American Association of Geographers

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American Association of Geographers
American Association of Geographers (logo).gif
Official logo of the American Association of Geographers
Formation 1904
Glen M. MacDonald
Key people
Douglas Richardson
Website Official website
Conference site for one of the AAG Annual Meetings, Denver, Colorado.
The exhibit hall at an AAG Annual Meeting
Field trip at one of the AAG Annual Meetings, to the USGS Rock Core Research Center.
Sign at the AAG Annual Meeting illustrating a few of the partnerships that AAG has had over its long history.

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a non-profit scientific and educational society aimed at advancing the understanding, study, and importance of geography and related fields. Its headquarters are located at 1710 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. The organization was founded on 29 December 1904 in Philadelphia as the Association of American Geographers, with the American Society of Professional Geographers later amalgamating into it on 29 December 1948 in Madison, Wisconsin. Currently, the association has more than 10,000 members from over 60 countries.[citation needed] AAG members are geographers and related professionals who work in the public, private, and academic sectors.

In 2016 AAG President Sarah Witham Bednarz Ph.D announced in the AAG Newsletter "Effective January 1, 2016, the AAG will begin to operate under the name "American Association of Geographers," rather than "Association of American Geographers... in an effort to re-think our systems of representation to acknowledge our growing internationalism."[1] Spearheaded under the presidency of geography professor Eric Sheppard (UCLA, formerly University of Minnesota), the name change reflects the US-based organization's diversity and inclusion of non-American members and participants.


The Annals of the Association of American Geographers and The Professional Geographer are the association's flagship journals. The AAG also publishes a monthly newsletter that contains reflections on programs and issues of concern in society of a geographic nature, a jobs column, and accomplishments and innovations of AAG members. The AAG additionally publishes the Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas, a description of programs in higher education in North and South America that offer a geography degree, a geography certificate program, and/or geography courses. Another publication is Earth Interactions.

Specialty groups[edit]

The AAG has over 60 specialty or affinity groups, voluntary associations of AAG members who share interests in regions or topics. Specialty groups have long provided a way for geographers with specific interests to collaborate and communicate. The AAG offers Knowledge Communities, a set of online tools for collaboration.

Annual meetings[edit]

For over a century, the AAG has held an annual meeting for the geography community. In recent years, this conference has attracted between 7,000 and 8,000 attendees.[citation needed] It offers upwards of 4,000 papers and presentations on topics as diverse as soil moisture, climate change, population dynamics, political instability, sustainable agriculture, natural hazards, and technologies such as geographic information systems. Hands-on workshops on methods and technological tools are an important part of these meetings. The annual meetings also offer an extensive exhibit hall featuring publishers, technology companies, universities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Field trips are offered in the diverse locations that these conferences are held.

The Annual Meetings are held in February, March, or April each year. The AAG also sponsors fall meetings, typically in each region that are occupied by regional divisions. These regional divisions typically are groupings of several states in the United States, such as "Great Plains/Rocky Mountain" and "West Lakes".


To effectively advance geography in society requires partnerships. The AAG has a long history of fruitful partnerships with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industry. These include the National Council for Geographic Education, the United States Geological Survey, the National Institutes of Health, and others.


The James R. Anderson Medal of Honor (the Anderson Medal) is awarded by the AAG Applied Geography Specialty Group to recognise highly distinguished service to the profession of geography in the field of industry, government, literature, education, research, service to the profession, or public service. It is named for James R. Anderson, the former chief geographer of the U.S. Geological Survey.[2]


died during his tenure

See also[edit]



Further reading[edit]

  • James, Preston E.; Martin, Geoffrey J. (1978), The Association of American Geographers: The first seventy-five years, 1904-1979, Easton: AAG 

External links[edit]