Noam Chomsky and Doug Richardson
2017 World Geography Bowl Championship team with Glen MacDonald
2016 Honorary Geographer Judith Butler
2017 AAG Atlas Awardee Noam Chomsky and AAG Executive Director Doug Richardson The 2017 World Geography Bowl champions with AAG President Glen MacDonald 2016 AAG Honorary Geographer Judith Butler

Special Events

As the schedule and program for the 2019 Annual Meeting comes together in the coming months, special events, plenary sessions, and featured sessions will be listed on this page to help highlight items of interest for all attendees. Please check back soon for more information.

Opening Session and Presidential Plenary

Wednesday, April 3, 6:20 p.m.

The AAG Opening Session will include welcoming remarks from Executive Director Doug Richardson.

The Presidential Plenary will address "The Intersection of Geography, Environmental Science, Human Health, and Human Rights" and feature distinguished panelists addressing how their research fields intersect with geography and the three AAG 2019 DC themes. Invited panelists include scholars in human and physical geography, environmental history, and biological sciences. In addition to AAG President Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, confirmed distinguished guest panelists include Dr. Mei-Po Kwan (U. Illinois Geography Professor) and Dr. Heather Viles (Oxford University Geography Head and Professor). Also joining this special panel will be Dr. Rita Colwell (University of Maryland College Park Distinguished University Professor, Cell Biology and Public Health), who will receive the AAG's 2019 Honorary Geographer award and speak at this event.   

AAG 2019 Honorary Geographer Rita Colwell 
AAG 2019 Honorary Geographer Rita Colwell (credit: Sam Kittner)The American Association of Geographers has named Rita Colwell, the first woman to be director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), as its 2019 AAG Honorary Geographer. Rita Colwell currently is a distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, a senior advisor and chairman emeritus at Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc., and the president and CEO of CosmosID, Inc.

Colwell’s internationally recognized research primarily focuses on water and health with particular focus on cholera and infectious disease. A pioneer for women in science, she has published more than 750 articles and has authored or co-authored 17 books. During her time at the NSF she not only increased the size of individual grants awarded by expanding the budget of the NSF by 68 percent, but also advocated for greater support for women scientists and science and technology education. Dr. Colwell has taken on many significant advisory positions in the U.S. Government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations throughout her career, including her role as a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 
Read more.
(Photo of Rita Colwell by Sam Kittner)

AAG Atlas Awardee Carla Hayden

Friday, April 5, 12:00 pm
The American Association of Geographers invites attendees of the 2019 AAG Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to join in celebration of Carla Hayden at the AAG Atlas Award Ceremony. Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress, will deliver a keynote address at noon on Friday, April 5, after being presented with the 2019 AAG Atlas Award, the association’s highest honor.

Sworn in as the current Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016, Hayden is both the first woman and the first African American to serve in the position. She is also the first professional librarian to hold the office in more than 60 years. Hayden was recommended to serve as the librarian by former president Barack Obama in February 2016. Following an extensive social media campaign organized by the American Library Association (#Hayden4LOC) urging thousands of library advocates to contact their senators and appeal for the confirmation of Hayden as the new librarian, Hayden was appointed on July 13, 2016. Read more.

Past President's Address by Derek Alderman, "Keeping it REAL in a Post-Truth World: Geography as Reparative Storytelling"

Saturday, April 6, 11:50 am - 1:00 pm

AAG Past President Derek Alderman
AAG Past President Derek Alderman will speak on enhancing the place of storytelling within geography as part of his initiative, Geography is REAL (Responsive, Engaged, Advocating, and Life-Improving). He will ask attendees to view storytelling as more than entertainment, to consider its value as a tool of education, disciplinary promotion, public outreach, community-building, and scholar-activism. Alderman will highlight the strides in storytelling already being made in geography as he discusses opportunities, strategies, and challenges for further communicating beyond the reach, pace, and style of traditional academic discourse and dissemination. Importantly, he calls for the stories written, told, performed, and visualized by geographers to be reparative in nature. They should challenge and redress the fallacies and inequalities that have come to characterize our “post-truth” world of climate change denial and attacks on human and civil rights. Reparative storytelling, according to Alderman, is about geographers translating their science, theory, methods, and technologies into clear, compelling accounts that make an intervention in how public groups and decision-makers think about, care for, and act on today’s pressing issues. Concerned with more than telling evocative and consequential stories within press, policy, and professional circles, reparative storytelling is also an ethical commitment to create spaces for elevating and listening and responding to the voices of marginalized groups within our discipline and society. Challenging the popular adage that “talk is cheap,” Alderman encourages geographers to realize the work that reparative storytelling can do in helping build reparative geographies.

International Reception

Thursday, April 4, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Ballroom Salon 1 and 2, Marriott

Join us for the 2019 International Reception! This is the perfect opportunity to see old friends and meet new colleagues at the AAG Annual Meeting. All attendees are invited to attend. Two drink tickets for alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are provided in your registration packet.

World Geography Bowl

Thursday April 4, 7:00 pm, Maryland and Virginia Rooms, Marriott

 The World Geography Bowl is a quiz bowl tournament held annually at the Annual Meeting of the AAG, featuring teams of graduate and undergraduate geography students representing each of the AAG’s regional divisions.  Contestants are selected by regional divisions via a competitive process, which in many divisions includes participation in a regional geography bowl held at the division’s annual meeting. If you are interested in participating, contact your regional division leadership for more information.

The winning team, runners-up, and high scoring individuals are awarded with prizes, provided by the generous donations of corporate benefactors.  In addition, each participant in the World Geography Bowl receives a travel stipend, co-sponsored by the AAG and that student’s regional division, greatly offsetting expenses for attendance at the national meeting.  Typically, approximately 50 students benefit each year from World Geography Bowl stipends.

The World Geography Bowl is fully staffed by volunteers, who write and edit questions and help run the proceedings as judges, scorekeepers and moderators.  Please contact Dr. Jamison Conley for volunteer opportunities.

AAG Awards Luncheon

Sunday, April 7, 11:50 am - 2:00 pm, Palladian Room, Omni

Join colleagues and friends for the AAG Awards Luncheon to celebrate and congratulate the recipients of the AAG Honors for their lifetime achievements and accomplishments in scholarship, service, publishing, and education. Several other awards also will be presented during the luncheon. They include: the AAG annual book awards, Miller Award, Nystrom Award, Jackson Prize, AAG Enhancing Diversity Award, Specialty Group Awards, and many other awards. Members who have held 50 years of continuous membership will be recognized for their enduring support and contributions to the Association.

Individual seats for the luncheon are only $65, including service and tax. Tables for parties of ten can also be purchased for $620. Tickets may be purchased here.