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Call for Participation
AAG Annual Meeting
San Francisco, California
March 29 – April 2, 2016

For its 2016 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the AAG is welcoming abstracts and organized session proposals on the theme of Thriving in a Time of Disruption in Higher Education.

Context: This is a challenging time to be engaged in scholarship in higher education. Shrinking state budgets and rising tuition raise concerns about the affordability—and importance–of college. Graduate education is facing serious criticism and evaluation; is the academy preparing students valued by society or merely reproducing itself? Skepticism by some members of Congress about the value of social and behavioral sciences threaten research funding at the same time universities are placing increased importance on grantsmanship for promotion and tenure. A cornerstone of education, tenure, is under attack. Fundamental notions of shared governance and academic freedom are under reconsideration. Increasingly our status as individual scholars and collective departments is measured and benchmarked by external organizations using criteria we may not even be aware of—or value.

This plays out in different ways for the discipline of geography. Eight actions emerge as key to healthy geography departments: teach, promote, build, innovate, nurture, manage, reflect, and envision. Departments must have a clear (and shared) vision of what and who they are and be prepared to work to build toward that vision. This may require innovation, a euphemism for change, something that is never easy. Departments need leaders who manage effectively and who are willing to nurture their colleagues, enabling them to succeed across different stages of their careers. Healthy geography departments care about recruiting and retaining students and majors through compelling teaching that enriches the lives of the students they touch. Strong departments build through fund raising, nurturing alumni, and entrepreneurship. Finally, healthy departments take the time to reflect, to assess, plan, and refocus as needed, together.

Sessions: To reflect on these ideas, the AAG invites sessions focused on the notion of building the discipline broadly through the development of healthy departments. A second pathway to disciplinary health is through strong research-based teaching and institutional action. Especially appropriate would be papers and sessions focused on topics such as:

  • Impactful geographical research
  • Entrepreneurship and alumnae development strategies
  • Innovations in undergraduate and graduate education
  • Research in geographic and spatial thinking
  • Innovations in K-12 education
  • Internationalization of geography education

For each of the activities below, we seek a diverse group of individuals representing a range of experiences with these topics. If interested, please follow the specified procedures.

RESEARCH PAPERS

AAG staff will be organizing several paper sessions on research topics related to this theme. To present in one of these sessions:

  • Register for the conference at aag.org/annualmeeting/register
  • During abstract submission select “paper” as the abstract type
  • After entering your abstract, select Higher Education as the Primary Topic
  • In the space for “Special Request” add a note that the abstract submitted is intended for the “Thriving in a Time of Disruption in Higher Education” theme
  • When you receive confirmation of a successful abstract submission, please then forward this confirmation to: geoeducation [at] aag [dot] org.

The abstract deadline is October 29, 2015.

ILLUSTRATED PAPER SESSIONS

AAG staff will also be organizing practice-oriented illustrated paper sessions intended to disseminate information about effective approaches to geography education in the context of this theme. An illustrated paper is a short oral summary of problem, data, method, and findings presented in poster format, followed by a one-on-one or small group discussion with interested listeners. Each presenter will post illustrations and other relevant materials on a poster board supplied by the AAG. All oral summaries will be given at the beginning of each session before participants disperse to the poster boards around the room. To present in one of these sessions:

  • Register for the conference at aag.org/annualmeeting/register
  • During abstract submission select “paper” as the abstract type
  • After entering your abstract, select Higher Education as the Primary Topic
  • In the space for “Special Request” add a note that the abstract submitted is intended for the “Thriving in a Time of Disruption in Higher Education” theme
  • When you receive confirmation of a successful abstract submission, please then forward this confirmation to: geoeducation [at] aag [dot] org.

The abstract deadline is October 29, 2015.

ORGANIZED SESSIONS

To submit an organized session to this theme please forward your session confirmation email to geoeducation [at] aag [dot] org by October 29, 2015.