About Us

The Graduate Student Affinity Group (GSAG) is an organization charged with voicing the concerns of geography graduate students and better preparing students for their careers by providing a forum for inter-university communication and professional support. Our group is open to anyone from undergraduate students considering graduate school in geography to full professors who are interested in supporting graduate students. Please take some time to peruse our webpage for information about GSAG sponsored events. Also, please contact the Chair or Vice-Chair about joining the affinity group’s listserv.

Community Builder Position

The Graduate Student Affinity Group of the Association of American Geographers is seeking a second community builder to help develop and maintain connections among members.

Responsibilities include:

  • Attending monthly meetings through Skype with the rest of the GSAG leadership
  • Growing and maintaining participants in the Graduate Student Affinity Group
  • Managing the GSAG Facebook Page <https://www.facebook.com/groups/231715350362695/> (making relevant posts, approving requests to join)
  • Developing community-building events at the annual meeting (t-shirt exchange, GSAG reception, informal gatherings at nearby places of interest)
  • Using the AAG knowledge communities portal to disperse information to the graduate student population
  • And more!

Special projects have included:

  • Compiling and updating a list of geography graduate student organizations from various local campuses
  • Collecting and distributing a list of Geography Awareness Week events being held on different campuses
  • Soliciting postcards from the student body from all the places whence GSAG members hail from.

The position is limitless. Creativity is encouraged. Those interested should be ready to start immediately and committed to participation in monthly meetings. Email Renee Pieschke at renee.pieschke at gmail dot com to express interest. Ideas are always welcome. If you are looking for other ways to participate, feel free to ask.

Energy and Environment Specialty Group Paper Award Competition – 2014

For Those Attending the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographer – Tampa, Florida April 18 to April 12, 2014

Energy and Environment Specialty Group Paper Award Competition – 2014

* Daniel B. Luten Award (Professionals)
* Earl Cook Award (Students)

The Energy and Environment Specialty Group is sponsoring two awards for the Annual Meeting of the AAG.

– The Daniel B. Luten Award is for best paper by a professional geographer at the AAG Annual Meeting.

– The Earl Cook Award is for best paper by a student delivered at the AAG Annual Meeting.

The topic must be on energy, environment, or a mix of the two, and it must be delivered in person at the annual AAG meeting.

The award includes $250 prize, an engraved plaque, and formal announcement at the AAG meeting.

The award will be based on the written paper and will be judged by a panel of experts within the Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the AAG.

Notice of intent (Title and/or Abstract preferred) – November 1, 2013
Completed paper (in MS WOrd) – February 15, 2014

Send all correspondence and papers to Prof. Martin J. (Mike) Pasqualetti, Chair Awards Committee of the EESG, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planing Arizona State Universtiy, Tempe, Arizona. Pasqualetti@ASU.edu

CALL FOR PAPERS:J. X. Kasperson Award CFP: Tampa AAG Meeting 2014

J. X. Kasperson Award

The Hazards, Risks & Disasters Specialty Group (HRDSG) is pleased to announce the Jeanne X. Kasperson Student Paper Competition for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the AAG in Tampa, April 8-12.  The HRDSG invites all graduate and undergraduate students who plan to present HRD-related papers at the 2014 meeting to submit an extended abstract of up to 1000 words to the HSG Chair (Tim Collins attwcollins@utep.edu) by October 16, 2013.  Award winners will have their registration fees for the meeting reimbursed by the HRDSG, and their work will be highlighted in the J.X. Kasperson Student Paper Award Session in Tampa.  Papers may be co-authored, but all authors must be students (no faculty co-authored papers will be considered) and registration payment is limited to one student fee per selected paper.  Students entering this competition must be members of the AAG (the specialty group will pay registration fees for the winners but not their association membership dues).  Applicants for the award will be notified by October 23, 2013.  Please direct all questions to: Tim Collins, Hazards, Risks & Disasters Specialty Group Chair, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Texas-El Paso:twcollins@utep.edu.

Timothy Collins
University of Texas – El Paso

AAG GIS&S Student Paper Competition

Call for Abstracts

AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group:
Annual Student Paper Competition

AAG Meeting: Tampa, FL – April 8-12, 2014

The Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group (GISS-SG) of the Association of American Geographers is pleased to announce the2014 Honors Competition for Student Papers on Geographic Information Science (GIS) topics to be presented at the annual meeting. The purpose of this competition is to promote scholarship and written and oral presentation by students in the field of GIS. Papers are invited from current graduate and undergraduate students on any topic in geographical information systems and geographic information science.

Any paper that advances any aspect of GIS is welcome. We encourage papers on theoretical, conceptual, and methodological developments in GIS as well as on particular innovative GIS applications. Papers must be based upon original work, completed as an undergraduate or graduate student, relevant to the field of GIS and current GIS research. Papers must bemainly written by the applicant, but having co-authors is allowed. Students who are selected as finalists will be placed in a special session at the annual meeting. The only exception is a student who is also selected as a Nystrom Dissertation Award finalist, in which case, he or she may present in the Nystrom paper session instead.

October 18, 2013 – Abstract Due
February 1, 2014 – Full Paper Due

Up to five finalists (one session) will be selected on the basis of the quality of extended abstracts and provided with $500 each to attend the conference. The extended abstract of about 1,000 words is used by the GISS-SG Awards Committee to choose the competition finalists. Finalists must submit a paper of a substantive nature that constitutes an expanded discussion of the material to be presented orally at the annual meeting. Subsequent to the oral presentations by the finalists, there will be special awards for the 1st and 2nd-place presenters. The prizes of $500 for 1st place and $250 for 2nd place will be determined immediately following the special presentation session.
The awards committee reserves the right to not offer such prizes if the papers are not of sufficiently high quality. The 1st and 2nd-place awards are decided on the basis of the written paper and the oral presentation. They will also receive tickets to attend the AAG Awards Luncheon, and results of the competition will be published in the AAG Newsletter and the GISSSG newsletter, as well as on the specialty group’s web page.

The competition is open to students at all academic levels. Any paper first-authored and presented by a student is eligible for the competition, provided the paper has not already been published or presented somewhere. There is no limitation on the number of co-authors, however, the applicant student is required to be the first author.

Applicants must be a current member of the AAG GISS Specialty Group. For instructions on how to become a member of the Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, simply contact the AAG. There are no student dues for the GISS-SG.


See http://www.uccs.edu/geography/aag-gis-annual-student-paper-competition.html

Send all submissions and inquiries to:

Dr. Somayeh Dodge
Academic Councilor, GIS Specialty Group
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Columbine Hall, Room 2022
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-4025

Email: sdodge3@uccs.edu

2014 AAG Russia, Central Eurasia, and Eastern Europe Specialty Group Awards

Russia, Central Eurasia, and Eastern Europe Specialty Group
Paper Award Competition – 2014

The Russia, Central Eurasia, & Eastern Europe Specialty Group is sponsoring two awards ahead of the next Annual Meeting of the AAG.
?       The Field Research Travel Award goes to a graduate student planning field work in Eurasia in 2014-15, based on a research proposal.
?       The Student Conference Paper Award is for the best paper by a student describing original research presented at the AAG Annual Meeting or any appropriate regional meeting, based on submission of the paper.

The topic should concern some aspect of Russian, Central Eurasian or East European geography (even broadly conceived).
The award includes formal announcement at the AAG meeting in Tampa in April 2014.
The awards will be based on the written documents and will be judged by a panel of
senior scholars within the Russia, Central Eurasia, & Eastern Europe Specialty Group of the AAG.

Notice of intent (Title and/or Abstract preferred) – January 1, 2014
Completed paper (in MS Word) – March 15, 2014
Send all inquiries, correspondence, and papers to Megan Dixon, mdixon@collegeofidaho.edu


Saturday @ AAG2013: Safe Travels

We hope you’ve had a great conference! Here are the Saturday GSAG-sponsored events. Safe travels!


Navigating the Process of Journal Publishing in Biogeography

(Melanie Stine – Texas State University-San Marcos)

Saturday, 4/13/2013, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM  in Santa Anita A, Westin, Lobby Level

This panel session will address the process of publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals with an aim of introducing the process to students who have limited experience in publishing. Panelists will offer information and guidance on how to progress from a research project to a published article. Topics to be addressed may include selecting a journal, communicating with the editor, responding to reviewer comments, actions to take after rejection, preparing your material for submission, and tips on how to optimize the potential of your manuscript’s acceptance. The focus of the session will be on publishing within the field of biogeography, but will be applicable to other areas of geography as well.


Imagining Intersectional Feminist Geographies: Beyond Privileging Gender

(Jill Williams – Clark University, Marina Islas – University of Texas at Austin)

Saturday, 4/13/2013, from 2:00 PM – 3:40 PM in Laguna Parlor 3048, Westin, 30th Floor

Feminist geographers have long called for intersectional analyses that attend to the ways in which various systems of oppression (e.g., gender, race, class, sexuality, ability) intersect (e.g., Valentine 2007; McDowell 2008; McKittrick 2006; Brown 2011).  However, much feminist scholarship continues to privilege gender as the primary category of analysis.  This session aims to bring together those working at the intersections of feminist, critical race, marxist, and queer theories to explore what an intersectional feminist geography might look like.  We aim to start a productive dialogue that draws attention to how systems of oppression function in tandem to produce hierarchical power relations and unjust social structures.

Friday @ AAG2013: Theory, Research, and Teaching

Here are the GSAG events for Friday!

Critical Participatory Action Research and Feminist Geography

(Marina Islas – University of Texas at Austin, Caitlin Cahill – City University of New York)

Friday, 4/12/2013, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM  in La Brea, Westin, Lobby Level

Feminist research has long been interested in power dynamics and relationships in a variety of social settings. Similarly, feminist researchers have challenged conventional epistemologies and methodologies by calling into question the positionality of researchers. They/we have engaged with theories of intersectionality to understand how different subjectivities – race, gender, ability, and sexuality, among others – are lived. In the process, they/we have blurred the line between researcher and “researched”, scholar and participant through critical self-reflection. Many have integrated critical participatory methodologies in an attempt to balance/address/grapple with power and privilege within their research.
But how have feminist (and/or womanist) geographers critically engaged these theories to ensure that multiple voices and knowledges emerge? What does feminist critical participatory action research look like? What do PAR and feminist geography have to say to each other?  This panel engages with the challenges, ethics, realities, and goals of conducting feminist participatory action research within the discipline of geography.

Teaching about Africa: Alternative resources in the classroom

(Ryan Good – University of Florida)

Friday, 4/12/2013, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM  in La Brea, Westin, Lobby Level

Movies, literature, and other supplemental media are important resources for managing perceptions, misunderstandings, and lack of basic geographic knowledge when teaching about Africa. Student perceptions of the continent are already shaped by their experiences with popular media, and textbooks often do not provide an adequate counter-balance. However, there is a wealth of other visual and text-based materials that teachers and professors use in their classrooms. Panelists will share their experiences with a range of alternative resources in the classroom, offering reviews of literature, movies, YouTube videos, and other media. Discussion will open on the benefits and challenges to using alternative teaching resources, both in practice and related to the topic of Africa. This panel serves as a follow-up to last year’s sessions on courses and teaching about Africa.


Doing Geography Fieldwork in Africa

(Ryan Good – University of Florida)

Friday, 4/12/2013, from 4:40 PM – 6:20 PM  in Santa Barbara C, Westin, Lobby Level

This panel explores the experience of conducting field-based geographic research in an African setting with an aim towards directing and assisting graduate students and early career faculty in conducting successful field work. As work on the continent has continued, the idea of ‘Africa’ in a scholarly setting has evolved, impacting and being impacted by the various sub-fields of geography. Panelists of varying topical, methodological, and regional expertise will discuss their struggles and successes in African research, the particular challenges of obtaining and disbursing funding for this work, and the ways in which this work is both similar to and different than work in other parts of the world. This panel will serve as a follow-up session to the series originally held at the 2010 AAG annual meeting.


New Board Elected

Congrats to our new board!

  • Chair, Marina Islas, UT-Austin
  • Vice-chair, Laura Cano, Texas State
  • Secretary/Treasurer, Graciela Sandoval, Texas State
  • Community Builder, Xiaofeng Kang, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • GSAG Historian, Brian Williams, University of Georgia
  • Past chair, David Parr, Texas State
  • Board Member, Joel Correia, University of Colorado
  • Board Member, Matthew Craig, St. Mary’s University (MN)
  • Board Member, Rae Choi, Ohio State
  • Board Member, Teresa Anderson-Sharma, Cal State-Long Beach
  • Board Member, Renee Pieschke, Minnesota State-Mankato

It looks like 2013-2014 will be a strong year! Congratulations to the new board. Minutes of the GSAG Business Meeting will be posted soon.

Thursday @ AAG2013: GSAG Business Meeting

I hope you’re enjoying LA! Be sure to join us for the GSAG Business meeting (including new officer elections) tonight at 7:30, followed by a pub/social crawl.


Tales from the neoliberal university: stories that challenge the corporatized institutional experience of education

(Carrie Mott)

Thursday, 4/11/2013, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM  in Santa Barbara B, Westin, Lobby Level

Panelists will present 1000 word anecdotes about classroom teaching experiences, which speak to the possibilities for pedagogical subversion in the context of neoliberalized and corporatized educational institutions.  These brief “tales from the neoliberal university” will ideally introduce common struggles and hint at moments of possibility within otherwise constrained contexts.  This non-traditional forum will feature a reading of these stories, followed by what we hope will be a rich discussion including input from the people who have offered to read their tales, as well as audience members.  Through this open discussion forum, everyone present will be able to offer thoughts about how to constructively and positively bring critical pedagogical approaches to fruition. We are interested in all stories of classroom experiences amid difficult institutional contexts

particularly situations that reflect engagement with pedagogy as contestation, struggle, and/or resistance.  However, we are particularly hopeful that we will receive submissions from people who have brought radical perspectives into introductory classes, recitation sections, and/or courses with very large numbers of students.  These tales will serve as a starting point for the bulk of the session, which will be oriented around collective and constructive discussion involving everyone present.


The U.S. at Large: Putting Geographic Education to Work

(Larry Kleitches – Texas State University-San Marcos)

Thursday, 4/11/2013, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Malibu Parlor 3058, Westin, 30th Floor

What is the cultural, social, and intellectual life of the United States of America and how does it shape our country on a world stage that is constantly changing? How is this life reflected in everything from Internet, television, film, literature, and art, to history and politics? Many students have been found to be lax in their knowledge of geography, especially the historical and cultural geography of the U.S. This deficiency has also been a shaper of people’s opinions of the U.S.’s standing in the world, impacting their grasp of global affairs. Papers being sought for this session, sponsored by the Geography Education Specialty Group and the Cultural Geography Specialty Group and co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Affinity Group, will discuss what has already been done in the classroom to improve knowledge of U.S. geography (preferably, but not limited to, historical and cultural geography), or new ideas about what could be done. From this understanding we as geographic educators will determine how to productively communicate our findings on an intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary scale about knowledge of U.S. society at large and its place on the world stage. The end game is for our students to be empowered and equipped to work on their own investigations.


Internships and Work-Based Learning as Career Preparation

(Joy K. Adams – Association of American Geographers, Mark Revell – Association of American Geographers)

Thursday, 4/11/2013, from 2:40 PM – 4:20 PM  in San Pedro, Westin, Lobby Level

Practical experience drawn from or within the world of work allows multiple opportunities for developing transferable skills such as collaboration, social and communication skills, leadership, and project management. In addition, these “real-world” experiences can provide interns with insights about the types of professional tasks, projects, organizations, and career paths for which they are best suited.


Geography in the Americas: Making the Most of Student Exchanges for Research and Study Abroad 

(Patricia A. Solís – Association of American Geographers, David Salisbury – University Of Richmond)

Thursday, 4/11/2013, from 4:40 PM – 6:20 PM  in San Bernardino, Westin, Lobby Level

How can I take advantage of the opportunities for studying geography abroad in another country in the Americas? What do I need to know about how to design and conduct geographic research in another country in the Americas? Where do I find resources to help me get there and help me succeed? How should I prepare to get the most out of my study abroad experience? How can I successfully adjust to a different educational system and learning context? What institutions in the US and Latin America offer exchange programs for geographers?  Panelists include US students (graduate and undergraduate) who have studied and/or conducted research in Latin America, Latin American students (graduate and undergraduate) studying in the US, and directors of student exchange programs for geographers across the Americas.
This panel continues a long running set of sessions organized at AAG Annual Meetings that focuses on a theme of importance for facilitating collaboration among geographers and geographic institutions across the Western Hemisphere under the title of Geography in the Americas.

Graduate Student Affinity Group Business Meeting 

Thursday, 4/11/2013, from 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM in Grand Ballroom Salon 3, The LA Hotel, Level 2

Followed by Graduate Student Pub Crawl.