Newsletter – August 2019


Who’s sorting who? Or the explosion of metrics and how we can take back control

Gender Disparities in Student Evaluation Scores. Figure from Lisa Martin (

By David Kaplan

For those of us still working with paper student evaluations, we receive our spring semester results during the summer. It is a time of mixed emotions for many of us. While I heard one lucky young professor describe opening up her student evaluations as tantamount to Christmas, I am probably not alone in likening it to Halloween, where the tricks far outnumber the treats! … Summertime is also when many of us who work as journal editors receive an evaluation of another sort: the yearly impact factor.

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Gary LanghamAAG Announces New Executive Director

AAG welcomes new Executive Director Gary Langham, who will join the AAG on Aug. 15, after leaving his position as vice president and chief scientist at the National Audubon Society. He follows former Executive Director Doug Richardson, who served as head of AAG for nearly two decades.

Read more.


Changes to #aagDENVER Session Length

AAG 2020 Postcard

Recently the AAG Council approved a trial change to the length of sessions for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Denver. Sessions will be 75 minutes long, a reduction from the previous standard of 100 minutes. This will allow for more sessions to take place each meeting day while reducing the required number of rooms. This helps reduce the cost of the meeting and increase the centrality of session rooms. The shift will impact session types (e.g. paper sessions versus poster sessions) differently. Paper session presentations will now be 15 minutes. However, there will be flexibility for session organizers to determine the number of presenters in their session.

Learn more about session types.

Denver, Colorado to host 2020 AAG Annual Meeting

Mark your calendar for the AAG Annual Meeting in the Mile High City April 6-10, 2020. Registration and the call for papers for #aagDENVER will be announced this summer. We look forward to seeing you in the Rocky Mountains!


NEW The Professional Geographer Issue Alert:
Articles with topics ranging from foreclosures and segregation, equality in the UN to geography education

Professional GeographerThe most recent issue of The Professional Geographer has been published online (Volume 109, Issue 4, July 2019) with 13 new research articles on current geographic research. Topics in this issue include controversy mappingwearable technologyincome inequalityqualitative GIShumanitarian mapping, and spatial autocorrelation. Locational areas of interest include ChinaUganda, and Ohio. Authors are from a variety of research institutions including Desert Rose Baha’i InstituteEast China Normal UniversityNational University of Singapore, and University of Bristol.

All AAG members have full online access to all issues of the Annals through the Members Only page. In every issue, the editors choose one article to make freely available. In this issue you can read Reordering China, Respacing the World: Belt and Road Initiative (一带一路) as an Emergent Geopolitical Culture by Shaun Lin, James D. Sidaway & Chih Yuan Woon for free for the next 3 months.

Questions about The PG? Contact PG [at] aag [dot] org.

In addition to the most recently published journal, read the latest issue of the other AAG journals online:

• Annals of the American Association of Geographers
• The Professional Geographer
• GeoHumanities
• The AAG Review of Books

NEW Summer Issue of The AAG Review of Books Published

AAG Review of Books Summer 2019 Volume 7 Issue 3The latest issue of The AAG Review of Books is now available (Volume 7, Issue 3, Summer 2019) with 13 book reviews on recent books related to geography, public policy and international affairs. The Summer 2019 issue also includes two book review discussions as well as the very first film review discussion.

Questions about The AAG Review of Books? Contact aagreview [at] aag [dot] org.

New Books in Geography — June Available

New Books in Geography illustration of stack of booksRead the latest titles in geography and related disciplines as found on the New Books in Geography list. Some of these books will be reviewed in The AAG Review of Books. The editors of the AAG Review of Books are happy to receive suggestions for potential reviews and potential reviewers. Reviews are commissioned by the editors, based on the appropriateness and qualifications of the reviewer, observing the usual avoidances of conflict of interest. Persons wishing to volunteer their reviewing services should have the requisite qualifications and demonstrable prior knowledge and engagement with the subject area, preferably through publications. Please contact the editors at aagrb [at] lsu [dot] edu.

Browse the full list of new books.


AAG Releases New 2018-2019 Edition of The Guide

The GuideThe 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 2018-2019 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.

Browse The Guide.

Editorial Positions Available for Annals of the AAG

AAG Annals

The AAG is currently seeking applicants for two upcoming vacancies for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. The openings are for editors in the Human Geography and Nature and Society subject areas. Appointments will be made in the fall of 2019 and editors will assume their four year term on January 1, 2020. Applications are due by September 6, 2019.

Full application information.

Seeking Professional Geographers for Career Profiles

The AAG is conducting a new series of interviews with professional geographers to highlight the important work geographers perform in their careers. Once completed, the interviews will be featured on the AAG’s website as part of our monthly Profiles of Professional Geographers series. For the profiles, we seek practicing geographers representing all sectors of the workforce, including those working in private business, government (state, regional, local and federal), nonprofit/NGOs, and education (K-12, community colleges, and higher ed) to showcase the broad range of career opportunities available to geographers.

Share your experience.

AAG’s Encoding Geography Sees Successes in First Year

Encoding Geography SymposiumOne of AAG’s newest initiatives, Encoding Geography seeks to build capacity for computational thinking in geography education for everyone and at all levels to further strengthen our discipline. Launched in 2018, the initiative has started out strong, hosting several workshops, obtaining multiple funding grants, and building collaborations. AAG Senior Researcher Coline Dony outlines the previous year’s work as well as the future directions of this program.

Learn more about this AAG initiative.


AAG Supports Geographer Defending Scientific Integrity Before House Committee

U.S. Capitol by Martin Falbisoner

Long-time AAG member, Maria Caffrey, testified before the full House Natural Resources committee for an oversight hearing entitled “When Science Gets Trumped: Scientific Integrity at the Department of the Interior.” She released an op-ed in The Guardian explaining her story in advance of the hearing.

Caffrey testified on scientific integrity violations by the current administration on Thursday, July 25, 2019. Click here to read more or feel free to contact AAG Government Relations Manager, Michelle Kinzer.


Profiles of Professional Geographers

Jane DanielsJane Daniels, Director of Preservation Programs at Colorado Preservation, Inc., attributes much of her current career path to her undergraduate education in geography. For Jane, geography is the natural fit to bring together the environmental, cultural, and historic factors involved in preserving historic sites. Geographers “look at the world in a broad sense,” giving them the perfect perspective to combine the variety of data necessary to build successful historic preservation landscapes.

Learn more about Geography Careers.

July Member Updates

The latest news about AAG Members.

Two geographers were recently awarded the 28th Annual Blue Planet Prize from The Asahi Glass Foundation including long time AAG member Eric Lambin, a professor at Université catholique de Louvain. The 2019 Blue Planet Prize, awarded to individuals or organizations each year that make outstanding achievements in scientific research and its application, and in so doing help to solve global environmental problems, was also awarded to Jared Diamond at University of California, Los Angeles. More.


Help AAG Share Geography Career Materials to High Schools

As part of the American Association of Geographers’ ongoing efforts to inform students at earlier educational stages about opportunities in geography, the AAG has compiled geography career information packets that are available to mail to high school guidance counselors. The packets include materials about career opportunities and paths in geography, how to learn about the different college and university geography programs and degrees available, jobs and careers resources on the AAG website, and information on the GeoMentors program which can connect K-12 teachers with volunteers to assist with geospatial technology and provide career presentations.

Would you like a packet to be sent to schools in your area? Use the online form to provide contact information for counselors and teachers that you would like to receive a packet. If you have any questions, contact the AAG’s Director of Outreach and Engagement, Candice Luebbering.

Attention Students: USGS/GISCI GIS Summer Intern Program (for 2020)

GISCI logoGISCI has entered into a partnership with USGS to help select top geospatial student applicants to fill summer internships throughout the agency. Students who register on the GISCI site and start filling out a Portfolio Application (all for free) are eligible to have their names forwarded to the USGS in October to be considered for GIS Internship positions that will be created and filled in the following calendar year.

Visit this link for more detailed information on this program.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Launches Innovation Challenge

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency LogoThe National Geospatial-Intelligency Agency (NGA) is beginning Phase II of its competition to solve the issue of monitoring changes in earth magnetometry. Phase I of this challenge was completed on June 20, 2019 with the announcement of 10 winners each receiving a $20,000 prize. Phase II of the project is open to all, regardless of participation status in Phase I, with a cash prize budget of $1 million.

Enter the competition.

Nominations Sought for Attendance at 2019 UN Climate Change Conference

The American Association of Geographers has been granted Observer Organization status to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. With this formal designation, the AAG is permitted to submit to the UNFCCC Secretariat its nominations for representatives to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-25) that will take place from December 2-13, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. Nominations are being accepted until August 23, 2019.

Details on the nomination process.


Claire Dwyer

Claire DwyerThe AAG was saddened to hear of the passing of Claire Dwyer, who had been working at University College London since 1995. Dwyer was very active in critical feminist geographies, innovating qualitative methods, and was a highly dedicated professor. Her specific research, while varied, was centered on gender, identity, and religion and she served as a mentor to 20 PhD students and an informal mentor to many others.

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The Geography of Access to Health Services

By Estella M. Geraghty, MD, MS, MPH, CPH, GISP, Chief Medical Officer, Esri

healthcare facility buffersAccording to a 1993 Institute of Medicine report, access to health services means “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes.” Geographic access is listed as one of three distinct components of access (along with insurance coverage and finding a trusted provider). Without adequate access to healthcare and health services, people run the risk of having their health needs unmet, sometimes delaying care in a way that lands them in a hospital when preventive care options or primary care services could have helped.

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