geography at University College Dublin, died July 15, 2017.Buttimer was Fellow of Royal Irish Academy, Royal Geographical Society (UK) and Academia Europaea. She served as Council Member of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) from 1974 to 1977; of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) from 1996 to 1999; and as President of the International Geographical Union (IGU) from 2000 to 2004, the first female and first Irish person to be elected to that role.

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Masatoshi Yoshino

Masatoshi YoshinoMasatoshi Yoshino, a distinguished Japanese physical geographer who served the IGU as the founder and the Chair of the Commission on Climatology (1988-1992) and as a Vice President (1992-1996), died on July 4, 2017, at the age of 89. He was a devoted scholar and kept writing and publishing quality articles till the very last moment of his life. Many people might remember him not only as a respectable scientist but also as an able and reliable organizer or leader, as can be seen in the success of the International Geographical Congress in Tokyo in 1980 which he conducted as the Secretary General.

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AAG Releases New Edition of Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas

AAG Guide to Geography ProgramsThe AAG’s Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas, or The Guide, includes detailed information on undergraduate and graduate geography programs in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, including degree requirements, curricula, faculty qualifications, program specialties, financial assistance, and degrees completed, and more. The 2016-2017 edition of The Guide is now available for free online. The AAG has also published an interactive, companion map where users can search for programs by location, degree type, field of interest, and regional focus.

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New Books in Geography — June 2017

New Books in Geography illustration of stack of booksEvery month the AAG compiles a list of newly-published books in geography and related fields. Some are selected for review in the AAG Review of Books. Anyone interested in reviewing these or other titles should contact the Editor-in-Chief, Kent Mathewson.

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September 2017 Issue of the ‘Annals of the AAG’ Now Available 


The AAG is pleased to announce that Volume 107, Issue 5 (September 2017) of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers is now available. A full list of contents is below. The Annals contains original, timely, and innovative articles that advance knowledge in all facets of the discipline. Articles are divided into four major areas: Methods, Models, and Geographic Information Science; Nature and Society; People, Place, and Region; and Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences.

Summer 2017 Issue of ‘The AAG Review of Books’ Now Available

Volume 5, Issue 3 of The AAG Review of Books has now been published online. This quarterly online journal publishes scholarly reviews of recent books related to geography, public policy and international affairs. It also features review essays reflecting on several books on a particular theme, and book review with multiple contributors discussing a title.

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Methods, Models, and GIS Section Editor Sought for ‘Annals of the AAG’

Annals-cvr-2017The American Association of Geographers seeks applications and nominations for the Methods, Models, and Geographic Information Sciences editor for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. This new editor will be appointed for a four-year editorial term that will commence on January 1, 2018. The appointment will be made in the Fall of 2017. Nominations and applications should be submitted by Friday, September 29, 2017.

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AAG Cartography Editor Sought for ‘Annals of the AAG,’ ‘Professional Geographer,’ and ‘GeoHumanities’

The American Association of Geographers seeks applications and nominations for a Cartography Editor for the AAG journals Annals of the American Association of GeographersThe Professional Geographer, and GeoHumanities. The new editor will be appointed for a four-year editorial term that will commence on January 1, 2018. The appointment will be made in the Fall of 2017.

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