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AAG members and conference delegates gathered for a special awards luncheon to honor recipients of AAG awards, grants, and scholarships at the AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, on April 12, 2014. Other commendations announced and presented at the luncheon include, AAG 50-Year Members, AAG Honors, Enhancing Diversity Awards, Book Awards, the Harold Rose Award for Anti-Racism Research and Practice, and the Stan Brunn Award or Creativity in Geography.

AAG International Geographic Information Fund Awards

The AAG International Geographic Information Fund supports full-time students who are currently registered in an undergraduate or graduate degree program within the United States, and who are working in any area of spatial analysis or geographic information science or systems.  Three 2014 travel grants supported student attendance at the AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa.

  • Amber Boll, from Georgia State University
  • Paulita Bennett-Martin, from Georgia State University
  • Yaoli Wang, from the University of Georgia

AAG Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarships

Outstanding students from community colleges, junior colleges, city colleges, or two-year educational institutions who will be transferring as geography majors to four-year universities receive support and recognition from this scholarship program, including $1,000 for educational expenses.  The scholarship has been generously provided by Darrel Hess of the City College of San Francisco to 25 students since 2006.

  • Megan Yanez, Rio Hondo Community College, California State University Los Angeles
  • Joel van de Sande, City College of San Francisco, University of California, Berkeley

AAG Community College Travel Awards

AAG provides Community College Travel Grants to support attendance at the AAG Annual Meeting by students from 2-year institutions.  These travel funds are generously provided by Darrel Hess and Robert and Bobbé Christopherson. The award consists of conference registration, one year membership in the AAG, and a travel subsidy of $500 to attend the meeting.

  • Megan Yanez, Rio Hondo Community College
  • Joel van der Sande, City College of San Francisco

2014 AAG Mel Marcus Fund for Physical Geography

The AAG Mel Marcus Fund for Physical Geography was created to carry on the tradition of Mel Marcus, who, throughout his career, advocated for the importance of field experiences in research, in teaching, and in life. Grants from the AAG Mel Marcus Fund for Physical Geography foster personally formative participation by students collaborating with faculty in field-based physical geography research in challenging outdoor environments. 

Dr. Yarrow Axford with graduate students Gregory Everett Lasher and Jamie Marie McFarlin from Northwestern University, “Field Studies of Past Climate Change in Northwest Greenland”

J. Warren Nystrom Award

This prestigious annual prize distinguishes a paper based upon a recent dissertation in geography.  Nystrom was the AAG Executive Director from 1966-1979, and an exceptional educator and professor of geography with a long and productive career in international relations as a senior official in Foreign Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an international relations consultant, and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. 2014 Nystrom Committee Members are Thad Wasklewicz (Chair), Kevin Ward, and Julie Silva.

 Martha Bell, Pennsylvania State University, “Historical Political Ecology of Water: Municipal Water Governance in Colonial Lima, Peru (1578-1700)” 

2014 William L. Garrison Award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography

The biannual William L. Garrison Award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography supports innovative research into the computational aspects of geographic science. The award is intended to arouse a more general and deeper understanding of the important role that advanced computation can play in solving the complex problems of space-time analysis that are at the core of geographic science. The award is an activity of the Marble Fund for Geographic Science of the AAG.   

  • Eric Shook, Kent State University, “A Computational Approach to Understanding Spatial and Temporal Granularities in Agent-Based Modeling,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Yiyi Wang, Montana State University, “A New Spatial Model for Predicting Multivariate Counts: Anticipating Pedestrian Crashes across Neighborhoods & Firm Births across Counties,” University of Texas at Austin 

2014 Glenda Laws Award

The Glenda Laws Award recognizes early to mid-career scholars and their outstanding contributions to geographic research on social issues. It is named in memory of Glenda Laws—a geographer who brought energy and enthusiasm to her work on issues of social justice and social policy. The award is administered by the AAG and endorsed by the Institute of Australian Geographers, the Canadian Association of Geographers, and the Institute of British Geographers.

Juanita Sundberg, University of British Columbia, is recognized for her commitment to social justice, which is deeply embedded in both her teaching and scholarship. Her work at the intersection of political ecology, feminist geopolitics and critical theories of race pushes and challenges other scholars committed to social justice imperatives to be cognizant of their own potential complicity in reproducing various inequities, including North-South differences. Her teaching in upper division courses has been evaluated as ‘life-changing’ by students and is reflected in the teaching awards she has received. Dr. Sundberg develops curriculum inviting community-based organizations to partner with her in providing courses that investigate social justice issues in a participatory framework. Nominators said, “she is constantly putting community realities at the forefront of her pedagogical approach,” and that her work has powerful ripple effects. Like the late Laws, Dr. Sundberg is dedicated to understanding feminist perspectives. Despite her noteworthy accomplishments, she is deeply humble, doing much of her activist work behind the scenes without seeking credit or attention.

2014 AAG Meredith F. Burrill Award

The AAG Meredith F. Burrill Award honors work of exceptional merit and quality that lies at or near the intersection of basic research in geography on the one hand, and practical applications or policy implications on the other.  The purpose of the award is to stimulate and reward talented individuals and groups whose accomplishments parallel the intellectual traditions Meredith F. Burrill pursued as a geographer, especially fundamental geographical concepts and applications as relevant to local, national, and international policy arenas.

Douglas Batson, Research Fellow at the National Intelligence University and Toponymist on the staff of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, Foreign Names Committee is recognized for his outstanding career that encapsulates the award’s intent to recognize work that bridges research and policy. As toponymic analyst and through his scholarship on applied toponymy and political geography, Mr. Batson has made substantive contributions that meet each of the three special considerations of this award, namely to conduct inter- and multidisciplinary work on the interrelationships of significant cultural phenomena; to advance place name standardization; and to promote local, national, and international collaboration on such problems and topics.