Newsletter – November 2014


Geography & STEM


By Mona Domosh

I knew that I had put my finger on something important when I sent out a message on a listserv and received multiple responses almost immediately and continuously for the next few days. As I’m sure most of us have experienced, our inboxes can fill up overnight with seemingly unimportant messages that are left unread. But clearly the title of my message – Geography and STEM – caught people’s attention. Continue Reading

Recent columns from the President


Glen MacDonald on John Muir

Remembering John Muir on the Centennial of His Passing: Writer, Naturalist, Scientist, Activist, Geographer?

By Glen MacDonald

John Muir died in Los Angeles, California on Christmas Eve, 1914 with the pages of an unfinished manuscript on Alaska beside him in his hospital bed. As we mark the centenary of Muir’s passing what might we say about him from the perspective of Geography? Muir can claim many titles – writer, naturalist, scientist and environmental activist. Can we also consider him a geographer? Read More

eceed7ed-623e-4cfe-b95d-f309f35a35e1ANNUAL MEETING

AAG Past President’s Address by Julie Winkler

Embracing the Complexity and Uncertainty of Climate Change

Julie Winkler

AAG Past President Julie Winkler will deliver her address, “Embracing the Complexity and Uncertainty of Climate Change,” at the AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago on Thursday, April 23, 2014.

Climate change is one of the defining environmental concerns of our time, and will directly or indirectly affect every sector of society. The complexity of the climate system and the multifaceted linkages between natural and human systems complicates planning for future change. Another hurdle is the multiple sources of uncertainty such as internal climate variability, land cover change, spatial and temporal interdependencies, and sectoral synergies. Continue Reading

Abstract, Session Deadline Extended to Nov. 20

Due to the high volume of submissions, the AAG is extending the deadline for abstracts and session proposals to Nov. 20, 2014. Presenters and speakers will have until April 8, 2015, to edit final versions of their abstracts. Call for Papers

Symposium on Physical Geography, Environmental Reconstruction at AAG 2015

On April 23, 2015, the AAG Annual Meeting will feature “Environmental Reconstruction” in a daylong symposium on physical geography.  Environmental reconstruction is an integrative research theme that cuts across the many facets of physical geography and involves the study of past climates, landscapes, and biological systems. It also includes the reclamation of altered environments. This symposium will help facilitate and enhance dialog among physical geographers on emerging developments, challenges, and approaches related to environmental reconstruction and physical geography more generally. Learn More

Kitchin and Shepherd

Rob Kitchin, Marshall Shepherd to Receive AAG Media Achievement Award

The AAG will confer the AAG Media Achievement Award to:

Rob Kitchin in recognition of his exceptional engagement with media through producing and studying it, advancing our understanding of media geography while being an active member of the mediascape.

J. Marshall Shepherd in recognition of his success in promoting greater understanding of climate phenomena through the print and broadcast media.  He is also honored for the attention given by the media, government and his profession to the extraordinary record of service and scholarly publications.

The AAG Media Achievement Award will be presented at a special awards luncheon at the AAG Annual Meeting on April 25, 2015. Learn More

AAG’s GeoProgressions Project Hosts Researcher-Training Workshop in Washington, DC

How do children progress in their knowledge and understanding of geographic and spatial concepts? What are the influences of maps and geospatial technologies in that learning process? Questions of this nature were at the heart of a recent workshop hosted by the AAG’s GeoProgressions project, funded by the National Science Foundation to build capacity for researching learning progressions in geography. Learn More

AAG Responds to Rep. Smith’s Attacks on NSF Peer Review

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has been reviewing inidual grants awarded by NSF through the merit-review process in an effort to undermine the value of some research funded by the Foundation. Some of the grants that Chairman Smith has questioned were funded through the agency’s Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) program. On October 7, 2014, AAG Executive Director Doug Richardson sent a letter [PDF] to the Chairman that praises the value of GSS-funded research and asserts that Smith’s action “undermines our nation’s scientific endeavor and makes young Americans reticent to pursue careers in critical STEM fields.”
Read the full letter. See also, Threats to Geography and Social Science Funding

AAG Convenes Experts on Spatial Data Infrastructures, Disaster Management

The AAG hosted a stakeholder workshop in Washington, D.C., in late October as a key component of the Eye on Earth FALCON project, which is focused on improving spatial data infrastructures for disaster management and risk reduction in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Participants contributed ideas for the FALCON Roadmap of recommendations for SDI implementation in the region as well as discussed opportunities related to the 2015 Eye on Earth Summit, which will be held in Abu Dhabi in October of next year. Presentation materials are posted on the AAG’s Eye on Earth websiteLearn More


Michele Masucci Named Vice Provost for Research at Temple University

Professor of Geography Michele Masucci was appointed as Vice Provost for Research at Temple University. She is responsible for technology transfer and business development, grant submission, research compliance, research-related training, and management of special research support programs. Read More

Eric LambinAAG Member Eric Lambin Wins Volvo Environment Prize

The 2014 winner of the Volvo Environment Prize, Professor Eric Lambin, is a remote sensing pioneer using advanced data collection and satellite images to understand land use and the influence of humans on the planet. The Volvo Environment Prize is awarded annually to people who have made outstanding scientific discoveries within the area of the environment and sustainable development. Read More

George DemkoIn Memoriam

Past President George Demko Dies at 81

George Demko, an internationally renowned geographer, academic, and PhD scholar has died at age 81 of natural causes. Over his lifetime in academia, his greatest achievement was the mentoring and influencing of thousands of students who carry his legacy with them today. Learn More

See the AAG Necrology


Society of Woman Geographers Dissertation Fellowships

The Society of Woman Geographers (SWG) invites applications for its Evelyn L. Pruitt doctoral dissertation research fellowships for 2015-2016 for women in geography and geographical aspects of other fields. Continue Reading

Oak Human Rights Fellowship: Food Sovereignty and Human Rights

The Oak Institute seeks a frontline human rights activist who works on problems created by or associated with food sovereignty and human rights outside of the United States for residence at Colby College in the fall of 2015 and is pleased to issue a call for nominations for the 2015 Oak Human Rights Fellowship. Learn More


New AAG Brochure Informs, Inspires Students About Geography Jobs

The new AAG Jobs and Careers in Geography brochure is geared toward recruiting both upper-level high school and undergraduate college students to geography courses, geography majors, and possible careers in geography. The six-panel, color brochure is designed to speak directly to students, with lively graphics portraying young people engaged in the exciting and socially meaningful activities of geography today. Read More

The AAG Review of Books’ Volume 2, Issue 4‘The AAG Review of Books’ Volume 2, Issue 4 Is Now Available

The AAG is pleased to announce Volume 2, Issue 4 of The AAG Review of Books, featuring scholarly book reviews as formerly published in the Annals of the AAG and The Professional Geographer, along with reviews of significant current books related more broadly to geography and public policy and/or international affairs. To access the full AAG Review of Books, visit the AAG Journals page. Select AAG Review of Books, which will take you to the Taylor & Francis site. Then, select a volume in the List of Issues box and select any issue from there. Read More


Dr. Yonette Thomas to Assume Key Leadership Roles at the AAG

The AAG is pleased to announce that Dr. Yonette Thomas is joining its staff as Senior Advisor. In this capacity, Thomas will help lead AAG’s growing portfolio of research programs in health and geography. She will provide expertise and leadership to the AAG’s initiatives on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, and other diversity and equity programs. Thomas previously served as Associate Vice-President for Research Compliance at Howard University. Most recently, Thomas was Branch Chief of Epidemiology Research, in the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Learn More

Dr. Jenny LunnDr. Jenny Lunn Joins AAG Staff as Senior Researcher

Dr. Jenny Lunn recently joined the AAG staff as Senior Researcher where she will be involved in a variety of the Association’s projects, including the international work in developing regions and with overseas partners. She will also be involved in the AAG’s My Community, Our Earth: Learning for Sustainable Development (MyCOE). Lunn previously worked for the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers in London where she was involved in a variety of roles spanning the Society’s work in education, higher education and public engagement. Most recently she managed the “Discovering Britain” project, a prestigious series of geographically themed walks around the United Kingdom. Learn More