Newsletter – November 2021

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Globe partially shadowed in spaceFraught Times

By Emily Yeh

This month, I am using the privilege of this space to reflect on the rising tide of nationalism, reactionary populism, and authoritarianism that has washed over the world in the last decade – from Brazil to Hungary, Russia to the Philippines, India to the US and beyond.

I do so from my perspective as a Chinese American geographer who studies contemporary Tibet. I suggest that binary thinking and academic un-freedom threaten to foreclose the potential for geographers’ (and others’) research and teaching to make a productive difference toward a livable and dignified planetary future.

Continue Reading.


Climate Change and Carbon Emissions at the AAG

By Gary Langham

Gary LanghamThe AAG has a long history of engaging in and supporting climate change policy and research. Since climate change is the existential threat and crisis of our age, the need to continue this engagement and reduce our contribution to carbon emissions is clear. We will continue to seek policy action on behalf of our members–actions designed to influence the societal and governmental change required for durable solutions. For example, the AAG recently updated its climate statement, and just last week, our name appeared on a list of 80 societies calling for global action ahead of COP26. 

Continue Reading 


A Walk Down NYC’s Re-Named Streets

By Stefan Norgaard

This article is part of a series curated by the Local Arrangements Committee to provide insight on and understanding of the geographies of New York City in preparation for the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting. 

Painters of the Black Lives Matter street mural at Fifth Avenue hold up their fists for Black power.In the wake of protests for racial justice following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis by police in 2020, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to rename five streets, one in each borough, in honor of the movement. In Manhattan, Black Lives Matter Boulevard was co-named at 1 Centre Street, a block that is home to the city’s Municipal Building, City Hall, and the Department of Education. In addition to these namings, the city funded a Black Lives Matter Mural on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, a mere five blocks (and six-minute walk) from the AAG’s Hilton Midtown hotel conference center. 

Continue Reading.

Register Today for the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting

Montage of images of New York City with text reading: Save the Date! 2022 AAG Annual Meeting February 25-March 1. New York, New YorkMark 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. While paper abstract submission is closed, AAG will accept abstracts for poster presentations until January 6, 2022. We look forward to seeing you in New York City!


NEW Annals Alert: Articles with topics ranging from ecological development to glacial retreat, from racial capitalism to supply chain urbanism

Cover of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers

The most recent issue of the Annals of the AAG has been published online (Volume 111, Issue 7) with 17 new research articles on contemporary geographic research. Article topics in this issue include Tobler’s Law in GeoAI; individual activity patterns in urban areas; community-based monitoring programs; ecological governancesociodemographic impacts on COVID-19 spreadwhite nationalismpopulist politicsidentity and public transportationand marronage. Locational areas of interest include the US Dust Bowl; Colinas do Cruzeiro, Lisbon, PortugalJackson, Mississippiand Guiyu, China. Authors are from a variety of research institutions including Rutgers University; Jagiellonian UniversityLondon School of Economics and Political Scienceand University of Nottingham 

All AAG members have full online access to all issues of the Annals of the American Association of Geographrs through the Members Only page. Each issue, the Editors choose one article to make freely available for two months.  In this issue you can read Of Flesh and Ore: Material Histories and Embodied Geologies by Andrea Marston for free.

Questions about the Annals? Contact annals [at] aag [dot] org. 

AAG Review of Books CoverNEW Fall Issue of the AAG Review of Books Published

The AAG Review of Books is now available (Volume 9, Issue 4, Fall 2021) with 11 book reviews and two book review essays on recent books related to environmental change, geographical statistics, public water and other related topics. The Fall 2021 issue also holds one book review forumNot Just Roads commentary by Momen El-Husseiny on the documentary film of the same title from directors Nitin Bathla and Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou. 

Covers of four AAG journals: Annals of the American Association of Geographers, The Professional Geographer, GeoHumanities, and AAG Review of BooksIn 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

African Geographical ReviewThe latest issue of the journal of the Africa Specialty Group of the AAG, the African Geographical Review, has recently been published. Volume 40, Issue 3 is available online for subscribers and members of the Africa Specialty Group. This issue contains seven research articles related to the special issue topic (De)constructing the Right to the City: Luanda and Maputo, with an introduction by Sílvia Leiria Viegas and Sílvia Jorge. 

See more about the journal. 


Mural depicting Indigenous person in Brazil. Text reads: November 14-20 Geography Awareness Week: The Future is Here Geographers Pursue the Path Forward; Image: 2016 Rio Olympics mural by Eduardo Kobra - Awareness Week is Almost Here

Geography Awareness Week (#GeoWeek) starts on November 14.   

Visit our featured StoryMap for a range of options for celebrating Geography Awareness Week. 

During the week, join AAG for four special virtual workshops to advance the discipline:


End of Year Deadlines for Grants and Awards, Students and Professionals

AAG circular Awards Pin rests on an award certificate and against a brown frame

As the calendar year comes to a close, several deadlines for grants and awards are approaching. December 31st marks the deadline for multiple student awards such as the AAG Dissertation Research Grants, the George and Viola Hoffman Award for student research in Eastern Europe, the Hess Community College Geography Scholarship, and the Marcus Fund for Physical Geography. Students and professionals are invited to apply for fieldwork related awards through either an AAG Research Grant or the Anne White Fund, both also due on December 31st. Nominations are currently being solicited for a variety of books in geography awards including the Globe Book Award, the Jackson Prize, and the Meridian Book Award, all of which are due on December 31st. Members may also nominate their colleagues for the Glenda Laws Award for social justice as well as the AAG Wilbanks Prize for Transformational Research in Geography. 

For colleagues who have made contributions to geography in teaching, consider nominations to the Harm J. de Blij Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Geography Teaching or the AAG E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award, both also due December 31st. 

See all grants and awards.


U.S. Capitol by Martin Falbisoner

Tell Your Representatives to Address Offensive and Inappropriate Federal Place Names

Across the United States, there are multitudes of geographic features, national forests, wilderness areas, and other public land units that honor historical figures associated with reprehensible racialized views and practices. Moreover, some place names also include racial, ethnic or sexual slurs that fail to honor the cultural diversity of the United States. Place names such as these normalize and perpetuate prejudice and racism, contribute to the creation of a discriminatory landscape, and serve as painful reminders of historic brutality for many people of color and indigenous communities. A 2015 Vocativ survey found 1,441 federally recognized places with derogatory and disparaging names. The current system to reform offensive or outdated place names relies on requests being brought before the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Yet, this board works in a reactionary capacity, and the process to execute change is time-consuming, lacks transparency and public involvement, and fails to address the scope and breadth of inappropriate place names. 

The Reconciliation in Place Names Act offers a solution. It launches a systematic process in which inappropriate place names are reviewed and replaced with full transparency and public participation. The legislation creates an advisory board composed of individuals with backgrounds in civil rights and race relations and from tribal communities along with experts from a variety of academic fields, including geography. The newly formed advisory board will solicit proposals from tribal nations, state and local governments and give the public ample opportunity to comment. Accelerating the overhaul of our country’s backlog of offensive place names is badly needed for the modern era. Public lands and geographic features—including the names used to identify them—are public resources for everyone to enjoy, and should not make any American feel unwelcome. If you agree, reach out to your members of Congress and encourage them to join the growing list of cosponsors for this critical piece of legislation. 

In the News:

  • At the end of last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee released drafts of nine of its annual appropriations bills setting the stage for FY 2022 negotiations. Leading up to its end of September deadline, Congress enacted a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open until December 3, providing additional time for both chambers to complete their work. Read more here from COSSA.  
  • The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has announced an open invitation for ideas to improve equity in science and technology. Input is being gathered through an “Ideation Challenge,” which allows anyone to offer insight into the central question, “How can we guarantee all Americans can fully participate in, and contribute to, science and technology?” 
  • On October 18 and 19, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) held a public meeting focusing on climate, energy, and the environment. 


AAG Observers At UN Climate Change Conference

Sixteen observers are attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow through November 12. We thank the following members for bearing witness and participating in this consequential event.

Richard Quodomine, City of Philadelphia
William Solecki, City University of New York
Emma Colven, The University of Oklahoma
Paul Sutton, The University of Denver
Erika Trigoso, The University of Denver
Tyler Harlan, Loyola Marymount University
Kimberley Thomas, Temple University
Marina Karides, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Miriam Gay-Antaki, University of New Mexico
Martina Jakubchik-Paloheimo, Queen’s University
Carol Atkinson-Palombo, University of Connecticut
Jesse Rodenbiker, Cornell & Rutgers Universities
Greta Wells, University of Texas at Austin
Olivia VanBuskirk, The University of Oklahoma
Valerie Doornbos, The University of Oklahoma
Anais Zimmer, University of Texas at Austin

Member Paul Dutton of the University of Denver, one of the observers, encourages AAG members to consider signing the latest Scientist’s Warning regarding taking action on climate change.

Learn more.

October Member Updates

The latest news about AAG Members.  

Dr. Marshall Shepherd is recognized as the 2021 recipient of the American Geophysical Institute Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences. Well known for his hosting of the Weather Channel show “Weather Geeks” and associated podcast, Dr. Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Geography at the University of Georgia. More.  


Join a virtual professional event: Career Mentoring Panel in Remote Sensing

The Career Mentoring Panel in Remote Sensing is a new initiative created by AAG Remote Sensing Specialty Group (RSSG) and co-sponsored by ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote SensingMDPI Remote Sensing, and three AAG specialty groups: Biogeography Specialty GroupChina Geography Specialty Group, and Landscape Specialty Group. The panel aims to build a stronger network among remote sensing scholars and professionals, and to foster meaningful relationships between current remote sensing students/early career scholars and established fellows. The connections made in this program help prepare the next generation for a successful future and leave a lasting impact in our specialty group. Topics include job search, career guidance, and recommended training and coursework. The virtual event will take place on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 01:00-02:30pm (US Eastern Time).  Any interested individuals are highly encouraged to fill out the RSVP form. More details can be found on the event webpage. Questions should be sent to Dr. Hua Liu, Chair of AAG RSSG (hxliu [at] odu [dot] edu). 

AGS to Host Annual Geography 2050 Online

Image reads American Geographical Society presents: Geography 2050: Towards a More Equitable Future an open virtual conference during the week of November 15-19, 2021This year’s Geography 2050 Symposium from the American Geographical Society will have the theme ”Towards a More Equitable Future”. Held virtually November 15-219, 2021, geographers, thought leaders, and policymakers will engage in dialog during this free, virtual event to address the geographical dimensions of inequality and move to create a more vibrant global society. 

Learn more. 

Register for Two Esri Webinars: Modern Image Analysis & Community Equity

A man points at a remote sensing image on a computer screen.

Remote sensing technologies are advancing rapidly. New tools such as drones and modern analysis methods like machine learning make working with remotely sensed data faster and easier. Maps and spatial analysis provide insight into patterns of inequality and can provide common understanding across communities to affect positive change. Esri is partnering with the AAG to offer two upcoming webinars to introduce free resources for either developing skills in image analysis or the use of GIS for community inclusion.

  • November 10, 10:00 AM PT, Modern Image Analysis and Remote Sensing participants will learn how imagery is used in a variety of domains for monitoring environmental change; how to derive more insight from imagery for learning and research; and about free learning resources for building skills with modern tools and capabilities. Register 
  • November 17, 10:00 AM PT, Exploring Communities Through an Equity Lens participants will hear from the Esri Education Team and Esri’s Racial Equity Team to learn about the free resources available to help scholars and students apply GIS methods to the study of racial equity. Register.

Submissions Now Open for you are here: the journal of creative geography

Queer Ecologies definition

Submissions are now open for you are here: the journal of creative geography‘s 2022 issue. you are here is an interdisciplinary and multi-genre journal that explores the intersection of geography and the arts. 

This year’s theme is queer ecologies. We peer-review and accept creative writing, visual art, film, poetry, performance, sound art, comics, and any other creative genres you can imagine. For the call for submissions and submission guidelines, please visit Submissions close Jan. 15, 2022. To stay connected to the journal, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @youarehereUA. 

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.  

Registration and more information available here.

CFP – Vernacular Architecture Forum 2022 Annual Meeting

VAF logoThe Vernacular Architecture Forum invites paper and poster proposals for its 43rd Annual Conference, May 18 to May 21, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. Papers may address topics relating to vernacular and everyday buildings, sites, or cultural landscapes worldwide and how people use these sites. Papers could also explore new methodologies for researching vernacular architecture, or new pedagogies for engaging students in the analysis of everyday buildings and cultural landscapes. All topics are welcome and papers focusing on issues of migration, displacement, de/colonialism, segregation, resistance, gender, sexuality, identity, heritage, equity, and/or justice in the everyday built environment are encouraged.

Submissions are due November 30 



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