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
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).
(Photo of Rita Colwell by Sam Kittner)