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Spring 2009
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"Crossing Borders"
A column by Doug Richardson,
Executive Director, Association
of American Geographers


Supporting Our Colleagues Around the World

photo of Doug RichardsonThe AAG has established a new membership category for geographers, GIS specialists, and related professionals residing in developing regions. Those wishing to join the AAG from developing regions are now eligible to join the AAG for the deeply discounted membership rate of $20 per year. Membership in the Developing Regions category includes all regular AAG membership benefits, except that the journals and newsletters are provided in digital online formats. Optional hard copies of the journals are also available for the cost of shipping only.

The AAG is a professional and scholarly association representing leading educators, researchers, GIScientists, and practitioners in geography. Founded in 1904 as a scientific and educational society, the AAG has more than 10,000 members who share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, geographic science, and geographic education. The association hosts 7,000 attendees at its annual meetings, sponsors international workshops and specialty conferences, and conducts research programs on a wide range of geographic topics. The AAG publishes some of the world's most distinguished and influential scholarly journals, newsletters, books, and research reports. The AAG also supports and recognizes geographers and GIScientists around the globe through its many professional development programs and prestigious grants and awards programs.

Developing Regions AAG members also gain access to members-only Web site resources, such as employment opportunities, job listings, inclusion in the AAG Guide to Geography Programs and Directory of Geographers, curricular materials, and research knowledge environments, and much more. Members are also able to participate in AAG's Specialty Groups, Listservs, chat rooms, and other interactions.

Support Our Colleagues and Our World

This new program serves as a mechanism to bring together talented colleagues from around the globe, from different countries and disciplines, to collectively help address the pressing needs of our society and world. It functions as a collaborative vehicle for research and problem solving on key needs ranging from health to agriculture and from energy to education. For example, one element of this program is a series of online clearinghouses for colleagues with a professional interest in the various regions (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, all accessible from www.aag.org/developing).

Interested U.S. geographers and GIScience colleagues can help in several ways. They can donate to the AAG's tax-deductible Developing Regions Membership Fund, which was established to support the infrastructure and online resources needed for this new program. Contributions to this fund can also be earmarked to offer memberships to those Developing Regions professionals for whom even $20 may not be affordable. A modest contribution to infrastructure or memberships can make a big difference for colleagues in developing countries.

AAG members and the Esri user community can also jointly extend the reach of this initiative by informing colleagues and friends in developing regions of the new program or by directly sponsoring memberships for colleagues, students, research collaborators, clients, and others who may be interested.

More Information

For more information on how to help with this new program or to join the AAG as a Developing Regions member, visit the AAG Web site at www.aag.org. With your involvement, we can work together to create closer ties among our GIS and geography colleagues from around the globe and cooperate in new and closer ways to help build a better world.

Doug Richardson
drichardson@aag.org

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