Newsletter – September 2021


Geographers and Redistricting

By Emily Yeh

Fair redistricting is indispensable to a healthy democratic republic. But what exactly is fair? This turns out to be a rather difficult question; it is much easier to see when things are blatantly not fair – when they don’t adhere to one-person one-vote in the second sense of equal representation.

Continue Reading.


Present Your Work at #AAG2022 

The AAG is now accepting abstracts for all presentation types at the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting to be held February 25 – March 1 in New York City. All abstracts for both in-person and virtual presentations will be accepted. For those participating in-person at the annual meeting, registrants may opt to present their work in either in-person or virtual paper or poster sessions. Those registered for the virtual meeting experience may only present in virtual paper or poster sessions. Deadlines vary by presentation type.

Learn more about registration and abstract submission.

Serve as a Career Mentor at the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting 

The AAG seeks panelists, career mentors, workshop leaders and session organizers for careers and professional development activities at the 2022 AAG Annual Meeting in New York City. Individuals representing a broad range of employment sectors, organizations, academic and professional backgrounds, and racial/ethnic/gender perspectives are encouraged to apply. If interested, email careers [at] aag [dot] org, specifying topic(s) and activity(s) of interest, and attach a current C.V. or resume. For best consideration, please submit your information by November 4, 2021.

New York City to Host Hybrid 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 is open, 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!


Space to Cultivate: A View from the AAG Review of Books

“I envision the Review as a space to be working through ideas and concepts,” says Editor-in-Chief Debbie Hopkins, who took the helm of the journal in mid-2020: “A place where a reviewer has the freedom to speak.” Read our interview with Hopkins and Editorial Assistant Neha Arora to find out more about what they look for in submissions

Continue Reading.

NEW GeoHumanities Issue Alert: Featuring Articles in Two Forums, Monsoon Assemblages and Geographies of Fashion and Style


The most recent issue of GeoHumanities has been published online (Volume 7, Issue 1with 19 new articles on research that bridges geography and the humanities. The forum on Monsoon Assemblages contains articles on topics including invasive plantssediment politics; Apartheid engineering; monsoons as fresh water supplygroundwatergamblinglandscape architecturemore-than-human ethnography; ecotones; and animism. The second forum on Geographies of Fashion and Style includes articles focusing on museum exhibitssmoking suits; ostrich plume commoditiesstyle theorygender and fashionfashion curation; and biodesign 

All AAG members have full online access to all issues of GeoHumanities through the Members Only page. Each issue, the Editors choose one article to make freely available. In this issue you can read the introductions to both forums, Introduction: Thinking with the Monsoon by Lindsay Bremner and Geographies of Fashion and Style: Setting the Scene by Merle Patchett and Nina Williamsfor free.

Questions about GeoHumanities? Contact geohumanities [at] aag [dot] org.

NEW Annals Alert: Articles with topics ranging from plantation economies to historical urban morphology to solar energy

The most recent issue of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers has been published online (Volume 111, Issue 6) with 17 new research articles on contemporary geographic research and a memorial tribute to William L. Graf. Topics in this issue include historical hazardsthe 2016 U.S. Presidential Electionautonomous vehiclesmultilevel modelsfood justicecarceral environmentsflying while fattransportation poverty; and commuting. Locational areas of interest include the northeastern U.S.Mediterranean ecosystemsGermanyand South America. Authors are from a variety of research institutions including Cornell UniversityVirginia TechUniversity of California at Santa Barbara; and University College London 

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 Spatiotemporal Variation of COVID-19 and Its Spread in South America: A Rapid Assessment by Temitope D. Timothy Oyedotun and Stephan Moonsammy 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:

• Annals of the American Association of Geographers
• The Professional Geographer
• GeoHumanities
• The AAG Review of Books


A World of Possibilities: Introducing AAG’s New Recruitment Video

Many AAG members have shared the importance of having new digital marketing tools that can be used to recruit students into geography programs. As part of the COVID-19 Rapid Response initiative, AAG has worked with Green Jay Strategies to produce just such a film: A World of Possibilities Waiting for You with a Degree in Geography. The video is aimed at students who are early in their process of discovery of a geography degree and considers the research of Dr. Justin Stoler (University of Miami) on the understanding and preferences of undergraduate students. AAG can customize this video with your department’s contact information at the end (the video can also just be used as it is). If you would like to have a version that displays your department contact information on a closing slide at the end of the video, please email helloworld[at]aag[dot]org for more information.  

AAG would like to thank AAG members Dr. Debarchana Ghosh, Dr. Deborah Thomas, Dr. Jacqueline Housel, Dr. Jason Post, Dr. Justin Stoler, and Dr. Wan Yu for their roles in helping shape this video and the AAG COVID-19 Response Subcommittee for proposing this project. 

AAG Early Career and Department Leadership Webinar Series Continues in Fall 2021

The Early Career and Department Leadership webinar series, launched in fall 2020 as part of the AAG’s COVID-19 Rapid Response initiatives, also represents a broader effort at the AAG to expand year-round programming for members and the wider geography community. The AAG is pleased to announce that the webinar series will continue in the 2021-2022 academic year.  

Find out more about the career webinar series and the department leadership series.

Save the Date for AAG Regions Connect

This fall will be a great time to reconnect with colleagues, both in your regions and beyond. For the first time, AAG and the Applied Geography Conference are collaborating with six of our Regional Divisions to create a carbon-sensitive meeting model with AAG Regions Connect: A Joint Climate-Forward Initiative. Happening Oct 14-16, AAG Regions Connect is part of a larger effort to reduce carbon emissions at AAG events combining in-person local gathering with nationally available online events, including new offerings for career and professional development and regional perspectives on international and national issues. Registration is now open. See the larger work of the AAG Climate Action Task Force.

Check out our Events page for information on Regions Connect and other Regional Division events this fall. 

The Future Is Here: Geography Awareness Week November 14-20

AAG is excited to announce this year’s theme for Geography Awareness Week, The Future Is Here: Geographers Pursue the Path Forward. Highlighting the many ways that geographers are anticipating and shaping a better future in their work, the week will also celebrate the contributions of early-career geographers and students of geography. 

We’ll share more resources and materials in October, and in the meantime, we want to hear from you! We are looking for stories to amplify your work and ideas during GeoWeek with our #GeographersRespond hashtag. You can send us information about a GeoWeek event you are planning, a video of you talking about your path to geography, a photo with a few lines about your work, or just an email telling us what you’re up to. Send your items to lschamess [at] aag [dot] org for a chance to be featured during Geography Awareness Week. 

Image: 2016 Rio Olympics mural by Eduardo Kobra

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.

More information about AAG Honors  and AAG Fellows.

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

Sept. 30: AAG Program Excellence Award – masters-granting programs

Nominations Sought for AAG Council Positions

The AAG Nominating Committee seeks nominations for Vice President (one to be elected) for National Councilor (two vacancies), and for Student Councilor (one vacancy) for the 2022 election. The AAG encourages nominations of a broad range of colleagues who reflect different disciplinary specialties, regional locations, gender, race, ethnicity, diverse ability, stage in career, etc. Those elected will take office on July 1, 2022. AAG members should submit the names and addresses of each nominee and their reasons for supporting nomination to any member of the AAG Nominating Committee no later than September 24, 2021. As part of your nomination statement, please confirm that the person is willing to be considered for the position for which you are recommending them. Nominations by email are strongly preferred.

Please send nominations or questions regarding these positions to the AAG Nominating Committee: Kathleen Sherman-Morris (Chair), John Harrington, Jr., and Helga Leitner. 


Reconciliation in Place Names Act Endorsed Again by AAG


Last month the Reconciliation in Place Names Act was reintroduced in Congress by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Congressman Al Green (D-TX). The AAG supported this bill in the last Congress and has again endorsed this important piece of legislation that aims to rectify the litany of US geographic place names that are offensive and outdated. See below for an excerpt from Sen. Markey’s press release on the bill.  

Washington, DC – United States Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congressman Al Green (D-Texas) introduced the Reconciliation in Place Names Act. Originally introduced last year with then-Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), this bill would address land units and geographic features with racist and bigoted names.  

Public lands are a part of the fabric of America that are meant to welcome everyone; however, thousands of geographic features, national forests, wilderness areas, and other public lands have offensive names that celebrate people who have upheld slavery, committed unspeakable acts against Native Americans, or led Confederate war efforts. Furthermore, many of these landmarks include offensive slurs that degrade people based on their race or background, making many feel unwelcome. 

Currently, the United States Board on Geographic Names oversees all naming processes and decisions. While Board policies authorize changing the names of offensive geographic features, the current process is time-consuming, lacks transparency and public involvement, and is ill equipped to address the vast nature of the problem. The Reconciliation in Place Names Act would create an Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names, which would make recommendations to the Board on Geographic Names on geographic features to be renamed and recommendations to Congress on renaming Federal land units with offensive names. 

In the News:

  • The AAG’s Redistricting Panel Series is happening now! Click here to learn more about why geospatial thinkers are indispensable to the redistricting process, and to see if there is an upcoming panel in your state. It’s time for all geographers to step up and get involved in this once in a decade opportunity to draw new state and congressional districts.

September Member Updates

The latest news about AAG Members.  

Dr. Jayajit Chakraborty from the University of Texas at El Paso was selected to serve as a member of the Science Advisory Board and the new Environmental Justice Science Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) is a federal advisory committee that provides independent peer review, consultation, advice, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on a range of environmental health science, engineering, climate change, environmental justice, and economic issues. Read more.


Visiting Geographical Scientist Program Accepting Applications for 2021-2022

GtulogoThe VGSP, which sponsors visits by prominent geographers to small departments or institutions with limited resources, is accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year. The purpose of this program is to stimulate interest in geography among students, faculty members, and administrative officers. A list of pre-approved speakers is available on the website, however participating institutions select and make arrangements with the visiting geographer. VGSP is funded by Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), the international honors society for geographers. Questions and complete applications may be directed to Mark Revell 

Apply to the VGSP for this school year. 

GISCI Announces December 2021 Exam Period

The next testing window for the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® as a part of the GISP Certification has been scheduled and will once again be administered by PSI Online through their worldwide testing facilities in a computer-based testing (CBT) format. The exam will be held December 4 – 11, 2021. The Exam will be administered by PSI Online, a worldwide exam delivery company with over 70 years of experience in providing computer-based testing (CBT) facilities across the US, Canada, and around the world. 

More information about the GISP Exam 

Register for the 2021 AAAS Science, Technology and Human Rights Conference

Registration for the 2021 AAAS Science, Technology and Human Rights Conference is now open! The conference will be held online October 21-22. Visit to register. Early registration is available through September 1. More information is available here. Students: stay tuned for the call for student e-posters, which will be issued soon.

Participate in a Survey on Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Kauffman Foundation

The Kauffman Research team is working with scholars at NORC at the University of Chicago (an independent, non-profit survey research organization) to survey researchers of entrepreneurship and innovation about the professional climate within their field. The survey focuses, primarily, on questions of intellectual inclusion within university departments, conferences and networking arenas, and the publishing and funding domains. Kauffman invites scholars who study entrepreneurship—at all stages of their academic career, and across fields and disciplines to share their perspectives with us.

Take the survey 

Upcoming Virtual Events from the Kauffman Foundation 

Have you ever wanted to share your research with experts and decision-makers in a way that grabs their limited attention? Participate in the Plain Language: Executive Summaries Workshop. This free, virtual event will share strategies for: 

  • Defining the target audience(s) for scholarly research. 
  • Leveraging smart information design to create useable and persuasive documents.   
  • Applying sentence-level edits to improve the readability of your work. 

The virtual workshop will be held on two dates: 

10 a.m. CST September 16: Register 

2 p.m. CST November 9: Register 

Advisory Committee to Director of Census Bureau Seeks New Members

The Census Advisory Committee Branch is in the process of soliciting nominees to fill membership vacancies on the Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC). The purpose of the CSAC is to provide advice to the Director on the full range of Census Bureau programs and activities including communications, decennial, demographic, economic, field operations, geographic, information technology, and statistics. The ending period of solicitation is September 30, 2021. 

Find out more about the Census Scientific Advisory Committee 


John (‘Jock’) Herbert Galloway died on July 27, 2021 in Tweed, Ontario, after suffering several years with Alzheimer’s. Jock was a devoted and much loved and respected member of the Department of Geography & Planning at the University of Toronto as well as at Victoria College where he was a long-time Fellow. Exploring the global geographical diffusion of the sugar cane industry and its various branches, Jock’s research and publications focused on the historical geography of Brazil and the Caribbean. Read more.


The AAG is also saddened to hear of the passing of Sanford H. Bederman and Bobby M. Wilson this past month with written tributes forthcoming.