“Elevate the Discipline” Program Names First Cohort of Public Scholars


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American Association of Geographers select 15 geographers from 11 states and the West Indies to support public scholarship

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) has announced its first-ever cohort in the new Elevate the Discipline program, which will train and showcase geographers in action—in the media, as voices for public policies, and in advocating for change—on this year’s theme of Climate and Society. The newly selected participants in 11 states and the West Indies represent the rich and diverse range of practice within the discipline, including hydroclimatology, political ecology, climate and health, disaster geography, geoinformatics, soil science, and more.

Fifteen geographers were selected through a competitive process. The program will train them over the next several months in leadership, media skills, and policy strategies, and thereafter will connect and elevate their work in public discourse.

“It’s exciting to support the work of these scientists as they engage in community-oriented, justice-based work on climate change,” said Rebecca Lave, AAG’s 2023-24 president and a professor of geography at Indiana University Bloomington, where her specialties include critical physical geography and the political economy of stream restoration. “We want to open up avenues to value and protect geographers’ opportunity to do public and engaged scholarship.”

The program will be launched in July 2023, with frequent virtual meetings culminating in a a week-long intensive training onsite at AAG headquarters in Washington, DC. Thereafter, AAG will work with the participants and their institutions to continue to promote their public scholarship.

“Geography is essential to understanding and solving the world’s most pressing issues,” said Gary Langham, AAG Executive Director. “We created Elevate the Discipline to help geographers raise the profile of their work, showing how instrumental our discipline is to addressing climate change and critical social issues.”

Bios of the Elevate the Cohort participants may be found here: https://www.aag.org/program/2023-climate-change-society-cohort/

For interviews or further information, contact Lisa Schamess, 202-945-2416 or lschamess@aag.org

For more than 100 years, The American Association of Geographers (AAG) has contributed to the advancement of geography. Our members from nearly 100 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG's Annual Meeting, scholarly journals (Annals of the American Association of Geographers, The Professional Geographer, the AAG Review of Books and GeoHumanities), and the online AAG Newsletter. The AAG is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1904.

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