Newsletter – July 2021
Moving Forward on Climate Change and Professional Ethics
By Emily Yeh
A few weeks ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that atmospheric CO2 concentrations, at 419 ppm, have now reached 150% of their pre-industrial levels – the highest in more than four million years, when sea levels were about 24 meters higher, the global average surface temperature almost 4ºC warmer than today, and the first modern humans had more than three million years yet to appear on earth. The world-historical COVID-19 pandemic, still wreaking havoc across the mostly unvaccinated globe, temporarily decreased emissions, but not enough to be detectable in rising atmospheric CO2 levels. NOAA has recently defined new “normal” temperatures that are significantly higher than those in the past.
New York City to host 2022 AAG Annual Meeting
Mark your calendar for the AAG Annual Meeting in the Big Apple, February 25 – March 1, 2022. The hybrid meeting will take place both online and at the NY Hilton Midtown and the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Registration and the call for papers for #AAG2022 will be announced this summer and we invite you to organize and participate in sessions, workshops, field trips, special events, and activities. We look forward to seeing you in New York City!
NEW Annals Alert: Articles with topics ranging from foreign domestic workers to subprime auto loans to the Belt and Road initiative
The most recent issue of the Annals of the AAG has been published online (Volume 111, Issue 5) with a special 7 article section on Reproducibility and 13 new articles on contemporary geographic research. The Reproducibility and Replicability Forum includes an introduction plus articles focusing on the Hartshorne–Schaefer debate; critical human geography; data streams; challenges to reproducibility; GIS and algorithms; and data ethics. Remaining article topics in this issue include imperialism and the Vietnam War; supercell climatology; familiar strangers and crime prevention; farming training programs; tourist mobilities; postcolonial air pollution; cuerpo-territorio; and natural hazard modeling. Locational areas of interest include Hong Kong; Los Angeles; Singapore; western China; and Beijing.
All AAG members have full online access to all issues of the Annals through the Members Only page.
Each issue, the Editors choose one article to make freely available. In this issue you can read Reproducibility and Replicability in the Context of the Contested Identities of Geography by Daniel Sui and Peter Kedron for free for the next two months.
Questions about the Annals? Contact annals [at] aag [dot] org.
In addition to the most recently published journal, read the latest issue of the other AAG journals online:
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 2 is available online for subscribers and members of the Africa Specialty Group. The issue includes six new articles covering research in all fields of geography, including human, nature – society, physical and the techniques, to promote better representation of African scholarship, and to facilitate lively academic conversations regarding the African continent.
AAG Welcomes New Editor of Annals of the American Association of Geographers
The AAG is pleased to announce Brian King has joined the Annals of the American Association of Geographers editorial team as an editor. A professor and Head of the Department of Geography at the Pennsylvania State, King served on the Editorial Board of the Annals from 2016-2019. His research, teaching, and outreach focuses on livelihoods, conservation and development, environmental change, and human health, centering on Southern Africa. King will serve in the capacity of co-editor through December 31, 2023.
Nominate Colleagues for AAG Honors and AAG Fellows
Please consider nominating outstanding colleagues for the AAG Honors, the highest awards offered by the American Association of Geographers, and the AAG Fellows, a program recognizing both later-career and early/mid-career geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing geography. Individual AAG members, specialty groups, affinity groups, departments, and other interested parties are encouraged to nominate outstanding colleagues following the newly revised submission guidelines. Deadlines for nominations will be September 15th.
Nominate Inspiring Geographers: September Awards Deadlines
AAG Grants and Awards make a huge impact on our community of Geographers and help maintain the legacy of geographers of the past while paying tribute to geographers thriving right now. Deadlines are already approaching starting in September. Don’t miss your opportunity to apply or nominate someone deserving! Learn more about the following grants and awards before their due dates:
Sept. 15: AAG Enhancing Diversity Award and AAG Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award
Sept. 22: AAG Nystrom Award for Recent Dissertations
AAG Welcomes 2021 Summer Interns
The AAG is excited to welcome two new interns coming aboard our staff for the Summer of 2021! Joining us this summer are Eliana Peretz, a senior at Mount Holyoke College pursuing a B.A. in Geography and Gender Studies, and Jacob Tafrate, a senior at the George Washington University pursuing degrees in Geography and International affairs, with a minor in Geographic Information Systems.
AAG Membership Database Improvement Begins Soon
The AAG is upgrading its membership database to provide new and improved services for you. This will require some planned downtimes, during which AAG members will be unable to log into accounts, access communities or process transactions. For now, everything continues to work as usual, and we’ve created the following page to provide status updates and information on how to address your needs as we make the transition. We appreciate your patience as we complete this upgrade. In the meantime, to join, renew, donate, or ask questions, please email membership [at] aag [dot] org or call us at 202-234-1450.
Note: Once the new database is online, all members will need to create a new login and password. We’ll provide prompts and instructions for this simple change.
Senate Passes Sweeping U.S. Competitiveness Legislation, Includes Endless Frontier Act
The following update comes from our colleagues at the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA)
On June 8, the Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) (S. 1260). The 2,300 page bill was originally introduced in the spring as the Endless Frontier Act, which sought to shore up U.S. leadership in key technology areas—specifically with respect to China—and to enhance “tech transfer” for scientific research funded by the federal government. Since then, hundreds of amendments have been offered, resulting in a substantially altered package that now incorporates several additional, far-reaching bills.
The original proposal authorized $100 billion over five years specifically for a new Technology and Innovation Directorate at the National Science Foundation. The Senate-passed version now includes a total of $29 billion over five years for the directorate and also includes authorized funding increases for NSF’s budget overall (the original bill only included funding for the new directorate, which concerned many in the research community). The substantial decrease in funding to the proposed directorate is the result of several successful amendments seeking to more widely distribute funding to other federal agencies with missions related to key technological advancement, particularly the Department of Energy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Department of Defense. The massive USICA bill now includes provisions pertaining to NSF, DOE, DOD, Department of Education, Department of Commerce, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, and others.
The NSF provisions of the USICA attempt to bridge some of the divide between the Senate proposal and the NSF for the Future Act that is currently working its way through the House (see related article). For example, the amended Senate bill includes similar language related to research capacity building for “developing universities,” including minority-serving institutions, promoting STEM education in rural areas, and supporting early-career researchers, among other provisions. However, the two bills remain far apart in their general handling of NSF funding and policy directions. It remains to be seen whether a conference between the House and Senate will be attempted or if another path forward will emerge.
In the News:
The AAG is planning a series of state-level panels to encourage geographers to get involved in the 2021 redistricting process, and we need your help. An honorarium will be offered to geographers who organize a panel in their state this fall. To get involved or simply learn more, please reach out to Michelle Kinzer, or visit .
July Member Updates
The latest news about AAG Members.
Dr. Alexandra Ponette-González has been selected to serve as a charter member to the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), a part of the Environmental Protection Agency. Ponette-González is an associate professor and ecosystem geographer in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of North Texas. The CASAC members will advise on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Learn more about the committee and about Dr. Ponette-González.
Dr. Allen Scott, economic geographer at UCLA, was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Toronto for his work in understanding globalization and the creative economy. Scott gave an address at the 2021 University of Toronto commencement ceremony. View the recording.
Dr. Dee Jordan was recently interviewed by WKAR, the public media affiliate from Michigan State University, for their Curious about Careers children’s segment. Jordan spoke about health geographies in sub-saharan Africa. Watch the video on Twitter or Facebook.
RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES
YouthMappers and AGS “Everywhere She Maps” Internship Program
YouthMappers, in partnership with the American Geographical Society, has launched a new initiative to advance global gender equity in the geospatial and tech industries, inviting the partnership of other institutions and organizations through the Everywhere She Maps Internship Match Program.
The program aims to match qualified YouthMappers students who identify as women and/or non-binary with internship opportunities where they can develop professionally and strengthen their skills as they help their host organization achieve its goals. Learn more about how to hire an intern for your organization here, and contact the program director, Courtney Clark, at cclark [at] americangeo [dot] org with questions or to register.
Saul B, Cohen, passed away on June 9, 2021. The former Executive Director of the American Association of Geographers, is remembered for his influential work in political geography and for his time as President of Queens College. As a geographer Cohen published 16 books and was a leading expert in human geography. During his time as Queens he is remembered for improving academic standards and minority enrollment in the CUNY system. Read more.
GEOGRAPHERS IN THE NEWS
- We should talk about ‘deepfake geography’: fake AI-generated satellite images, ZME Science, June 9, 2021. Continued coverage of University of Washington geography professor Bo Zhao’s work in testing the capabilities of AI-generated satellite imagery. Zhao and his team are investigating this issue with the intention of learning how to detect faked imagery for the purposes of fact checking maps in the future.
- Mapping two and a half million guitars – Conversations, ABC Radio, June 29, 2021. Chris Gibson, a Senior Professor of Human Geography at the University of Wollongong in Australia discusses his book The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree, which he wrote with fellow geographer Andrew Warren. The book delves into the cultural and geographic significance of guitar production by tracing the creation of guitars both in origin and supply. He goes in depth on the rare timbers and efforts for sustainability that make the guitar industry unique.
- The mysterious case of an island that ‘vanished’ in the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico News Daily, June 28, 2021. Geographer and island specialist Israel Baxin Martínez discusses the economic significance of the apparent disappearance of Isla Bermeja, recorded by cartographers in 1539 and seemingly dematerialized by 2008 when the United States and Mexico negotiated drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico.