Spring 2019 Newsletter

Upcoming Opportunities and Events

Upcoming Events

AGC 2019: This Fall in Charlotte, NC

From Murray Rice, University of North Texas and Dawna Cerney, Youngstown State University

The Applied Geography Conference (ACG) is celebrating its 42nd annual meeting in fall 2019, hosted by UNC-Charlotte. The aim of the AGC is to “promote the application of Geographic insights and analysis in all areas of society.” The thing that really sets AGC apart is its great mix of practitioners, academics and students which gives everyone a venue to share ideas and collaborate. We plan to have a great range of subject matter addressed, ranging from climatology, planning and business, to public art, agriculture and education, to name just a few topic areas. The conference offers an amenable environment for discussions and ad-hoc meetings of all sorts: it is truly possible to have professionally fruitful cross-specialty discussions.

Dates for AGC 2019 are still being finalized and will be available shortly, but note that we are focused on late October/early November. Full conference and registration details will be posted at http://www.appgeogconf.org/2019-conference.html in April.


GIS Summer Internship Program - USGS/GISCI

From Bill Hodge, GISP, GIS Certification Institute (GISCI)

The GISCI/USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program was established in 2017 to complement the USGS (US Geological Survey) longstanding National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)/USGS field training program. The partnership with the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) targets students with training in GIS programs and procedures. See below for more information about the programs. The USGS seeks to identify the best candidates for their GIS Summer Internships based on a combination of factors, one of which is a student's having starting work toward a GISP Certification. Visit GISCI for program details:

NASA DEVELOP Opportunity

From Austin Stone, NASA DEVELOP National Program

Are you interested in helping address environmental issues from space? Check out the NASA DEVELOP National Program! Operating out of 12 locations across the United States, we bring together teams of students, recent graduates, and early career professionals to work on 10-week rapid feasibility studies. These projects work directly with a partner organization whose decision-making processes can benefit from the use of NASA Earth observing satellite data. As a participant, you will gain experience using remote sensing and GIS techniques, improve technical writing, enhance your knowledge of project management, and work on a multidisciplinary team. We will begin accepting applications on May 20th, 2019 for our fall term, running from September 16th to November 22nd, 2019. For more information on our locations and eligibility, please visit our website:
https://develop.larc.nasa.gov/ or e-mail us at NASA-DL-DEVELOP@mail.nasa.gov. Don’t miss out on your chance to DEVELOP your career!

Applied Geographers in Action! Research Highlights

NSF’s First Ever National Workshop on Community Geography

From Hannah Torres, University of Central Florida

In January 2019, the first national Workshop on Community Geography took place at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Community geography refers to work that draws from geographical techniques and theories to generate inclusive, mutually beneficial research and action. This research and teaching empowers communities and contributes to positive social change. Over the last decade, several academic institutions have started programs in community geography, including Syracuse University, Chicago State University, University of Georgia, Georgia State University, University of Central Florida, and Columbus State University.

The workshop was an opportunity to share and learn about research being done by a diverse group of fellows and to develop new connections and collaborations for future work. The workshop's collaborative sessions and engaging discussions spurred important conversations about the future of community geography. Community geography remains a new area, one that can benefit from new voices and visions for community engaged, participatory research. Please check out one of the many sessions about community geography at AAG DC, sponsored by the Applied Geography Specialty Group (see below for details). You can also read a reflection from one of the organizers, Jerry Shannon, here:

Special Issue of the International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research

From Michael DeMers, New Mexico State University

Volume 10, issue 2 of the International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research, which is a special issue by guest editor, Michael DeMers is now published. The title of the special issue is Applied Geography in Academia: Content, Curricula, Status, Methods, and Future and is largely based on a session of the 2017 AAG meeting in Boston. The issue contains a preface, a book review on “GIS for Surface Water: Using the National Hydrology Dataset and the following four papers:
  • DeMers, M.: Exploring Abandoned GIS Research to Augment Applied Geography Education (pages 1-10)
  • Campbell, C.L.: Where the R’s Are: A Module in Sustainability and Participatory Mapping (pages 11-26)
  • Magrane, E.: Applying the Geohumanities (pages 27-38)
  • Labosier, C.F.: The Integrative Nature of Geography: Bridging the Gap in the Environmental Sciences Curriculum (pages 39-46).
You might want to purchase the articles or contact the authors for any reprints you might want.

Human Settlement in Hurricane-Prone Zones is Revealed by Nighttime Remote Sensing

From Xiao Huang, University of South Carolina

This study examined spatiotemporal dynamics of human settlement in hurricane-prone areas from a nighttime remote sensing perspective. Hurricane-prone areas were first derived by calculating the track density from historical storm tracks. An intercalibrated nighttime series were built in a yearly interval from 1992 to 2013. Assisted with the auxiliary vegetation data, human settlement index was derived to characterize human settlement intensity in the study area. After that, a trend analysis was conducted to identify areas with significant increase of human settlement intensity in different zones, in which the potential hurricane impacts were statistically evaluated. The results clearly exhibit a north-south and inland-coastal discrepancy of human settlement dynamics. This study also reveals that both the zonal extent and zonal increase rate of human settlement positively correlate with hurricane proneness levels during the investigated period. The intensified human settlement in high hurricane-exposure zones deserves further attention for coastal resilience.


Gender and Geography: A Liberian Agricultural Extension Case Study

From Rebecca Witinok-Huber, University of Idaho

Understanding the impact of gender and geography on agricultural extension service access and utilization, and smallholder farmers’ needs, is key to the efficacy of extension service dissemination through the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture (Ministry) and non-governmental organizations. I led a community-based, mixed-methods, research project to better understand Liberian smallholder farmer challenges to accessing extension services, and adopting new practices and technology, specifically focused on women farmers. Funded by USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative it was conducted as a partnership between the Ministry, Cuttington University in Liberia, and my fellowship position. The project trained 8 Cuttington University students, built partnerships, and provided policy recommendations to the Ministry. While many smallholder farmers' face significant financial barriers and challenges to access tools and training, women face additional productive and domestic challenges. Especially, the high number of widows due to the 14-years (1989-2003) of civil conflict. Spatially significant results related to extension service access were also found between the three counties surveyed. Further spatial analysis and information sharing based on results and recommendations has the potential to increase research application.

Witinok-Huber_researchLiberian smallholder farmer survey administration by Cuttington University student enumerator(s)

Mapping Kenya’s Child Deaths for 50 Years

From Peter M. Macharia, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme

We set out to estimate child mortality rates in each of the country’s 47 counties every year between 1965 and 2015. We then explored changes over time, disparities, progress and gaps towards achieving global targets of 2000 and 2015 in each county. We achieved this by assembling all mortality related data in Kenya and applied demographic and spatio-temporal techniques to generate child mortality rates. Our findings show that shortly after independence (1965), one in every 7 Kenyan children born alive, died before the age of five. 50 years later, mortality has declined significantly, but remains high, with one in every 19 children not seeing their fifth birthday. The overall decline was 62% but it was uneven over time. There were striking differences in the levels, trends and rates of reduction by county. Better use of the current resources through focused allocation is required to achieve further reductions, reduce inequalities and increase the likelihood of achieving SDG 3·2 on under five mortality by 2030. More details (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6474-1) and (https://theconversation.com/what-mapping-kenyas-child-deaths-for-50-years-revealed-and-why-it-matters-111671)


GeoBus: The Nation’s First Mobile Geospatial Laboratory

From Timothy Hawthorne, University of Central Florida

GeoBus is the nation’s first mobile citizen science laboratory focused on maps, apps, and drones that will visit K-12 schools across Florida, with a focus on increasing access to geospatial technologies and changing perceptions of STEM for our next generation of scientists and geographers. While geospatial technology careers are rapidly growing, K-12 students are often unaware of these careers. GeoBus began its pilot program (the maps, apps, and drones tour) in 2017 as an initiative of Citizen Science GIS. Citizen Science GIS is changing the ways scientists and communities work together through geographic information systems (GIS) and community geography. Citizen Science GIS is one of four worldwide Esri Special Achievement Award winners from 2017, and is housed at University of Central Florida (UCF). To learn more about Citizen Science GIS at UCF, visit


Puerto Rico Research Hub

From Fernando Rivera, University of Central Florida

For years Puerto Ricans have moved to the state of Florida and contributed to its economic and social well-being, as well as the continental United States. The population movement accelerated after Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017. It was a game changer for the small island. People began arriving in Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami seeking relief from the destruction of Hurricane Maria and the island’s ongoing financial crisis. In response to these demographic trends, UCF created the Puerto Rico Research Hub with the purpose of investigating, disseminating knowledge and promoting creative solutions to pressing issues affecting the Puerto Rican population, its diaspora and surrounding communities.

The mission of the UCF Puerto Rico Research Hub is to investigate the Puerto Rican population and demographic trends to better inform public policy decisions including housing demands, job creation, health issues, social integration and education. Additional areas of emphasis include bilingual training, disaster response and recovery and partnerships in the community. For more information or to explore opportunities to partner with the UCF Puerto Rico Research Hub, please email
PRResearchHub@ucf.edu or visit https://sciences.ucf.edu/puerto-rico-hub/.

Congratulations to our 2019 Award Winners!

Project Development Award Winners

Amber Bosse*, PhD Candidate at University of Kentucky
Project Title: Who Picks the Color? Conceptualizations and Negotiations of Design in Participatory Mapping
Kallista Bley
, Graduate Student at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Title: Cartographic Partnership on Drinking Water Quality Issues
Huanfa Chen
, Graduate Student at University College London
Project Title: Uncovering the underlying demand of sharing bicycles in urban areas: supporting station planning and bicycle rebalancing
Moira Conway
, Assistant Professor at Kutztown University
Project Title: Multi-modal Interactions on Urban Streets: New Conflicts and Emerging Challenges in Mixed-Use Neighborhoods
Meghan Kelly
, Graduate Student at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Title: Feminist Cartographies: Theory and Practice for Map Design
David Trimbach
, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Oregon State University
Project Title: Understanding the Interactions between Shoreline Armoring and Sense of Place to Inform Ecosystem Restoration
Zihou Wu
, Graduate Student at Georgia Southern University
Project Title: Detecting location-based traffic signs with hybrid approaches based on  geospatial technologies and deep learning

Travel Award Winners

  • Jessica M August, Rutgers University
  • Amber Bosse, University of Kentucky
  • Claire Burch, University of Oklahoma
  • Huanfa Chen, University College London
  • Ileana Diaz, University of Waterloo
  • Rebecca Green, Northeastern University
  • Madeleine Hamlin, Syracuse University
  • Aparna Kumari, University of Idaho
  • Nastaran Pourebrahim, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Hannah Shumway, Macalester College
  • Zihao Wu, Georgia Southern University
  • Di Zhu, Peking University

*Congratulations to all of our award winners! Award winners will be announced and awards disbursed at our business meeting on Friday at 11:45am (Roosevelt 4, Marriott)

Call for 2019/2020 AGSG Leadership Nominations

The Applied Geography Specialty Group is now accepting nominations for its 2019-2020 leadership team. We seek nominations for the following positions: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and 2 Student Representatives. All Board Members will serve a one-year term of office, commencing at the end of the AAG Annual Meeting at which they were elected. Board members may serve for up to three consecutive terms, if elected to do so.

If you are interested and would like to nominate someone (including self-nominations), please complete this
on-line nomination form by March 20th. Elections will take place online or during the 2019 Applied Geography Business Meeting, and elected board members will be confirmed at the Business Meeting. Please feel free to email Hannah Torres, the current chair with any questions (hannah.torres@ucf.edu).

AAG 2019 - Events You Won’t Want to Miss!

The James R. Anderson Distinguished Lecture in Applied Geography

Budhendra ‘Budhu’ Bhaduri, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Talk title: Data Tsunami, Geospatial Computing, and My 2 Cents in an Open Data Economy

The Applied Geography Specialty Group is honored to host Dr. Budhu Bhaduri's distinguished lecture in applied geography on Saturday April 6, 2019 at 3:05pm (Marriott Ballroom, Salon 2). All AAG attendees are highly encouraged to attend this event.

Much of our scientific and technological focus has been to ensure a sustainable future where energy, environment, and mobility interests are simultaneously optimized. Current geoanalytics are limited in dealing with temporal dynamics that describe observed and/or predicted behaviors of entities i.e. physical and socioeconomic processes. With increasing temporal resolution of geographic data, there is a compelling motivation to couple the powerful modeling and analytical capability of a GIS to perform spatial-temporal analysis and visualization on dynamic data streams. However, the challenge in processing large volumes of high-resolution earth observation and simulation data by traditional GIS has been compounded by the drive towards real-time applications and decision support. Ability to observe and measure through direct instrumentation of our environment and infrastructures from buildings to planet scale, coupled with explosion of data from citizen sensors brings much promise for capturing the social/behavioral dimension and provides a unique opportunity to manage and increase efficiencies of existing built environments as well as design a more sustainable future. This presentation will explore how recent developments in the world of geographic data and geospatial computing could deliver novel real-world applications, and plausible ways citizens can all become part of the open data economy for advancing science and society.

Applied Geography Specialty Group Business Meeting

Get involved with the Applied Geography community at AAG by attending our business meeting on Friday, April 5 at 11:45am (Roosevelt 4, Marriott). At this year’s meeting, we will discuss the group’s activities since last year’s meeting, announce award winners, and elect our 2019/2020 board of directors. All AAG members are welcome to attend to network and learn more about the Applied Geography Specialty Group, however only AGSG members can vote in board elections. Feel free to bring your lunch to the meeting -- We look forward to seeing you there!

Applied Geography at the 2019 Meeting

Wednesday, April 3

Participatory mapping and modelling in urban resource and infrastructure governance
Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Urban Geography Specialty Group, Applied Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, Lobby Level
Organizers: Pia Laborgne, Monika Heyder
Chairs: Pia Laborgne

After the map was made and the drone was flown: Implications of geospatial data for environmental governance
Type: Panel
Theme: Geographies of Human Rights: The Right to Benefit from Scientific Progress
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, Lobby Level
Organizers: Teresa Bornschlegl

Thursday, April 4

Environmental governance and the role of stakeholders in policy making
Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group, Development Geographies Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Swetha Peteru
Chairs: Swetha Peteru

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Roosevelt 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Jolene Keen
Chairs: Renee Louis

Friday, April 5

Doing Critical Community Geography to Inform Policy: Approaches and Outcomes I
Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Madeleine Hamlin, Jonnell Robinson
Chairs: Jonnell Robinson

Doing Critical Community Geography to Inform Policy: Approaches and Outcomes II

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Madeleine Hamlin, Jonnell Robinson
Chairs: Jonnell Robinson

Applied Geography Specialty Group Business Meeting
Type: Meeting
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 11:45 AM / 1:00 PM
Room: Roosevelt 4, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: The American Association of Geographers

Applications of NASA Earth Observations
Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group, Careers and Professional Development
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Wilson B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Amanda Clayton

Saturday April 6

Type: Poster
Sponsor Groups: Public/Private Affinity Group, Applied Geography Specialty Group
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Peter Chirico
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 2, Marriott, Lobby Level

Sunday, April 7

Community Geography I: Thinking, Doing, and Teaching Community Geography
Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group, Digital Geographies Specialty Group, Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Maryland A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Jerry Shannon, Amber Bosse
Chairs: Jerry Shannon

Community Geography II: Reflections from #commgeog19

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group, Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Maryland A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Jerry Shannon, Katherine Hankins
Chairs: Jerry Shannon

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Check out our website: http://community.aag.org/appliedgeography
Newsletter Published March 15, 2019