Association of American Geographers

Washington, DC, United States

Association of American Geographers

Washington, DC, United States

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Richardson D.B.,Association of American Geographers
Annals of the Association of American Geographers | Year: 2013

Space-time integration has long been the topic of study and speculation in geography. However, in recent years an entirely new form of space-time integration has become possible in geographic information systems (GIS) and GIScience: real-time space-time integration and interaction. Although real-time spatiotemporal data are now being generated almost ubiquitously, and their applications in research and commerce are widespread and rapidly accelerating, the ability to continuously create and interact with fused space-time data in geography and GIScience is a recent phenomenon, made possible by the invention and development of real-time interactive (RTI) Global Positioning System (GPS)/GIS technology and functionality in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This innovation has since functioned as a core change agent in geography, cartography, GIScience, and many related fields, profoundly realigning traditional relationships and structures, expanding research horizons, and transforming the ways in which geographic data are now collected, mapped, modeled, and used, both in geography and in science and society more broadly. Real-time space-time interactive functionality remains today the underlying process generating the current explosion of fused spatiotemporal data, new geographic research initiatives, and myriad geospatial applications in governments, businesses, and society. This article addresses briefly the development of these real-time space-time functions and capabilities; their impact on geography, cartography, and GIScience; and some implications for how discovery and change can occur in geography and GIScience and how we might foster continued innovation in these fields. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 46.18K | Year: 2011

Michael Solem

CGGE-India Workshop: Expanding U.S.-South Asia collaborations in Geography Education

This award to The Association of American Geographers(AAG)Center for Global Geography Education (CGGE) supports a U.S.-India workshop organized by Drs. Michael N. Solem, CGGE, Washington, D.C. and Dr. Chandra Balachandran, The Indian Institute of Geographical Studies (TIIGS), Bangalore, India. The CGGE-India Workshop will take place in Bangalore, March 2012. It is designed to activate collaborative research and education networks among geographers in the United States and South Asia. Participants will learn the basic tenets of collaborative learning theory, work together to develop CGGE geographical case studies for the U.S. and India, and plan collaborative research projects. There will be a large number of participants from both countries, including undergraduate and graduate students, early career faculty and senior academics in leadership positions from both the U.S. and South Asia, thereby introducing a whole new generation of students and researchers to topics in international collaborative geography education.

This workshop adds a South Asia component to an ongoing NSF award to the CGGE that uses Internet technology to address the need for American students to obtain international perspectives and high levels of competency in geography in order to understand and appreciate a diverse and interdependent world. Many geographers are convinced that the Internet can help build an integrated international community of scholars dedicated to collaborative research, teaching and multinational learning. The workshop is pivotal in developing virtual collaborations in pedagogy and education research that will be forged between the researchers and educators from the U.S. and South Asia. It will also provide a strong foundation for innovative professional development and learning for geography students and college professors by helping them collaborate across many scales-from the local to the international.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 218.02K | Year: 2011

The generation of new knowledge in todays highly globalized society requires scientists and scholars, universities, R&D business, and federal agencies to promote international research collaborations as a way to enhance intellectual capacity and increase competitiveness. The Association of American Geographers (AAG) will continue to help geographers in t he United States develop international collaboration through formal activities sponsored by the International Geographic Union (IGU). This award will support 145 United States geographic scholars (72 junior and 73 senior scholars) through partial-travel support to attend IGU Congresses in 2012 and 2016 and three IGU regional conferences in the intervening years. Thirty scholars will attend the IGU Congress in Koln, Germany in 2012, 25 scholars will attend each of the regional conferences in Kyoto, Japan (2013), Krakow, Poland (2014), Moscow, Russia (2015), and 40 scholars will attend the 2016 IGU Congress in Beijing, China. The support provided through this award will provide benefits to individual researchers and the broader geographic community by stimulating scholarly publications; by fostering collaborative, multinational research and improving geographic education. The award also will contribute to human resource development, including international scientific leadership and the broad enrichment of geography and related fields in the U.S.

Widespread participation of U.S. geographers in these International Geographical Union-sponsored conferences will strengthen U.S. ties with international scholars. Early-career scholars are provided professional development opportunities through participation in international events. In follow-up surveys of individuals supported with previous support to IGU conferences, 80 percent of the respondents stated that their teaching activities were enhanced by their participation by their international experiences. Such successes demonstrate that this travel-support program can help develop collaborations that result in a technical knowledge base that can translate research and development into useful applications for solving societal problems. American scholars also are provided with unique opportunities for outreach, positive engagement, and improved research programs through partnerships in the regions where the conferences are help.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011

When students consider higher education, they often ask Where should I go to college? Meanwhile departments ask Where do we find a more diverse faculty/student body? These questions reveal how the nature of participation in higher education is fundamentally spatial and geographic. For underrepresented groups, research shows proximity to home and characteristics of place to have an even more significant impact on such decisions. Where universities are, where prospective underrepresented students or faculty are coming from, and the complex dynamics of geographic context influence the uneven and low participation of underrepresented groups. These underlying phenomena could be better understood through the lens of geographic research and strong disciplinary traditions focused on concepts of space and place. Yet, the predominant conceptual approach to broadening participation in higher education continues to be one of building pipeline relationships among educational institutions serving students at different stages -- from grade school, middle school, secondary, community colleges, undergraduate to graduate levels. However, this linear metaphor overlooks that such relationships actually occur in real places and at distances across space. As an intellectually diverse discipline encompassing traditions from GIScience to critical geographies and much more, geography is well positioned to contribute transformative insights about access and success in higher education for broadly defined underrepresented populations, including racial/ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and economically and socially disadvantaged or marginalized populations, oriented to the NSFs initiative to create a Science of Broadening Participation (SBP). In this project, 16 competitively-selected researchers, including senior scholars with advanced expertise and early career scholars with leadership potential and strong ties to underrepresented communities, will gather for a 3-day creative scholarly retreat. A collective research agenda focused on geographys diverse intellectual contributions to defining and developing SBP will inspire new research priorities, interdisciplinary collaborations, funding strategies, and innovative directions. The program will support small grants and a research and writing period to further develop contributions initiated for the retreat and explore new questions. Manuscripts will later be collected into a scholarly publication to be disseminated through extensive AAG venues and networks within geography and spatial sciences, the community of scholars engaged in the NSFs SBP initiative, and to other disciplinary networks.

This project will catalyze the geography and spatial science community to contribute a sophisticated disciplinary perspective to an emerging SBP by exploring spatial characteristics, place-based phenomena, geographic dynamics, and other geographical concepts for Geographies of Broadening Participation. The design of the program includes a unique, structured professional development framework in which senior and early-career scholars collaborate. It presents the opportunity to better engage the valuable perspective of geography and the spatial sciences among many other disciplines that are driving innovation and relevance in developing a SBP, leading to improved understanding that can guide actions by departments, universities, associations, and other educational and scientific agencies to enhance the state of diversity and inclusion within higher education. The research can potentially advance scientific understanding of the factors associated with broadening the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM and beyond. It received support to stimulate research related to the Science of Broadening Participation. This project was supported by the Geography and Spatial Sciences Program as part of the NSF Science of Broadening Participation inititiave.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 199.82K | Year: 2014

This project will conduct research that will inform future development and national dissemination of geospatial resources, materials, and tools for science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) teacher preparation. The project will respond to opportunities created by the recent announcement of Esri, the worlds largest supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software and geodatabase management applications, to donate free ArcGIS Online software licenses to schools in support of the ConnectED initiative. This project will draw on key recommendations for improving research, professional development, and assessment in geography education developed through the Road Map Project coordinated by the National Geographic Society. The researchers will develop a model set of resources, materials, and tools that teaches a variety of spatial thinking and problem-solving skills and that reinforces cross-curricular applications of GIS. The research will set the stage for future longitudinal research with trained teachers as they enter the workforce and implement their training in schools. The project will address immediate needs to provide teachers with geospatial resources, materials, and tools while pursuing important research measures for long-term reform and improvement of STEM teacher education. This project therefore will contribute to the development of the capabilities of teachers nationwide to use geospatial data and technology for STEM instruction, thereby assisting their students in gaining essential geographical knowledge and geospatial skills for the 21st century workforce. The project will be a collaborative effort between the Association of American Geographers and the Texas State University.

During the course of this project, the researchers will create and evaluate the effectiveness of a prototype web-based set of geospatial resources, materials, and tools that introduces STEM pre-service and in-service teachers to fundamental geographic and spatial concepts for effective teaching with ArcGIS Online. The prototype resources, materials, and tools will be built using ArcGIS Online data, student-collected datasets, and other geospatial technologies to present compelling examples of teaching STEM content in the context of geographical problems. This prototype will illustrate for teachers how to develop inquiry-based lessons that support STEM education standards. Emphasis will be placed on the interdisciplinary characteristics of the resources, materials, and tools for fostering teachers abilities to support spatial thinking skills and geographic inquiry across the curriculum. During the second part of this project, the researchers will use the prototype geospatial resources, materials, and tools to conduct pre- and post-tests, surveys, and interviews with the participating teachers. Data collection will focus on measuring change in teachers perceptions of using geospatial resources, materials, and tools for improving STEM teacher professional development in three domains of practice: (1) technological knowledge, (2) pedagogical knowledge, and (3) disciplinary content knowledge. The researchers also will gather data about changes in spatial thinking and analytical skills of the teachers themselves.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2016

This project will build a research coordination network (RCN) that enables transformative research in geography education, defined as pioneering research activities with strong potential to inform broad-scale improvements in U.S. geography education. The National Center for Research in Geography Education will coordinate this research network. The project will strengthen geography education research processes by creating the networks, opportunities for interdisciplinary conversations, and publicly-available datasets and scientific resources that ultimately result in sustainable lines of research. Through a collaborative process involving dozens of universities and major geography organizations, the project will create a self-sustaining RCN whose members pursue multiple active lines of research that engender evidence-based practices, new knowledge and theory, more robust curricula, better standards and assessments, and expanded access to high-quality teacher training programs in geography. In practical terms, the RCN will work to raise the profile of geography education as a research field. Doing so will help the participating universities recruit more diverse cohorts of graduate students, increase faculty research productivity, and promote the use of research to improve the quality of geography teaching and learning in local communities.

The need for transformative research in geography education was given in-depth consideration by The Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education project funded by NSF from 2011-2013. The Road Map Project, which built on many prior efforts to assess the state of research in geography education, issued a landmark study and research agenda in 2013. The Road Map report considers many substantive issues as to what research topics and questions are most critical for ensuring long-term progress and improvements in student achievement. It also draws attention to the important methodological issue of how geography education research that aspires to be transformative should be designed. The Road Map Projects research agenda offers a set of recommendations for building research capacity and capability in geography education. It emphasizes scientific approaches to research planning and design as a strategy for moving beyond the descriptive, singular and anecdotal studies that at present characterize the geography education literature. Enacting this vision will require considerable coordination, collaboration and information sharing among geographers and educational researchers in other disciplines. This RCN project will, for the first time, provide the infrastructure needed to carry out this work.

Research combining a variety of intensive geographically-referenced data streams is spreading across many scientific domains, ranging from environmental science to transportation to epidemiology, and opportunities to create new multi-disciplinary and data-intensive scientific collaborations are expanding. Yet, the unique characteristics of georeferenced data present special challenges to such collaborations. These data are highly identifiable when presented in maps and other visualizations. The potential opportunities and benefits of collaboration are constrained by the need to protect the locational privacy and confidentiality of subjects in research using georeferenced data. This research addresses the challenges facing geospatial data-intensive research communities by focusing on the unique confidentiality characteristics of geospatial data and their visualizations, on disclosure risks, and on the potential for sharing geospatial data within a Virtual Data Enclave.

The Association of American Geographers and the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan will engage the geospatial research community to (1) conduct research on the unique confidential characteristics of large georeferenced data sets and on viable ways to manipulate these data and their geovisualizations to protect confidentiality and privacy; (2) conduct research on methods and procedures to assess and reduce disclosure risks in maps and other research projects derived from locationally identifiable data; (3) conduct research regarding the viability of sharing and archiving confidential georeferenced research data using a Virtual Data Enclave to enable sophisticated analyses of these data under conditions that protect the privacy of research subjects, and (4) intensively test confidentiality methods within the geospatial Virtual Data Enclave to reduce disclosure risk and develop standards for disclosure review.

Advances in geographic technologies (such as geographic information systems, computer mapping, and GPS) have provided new and increasingly powerful tools for researchers to visualize and analyze a wide range of phenomena ranging from the environment to transportation to disease prevention. Geographic analyses and visualizations of geographic data associated with such phenomena have created opportunities for innovation and advanced research across a broad range of disciplines. Yet, analysis and mapping of individual-level data associated with specific locations (i.e., georeferenced data) may reveal patterns of interaction between people and their social and physical environments. Individuals become more identifiable when their individual locations (e.g., home or work) and itineraries (e.g., travel to work) are available. This research will examine ways to protect the confidentiality and locational privacy of geographic data collected and shared among researchers. Specifically, this project will conduct research on the unique challenges to using and sharing confidential georeferenced research data and their visualizations, including: (1) the development and testing of technologies and procedures to protect confidentiality of geographic data while also allowing access to and sharing of important data among researchers, and (2) the development of standards for disclosure of information that protect individuals privacy.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Core R&D Programs | Award Amount: 292.49K | Year: 2014

This project is designed to build capacity for conducting research on learning progressions in geography. Learning progressions offer a means for educators to determine how students learn geographic facts, concepts, and skills, and whether they are on track toward attainment of a particular curriculum standard or set of standards. The available research base in geography education is primarily focused on students understanding (or learning) of individual ideas or skills, but not on the relationships between different areas of content or types of skills learned progressively across grade levels.

Through this project, geographers and education researchers will receive training to develop and validate learning progressions and assessments based on Standard 1 of Geography for Life: National Geography Standards (2nd Edition): How to use maps and other geographic representations, geospatial technologies, and spatial thinking to understand and communicate information. The capacity building will involve four activities: 1) a planning meeting with geographers and learning progressions experts, 2) an inventory and prospect study for the research, 3) a research training workshop with graduate students, early career scholars and faculty mentors, and 4) preparations for the coordination and implementation of the research plans produced by the workshop.

This project is the first to develop a methodology for designing learning progressions referenced to national geography standards. The goal is to stimulate interest, and provide training and mentoring support for graduate students and early career scholars interested in carrying out this type of research. The long-term vision is to educate a cadre of future researchers with strong research and analysis skills who can participate in the creation and testing of learning progressions for all 18 national geography standards. The outcomes of this project will include co-authored research manuscripts and an online American Association of Geographers (AAG ) clearinghouse of research results.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION | Award Amount: 31.58K | Year: 2011

This RAPID award is being used to augment capabilities of a new geospatial undergraduate student recruitment toolkit under development at the American Association of Geographers that is helping geoscience and geography departments identify and reach students both within their common source regions and from among their undecided major population. AAGs innovative department toolkit combines a spatial decision support system prototype and an online clearinghouse of materials for increasing the participation of members of underrepresented groups in geography/geosciences. This grant is being used to incorporate new outreach and scaling-up activities that will address two objectives that remain central to the ALIGNED projects original goals. Additional key features are being incorporated into the toolkit and the departmental data holdings are being expanded, in preparation for broader use as a national level toolkit. Undergraduate profile data of approximately 50 additional departments are being added to the system. In addition, a map layer that locates institutions with active NSF awards from the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP), Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST), Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP), Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE), and/or Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) programs is being developed. AAG is also producing seven new outreach videos that address common issues and considerations about the geosciences that often inform decisions made by under-reprented students regarding education and career pathways. The themes being featured in these videos have been developed through consultation with representatives from minority-serving institutions and professional societies supporting these communities, including the American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Geological Institute (AGI), Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU), and, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). These activities are being conducted in conjunction with events being organized in at the AAGs Annual Meeting in New York, February 2012, where more than 8,500 attendees are expected and special coordinated activities among the major geography and geoscience associations are being planned.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 99.29K | Year: 2012

This collaborative transatlantic research with United States, the United Kingdom, and Finland partners will determine how geography contributes to the overall capabilities of K-12 students. There are two major components to this project that address capabilities, or the principles of understanding topics like autonomy, human rights, citizenship, sustainable development, economy and culture. The first is an international comparative analysis of national geography standards, teacher preparation curricula and practices within the U.S., U.K., and Finland to determine how standards address the capabilities of students. The resulting synthesis report will illustrate for other nations how capability concepts can bridge divergent conceptions and practices in geography education and set the stage for international collaborations in teacher preparation. The second project component will design and implement a workshop convening geography professors and recent graduates from pre-service teacher education programs in the U.S. and EU. Informed by the outcomes of content analysis research performed in the first year, participants will identify and ultimately bridge differing national conceptions of geography as an academic discipline, what it means to think geographically, and the role of post-secondary teacher preparation in enhancing geographic education. Following the workshop, the participants will develop online educational resources that will connect pre-service geography teachers for international collaborative projects using the Center for Global Geography Education (CGGE) at the Association of American Geographers. These educational resources draw on an approach to curriculum development known as the capability approach to unify various national conceptions of geography in a way that enables aspiring geography teachers to engage the perspectives of their peers internationally as they develop expertise in the subject.

Geography plays an important role in everyday decision-making. Thinking geographically underpins the practice of asking questions that identify changing relationships between places, and communicate patterns observed at various scales. These questions become more complex when viewed from an international lens. This project, founded on international partnership, will enhance geographic education through teacher preparation workshops and freely accessible professional development resources. The new CGGE case studies and collaborative projects will connect pre-service teachers online to study and discuss important geographic questions in their respective nations and provide them with important opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and geographic learning in relation to capability principles. Eventually, the students of project participants will experience similar opportunities to attain international perspectives on geographic content emphasized in national standards. Together, these cross-cultural research and educational activities will facilitate the development of internationally connected teacher preparation programs rooted in sophisticated international geography perspectives.

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