Newsletter – December 2014


Caregiving and Conference-Going


By Mona Domosh

I sense what many of you are thinking: the title of this column is a contradiction in terms. Caregiving almost always means staying close to home, while conferences are about being away. For most of us, therefore, it’s difficult if not impossible to do both, or is it? Over the years the AAG and voluntary groups of geographers have ied to accommodate child care needs at our annual conference (and recently at our regional conferences) with varying degrees of success. We’re hoping that this year in Chicago we can come close to being both caregivers and conference-goers by supporting the best sort of compromise available between ‘being home’ and ‘being away’: on-site, professional, child care services. In this column I summarize the various child care strategies we have adopted over the past 15 years or so, discuss why these strategies have been less than perfect, and ask how best to move forward as a discipline that requires conference-going and as a group of people who only thrive through caregiving. Continue Reading

Recent columns from the President

The Most Detailed Ecological Land Units Map in the World

Esri and the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) have announced the development of the highest-spatial-resolution ecological land units (ELUs) map of the world ever produced. The global ELUs map porays a systematic division and classification of ecological and physiographic information about land surface features. The work was commissioned by the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and published in a special print publication by the Association of American Geographers (AAG). The PDF can be downloaded from Read More



Show Us the Best of Chicagoland

Lead a field trip on the geographies of Chicago and the Great Lakes

New and returning visitors to Chicago are looking to learn more about Chicagoland and the Great Lakes region. 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. Workshop Proposals


Drug Policy and Mass Incarceration in Chicago

By Jesse Proudfoot

Chicago’s status as one of the great American cities is well deserved. This remarkable meopolis is justly celebrated as a hub of music and the arts, as home to some of the world’s most iconic architecture, and for its vibrant public life, anchored in its extensive network of parks and beaches. At the same time, however, Chicago also has the dubious distinction of exemplifying some of the worst aspects of the American city. Teachers of urban geography have long drawn on Chicago for examples of racial segregation and red-lining, white flight and decaying public housing, police violence and the suppression of political dissent, genification and ghettoization. To this list we can add what is arguably one of the most pressing social justice issues of the day: mass incarceration and the war on drugs that fuels it. Continue Reading

[Focus on Chicago is an on-going series curated by the Local Arrangements Committee to provide insight on and understanding of the geographies of Chicago]


AAG Announces Several 2015 Awards

The AAG has announced the following awards, which will be presented at the AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 21-25, 2015. Click the recipient’s name to read more.

AAG Presidential Achievement Award:
Diana Liverman, Regents Professor of Geography and Development, and co-Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona

AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography:
Susan Hanson, Professor Emeritus at Clark University and Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences

AAG Rose Award for Anti-Racism Research and Practice:
Bobby Wilson, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Alabama

AAG Enhancing Diversity Award:
Wendy Jepson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Diversity at Texas A&M University

AAG Excellence in Mentoring Award:
Susan Hardwick, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, at University of Oregon

Esri Atlas Takes Top Honors at Prestigious Mapping Competition

The Living Atlas of the World, Esri’s digital atlas, won three major cartographic awards at the International Map Industry Association’s (IMIA) recent conference in Denver, Colorado. Read More

Donate to the AAG-GTU Student avel Awards Fund

The AAG and Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) have partnered to raise funds to support student attendance at the AAG annual meeting. The AAG-GTU Student avel Awards provide avel subsidies of $200 to help undergraduate and graduate student members of GTU attend AAG meetings. Please support our geography students by making a donation to the AAG-GTU Student travel Awards Fund by using the online form.
GTU student members in need of AAG-GTU travel funds can  submit applications online at the GTU website. The deadline is February 1, 2015.


2 Geographers Named Professors of the Year

Fournier (L) and Knox

John Knox of the University of Georgia and Eric Fournier of Samford University, Alabama, were named CASE/Carnegie Foundation Professors of the Year for their respective states.

The U.S. Professors of the Year awards program celebrates outstanding instructors across the county. Sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate education. The awards program selects only one professor from each state.

A full list is available at


Pruitt National Minority Fellowships

The Society of Woman Geographers (SWG) invites applications for the 2015-2016 Pruitt National Minority Fellowship. Minority women (Hispanic, Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander or Hawaiian Native) are eligible to apply. Applicants may be currently seniors, graduates of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, or currently enrolled in a Masters program. This fellowship is available only to citizens of the U.S. and Canada. Awards are from $3,000-$6.600. Applications are due March 15, 2015. For further details of the application process see

AAG Dissertation Research Grants Available, Apply by Dec 31

The AAG provides support for doctoral dissertation research in the form of small grants of up to $1,000 to PhD candidates of any geographic specialty. Membership in the AAG is required. Learn More

Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarship

The AAG is pleased to announce a national scholarship program for community college students. Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students from community colleges, junior colleges, city colleges, or similar two-year educational institutions who will be ansferring as geography majors to four year colleges and universities. These scholarships are funded by Darrel Hess, coauthor of the textbook Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation by McKnight and Hess, published by Prentice Hall. Learn More



New AAG Brochure Informs, Inspires Students About Geography Jobs

The new AAG Jobs and Careers in Geography brochure is geared toward recruiting both upper-level high school and undergraduate college students to geography courses, geography majors, and possible careers in geography. The six-panel, color brochure is designed to speak directly to students, with lively graphics poraying young people engaged in the exciting and socially meaningful activities of geography today. Read More


Submit Department and Member News

The AAG Newsletter has added new sections to feature news from and about geography departments and association members. To share updates, submit announcements to newsletter [at] aag [dot] org.