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The AAG has around 65 Specialty and Affinity Groups which bring together AAG members around interests in particular topics, regions or professional communities.

Many of these groups bestow awards for outstanding achievement and service, prizes for papers and posters, and give grants for research and travel to students, faculty and professionals in their respective fields.

Some of these awards were presented at the AAG’s annual Awards Luncheon held in San Francisco on April 2, 2016 and these are listed below. The full list of all 2016 Specialty and Affinity Group Awards will be published on the AAG website in due course.

Special distinctions

Some of the Specialty Groups select established members of their community for their highest recognition.

  • The late Susan Hardwick, who passed away in 2015, was posthumously recognized by the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group for her career accomplishments in ethnic geography scholarship, teaching, and service.
  • Michael Kuby from Arizona State University received the Ullman Award from the Transportation Geography Specialty Group for his outstanding contributions and service to the field of transportation geography.
  • Mei-Po Kwan from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received the Melinda S. Meade Distinguished Scholarship Award in Health and Medical Geography from the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group for her outstanding record of research and teaching on health and medical geography, leadership in this area, and service to this community.
  • Dick Marston from Kansas State University received  the Melvin G. Marcus Distinguished Career Award from the Geomorphology Specialty Group.
  • William Moseley from Macalester College received the Kwadwo Konadu-Agyemang Distinguished Scholar on Africa Award
  • John Weeks from San Diego State University received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Population Specialty Group for his outstanding contributions to the field of population geography through research, teaching, professional services, and mentoring.
  • Julie Winkler from Michigan State University received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Climate Specialty Group in recognition of her career of excellent research, teaching, and mentoring in climatology, and for outstanding service to the AAG and climate specialty group.
  • Bill Wyckoff from Montana State University was honored as a Distinguished Historical Geographer by the Historical Geography Specialty Group for his research and writing which exemplifies the best in historical geography scholarship.
  • Xinyue Ye from Kent State University was given a Distinguished Service Award from the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group for his service to the group.

Awards for publications

  • The Geomorphology Specialty Group gave the Grove Karl Gilbert Award for excellence in geomorphological research to Edgardo Latrubesse from the University of Texas at Austin for his paper published in Earth Science Reviews entitled “Large Rivers, Megafans and other Quaternary Avulsive Fluvial Systems: A potential “Who’s Who” in the Geological Record.”
  • The Political Geography Specialty Group gave the Virginia Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award for a journal article or book chapter that makes an innovative, original contribution to the conceptual and/or methodological embrace of political geography to Ian Shaw for his paper published in Area entitled “Force-Full Power, Politics, and Object Oriented Philosophy.” 

Thesis and Dissertation Awards

The Transportation Geography Specialty Group gave two awards to students who completed postgraduate degrees in the last year.

  • Ying Song from the University of Minnesota won the Outstanding Dissertation Award for her doctoral dissertation entitled “Green Accessibility: Measuring the environmental costs of space-time prisms in sustainable transportation planning.”
  • Lea Ravensbergen-Hodgins from the University of Toronto won the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for her thesis entitled “Socioeconomic Discrepancies in Children’s Accessibility to Health Promoting Resources: An Activity Space Analysis.”

Student Paper Awards

Many of the Specialty Groups have competitions for student papers or posters given at the AAG Annual Meeting or other events.  The following were awarded with prizes in 2016:

China Geography Specialty Group
  • Yicong Yang, Cornell University “Understanding informal spaces in a Chinese megacity”
Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
  • Lily House-Peters, University of Arizona “Social-Ecological Transformations and Riparian Enclosure: The Production of Spaces of Exclusion and the Uneven Development of Resilience in the Sonoran Borderlands”
Economic Geography Specialty Group
  • Aarti Krishnan, University of Manchester “Expansion of regional value chains: The case of Kenyan horticulture”
Ethnic Geography Specialty Group
  • Scott Markley, University of Tennessee “Examining the Geographies of Infill New Urbanism in Atlanta Suburbs”
European Specialty Group
  • Katherine Newman, University of Victoria “The Gothic Geopolitics of Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Vampires of the Orient in the Jus Publicum Europaeum”
Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group
  • Yoo Min Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1st Place, Honors Student Paper Competition, “Assessment of Personal Exposure to Air Pollution and Its Effects on Health”
  • Neil Debbage, University of Georgia, 2nd Place, Honors Student Paper Competition, “Sensitivity of Spatial Metrics to Land Use Classification Scheme When Assessing Urban Sprawl Among Large U.S. Metropolitan Areas”
  • Jessica Dozier, San Diego State University, Finalist – Honors Student Paper Competition, “Improve Disaster Communication in Online and Offline Communities Using Social Media (Twitter) and Big Data”
  • Song Gao, UC Santa Barbara, Finalist – Honors Student Paper Competition, “Employing Spatial Analysis in Indoor Positioning and Tracking Using Wi-Fi Access Points”
  • Dapeng Li, University of Utah, Finalist – Honors Student Paper Competition, “Setting Wildfire Evacuation Triggers by Coupling Fire and Traffic Simulation Models: A Spatiotemporal GIS Approach”
Political Geography Specialty Group
  • Amber J. Boll-Bosse (MA Student Paper Award) “Participatory Action Mapping: A pathway for (re)thinking, (re)engaging, and (re)making maps in political geography”
  • Casey Ryan Lynch (PhD Student Paper Award) “Performative Power and Colonizing Assemblages in Post-Coup Honduras”
Population Specialty Group
  • Nathan Trombley, University of Tennessee “Remittance Behavior of US Immigrants”
Qualitative Research Specialty Group
  • Amber Bell-Bosse, University of Kentucky “We are living in a nightmare, and it is so clear to me now”: A Qualitative examination of participatory action mapping”
Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group
  • Yingyu Feng, University of Bristol “The Rise of Inequality? A Spatiotemporal Analysis of Housing Price Disparities in England and Wales During 2001-2015”
Remote Sensing, GIS and Cartography Specialty Groups
  • Laurel Ballanti, San Francisco State University (1st place) “Tree Species Classification Using Hyperspectral Imagery in Muir Woods National Monument and Kent Creek Canyon, California”
  • Fang Fang, West Virginia University (2nd place) “Discriminating tree species using crown-scale measurements: fusing leaf-on Lidar and high-resolution multi-spectral satellite date”
Remote Sensing Specialty Group
  • Wenjie Ji, State University of New York at Buffalo (1st place)
  • Tengyun Hu, Tsinghua University, China (3rd place)
Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
  • Debra Blackmore, Portland State University
  • Su Han, San Diego State University
Sexuality and Space Specialty Group
  • Paul Kelaita, University of Sydney, Australia “Queer Infrastructure and Gay Elsewheres”

Awards for research and field study

Jonathan McCombs from the University of Georgia received the Student Field Study Award from the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group for his field research proposal entitled “White Washing Green Spaces: Race and Nature in the Gentrification of Budapest’s Eighth District.”

  • Xiaoyu “Larry” Lu from University of Tennessee received the M. Gordon “Reds” Wolman Doctoral Student Research Award from the Geomorphology Specialty Group for an outstanding research proposal entitled “Connecting Spatio-temporal Domains of Water Erosion Regimes: A Geomorphic Perspective.
  • Kelly Jean Anderson from University of Maryland received the Student Research Award from the Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group for field research entitled “Contextualizing Drivers and Outcomes of Rural to Urban Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Mozambique.”

Other Awards

The Graduate Student Affinity Group gave Professional Development Awards this year to Ningning Chen from National University of Singapore and Mia Renauld from Northeastern University.

The Transportation Geography Specialty Group supported travel to the AAG Annual Meeting to Geoffrey Battista from McGill University and Koos Fransen from Ghent University.

For further information about the annual, periodic and special awards given by Specialty and Affinity Groups, visit their respective webpages. A directory of groups can be found here: http://www.aag.org/cs/about_aag/specialty_groups_2