Newsletter – February 2022

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Pathways for Change: The 2022 Annual Meeting, AAG Council, and the Climate Action Survey

By Emily Yeh

With patience, goodwill, and commitment, our geographical association can also be at the forefront of developing pathways for scholarly societies to respond to climate change. 

Continue Reading 


Countdown to the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting

We are about 3 weeks away from the Annual Meeting! The completely virtual 2022 Annual Meeting, February 25 – March 1, will feature 1,000+ paper sessions and panels on a wide range of topics as well as 20+ poster sessions. Browse the updated  to plan your attendance. Attendees can search by session type, theme, curated track, and specialty group sponsors or can use the open search box to search by presenter names or keywords.

Haven’t registered yet? Registration remains open  until the end of the event. All registrants will have access to any recorded sessions for 180 days following the conclusion of the Annual Meeting. To learn more about the meeting and plan for your participation, please visit the . We look forward to seeing you online soon.

Now Recruiting: Employers and Job Seekers for AAG’s Virtual Career Fair

African-American woman looking at laptop with pen in handAre you searching for that perfect job candidate? Are you looking to land a great internship or find your dream job? For the first time, the AAG will be holding a virtual career fair during the Annual Meeting. Employers and Job Seekers will have the opportunity to connect on February 28th from 12-3 PM ET in private, one-on-one conversations. 

For companies and organizations, spots are filling up quickly, so reserve your booth today. 

For Job Seekers, register today for the AAG Virtual Career Fair. 

Register Today for the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting

#AAG2022 is only a few weeks away and has been shifted to a fully online meeting. The virtual meeting will be held February 25 – March 1 in Eastern Time. Here are a few links for quick reference.


NEW The Professional Geographer Issue with Special Focus on Rethinking Professional Geographical Practice in a Time of Climate Crisis

The most recent issue of The Professional Geographer has been published online () with 10 new articles on current geographic research and a special focus section containing 22 articles and dialogs. Growing out of a series of sessions at the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting organized by AAG’s Climate Change Task Force, the special focus on Rethinking Professional Geographical Practice in a Time of Climate Crisis is divided into two parts and two debate sections. The articles in this special focus will be open and freely available for the next six months.  

All AAG members have full online access to all issues of The Professional Geographer through the  page. In every issue, the editors choose one article to make freely available. In addition to the special focus, in this issue you can read  by Sunyong Eom,Minyoung Jang, and Nam-Seok Ji for free.

Questions about The Professional Geographer? Contact .

NEW Winter Issue of the AAG Review of Books Published

The latest issue of the AAG Review of Books is now available () with 12 book reviews on recent books related to geography, public policy, and international affairs. The new issue also holds three book review essays two of which are freely available:  by Peter Wagner and  by Laurel C. Smith and Jennifer Koch.

Questions about the AAG Review of Books? Contact .

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 40, Issue 4 is available online for subscribers and members of the Africa Specialty Group. This issue contains eight research articles including one freely available piece,  by Olalekan John Taiwo.

Call for Abstracts: Special Issue of the ‘Annals’ on “Networks”

How and why do we perceive and represent geographic phenomena as networks? Do networked spaces challenge established geographic thoughts (e.g., the first law of geography)? Is there new knowledge emerging from networks that transforms how we perceive and represent spaces? We welcome theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions to networks from a range of views, such as environmental/biophysical, social/economic, political/cultural, ethical/legal, behavioral, and ontological/cognitive perspectives to contribute to the 2024 special issue of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted by e-mail to  by March 31, 2022. Special Issue Editor Ling Bian will consider all abstracts and then invite a selection to submit full papers for peer review by June 1, 2022.


2022 AAG Election Results

The AAG election wrapped up on January 27th and the candidates running for various AAG governance positions have been selected. Congratulations to all who will be assuming their new roles on July 1st. We thank the hardworking officers whose terms will be concluding later this year.

Meet the 2021 and 2022 Classes of AAG Fellows!

The AAG has named 23 individuals to the 2021 and 2022 classes of AAG Fellows. The AAG Fellows is a program, started in 2018, to recognize geographers in a variety of practice areas for their contributions to geographic research, advancement of practice, and careers devoted to strengthening the field of geography, including teaching and mentoring. The honorary title of AAG Fellow is conferred for life and, once designated, AAG Fellows remain part of this ever-growing advisory body. AAG Fellows serve the AAG as an august body to address, contribute to, and at times create initiatives to advance the discipline.

(announced a year later, as guidelines for the Fellows program underwent revisions by the AAG Council last year)

Author N.K. Jemisin Is 2022 Honorary Geographer

AAG has named award-winning speculative fiction writer N.K. Jemisin as its 2022 Honorary Geographer. .

Thank You for Supporting AAG in 2021

Our greatest thanks to the 104 donors who made gifts totaling $64,384 during 2021. Your donations provided resources to nineteen funds and are helping AAG achieve its mission to ensure the health and vitality of the geographic discipline. Together, we are making so much possible, and we would like to share with you some details of your support:

Donations to AAG’s unrestricted fund saw significant growth with 47 donors making gifts totaling $17,715. These donations helped AAG to convene fourteen state-wide panels to provide geographers with the tools and knowledge they need to contribute to their state’s redrawing of congressional districts, to produce a video to help 50 geography departments recruit students into their programs, and to expand our career development and research training webinar series allowing more than 2,600 individuals to participate. Gifts to AAG’s unrestricted fund are some of the most important, allowing AAG to direct this support to initiatives that are important and timely, and ensuring that AAG programs are appropriately supported.

Many of AAG’s awards and prizes received significant support including $20,465 to the Marble Fund for Geographic Science, $5,500 to the Wilbanks Prize for Transformational Research in Geography, and $5,500 to the Darrell Hess Community College Scholarship Fund.

With the 2021 Annual Meeting being held virtually, thirty-five members, who had purchased an in-person registration, chose to donate all or a portion of their Annual Meeting registration fees rather than take a refund. $6,069 was donated to help AAG enhance the virtual meeting experience that drew an audience of over 4,600 participants, with nearly 1,000 sessions and 3,000 abstracts presented.

Our student travel funds also garnered support with the Hess Community College Travel Fund receiving $2,000 and $1,285 being raised for the general student travel fund.

To our donors, members, and friends, thank you for all that you do to help AAG ensure that the geographic discipline and profession continues to move forward.

AAG Welcomes Spring 2022 Interns

The AAG is excited to welcome two new interns coming aboard our staff for the Spring 2022 semester! Joining us this semester are Bettina Saraydaroglu, a junior at The George Washington University, and Gillian Villarroel, a sophomore also at The George Washington University.

Interested in interning with the AAG for Summer 2022? The AAG is accepting  until March 1, 2022. 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.



New Geography-Related CIP Code Becomes STEM Eligible, but More Needed from DHS

Photo of U.S. Capitol building dome

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains a list of degree programs eligible for what is called an optional practical training (OPT) extension to a foreign student visa. This two-year visa extension is available to those degrees in STEM fields as determined by the  of specific program CIP codes. Degree programs included in this exclusive group are often far more attractive to foreign students applying to study in the States, meaning most department chairs and degree program heads are very familiar with this list.

Last month, the OPT STEM designation list saw the addition of a , including “Geography and Environmental Studies” (CIP code 30.4401). This degree program joins a small group of existing STEM geography-related CIP codes including GIS & Cartography, Signal/Geospatial Intelligence, and Environmental Geosciences. While the inclusion of “Geography and Environmental Studies” in DHS’s STEM list is encouraging and welcomed news, recent AAG fact-finding indicates that the majority of geography degree programs will not see the benefits. Geography departments using a different array of CIP codes find themselves struggling to compete when recruiting foreign students who must weigh the practical differences between programs offering the best opportunities to stay and work in the country.

Not every geography degree program fits a classic STEM definition. But the interdisciplinary curricula offered by a geography degree produces capable, well-rounded graduates prepared to succeed in many industries, including science and tech. More geography degree programs deserve consideration for this DHS list as departments strive to attract the best and brightest students. The AAG is tracking this issue and has already led productive meetings with representatives from DHS. We will continue collecting degree program data from departments and welcome our Department Chairs to offer their comments and experience.

In the News:

  • The AAG is hosting a . Register now and join us Feb 26th at 3:40pm ET as we share success stories and discuss remaining barriers for geographers aiming to stay involved in the redistricting process.
  • The US Department of Interior is seeking geographers to join a special Advisory Committee as part of a broad effort to review and replace derogatory names of the nation’s geographic features.  on how to nominate yourself or others.
  • Last month, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released its first report on .
  • On January 4, the  for the Convergence Accelerator for fiscal year (FY) 2022, applications for which are expected to open in the coming months. NSF’s Convergence Accelerator aims to promote research in areas of strategic and societal importance through a three-tiered process: ideation, and two convergence research phases. The tracks for FY 2022 are Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges, and Food & Nutrition Security.

Member News

February Member Updates

Cultural geographer Dr. Aretina Hamilton took on a new position as Director of Equity and Inclusion for the City of Raleigh on January 31. .

Geographer Katherine McKittrick has been named a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Black Studies. The prestigious honor recognizes outstanding Canadian researchers who are acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. .

The American Association for the Advancement of Science named three AAG members as Fellows in November: Marcellus M. Caldas, Kansas State University; Harvey J. Miller, The Ohio State University; Shaowen Wang, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. .


AAG Calls for Nominations for Standing and Awards Committees

The AAG Council will make appointments to several of the AAG Standing Committees during the spring of 2022. These appointments will replace members whose terms will expire on June 30, 2022. If you wish to nominate yourself or other qualified individuals for one or more of these vacancies, please notify AAG Chief Operations Officer  on or before March 7, 2022. 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 their suitability for the position.

Open committees include: Committee on the Status of Women in Geography, JEDI Committee, Finance Committee, International Research and Scholarly Exchange, Membership Committee, Publications Committee, AAG Awards Committee, AAG Fellows Selection Committee, AAG Globe Book Award Committee, AAG Harm de Blij Award Committee, AAG Meridian Book Award Committee, AAG Marcus Fund for Physical Geography Committee, AAG Program Excellence Award Committee, AAG Research Grants Committee, AAG Harold Rose Award Committee, AAG Student Award and Scholarship Committee. 

In addition to volunteers and nominations for AAG Standing Committees, we are currently seeking members with experience working with corporate programs and foundations to serve on the Development Advisory Group. This group meets periodically to provide insight into AAG development and fundraising initiatives. Please contact , Director of Development for more information.

Symposium on Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate – Registration Open

Join scholars and practitioners in Key Largo, FL June 5-9, 2022 for the Symposium on Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate. The main objective of this symposium is to foster communication among scientists, engineers, and practitioners in order to increase understanding of and better ways to deal with tropical cyclone risks. This Symposium differs from a traditional conference in that there is greater time allocated for each speaker to present and have Q and A in order to obtain greater depth to the discussion and there is a greater emphasis on networking to bring participants together for future collaborations.

Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP) CHAIR SEARCH

The Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP) is a committee to support communication and collaboration regarding K-12 geography education by the four national geography organizations (American Association of Geographers; American Geographical Society; National Council for Geographic Education; and National Geographic Society). GENIP is conducting a search for a new Chair of the committee.

The Chair is responsible for coordinating and administrating the activities of the GENIP. Nominees should be knowledgeable about issues related to geography education, especially at the K-12 level. Preferred candidates will have experience with geography education, related policy issues, state and national standards, curricula, and assessments, and other cognate non-profit, educational organizations. This is a paid position lasting for a two-year term, which may be renewed. For a full description, responsibilities, and details on how to apply, .

Request for Proposals for Entrepreneurship Researchers Opening Jan. 18, 2022

This January, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will launch the 2022 Kauffman Knowledge Challenge Request for Proposals (RFP). The goal of this RFP is to support research that improves our understanding of entrepreneurship and generates practical, actionable, and rigorous evidence to inform decision-making and change systems. There are two focus areas that applicants will be asked to choose from: Systems and structures to support inclusive prosperity, which will explore the infrastructure needed to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, and Equitable opportunities and the future of work, which will explore how entrepreneurial activity might be structured as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Research findings will be shared with entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial support organizations, community leaders, and policymakers. The RFP opens Jan. 18, 2022 and closes Feb. 28, 2022.



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