Newsletter – December 2019


Going Local or How the AAG Can Help Enhance its Regional Divisions

By David Kaplan

The region is one of geography’s main concepts and, true to these roots, regional divisions—mostly within the United States but many including Canadian provinces—developed as an intrinsic part of the American Association of Geographers. The Pacific Coast Division was formed in 1938 and the other regional divisions were established in the 1940s and 1950s. Preston James and Geoffrey Martin credit regions with much of the AAG’s growth during the 1960s, but what else would you expect from a geography organization? Regions are part of our DNA.

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Book your stay in Denver, CO

The 2020 AAG Annual Meeting will be headquartered in downtown Denver, Colorado at the Hyatt Regency – Convention Center. Discounted rooms will also be available at the neighboring Sheraton – Denver Downtown, currently being freshly renovated for meeting attendees to enjoy! A discounted block of rooms is being held for those attending the AAG Annual Meeting. Book your stay before rooms sell out or the rate expires on March 13, 2020.

View the accommodations.

Career Mentors Needed for #aagDENVER


The advice of a mentor can be instrumental in preparing young geographers for success in today’s competitive job market. The AAG seeks professional geographers representing the business, government, nonprofit and academic sectors to serve as volunteer Career Mentors during the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. During sessions held each morning of the conference, mentors will answer questions and provide general career advice to students and job seekers interested in learning more about industries that employ geographers, the work geographers perform and strategies for getting into the field. For additional questions and to volunteer, please contact Mark Revell at the AAG.

More information about the Jobs & Careers Center.

Hiking around the Denver Area


If you are looking for some fresh air during the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting, the Denver area has plenty of open spaces to choose from! While Rocky Mountain National Park and Mount Evans are some of the more well known locations for hiking, Esri Education Manager Joseph Kerski has some “off the beaten path” suggestions. His map of top ten hikes include a variety of options from urban hiking to views of the great plains to geologic vistas! Get ready to get outdoors at #aagDENVER.

Learn more.

Poster abstracts for #aagDENVER due January 31!

Present a poster at the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting. As soon as your poster is ready, upload the electronic file to our Poster Portal so it can be viewed online well before and beyond your presentation session. In addition, the AAG has set up printing partnerships for discounts on paper poster printing to help you save.


New Books in Geography — October Available

New-books1-1Read 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.

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 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. Volume 38, Issue 4 (December 2019) is available online for subscribers and members of the Africa Specialty Group. The latest issue contains eight articles covering all sub-fields of geography, to enhance the standing of African regional geography, and to promote a better representation of African scholarship.

See more about the journal.


Meet the 2020 Class of AAG Fellows!

honors and awardsThe AAG Fellows program recognizes geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing geography. AAG Fellows, conferred for life, serve the AAG as an august body to address key AAG initiatives including creating and contributing to AAG initiatives; advising on AAG strategic directions and grand challenges; and mentoring early and mid-career faculty.

See the Fellows.

AAG is Proud to Announce the 2020 AAG Honors

Each year, the AAG invites nominations for AAG Honors to be conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement or welfare of the profession. The AAG Honors Committee is charged with making award recommendations for each category, with no more than two awards given in any one category. The AAG is proud to officially announce the 2020 AAG Honors. Formal recognition of the Honorees will occur at the Awards Luncheon at the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting.

See the Honorees.

Introducing the Climate Action Task Force

In response to a member petition circulated last spring calling upon the AAG to reduce CO2 emissions related to the Annual Meeting, AAG Council formed a Climate Action Task Force. Task Force members Patricia M. Martin and Joseph Nevins report on the early initiatives set forth to attempt to transition to a low-carbon conference model. Planning for several experimental activities is currently underway for the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting.

Read the report.

Get ready for the 2020 AAG Election

Election ButtonThe AAG election will be conducted online again, and voting will take place January 8-30, 2020. Each member who has an email address on record with the AAG will receive a special email with a code that will allow them to sign in to our AAG SimplyVoting website and vote. It’s important to update your email address in your AAG account to ensure you receive the email ballot. The 2020 election slate will be published soon.

Be prepared for the election.

AAG Hosts Workshop at Regional Division Meetings

To better understand how the AAG could assist geography programs with student recruitment, the AAG developed a workshop (the “AAG Geography Student Recruitment and Career Resources” workshop) that was offered at four AAG Regional Division Meetings throughout Fall 2019. AAG staff encouraged participants to think geographically about their student recruitment plans and to come up with an actionable plan for their own campuses. By offering the workshop, the AAG was able to identify some strategies that can any program can consider tailoring to their own needs.

Learn more about the workshop.

Congratulations to Outstanding Graduate Student Papers from Regional Meetings

The AAG is proud to announce the Fall 2019 student winners of the AAG Council Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper at a Regional Meeting. The annual award, designed to both encourage regional meeting participation and support AAG Annual Meeting travel, is granted to one student from each division as decided by regional division board members. The winners from each region will present their work in two dedicated sessions at the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting. Congratulations to all of the students who participated!

Read more about the winners.


GIS Day at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress hosted an event on Nov. 13th in honor of GIS Day. The program featured Librarian of Congress and 2019 AAG Atlas Award Recipient, Carla Hayden, along with Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and other distinguished researchers and speakers. The projects presented throughout the day exemplified the utility of GIS around the themes of cultural heritage preservation and disaster response. The AAG co-hosted a celebratory reception later that day on Capitol Hill with MAPPS, ACEC, and NSGIC.

In the News:

  • The President has signed another short term continuing resolution (CR) to replace the previous one set to expire November 21st. This newly signed CR will postpone the fiscal year deadline another month and will allow the government to continue operating under FY 2019 levels. The House and Senate hope to complete work on all FY 2020 spending bills before the new deadline of December 20th.
  • One notable exception to the static funding levels maintained in the most recent CR is the increase in funding for the U.S. Census Bureau. The short term stopgap bill passed on November 21st allocates $7.3 billion to the agency as they prepare for the 2020 count. This funding, which had previously been delayed, is a crucial resource as the Census Bureau substantially expands its staff and capacity in anticipation of next year.

Profiles of Professional Geographers

College is about learning to think critically says Lisa Colson, GIS & Imagery Specialist at USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service. Lisa was attracted to a career in geography because it allowed her to combine her interests in food security, sustainability, and alleviating poverty. The skillsets geographers have are increasingly in demand in our globalizing world!

Learn more about Geography Careers.

December Member Updates

The latest news about AAG Members.

AAG National Councilor Jennifer Collins is spearheading the organizational efforts for the 2020 Symposium on Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate. As a new event, the symposium seeks to foster communication among scientists, engineers, and practitioners in order to increase understanding of and better ways to deal with tropical cyclone risks. The early bird registration deadline is December 15. Learn more.


Take Time Out This Summer for Professional Development


The AAG’s Geography Faculty Development Alliance (GFDA) will once again offer a valuable in-depth opportunity for early career professionals and department leaders in Geography to learn and engage during its annual workshops June 21-27, 2020, at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The shorter four-day workshop for department leaders (June 24-27) will overlap with the week-long conference for early career attendees providing a full career spectrum of exercises and activities.

Register today!

NSF seeks program officer in Geography and Spatial Sciences

NSF_logo2sThe National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidate for a Geographer (Program Director) position for the Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program, within the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), Alexandria, VA.

See the job posting.


David Eugene Schwarz

The AAG mourns the loss of David Schwarz (1936-2019), a professor of geography at San Jose State University. He passed away in Gilroy, CA, aged 82, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. David accepted a position at SJSU in 1971 and spent his entire career in various positions serving the university. His research was largely in the field of remote sensing.

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