Newsletter – February 2020


Beyond the Academic 1 Percent Or How to Create a More Inclusive and Equitable Academic Culture

By David Kaplan

“Social media can be dangerous. I recently read a post on Twitter, sent by a non-geographer, which seemed to lament geography’s absence from the Ivy League and similarly selective private institutions.

If I could share an unpopular opinion, I’m glad that geography does not have a large representation in the Ivy League. Not because I do not consider geography worthy of Harvard, Yale or Princeton. Nor because I don’t think geography should be available to every college student. Rather I dislike how Ivy League institutions foster elitism in American higher education, in a manner that could distort our discipline.”

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2020 AAG Annual Meeting Presidential Plenary Announced


This year’s Presidential Plenary features a panel on “Resurgent Ethnonationalism: The Politics of Purity in a World of Difference,” describing and analyzing new political movements based around more exclusive forms of national identity. The panel will be introduced and moderated by AAG President David Kaplan and feature Liah Greenfeld, Kenan Malik, Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Andreas Wimmer, and Caroline Nagel. The discussion will focus on how ethnonationalism manifests itself in different societies, whether it can coexist with civil society and cultural diversity, points of comparison and contrast among ethnonationalist movements, how ethnonationalism is expressed in attitudes and policies, and the future of this trend. The plenary takes place on Monday, April 6th from 6:20 to 7:00 p.m. in the Sheraton, Concourse Level, Plaza Ballroom A.

Learn more.

Family Activities at #aagDENVER


Bringing the whole family to Denver for the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting? The Mile High City has a wide variety of kid friendly activities such as the Children’s Museum of Denver, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Firefighter’s Museum, and Dinosaur Ridge. The AAG will also continue to offer onsite, professionally managed child care at a subsidized rate. CAMP AAG will offer age-appropriate activities for children ranging from 6 months to 17 years of age, including children with disabilities. Registration for childcare is now open.

Plan your family trip.

Don’t delay – book your room for #aagDENVER today!

AAG has negotiated a discounted block of hotel rooms at the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting headquarters hotels, the Sheraton Denver Downtown and the Hyatt Regency – Denver. This rate is available on a first come, first served basis until March 13. Now that the preliminary program has been released, rooms will start going fast.


NEW The Professional Geographer Issue Alert:
Articles with topics ranging from vaccine exemptions to Manuel Castells

The-PG-2017-generic-213x300-1The most recent issue of The Professional Geographer has been published online (Volume 72, Issue 1, February 2020) with 15 new articles on current geographic research. Topics in this issue include solar desalinationmental health policyintergenerational political behaviorviral mapspostqualitative analysismicrotoponymslegal geography, and US shrinking cities. Locational areas of interest include the US Great Plains, the Small Island Developing States, and Sri Lanka. Authors are from a variety of institutions including United States Military AcademyUniversity of GeorgiaNanjing University, and Universidade Estadual de Campinas.

All AAG members have full online access to all issues of The Professional Geographer through the Members Only page. Each issue, the Editors choose one article to make freely available. In this issue you can read Making the Case for Critical Q Methodology by Gretchen Sneegas for free for the next 3 months.

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

NEW Winter Issue of the AAG Review of Books Published

The latest issue of the AAG Review of Books is now available (Volume 8, Issue 1, Winter 2020) with 10 book reviews on recent books related to geography, public policy, and international affairs. The Winter 2020 issue also holds four book review essays including a discussion of AAG Past President Alec Murphy’s latest work Geography: Why It Matters? led by Johnson et al.

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

Journals-newsletter-100-2In 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 Books in Geography — December Available

New-books1-1-3From geoengineering to industrial landscapes of Pittsburgh, there are always new titles in geography and related disciplines to be found on the New Books in Geography list. Some of these books will be reviewed in the AAG Review of Books. Persons wishing to volunteer their reviewing services for new books 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 if interested in being a reviewer.

Browse the full list of new books.


AAG Announces Additional 2020 AAG Award Recipients

awards_hi-res-300x160-1Congratulations to the recipients of 2020 AAG Awards including the E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award, the Glenda Laws Award, the Wilbanks Award for Transformational Research in Geography, and the new AAG Award for Associates Program Excellence! Formal recognition of the awardees will occur during the AAG Awards Luncheon at the Annual Meeting on Friday, April 10, 2020.

Learn more about the awardees.

AAG Welcomes Spring 2020 Interns

The AAG is excited to welcome two new interns coming aboard our staff for the Spring 2020 semester! Joining us this semester are Ariel Golightly, a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, pursuing a B.S. in Geographical Sciences with minors in Geographic Information Systems and Sustainability Studies, and Hannah Brenner, a senior at George Washington University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in geography with minors in sustainability and GIS.

Interested in interning with the AAG for Summer 2020? The AAG is accepting intern applications until March 1, 2020. Interns at the AAG are provided a weekly stipend and participate in most AAG programs and projects such as education, outreach, research, website, publications, or the Annual Meeting.

Meet the interns.


The Census is Underway!


Counting for the 2020 Census has officially started in Alaska. The first data collection began in the town of Toksook Bay. Since Alaska became a state it has always been counted first by Census workers because January offers the most favorable conditions for getting between remote villages. For the rest of the United States, April 1st is “Census Day” and serves as the kickoff for the big population count.

It is well understood that counting the population is an important undertaking, but the biggest impacts of the Census Bureau’s work are recognized once everyone has been counted and the data is put into action. The first and foremost task of the data, as charged by the Constitution, is to determine Congressional redistricting in order to keep representation in the House of Representatives as equal as possible. The manner in which new districts are drawn plays a key role in determining access to resources and apportionment of federal funds to communities in need. Furthermore, census data lives on in the work of geographers and the broader academic community as they rely on the results to inform their research. With the power of this information comes the responsibility to map Congressional districts in an equitable way that avoids advantageous population groupings and politically non competitive districts. The AAG continues to engage with thought-leaders on issues of redistricting, gerrymandering, and the fundamentally important work of the U.S. Census Bureau in empowering accurate and fair representation.


In the News:

  • The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently issued a Request for Public Comment entitled “Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting from Federally Funded Research.” OSTP is collecting this feedback in order to develop common characteristics that agencies can use to improve the management and sharing of data from federally funded research. You can go through the Federal Register to submit comments as an individual or institution. The comment period closes March 6th, 2020.
  • Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan has been nominated to serve as the next director of the National Science Foundation following the retirement of current director, Dr. France Córdova, in March. After going through the Senate confirmation process, Dr. Panchanathan will serve for a typical six-year term.

Profiles of Professional Geographers

“Understanding geography is a critical foundation to a GIS career path,” says Sean O’Brien who works as a GIS Analyst for U.S. Bank. In his work, O’Brien tackles massive databases to analyze the activity of bank customers and branches as well as advise and assist other bank departments with their geographic needs. As GIS becomes a growing necessity for business, O’Brien stresses that geographic knowledge, the ability to use Python, and networking skills are all essential pieces of a successful career.

Learn more about Geography Careers.



AAG Seeks New Editor for the ‘AAG Review of Books’ Journal

Please consider submitting an application for the position of Editor of the AAG Review of Books. The new editor, whose responsibilities include overseeing the solicitation, review, and publication of book reviews for the journal, will be appointed for a four and a half year editorial term to start on July 1, 2020. The AAG Review of Books is published online only on a quarterly basis. Applications will be accepted until February 20, 2020.

More information on the position.

AAG Calls for Nominations for Standing and Awards Committees

The AAG Council will make appointments to several of the AAG Standing Committees at its spring 2020 meeting. These appointments will replace members whose terms will expire on June 30, 2020. If you wish to nominate yourself or other qualified individuals for one or more of these vacancies, please notify AAG Director of Operations Candida Mannozzi on or before March 1, 2020. Please make sure that your nominee is willing to serve if appointed. Include contact information for your nominee as well as a brief paragraph indicating his/her suitability for the position. Open committees include: Archives and Association History;  Committee on the Status of Women in Geography; Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Finance Committee; Membership Committee; Publications Committee; AAG Awards Committee; Fellows Selection Committee; BA/MA Program Excellence Award Committee; AAG Globe Book Award Committee; Harm de Blij Award Committee; Harold M. Rose Award Committee; Mel Marcus Fund for Physical Geography Committee; AAG Meridian Book Award Committee; AAG Research Grants Committee; and AAG Student Award and Scholarship Committee.

Click here for a description of committees.


William L. Graf

Past AAG President and one of the nation’s leading geomorphologists, William L. Graf, passed away on December 27, 2019 at the age of 72. With research focusing on rivers and water preservation, William Graf strongly identified as a geographer throughout his work in academia and in the US Air Force. Appointed by President Clinton to the Presidential Commission on American Heritage Rivers, Graf advocated for geographers’ roles in public policy decision making on rivers and land use.

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