Newsletter – March 2015



Curating the AAG

By Mona Domosh

Even more accurate than the first daffodil as a mark of spring’s approach is the onset of my recurring anxiety dream. It goes like this: I’m walking quickly through endless corridors, becoming more and more filled with dread as I just can’t seem to find the room in which I am about to present a paper. It is my “AAG” nightmare. About 15 years ago or so it replaced my “exam” nightmare, the one in which I’m in a room about to take an exam and realize that I know nothing about the subject. I’ve been told these types of anxiety dreams are common and “normal” and, at least for me, as our annual conference approaches, they are always tempered by the anticipation of connecting with old friends and the excitement of encountering new ideas. And Chicago 2015 promises to fulfill those expectations in spades. Continue Reading

Recent columns from the President

Theme and Events Planned Around the Launch of AAG’s New ‘GeoHumanities’ Journal

The AAG has organized a panel session at its annual meeting to launch its new journal, GeoHumanities, which will be published by Routledge. GeoHumanities will draw on and further explore the multifaceted scholarly conversations between geography and the humanities that have been evolving over the past decade, and it will serve as a home for critical and creative interdisciplinary works. The session begins at 1:20 p.m. on April 23, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Panelists will include the journal’s editors, who will discuss their visions for the journal. A reception hosted by Routledge will follow. Learn More.


Hans-Joerg Tiede

AAG Announces Centennial Celebration for Professors’ Association (AAUP)

The AAG is pleased to announce a special session at the 2015 AAG Annual Meeting in celebration of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Centennial.

Hans-Joerg Tiede, Professor of Computer Science at Illinois Wesleyan University, will address the principles of academic freedom: what academic freedom is, why it matters, and how it is safeguarded. The presentation will include a discussion of relevant AAUP policies for protecting academic freedom. Learn More.


1808_S_Morgan_03_28_2014A-300x225-1Pilsen – The Gentrification Frontier

By Euan Hague

On the night of January 22-23, 2015, the windows of Bow Truss Coffee at 1641 West 18th Street on Chicago’s Lower West Side were covered with handwritten posters declaring “Wake up and smell the gentrification … ¿Sabes dondes estas? ¡La raza vive aqui! … Sugar with your gentrification?” An artisanal coffee roaster that has two other locations in the city, Bow Truss had opened on 18th Street a few months previously in summer 2014. To many residents of this Pilsen neighborhood, the arrival of Bow Truss and its gourmet coffee, priced at more than double that sold at Dunkin Donuts on the same block, symbolized what had long been feared: gentrification was fundamentally changing their community, remaking it into a place where they could no longer afford to live. Continue Reading.

14308433463_5f2562761d_z-300x199-1What’s in a Nickname? In the case of Chiraq, a Whole Lot

By Derek Alderman and Janna Caspersen

Chicago goes by many nicknames—from the widely recognized “Windy City” and “Second City” to more obscure and seemingly puzzling associations, such as “Paris on the Prairie” and “The Smelly Onion.” Nicknames are important branding strategies used by civic boosters, and Chicago’s namesakes are frequently employed to market the city and its surrounding region as “The Jewel of the Midwest” and “Heart of America.” At the same time, urban monikers can arise from the wider public and they have sometimes been used to draw attention to negative qualities of Chicago life. With the help of a NWS meteorologist and social media, the city was rechristened “Chi-beria” during the record-breaking cold weather of 2013-14. The Wall Street Journal identified Chicago as “Beirut by the Lake” when reporting on the intense political infighting on the city council in the early- and mid-1980s. 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]

About Featured Themes

Each year, the AAG identifies a few themes for its Annual Meeting to help focus discussion and provide a fresh and engaging structure to the conference program. Current themes include:

Learn More.


NGEF-NCRGE-Alliance-300x200-1AAG Receives Grant for New Research with Geographic Alliances

The National Geographic Society’s Education Foundation has awarded the AAG a grant to involve several Geographic Alliances in the work of the National Center for Research in Geography Education, a research consortium led by the AAG and Texas State University.

Last month, the Coordinators of the Alabama, California, Iowa, and Kansas Geographic Alliances met over two days with the NCRGE Co-Directors, Michael Solem and Richard Boehm, and several researchers associated with two current NCRGE research initiatives funded by the National Science Foundation: GeoProgressions, a capacity-buidling project for learning progressions research, and GeoSTEM (GeoSpatial Teaching Enrichment Modules), a pilot project that is supporting the Esri-ConnectED initiative by creating ArcGIS Online-based resources, materials and tools for STEM teacher education programs. Read More.


Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Offers Multiple Awards for 2015

The Charles Redd Center for Western Studies has announced multiple awards for 2015 that are available for scholars conducting research related to Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, or/and Wyoming. Follow the link to for further information and application instructions. Applications for 2015 are due by 11:59 p.m. MST on March 15. Learn More.

Call For Submissions: 2015 IPSG Graduate Student Paper Competition

The Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group (IPSG) invites submissions for its annual Graduate Student Paper Competition, in conjunction with the 2015 AAG general meeting. We invite graduate student papers addressing indigenous critical cartography, geographic research, education, methodologies, and/or theory. Learn More.


Dale Quattrochi Receives Helmut Landsberg Award for Research in Urban Heat Island Effect

Dale A. Quattrochi, a geographer and senior research scientist at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, is the recipient of The Helmut Landsberg Award given by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) at the society’s annual meeting held in Phoenix, AZ, on January 4-8, 2015. Read More.

Susan Hanson to Serve on National Academy of Sciences Governing Council

Susan Hanson, Distinguished University Professor Emerita in the School of Geography at Clark University, has been elected by the members of the National Academy of Sciences to serve a three-year term on its governing council. Hanson currently serves as Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Subcommittee for National Research Council Oversight (NRC) and is a member of the TRB Executive Committee. Read More.

Webb-and-Frescoln-with-Rep.-Price-300x247-1Michael Webb Publishes Report on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Moving to Work Demonstration

AAG member Michael Webb has recently published a report on the Moving to Work demonstration, a program introduced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1996 that allows high-performing housing authorities the flexibility to respond to local housing needs. This report offers comments meant to guide current debates about the extension of the Moving to Work agreements and providing a basis for future evaluations. Read More.


Graeme Hugo
C. Gregory Knight
Ruth Shirey
Joseph Sonnenfeld


Presidents-FY-2016-Budget-Request-232x300-1COSSA Reviews President’s Budget Request for Social and Behavioral Science

COSSA announced last week that President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress on February 2, officially kicking off the FY 2016 appropriations process. In turn, COSSA has released its analysis of the President’s budget request. The 62-page report provides funding details for all federal departments, agencies, and programs important to social and behavioral science research. It outlines the President’s funding proposals as they compare to current (FY 2015) levels. In addition, the document serves as a helpful catalog of social science programs and initiatives across the federal government. Read More.

Courtesy COSSA Washington Update


New Books Received — February 2015

The AAG Review of Books office has released the list of the books received during the month of February.  Read More.

People, Place, and Region Section Editor Sought for ‘Annals of the AAG’

The Association of American Geographers seeks applications and nominations for the People, Place, and Region section editor for the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. The new section editor will be appointed for a four-year editorial term that will commence on January 1, 2016. The appointment will be made by fall 2015. Read More.

Nature and Society Section Editor Sought for ‘Annals of the AAG’

The Association of American Geographers seeks applications and nominations for the Nature and Society section editor for the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. The new section editor will be appointed for a four-year editorial term that will commence on January 1, 2016. The appointment will be made by fall 2015. Read More.

New AAG Position Opening: Editorial Associate

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) has an immediate opening for the position of Editorial Associate, to be located at the AAG’s central office in Washington, DC. In collaboration with the Managing Editor and the Production Editor, the Editorial Associate will contribute to the day-to-day operations of the AAG’s four scholarly journals: Annals of the Association of American GeographersThe Professional GeographerThe AAG Review of Books, and GeoHumanitiesRead More.


Jobs and Careers Center at the 2015 AAG Annual Meeting

In recent years, careers and professional development activities at the AAG’s Annual Meeting have been expanding and broadening. Thanks in part to positive feedback and attendance, the 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago will continue to feature the Jobs and Careers Center, a centralized location where conference attendees can attend panel discussions, participate in workshops, receive free career mentoring, view job postings, network with other geographers, and browse a variety of information and educational materials.

This year’s track of careers sessions will kick off on Tuesday, April 21 with a panel discussion for newcomers to the conference and a workshop on teaching with the book Practicing Geography: Careers for Enhancing Society and the Environment. Read More.


Op-Ed: Preemption and Scalar Politics, from Living Wages to Hydraulic Fracturing

By Christian Brannstrom and Matthew Fry

If municipal political geographies seem boring, think again. In Texas, where we study municipal oil and gas drilling ordinances with support from the National Science Foundation (and live in cities with active drilling), fundamental questions are being raised: What are state governments for? What are municipalities for? How do opposing sides frame their struggles to determine the locus of regulation and control over activities like oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking)? Read More.

GISCI Announces Changes to the GISP Certification Process

The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is changing the GIS Professional (GISP) certification process following decisions made during its first 2015 meeting. These changes affect both current and future GISP certification holders and were made in order to increase the value, recognition and long term viability of the GISP certification and the GISCI organization. Changes are schedule to go into effect on July 1, 2015. Read More.

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