The World of the City
By Glen M. MacDonald
Those of us alive today are witnessing one of the most profound events in all of human history — and it is an event, which is fundamentally geographic in nature. The transformation we are experiencing is the concentration of the majority of the world’s population into urban areas.
Although much has been made of the United Nations report that declared as of 2008 half the world’s population live in urban areas, this trend has been a long-term feature of the 20th and 21st centuries. In 1900 only about 10 percent to 15 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas.
The trend towards greater urbanization accelerated from the 1950s and shows no indication of stopping. The United Nations estimates that by 2050 some 70 percent of the world population will live in urban areas. In terms of absolute numbers that means in just 34 years there will be some 6.4 billion city dwellers.
Recent columns from the President
- Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century
- The End(s) of Geography?
- Listening to Our Members: Part 2
- Listening to Our Members: Part 1
- More from the President
AAG Offers Suite of New Resources for Students and Job Seekers
Students looking for information about undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as currently available graduate assistantships, internships, and postdoc positions in geography now have a suite of resources available from the AAG.
AAG Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas – Our popular guide to undergraduate and graduate programs in all areas of geography has been enhanced with a new interactive map. Easy-to-use search tools allow students explore and discover geography programs by degree type, region, and program specialization.
AAG Student and Postdoc Opportunities Website – This site features a variety of graduate assistantships, internships, and postdoctoral researcher positions in the discipline. Academic departments may post their student and postdoc opportunities on the site at no charge.
AAG Jobs in Geography Center – Job seekers can begin their search on this site, which offers the latest geography-related job openings in the academic, public, private, and nonprofit sectors, along with a wide array of practical resources that can assist students with career planning and the job hunt.
For more information, contact Mark Revell at mrevell [at] aag [dot] org.
AAG To Feature Three Themes at Annual Meeting in Boston
Each year, the AAG identifies a few themes for its Annual Meeting to help focus discussion and provide a fresh and engaging structure to the conference program. Current themes include:
- Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century – Glen MacDonald’s Presidential Opening Plenary: Bread and Water in the 21st Century will keynote this theme
- Uncertainty and Context in Geography and GIScience
- Mainstreaming Human Rights in Geography and the AAG – An interview with Noam Chomsky by Doug Richardson will keynote this theme
Please see the links above for more information about how to get involved with these themes.
Attendees are also invited to develop sessions relevant to the meeting’s location or influenced by political and intellectual trends within the discipline. As always, any topic relevant to geography is welcome at the AAG annual meeting. For more information, contact Oscar Larson, AAG conference director, at meeting [at] aag [dot] org.
In addition to the these three major themes, the AAG Annual Meeting will also feature 6,000 presentations, posters, and workshops by leading scholars, researchers, and educators.
Call for Participation: Geography Career Events
The AAG seeks panelists, mentors, and workshop leaders for career and professional development events for its annual meeting, April 5–9, 2017, in Boston. A diverse group of individuals representing a broad range of employment sectors, organizations, academic and professional backgrounds, and racial/ethnic/gender perspectives are encouraged to apply. 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 17, 2016.
AAG To Offer On-site Childcare During 2017 Annual Meeting
For the third consecutive year, the AAG is pleased to announce that it is continuing full-time, professionally managed and staffed on-site childcare services for the annual meeting at the Boston Sheraton Hotel. Childcare services will be provided by Accent on Children’s Arrangements, Inc., which will design and run a children’s program called Camp AAG April 5-9, 2017.
Daydreams and Nightmares in the Northern Forest: A Quarter Century of Change
The Northern Forest is a term used by forest activists, policy wonks and some geographers to describe the forested regions of upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. This is a region of scattered population, glaciated hills and valleys, many lakes and rivers, and several substantial mountain ranges (Irland, 1999; 2011). In its fall displays of color, the red and yellow maples and birches are studded by dark green pines and spruce.
It is virtually the last redoubt of native brook trout populations; in a few coastal Maine streams tiny surviving runs of Atlantic salmon cling to life. This region was accustomed to long-standing private ownership by paper companies, well-established timber families, and Kingdom Owners– descendants of New York wealth from the 1890’s, with their lakes and “Adirondack Camps.”
The region has an aura of remoteness and wilderness character, regularly burnished by writers and artists since Thoreau’s visits in the 1840’s and the glowing paintings of Hudson River School artists. Into countless households each year, the mail order catalogs of the L.L. Bean Company arrive, with covers displaying appealing images of wild solitude. They become the suburbanites’ mental picture of the Northwoods.
Visitors were often stunned, then, to drive into the woods and see logging trucks, recent clearcuts, and for sale signs for wildland lots. Many wanted something done about it.
Help Make an AP GIS&T Course a Reality
The AAG has proposed a new Advanced Placement course in Geographic Information Science and Technology (AP GIS&T) designed to introduce high school students to the fundamentals of geographic information science and applications of geospatial technologies for spatial analysis and problem solving.
For AP GIS&T to become a reality, the AAG needs 250 U.S. high schools to attest to their interest and capacity to offer the course. Similarly, 100 colleges and universities need to declare their willingness to offer credit to students who demonstrate a proficiency on the AP GIS&T exam.
AAG Launches New Undergraduate Student Affinity Group
The American Association of Geographers will launch a new affinity group specifically for undergraduate students. The Undergraduate Student Affinity Group (USAG) will be an international community of students studying geography, offering opportunities to network and socialize, get advice on graduate study and careers, and take part in academic events.
Undergraduate students can join the AAG for just $38 and receive full membership benefits including access to scholarly journals and publications, exclusive access to the Jobs in Geography listings, participation in the knowledge environments, and reduced rates for Annual Meeting and other event registration. They can join USAG for an additional $1.
New Council Award Recognizing Outstanding Graduate Student Papers at Regional Meeting
Becoming more involved in the AAG facilitates strengthening professional networks, volunteering, taking part in scholarly activities, advancing academic studies, etc. Graduate students can register to attend their fall regional division meeting and submit their paper at that time to be eligible to win the Council Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper at a Regional Meeting.
Each awardee will receive $1,000 in funding for use towards the awardee’s registration and travel costs to the AAG Annual Meeting.
AAG Welcomes Julio Arguello, Jr as Social Media and Website Content Manager
The AAG is pleased to welcome Julio Arguello, Jr. as the Social Media and Website Content Manager. He has more than 15 years of digital communications, IT, membership and publications management experience in the nonprofit sector.
Julio will collaborate with AAG’s communications group to oversee AAG’s engagement across its social media communities, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. He will monitor media channels, post information, interact with users, and curate and write web content. He will also contribute to organizing project-related campaigns.
Nominate Deserving Colleagues for Three AAG Awards
Deadlines for nominations for three AAG awards are fast approaching this month. Don’t miss out on sending in a recommendation for a worthy colleague. The deadline is September 15.
- AAG Enhancing Diversity Award
- The AAG Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award
- The AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
Visiting Geographical Scientist Program Accepting Applications
The Visiting Geographical Scientist program (VGSP) is accepting applications for the 2016-17 academic year. VGSP sponsors visits by prominent geographers to small departments or institutions that do not have the resources to bring in well-known speakers.
The purpose of this program is to stimulate interest in geography and is targeted for students, faculty members and administrative officers. Participating institutions select and make arrangements with the visiting geographer.
GISCI Announces 2016 Fall Exam Test Period
The 2016 next testing window for the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® as a part of the GISP Certification has been scheduled for December 3-10, 2016, and will be administered by PSI Online through their worldwide testing facilities in a computer based testing (CBT) format.
The Exam application form and testing center locations are now available on the GISCI web site, and an Exam Application portal has been developed and is available for direct Exam application.
National Humanities Center 2017-2018 Call for Fellowship Applications
The National Humanities Center will offer up to 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities for the period September 2017 through May 2018. Applicants must have a doctorate or equivalent scholarly credentials. Mid-career scholars as well as senior scholars are encouraged to apply.
Applicants submit an application form, a curriculum vitae, a 1000-word project proposal, and three letters of recommendation. Applications and letters of recommendation must be submitted online by October 18, 2016.
Pre-order ‘The International Encyclopedia of Geography’
The AAG and an international team of distinguished editors and authors are in the final stages of preparing a new major reference work for Geography: The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology.
This 15-volume work, published by Wiley both in hard copy and online, will be an invaluable resource for libraries, geographers, GIScientists, students and academic departments around the globe. Updated annually, this Encyclopedia will be the authoritative reference work in the field of geography for decades to come.
AAG Releases New Edition of Guide to Geography Programs
The AAG Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas, or The Guide, includes detailed information on undergraduate and graduate geography programs in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, including degree requirements, curricula, faculty qualifications, program specialties, financial assistance, and degrees completed.
The 2015-2016 edition of The Guide is now available as a free PDF document. The AAG has also published an interactive, companion map where users can search for programs by location, degree type, field of interest, and regional focus.
‘AAG Review of Books’ Launches Database to Commemorate New Milestone
Since launching in 2013, The AAG Review of Books has published more than 250 book reviews, marking a new milestone for the journal. To celebrate this landmark, and to enable easier exploration of the vast collection of reviews, the AAG has launched a new searchable database.
Readers can now search the full list of all books reviewed in the journal by title, author, reviewer, theme and other categories. They can then follow a direct link to the review. More reviews will be added to the database as each new issue of the journal is published.
Environmental Sciences Section Editor Sought for ‘Annals of the AAG’
The AAG seeks applications and nominations for the Environmental Sciences section editor for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. The new section editor will be appointed for a four-year editorial term that will commence on January 1, 2017.
The appointment will be made by fall 2016. A letter of application that addresses both qualifications and a vision for the Environmental Sciences section should be accompanied by a complete curriculum vitae. Nominations and applications should be submitted by Friday, October 7, 2016.
Geoffrey Martin Receives Humboldt Book Award for Enduring Scholarship in Geography
The AAG Review of Books (AAGRB) has selected Professor Geoffrey Martin’s monumental book, American Geography and Geographers, as the inaugural recipient of the Humboldt Book Award for Enduring Scholarship in Geography.
The award was selected from all of the books reviewed during the first four years of The AAG Review of Books. The selection committee chaired by the Editor-in-Chief of the AAGRB unanimously agreed on selection ofAmerican Geography and Geographers as the inaugural awardee for the Humboldt Book Award for Enduring Scholarship in Geography.
- Canadian Academy to Name Medal for AAG Past President Ross Mackay
- AGI Names Allyson Anderson Book New Executive Director
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Submit News to the AAG Newsletter. To share your news, submit announcements to newsletter [at] aag [dot] org.