Telling Our Stories, Speaking Out and Being Heard as Geographers
By Glen M. MacDonald
Perhaps now more than ever geographers need to tell their stories, speak out and make their voices heard. In a world that seems increasingly divisive politically and socially, and where the fact-based discourse and decision-making we value is under threat, there is much that we find of concern and much with which we feel we should publically engage. In this column I share my thoughts on three aspects of communicating as geographers with the public, policymakers and each other.
Recent columns from the President
- Creating and Preserving Actionable and Policy-Relevant Geography
- Strengths and Challenges of Diversity
- Geography in a Post-Truth World
- Geography, Institutions and the Fate of People and Planet in the 21st Century
- The Long, Hot Summer
- More from the President
NAACP Endorses AAG Letter Opposing Restrictions on Geospatial and Racial Disparities Data
Featured Theme: Mainstreaming Human Rights in Geography and the AAG
Nearly all geographers are concerned about human rights, and in their personal and professional lives seek meaningful ways to act on these concerns and values. The AAG and the discipline of geography intersects with human rights in numerous ways. This special theme within the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting will explore intersections of Human Rights and Geography, and will build on the AAG’s decade-long initiatives on Mainstreaming Human Rights in Geography and the AAG. An Interview with Noam Chomsky by Doug Richardson will keynote this theme at the 2017 Boston Annual Meeting.
This theme will feature 50 sessions with more than 250 presentations at the intersection of human rights and geography. Speakers from leading human rights organizations, academia, government, and international organizations will address human rights challenges around the world.
Featured Theme: Uncertainty and Context in Geography and GIScience
Uncertainty and context pose fundamental challenges in geographic research and GIScience. Geospatial data are imbued with error (e.g., measurement and sampling error), and understanding of the effects of contextual influences on human behavior and experience are often obfuscated by various types of uncertainty (e.g., contextual uncertainties, algorithmic uncertainties, and uncertainty arising from different spatial scales and zonal schemes). Identifying the “true causally relevant” spatial and temporal contexts that influence people’s behavior and experience is thus also challenging, since people move around in their daily lives and over their life courses and experience the influences of many different contexts. To generate reliable geographic knowledge, these uncertainties and contextual issues will be addressed within the special theme, Uncertainty and Context in Geography and GIScience: Advances in Theory, Methods, and Practice, during the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting in Boston.
Featured Theme: Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century
Burgeoning global population along with increasing appetite for high-protein or resource demanding food choices may double demands on world agriculture by 2050. At the same time groundwater depletion and climate change are negatively impacting the availability of sufficient water to meet agricultural and domestic freshwater demands in many regions. Compounding these challenges are socioeconomic forces, including armed conflicts and state collapse that negatively affect agricultural productivity, food transference and water resources. The challenges to food and water security over the 21st century represent an increasing and potentially existential threat to global society. These issues are fundamentally geographical in nature and form a central research and educational focus of geography and the AAG special theme.
Attend Special Sessions on the 2016 U.S. Elections: Implications for Geography and Beyond
The 2016 elections in the United States may impact geography and our nation in the years ahead in many ways. During the AAG Annual Meeting in Boston, we will hold a series of late-breaking sessions on the US election. The keynote session organized by AAG President Glen MacDonald and AAG past presidents is titled, “The 2016 U.S. Elections: Implications for Geography and Beyond,” addressing what the results may mean for geography, the nation, and our planet.
Jobs & Careers Center
The Jobs & Careers Center provides a central location for jobseekers, students, and professionals to interact with one another and to learn more about careers and professional development for geographers. No additional cost or registration is required for conference participants to visit the Jobs & Careers Center. The Jobs & Careers Center will be located in Rooms 203, 204 & 205 of the Hynes Convention Center, Second Level.
Sign Up for One of the Many AAG 2017 Field Trips, Workshops and Excursions
Explore the rich physical and cultural geography of Boston, Mass., and the New England region through informative field trips led by geographers or other experts. Field trips and excursions are also an excellent way to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues and friends. Also, expand your knowledge base and sign up for a workshop within your area of expertise.
Transformative Research in Geography Education
A Special Track of Sessions for the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting
The National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE) is a NSF-funded research coordination network headquartered at the AAG and Texas State University. For the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting in Boston, NCRGE is sponsoring organized sessions on the topic of Transformative Research in Geography Education. This is the first of a planned annual series of activities at the AAG Annual Meeting to raise the visibility of research in geography education, grow the NCRGE research coordination network, and provide productive spaces for discussion about geography education research and what makes research in the field potentially transformative. Full session descriptions are available in the AAG Annual Meeting Program.
AAG Snapshots: Learn About the Many Programs, Projects, and Resources the AAG Has to Offer
There is much more the AAG than its annual meeting! Check out our new AAG Snapshots series at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston to learn about the many resources and opportunities available to you through the AAG. Throughout the week, AAG staff will be giving brief (5-10 minute) talks on different aspects of the projects, programs, and resources of the association, with website demonstrations showing how to access more information online. Topics range from making the most of your student membership to AAG’s efforts regarding public policy. We encourage everyone to attend these casual presentations and interact with AAG staff, asking your questions and learning more about the association and membership.
On-Site Childcare Available in Boston
Register for Camp AAG by March 31
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 2017 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 from April 5-9.
Carry the AAG 2017 Annual Meeting Program in Your Pocket
Get the most from your AAG 2017 Boston experience with the mobile app. Enjoy an interactive experience on your Apple, Android, BlackBerry and other mobile devices during the annual meeting. If you’re a laptop user or have a Windows phone, there’s also a Web version for your devices.
Celebrate the International Encyclopedia of Geography in Boston
Join us in celebrating the official launch of the International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technologies during an AAG International Reception in Boston! This reception is an opportunity to see old friends and meet colleagues at the outset of the AAG Annual Meeting. There will be food, drinks, music, and interaction with IEG authors and editors. All attendees are invited to attend.
Boston: Geography in a Sanctuary City
Thousands of geographers will convene in Boston from April 5-9 to discuss geographic research, education, and innovation, and form new collaborations with like- and differently-minded scholars, researchers, and practitioners. They will strive to interpret, understand, and respond to the current political climates using their expertise in and perspectives of geography and its many diverse sub-disciplines.
Ideas for the Culture Enthusiast in Boston
Boston’s cultural scene is vibrant in all seasons. From museums and performing arts to interactive festivals and outdoor concerts, Boston is abuzz with activities for cultural enthusiasts. If you love the classics, ensembles such as Handel & Haydn Society and the Boston Symphony Orchestra are reason enough to visit Boston. If you prefer a lighter, contemporary flair then the Boston Pops are your orchestra of choice. Boston’s heralded conservatories, including Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music, also performance concerts every week throughout the year.
Family fun in Boston is around every corner. From the waterfront to the Fens, and across the river too, Boston is full of family-oriented attractions. We make history fun with tours of the Freedom Trail and interactive exhibits at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and the USS Constitution Museum. Don’t worry about those little feet getting fatigued because everything in Boston is nearby. If you do need a rest hop aboard a Trolley Tour or Boston Duck Tour.
Call for Nominations – AAG Honors
Please consider nominating outstanding colleagues for the AAG Honors, the highest awards offered by the AAG! AAG Honors are offered annually to recognize outstanding accomplishments by members in research and scholarship, teaching, education, service to the discipline, public service outside academe, and for lifetime achievement. Individual AAG members, specialty groups, affinity groups, departments, and other interested parties are encouraged to nominate outstanding colleagues by June 30. Currently, honors are awarded in several categories, including: Distinguished Teaching Honors; Gilbert F. White Distinguished Public Service Honors; Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors; Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education; Distinguished Scholarship Honors; and Lifetime Achievement Honors. AAG Honors are selected annually by the AAG Honors Committee from a collection of nomination submissions.
The AAG Fellows Program
The AAG is honored to announce it has launched AAG Fellows, a new program to recognize geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing geography. In addition to honoring geographers, AAG Fellows will serve the AAG as an august body to address key AAG initiatives including creating and contributing to AAG initiatives; advising on AAG strategic directions and grand challenges; and mentoring early and mid-career faculty. The deadline for nominations is June 30.
AAG Announces 2017 Election Results
The AAG Tellers Committee has reported the results of the 2017 AAG Election. Those elected to office are as follows:
- President: Derek H. Alderman, University of Tennessee.
- Vice President: Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, University of Texas-Austin.
- National Councilors: Lorraine Dowler, Pennsylvania State University; Jamie Winders, Syracuse University.
- Nominating Committee: Perry Carter, Texas Tech University; Jennifer Clark, Georgia Institute of Technology; Shannon O’Lear, University of Kansas.
- Honors Committee A: Wendy Jepson, Texas A&M University. Honors Committee B: Lisa DeChano-Cook, Western Michigan University; Rebecca Lave, Indiana University.
- Constitutional changes to add a student member to Council: Approved
Mark your calendars and be sure to join us for an #AAGChat on the release of the International Encyclopedia of Geography (IEG). The chat will feature Richard A. Marston, IEG General Editor – Physical Geography and former AAG President, as well as J. Marshall Shepherd, IEG Section Editor – Climate, as well as Jennifer Cassidento, AAG Publications Director. The chat will occur on Thursday, March 16, 2017, from 12-1 p.m. EST. To participate in the chat, please use the hashtag, #AAGChat. Make sure to follow us on Twitter by searching for our handle, @TheAAG!
Also, be sure to visit our updated social media page to view our previous #AAGChat on careers in geography and learn more about our social media channels and events.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
Request for Proposals: Transformative Research in Geography Education
The National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE) invites proposals to develop new collaborative and interdisciplinary research networks addressing major questions and challenges in geography education. Through this program, NCRGE aspires to strengthen geography education research processes and promote the growth of sustainable, and potentially transformative, lines of research.
Call for Nominations: GeoCUR Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
The Geosciences Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (GeoCUR) is now accepting nominations for its annual award that highlights the importance of mentoring undergraduate research activities. The award annually recognizes an individual who serves as a role model for productive and transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships and for maintaining a sustained and innovative approach to the enterprise of undergraduate research.
Dr. Thomas J. Wilbanks
The AAG Wilbanks Award for Transformational Research in Geography has been established in memory of the late Dr. Thomas Wilbanks, a former AAG President and long-standing AAG member. The Wilbanks family has created this new award to honor researchers who have made significant contributions to Geography and GIScience. The family asks that donations be made to the AAG Wilbanks Award for Transformational Research in Geography at this link or by contacting Candida Mannozzi at cmannozzi [at] aag [dot] org or 202-234-1450.
Samuel Stephen Aryeetey Attoh
Samuel Stephen Nii Kojo Armah Aryeetey-Attoh was born June 26, 1956, in Accra, Ghana. He was the last born and only son to the late Samuel A Attoh and Cecilia Taiwo Attoh. Samuel received his BA with Honors from the University of Ghana, his Masters from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and his Ph.D. from Boston University, Massachusetts. Dr. Attoh began his academic career at the University of Toledo, where he was a Geography Professor from 1987 to 2005. During this time, he also served as Chairman of Geography and Planning department from 1996 to 2003. He served as a Fellow of the American Council on Education and Administrative Placement Intern Mentor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, from 2003-2004.
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.
May 2017 Issue of ‘The Professional Geographer’ Now Available
The AAG is pleased to announce that Volume 69, Issue 2 (May 2017) of The Professional Geographer is now available. The focus of The Professional Geographer is on short articles in academic or applied geography, emphasizing empirical studies and methodologies. These features may range in content and approach from rigorously analytic to broadly philosophical or prescriptive. The journal provides a forum for new ideas and alternative viewpoints. Each issue, the Editor chooses one article to make freely available. In this issue you can read The Price of Journals in Geography by Oliver T. Coomes, Tim R. Moore, and Sébastien Breau for free for the next three months.
April 2017 Issue of the ‘African Geographical Review’ Now Available
The AAG is pleased to announce that Volume 36, Issue 1 (April 2017) of the African Geographical Review is now available. The African Geographical Review is the journal of the Africa Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers. It provides a medium for the publication of geographical material relating to Africa, seeks to enhance the standing of African regional geography, and to promote a better representation of African scholarship. Articles cover all sub-fields of geography, and can be theoretical, empirical or applied in nature.
New Books in Geography — February 2017
Every month the AAG compiles a list of newly-published books in geography and related fields. Some are selected for review in the AAG Review of Books. Anyone interested in reviewing these or other titles should contact the Editor-in-Chief, Kent Mathewson. Check out the books received from publishers in the last month.
Annals Special Issue on Mountains
Every year since 2009 our flagship journal, the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, has published a special issue that highlights geographic research around a significant global theme. The ninth special issue of the Annals, published in March 2017, brings together 27 articles on the topic of Mountains, edited by Mark A. Fonstad. Over a two-year period, papers were sought from a wide spectrum of researchers from different parts of the world who address physical, political, theoretical, social, empirical, environmental, methodological, and economic issues focused on the geography of mountains and their inhabitants.
- A Comprehensive Map of American Lynchings
- POD Program Fuels Student Enthusiasm for STEM and GIS
- 2016 Was the Hottest Year Ever Recorded
- Hailing an Uber Just Got Way More Political
IN THE NEWS
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Submit News to the AAG Newsletter. To share your news, submit announcements to newsletter [at] aag [dot] org.