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American Association of Geographers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Association of Geographers
FormationDecember 29, 1904; 119 years ago (1904-12-29)
Founded atPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., United States
Membership (2020)
Marilyn Raphael
Executive Director
Gary Langham
Formerly called
Association of American Geographers
The exhibit hall at an AAG annual meeting
Field trip at one of the AAG annual meetings, to the USGS Rock Core Research Center.
Sign at the AAG annual meeting illustrating a few of the partnerships that AAG has had over its long history.

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a non-profit scientific and educational society aimed at advancing the understanding, study, and importance of geography and related fields. Its headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. The organization was founded on December 29, 1904, in Philadelphia, as the Association of American Geographers,[1] with the American Society of Professional Geographers later amalgamating into it in December 1948 in Madison, Wisconsin.[2] As of 2020, the association has more than 10,000 members,[3] from nearly 100 countries.[4] AAG members are geographers and related professionals who work in the public, private, and academic sectors.

In 2016, AAG president Dr. Sarah Witham Bednarz announced in the AAG Newsletter: "Effective January 1, 2016, the AAG will begin to operate under the name "American Association of Geographers", rather than "Association of American Geographers... in an effort to re-think our systems of representation to acknowledge our growing internationalism."[5] Spearheaded under the presidency of geography professor Eric Sheppard, the name change reflects the US-based organization's diversity and inclusion of non-American members and participants.[6]

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  • Ice Age Mapmakers? - American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2021
  • Esri at Association of American Geographers 2011 Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington
  • Highlights of the 2019 AAG annual meeting



The Annals of the American Association of Geographers[7] and The Professional Geographer are the association's flagship journals. Additional journals published by the organization include the AAG Review of Books, GeoHumanities, and African Geographical Review. The AAG also publishes a monthly newsletter[2] that contains reflections on programs and issues of concern in society of a geographic nature, a jobs column, and accomplishments and innovations of AAG members. The AAG additionally publishes the Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas, a description of programs in higher education in North and South America that offer a geography degree, a geography certificate program, and/or geography courses.[8] Another publication is Earth Interactions.

Specialty groups

The AAG has more than 80 specialty or affinity groups, voluntary associations of AAG members who share interests in regions or topics.[9] Specialty groups have long provided a way for geographers with specific interests to collaborate and communicate, including organizing and sponsoring sessions at the annual meeting as well as granting awards to their members. The AAG also offers Knowledge Communities, a set of online tools for collaboration.

Annual meetings

Since its founding in 1904, the AAG has held an annual meeting for the geography community.[10] In recent years, this conference has attracted between 7,000 and 9,000 attendees.[11] The annual meeting offers upwards of 4,000 papers and presentations on topics as diverse as soil moisture,[10] climate change,[12] population dynamics, political instability, sustainable agriculture, natural hazards, urban landscapes, geography and militarism,[13] and technologies such as geographic information systems. Hands-on workshops on methods and technological tools are an important part of these meetings. The annual meetings also offer an extensive exhibit hall featuring publishers, technology companies, universities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Field trips are offered in the diverse locations that these conferences are held.

The annual meetings are held in February, March, or April each year for four to five days. In 2024, the annual meeting will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii from April 16th-20th, 2024.[14] The most recent meeting was held in Denver (2023).[15] During the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings were held virtually (2020, 2021, and 2022). Prior to the shift online, the annual meetings were held in person in Washington D.C. (2019), New Orleans (2018), Boston (2017), San Francisco (2016), Chicago (2015), Tampa (2014),[13] Los Angeles (2013), New York (2012), and Seattle (2011).

The AAG also sponsors fall meetings based within each regional divisions of the organization. These regional divisions are groupings of several states in the United States, and include, Pacific Coast, Great Plains/Rocky Mountains, Southwest, West Lakes, East Lakes, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Middle States, and New England/St. Lawrence Valley.


To effectively advance geography in society requires partnerships. The AAG has a long history of fruitful partnerships with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industry. These include the National Council for Geographic Education, the United States Geological Survey, the National Institutes of Health, the American Geosciences Institute[16] and others.


The Applied Geography Specialty Group James R. Anderson Medal of Honor

The James R. Anderson Medal of Honor (the Anderson Medal) is awarded by the AAG Applied Geography Specialty Group to recognise highly distinguished service to the profession of geography in the field of industry, government, literature, education, research, service to the profession, or public service. It is named for James R. Anderson, the third chief geographer of the U.S. Geological Survey.[17]

Winners of the Anderson Medal include:

Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group Tobler Lecture Award

The Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group (GISS SG) hosts a session annually to honor the legacy of Waldo Tobler with prominent speakers in Geographic information science.[19][20] Speakers are awarded the "Waldo Tobler Award."[19]

Winners of the Waldo Tobler Award include:

The G. K. Gilbert Award for Excellence in Geomorphological Research

The G. K. Gilbert Award for Excellence in Geomorphological Research (not to be confused with the G. K. Gilbert Award given by the Geological Society of America), is presented to the author(s) of a single significant contribution to the published research literature in geomorphology.[21]

Awards from the AAG Marble Fund for Geographic Science

In 2005, Duane Marble established the AAG Marble Fund For Geographic Science with the help of ESRI CEO Jack Dangermond.[22][23] The fund promotes quantitative geography by rewarding student research that focuses on applying GIScience and computers to spatial problems. These awards include the Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award, the Marble Fund Award for Innovative Master's Research in Quantitative Geography, and the William L. Garrison Award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography.[22][24][25][26]

Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award

The Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award is named for the Duane Marble and Geographer A. R. Boyle.[24] It seeks to promote computer science and quantitative geography by providing undergraduates a cash prize of $1000 for their research.[24]

Marble Fund Award for Innovative Master's Research in Quantitative Geography

The Marble Fund Award for Innovative Master's Research in Quantitative Geography is named for Duane Marble, the creator of the Marble Fund.[25] This award recognizes masters students who have performed innovative research advancing quantitative geography with $2000 and a certificate of merit.[25]

William L. Garrison Award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography

The William L. Garrison Award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography is named for the transportation geographer William Garrison.[23][26] William Garrison was highly influential in the quantitative revolution in geography and had many graduate students (dubbed the space cadets) who went on to be highly influential within the discipline, including Brian Berry, William Bunge, Michael Dacey, Arthur Getis, Duane Marble, and Waldo Tobler.[27][28] Like the undergraduate and masters awards, this award seeks to recognize innovative research in quantitative and computational geography.[26] Awardees are given a $3500 prize and a certificate of merit.[26]

Other awards

AAG also issues an annual award to a university geography program that is helping advance the field of geography.[29][30]

It also has a series of awards for significant books about geography, the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, the AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography, and the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography.[31]


died during his tenure

See also



  1. ^ Preston Everett James; Geoffrey J. Martin (1978). The Association of American Geographers, the first seventy-five years, 1904-1979. The Association. ISBN 9780892911349.
  2. ^ a b Geoffrey J. Martin (2015). American Geography and Geographers: Toward Geographical Science. Oxford University Press. p. 1025. ISBN 978-0-19-533602-3.
  3. ^ "Corporate Membership Overview". American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  4. ^ "About AAG". American Association of Geographers. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  5. ^ "New Year, New Name, New Proposal". 7 January 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  6. ^ Sheppard, Eric (2013). "An American Association of Geographers?". AAG Newsletter. doi:10.14433/2013.0008. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Annals of the American Association of Geographers". Internet Archive.
  8. ^ "Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas". AAG. Archived from the original on 2018-02-13. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  9. ^ "Specialty Groups|AAG. Archived 2012-08-25 at the Wayback Machine "AAG" Accessed 4 April 2017
  10. ^ a b "UC geographers develop a system to track the dynamics of drought". University of Cincinnati. AAAS, the science society. April 8, 2014.
  11. ^ "2016 San Francisco Highlights" Archived 2017-04-05 at the Wayback Machine "AAG"
  12. ^ "UC geographers present research on climate change, day laborers and more at national conference". AAAS, the science society. February 20, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Sheppard, Eric; Tyner, James (October 1, 2016). "Forum on Geography and Militarism: An Introduction". Annals of the American Association of Geographers. 106 (3): 503–505. Bibcode:2016AAAG..106..503S. doi:10.1080/24694452.2015.1131141. S2CID 147410819.
  14. ^ "2024 AAG Annual Meeting". AAG. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  15. ^ "2023 AAG Annual Meeting". AAG. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  16. ^ "AGI Member Societies". american geosciences institute. Archived from the original on 2018-09-19. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  17. ^ "Anderson Medal". Association of American Geographers. Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Previous Anderson Medal of Honor Recipients". American Association of Geographers Applied Geography Specialty Group!. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "The Waldo Tobler Distinguished Lecture in GIScience". AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group. American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  20. ^ "The Waldo Tobler Distinguished Lecture in GIScience and Transactions in GIS Plenary Presentations". AAG 2023 Annual Meeting. American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  21. ^ "G.K.Gilbert Award for Excellence in Geomorphological Research". 7 January 2019. Archived from the original on 2021-06-29. Retrieved 2021-08-11. The award is presented to the author(s) of a single significant contribution to the published research literature in geomorphology during the past three years. Only a book, refereed journal article, or monograph will be considered with an emphasis on refereed research articles.
  22. ^ a b "Duane F. Marble". American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  23. ^ a b Sherwood, Nora. "Dr. Duane Marble Explains William L. Garrison Award". Directions Magazine. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  24. ^ a b c "Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award". American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  25. ^ a b c "Marble Fund Award for Innovative Master's Research in Quantitative Geography". American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  26. ^ a b c d "William L. Garrison Award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography". American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  27. ^ Getis, Arthur (16 July 2008). "A History of the Concept of Spatial Autocorrelation: A Geographer's Perspective". Geographic Analysis. 40 (3): 297–309. Bibcode:2008GeoAn..40..297G. doi:10.1111/j.1538-4632.2008.00727.x.
  28. ^ "William Garrison 1925 - 2015". American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  29. ^ "Geography and environmental studies named national finalist for AAG program excellence award". University of Colorado. October 2018.
  30. ^ "ASU faculty, alumni to be recognized by American Association of Geographers". Arizona State University. April 11, 2018.
  31. ^ "AAG Announces 2020 Book Awards". American Association of Geographers. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  32. ^ "Handbook of the Association of American Geographers" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  33. ^ "Letter from Sarah Bednarz" (PDF). New Mexico State University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-05-05. Retrieved 2 October 2018.

Further reading

  • James, Preston E.; Martin, Geoffrey J. (1978), The Association of American Geographers: The first seventy-five years, 1904-1979, Easton: AAG

External links

This page was last edited on 5 June 2024, at 02:08
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