Newsletter – March 2016


What We Do

By Sarah Witham Bednarz

As I prepare for the upcoming Council meeting in San Francisco at the end of this month, it occurs to me that none of my columns has focused on the actual workings of Council and the talented professional staff of the Association. Many of you are not aware of our activities but this column is an excellent opportunity to provide a few examples and to seek your reactions and engagement.

Example 1: Student Representation on Council

The Council meets as a whole twice each year, once in the fall and at the annual meeting in the spring. The Executive Committee (past president, president, vice president, executive director, treasurer, and secretary) meet a couple of weeks before Council to set the agenda, discuss critical issues, and to ensure that the organization is achieving the goals set forth in our Long-Range Plan (more on that later). Continue Reading.

Recent columns from the President

Annals Special Issue on the Geographies of MobilityAnnals-cover-2016-230x300-3

Every year since 2009 our flagship journal, the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, has published a special issue that highlights geographic research around a significant global theme.

The eighth special issue of the Annals, published in March 2016, brings together 26 articles on the Geographies of Mobility, edited by Mei-Po Kwan and Tim Schwanen.

Of course, the concept of mobility is nothing new in geography. A survey of articles published in the Annals between 1911 and 2010 reveals scholarship on a diversity of subject matter from individual daily commuting to cattle herding patterns, and from international trade in commodities to upward social mobility.

Learn More.


Jobs and Careers Center at the 2016 AAG Annual Meeting

The upcoming AAG Annual Meeting will again feature the popular Jobs and Careers Center in San Francisco. The Center provides over 50 panel and paper sessions, workshops, and field trips related to careers and professional development. Attendees can also receive informal career mentoring, browse current job listings, and network with like-minded professionals. New this year is the Career Strategy Series, a series of three workshops led by professional geographers focusing on networking, resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing for employment. Learn More.

Carry the AAG 2016 Annual Meeting Program in Your Pocket

Get the most from your AAG 2016 San Francisco experience with the mobile app. Enjoy an interactive experience on your Apple, Android, BlackBerry, Windows and other mobile devices during the annual meeting. If you’re a laptop user, there’s also a Web version for your computer. Learn More.


[Focus on San Francisco is an on-going series curated by the Local Arrangements Committee to provide insight on and understanding of the geographies of San Francisco and the Bay Area]


AAG Members Elect New Officers

The AAG Tellers Committee has reported the results of the 2016 AAG Election. Learn More.

Those elected to office are as follows:

  • President: Glen M. MacDonald, UCLA.
  • Vice President: Derek H. Alderman, University of Tennessee.
  • National Councillors: Cathleen McAnneny, University of Maine-Farmington; David DiBiase, Esri.
  • Honors Committee A: Wei Li, Arizona State University.
  • Nominating Committee: Meghan Cope, University of Vermont; Hilda Kurtz, University of Georgia; Marianna Pavlovskaya, Hunter College, CUNY.
  • Honors Committee B: Laura Pulido, University of Southern California; Nathan Sayre, UC-Berkeley.

Redesigned AAG Jobs in Geography and GIS CenterJobs-site-seekers-240x300-1 Adds New Features and Functionality

Looking for a job in geography?

The AAG Jobs in Geography and GIS Center is the preeminent source for academic jobs in geography, as well as a wide variety of jobs in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. It’s the best place to find your next great opportunity or even your dream jobIf you’re a student, it’s also a strong source for graduate assistantships, postdoc positions and internships. Learn More.


New NSF REU Experience for Undergraduates: Community GIS and Citizen Science in Belize

This summer the University of Central Florida is pleased to host the first year of their National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site “Preparing the Next Generation of Scholars through Community GIS and Citizen Science.” The program offers fully funded summer research experiences for at least 8 undergraduate students in Belize for 5 weeks and Orlando for two weeks. The program is open to all U.S. students and runs June 20-August 5, 2016. Learn More.

GIS Skills Competition for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students in the U.S. currently enrolled in a geospatial technology course are encouraged to enter the 2016 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition organized by the GeoTech Center.  Students are challenged to use geospatial technology (GIS, remote sensing, UAVs, GPS) to address a real-world problem and convey the results of their work through a poster format.  Members from the professional geospatial community will judge student projects on their “project design, organization, analysis, and overall presentation quality” (an official rubric is available online). Learn More.

Funding Available for Zika Virus Research

The NSF has posted a “Dear Colleague Letter” noting the interest of the Ecology & Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) program in proposals for research investigating the Zika virus.  Proposals addressing a wide range of aspects of this new global health threat are encouraged, including issues that geographers will play an important role in answering such as determining and depicting the spatial distribution of Zika virus vectors and modeling the regional to continental scale spread of the virus.  Geographers with research interests and skills in medical geography, ecological modeling, and/or spatial modeling, among others, should consider this opportunity to contribute to the research dialogue of this evolving “public health emergency of international concern.” Learn more.


AAG Member and First Female Pakistani Geo-Morphologist Khalida Khan Honored as ISDR Researcher of the Year

Dr. Khalida M. Khan has been honored as ISDR Researcher of the Year at the U.S. National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) by the Inter-regional Directors’ Board of the SAARC-ASEAN Post-doc Academia. Learn more.



AAG Announces New Books Received — February 2016

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


Census Bureau Plans to Hire 40 Geographers: Students Encouraged to Apply

The Census Bureau is looking to hire 40 geographers for positions in the Office of the Associate Director for Decennial Census.

In summary, the positions are listed as two-year term positions that can be extended to four years. The positions range from GS-9 to GS-12.  A GS-9 position typically requires post-graduate credits or a degree; however, candidates with a bachelor’s degree can qualify with experience. Students are encouraged to apply. Applicants should give themselves credit in their resumes and responses to the questions for any evidence of work they have accomplished, including internships, course exercises, fieldwork, volunteer work, etc. Initial evaluations will be done by professionals who are not familiar with the discipline; therefore, the choice of words is important in responses. Learn More.


Creating a Snapshot of American Folklife: American Folklife Center Seeks Photos of Folk Traditions

The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress would like to see how everyday people participate in folk traditions. The AFC invites you to share photos of your activities for the “My Tradition” campaign as part of the Center’s year-long celebration of its 40th anniversary.  Photos received from across the country will create a “collective snapshot of folklife in 2016” to help celebrate and commemorate the AFC’s past, present, and future as a repository of and research center for American folk traditions. Learn More.

Liza Giebel Joins AAG Staff as IT Support SpecialistGiebel_Liza_2016mug

The American Association of Geographers is pleased to announce that Liza G. Giebel has joined the staff as an IT Support Specialist at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Prior to coming to work for AAG, Liza worked for the Amalgamated Transit International Union for seven years where she was responsible for solving a myriad of IT issues and managing the internal network and databases. Learn More.


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