Meet the AAG Journals Editors – James McCarthy and Ling Bian
James McCarthy is the Nature and Society editor for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers and a Professor in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. His work analyzes the interactions of political economy and environmental politics, with particular emphases on rural areas, renewable energy, property relations, and social movements. He has published widely on these themes in geography and related disciplines, including two major edited volumes and over 50 articles and chapters. He has carried out research on natural resource management, energy policy, and connections between rural landscapes and livelihoods for the Ford Foundation and Oxfam America. Prior to coming to Clark in 2011, he was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Geography at Penn State University. His current research focuses on the relationships among climate change, renewable energy, and the political economy of capitalism, focusing in particular on the ways in which a renewable energy sector booming in the context of climate change is taking up land and other natural resources in ways that may slow further climate change on the one hand, but create new social and environmental claims, impacts, and conflicts on the other.
Professor McCarthy considers nature-society research and analysis to be an absolutely essential area of scholarship for geography and for society. The field’s breadth, relevance, and potential for integration of diverse topics and approaches is precisely what led him to a career in academic geography after work in the environmental NGO field, and those attributes make creative and committed new work in it needed now more than ever. As editor, Professor McCarthy seeks to ensure that the full range of current nature-society scholarship in geography is represented in the Annals. He enjoys seeing both the tremendous range and vibrancy of work in the field, and working developmentally with scholars early relatively new to the publication process. Professor McCarthy sees cultivating new voices, perspectives, and topics in the discipline and journal as essential responsibilities for an editor, and prospective authors should always feel free to contact him regarding potential topics for the journal.
Ling Bian is the newest of the four editors for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, having assumed her role in January 2018. She currently serves as the editor for the Geographic Methods section of the Annals. Published six times a year (January, March, May, July, September and November), the Annals also dedicates one Special Issue per year which draws a diversity of papers from across the discipline under a single theme.
In addition to being an editor, Bian is a professor in the Department of Geography at the University at Buffalo where she teaches geographic information systems and sciences, remote sensing, network analysis, and geostatistics. Her research interests are in the general area of geographic information science, but she has decades of publication experience in topics related to GIScience, remote sensing, and geographic image retrieval. In recent years she has focused on the ontological foundation of spatial representation, individual-based and spatially explicit behavior modeling, network analytics, and their implementations in the context of public health.
Bian currently serves on the editorial board of the Annals and has previously served on the editorial board of The Professional Geographer and as Associate Editor of ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. Bian is the Director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis at Buffalo, which was formed in 1988, to promote excellence in GIScience research. Even though she is the methods editor, Bian believes that those wishing to publish their research in geography today should try to pay attention to more than the methods themselves. Scholars should look to tell a story with their research and strive to see the social relevance of their work.