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Reports from CAIP Affiliates: The Association of American Geographers (AAG)

The Association of American Geographers is a nonprofit scientific and educational society. Since its founding in 1904, the AAG has helped to serve the professional needs of geographers and to advance geography. Its 10,000+ members from more than 60 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG’s Annual Meeting, two scholarly journals (Annals of the Association of American Geographers and The Professional Geographer), and the monthly AAG Newsletter.

The AAG has long recognized that international networking, information sharing, and interaction are becoming increasingly common and necessary in the work and lives of most geographers. International programs and projects at the institutional level of the AAG enrich the experience, research, and scholarship of the organization’s membership, and represent a fundamental and growing sector of the organization’s activities.

Recent initiatives include:

  • AAG Developing Regions Membership Program, through which geographers from lower-income countries within developing regions of the world may join the AAG and gain access to its membership benefits at a deeply discounted or sponsored rate.
  • My Community, Our Earth: Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development, a multi-institutional public/private partnership that encourages youth from all over the world to use geographic tools and concepts to address sustainable development through locally based projects and through regional initiatives such as biodiversity in Central America, watershed management, agricultural systems, rural development, and others that contribute to the Millennium Development Goals and other global targets.
  • Center for Global Geography Education, in which geography faculty from different countries collaborate online to produce instructional modules that encourage students to use spatial thinking concepts to analyze real life issues, such as water resources, migration, and global climate change.
  • Geospatial Science for Sustainable Development in Africa, The AAG recently had the opportunity to participate with hundreds of African geographers, GIScientists, and environmental scientists in discussions sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and Technology (GDEST) program. Follow-on activities and continuing interactions resulting from these dialogues have the potential to generate considerable on-going and long-term cooperation among African and US scientists in geographic research, GIScience education and GIS applications, sustainability science, and many related fields.
  • AAG Journals Exchange Program, an initiative in which the AAG coordinates the delivery of donated geography journals, books, and other academic materials from members to schools and universities overseas.

In addition, the AAG’s Annual Meeting serves as a hub of scientific exchange and collaboration, and the international geographic community has participated in greater number in