Current News

If you would like to share any current news about your school or geography in our region, please send to:


We would like to thank all the candidates who stood for election and to everyone who voted. The winning candidates are:

President – Mark Blumler, SUNY Binghamton, NY.
Vice President – Grant Saff, Hofstra University, NY.
Secretary – Joan Welch, West Chester University, PA.
Regional Councillor – Robert Mason, Temple University, PA.


Please read the following bios for the candidates and then go to this link to vote. Voting is open from now until 5pm EST on December 15th – winners will be announced on the MSDAAG webpage and candidates will be notified via email.

Vote by pressing this link. (OR press the link at the end of the bios)

Candidate Bios:

President (please vote for 1)

_____Mark Blumler
I am an Associate Professor of Geography at Binghamton University, with a joint appointment in the Biological Sciences Department. I have been participating in MSDAAG meetings for 20 years. My research interests include biogeography, natural resource conservation, historical geography, the Middle East, co-evolution of food and humans, and the ethnic geography of the super-rich. I am glad I have been able to serve as Secretary and Vice President of the MSDAAG, and would be honored to serve as your President.

_____Write-In Candidate ______________________

Vice President (please vote for 1)

_____Grant Saff
I am Professor of Geography and Chairperson of the Department of Global Studies and Geography at Hofstra University. I have been involved in the Middle States since the mid-1990s. In 2012 I was elected Regional Councilor (until July 2015) and in 2014 served as Secretary of the Division. As Regional Councilor, I have worked to broaden the voices heard at AAG Council meetings and bring our members’ concerns to the Executive of the AAG. I have overseen the redesign of our website and acted as Webmaster for MSDAAG. In 2013 I was elected as the Treasurer of the AAG (until 2015). I serve on the Executive Board of the AAG and Chair the Finance Committee. My main research focus has been on comparative urban segregation and patterns of residential exclusion. I have recently been conducting research on urban sustainability in Hainan Island (China). It has been a pleasure to serve as Secretary and Regional Councilor and I would welcome the opportunity to serve as Vice-President.

_____Write-In Candidate ______________________

Secretary (please vote for 1)

_____Joan Welch
I am a Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at West Chester University, Pennsylvania. My research interests include the biogeography of urban forests of Boston MA and West Chester PA, forests in southeastern Pennsylvania impacted by invasive plants species and white-tailed deer, and landscape change in the pre-Pyrenees of Catalunya in northeast Spain. I have been involved in MSDAAG meetings since 1991, encouraged students to engage in research and present their findings, and published articles in the Middle States Geographer. I look forward to working on the Executive Board and serving the geographers of the Middle States Division of the AAG.

_____Write-In Candidate ______________________

Regional Councilor (Please vote for 1)

_____Margaret F. Boorstein

I am professor of geography and chair of the Earth and Environmental Science Department, LIU Post My research includes analyzing national parks, in particular their attempts to balance present-day enjoyment with preservation for future generations, perhaps an oxymoronic situation. Recognizing the importance of being active in campus affairs, I have been a leader of outcomes assessment and accreditation, serving as co-chair for two accreditation cycles. In both, the University received full accreditation. As an invited consultant, I have guided geography departments and whole campuses in their program reviews and accreditation efforts. Understanding the importance of university cooperation and involvement in pre-college education, I have been a leader for DataStreme, a real-time Internet teacher-enhancement program of the American Meteorological Society, since its 1996 inception. I am a loyal member of the AAG, having hosted two regional meetings, including serving as President of the Division. I think that my experience and ways of interacting with others would serve our region well, despite my New York accent.

_____Dorothy Ives-Dewey

I am Professor and Chair of the Geography and Planning Department at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I have been on the faculty since 2005, and served as Department Chair from 2010 until 2013. From June 2013 until June 2014 I served as the Interim Associate Dean of the College of Business and Public Affairs, where I worked with a faculty committee to developing a Strategic Plan for the College. My academic background is in urban and regional planning with primary focus on land use planning, land development regulation, and urban geography. I’ve published qualitative and quantitative research on the evolving nature of land use planning processes, place-making and the impact of arts on community development, development planning tools, and planning and geography pedagogy. I’ve been involved with MSDAAG meetings for the last ten years and I appreciate the opportunity to be considered for Regional Councilor.

_____Francis A. Galgano

Greetings from Villanova! I am Frank Galgano, an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Geography and the Environment. I also had the privilege of serving as the Geography Program Director at the United States Military Academy for many years. I am a geomorphologist and my current research examines linkages between the environment and regional security. My interest in this position stems from my conviction that organizations like the MSDAAG are essential to the continued vitality and growth of our discipline and to promote strong, healthy geography programs in our member schools. Having started a new department in 2007, I am very familiar with the many challenges that department chairs face, and I believe that gives me an important perspective when it comes to representing the MSDAAG as Regional Councilor.

_____James Kernan

I am excited to express my interest in serving as the Regional Councilor for the Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers. I have enjoyed attending the Middle States Annual Meeting with my students for the past four years. Meeting other members has been a pleasure, and my students have benefited a great deal from the opportunity to present their research and network. I am a biogeographer by specialty, and my research focuses on wildfire, invasive species, and education. I was a GIS consultant for many years before entering academia, so I also use technology extensively. I have served on the board of the Geographic Information Sharing Special Interest Group (GISSIG), a Western New York professional GIS organization. I have also served on the New York State GIS Association (NYGIS) Education Committee, and ESRI K-12 Implementation Team. These service commitments have afforded me experience in organizational leadership, management, event planning, and outreach, which will transfer well to work for the Middle States Division of the AAG. I appreciate your consideration of my interest in the Regional Councilor position, and hope to serve the Middle States Division of the AAG in the future.

_____Robert J. Mason

I am a Professor of Geography & Urban Studies at Temple University. My PhD is from Rutgers University and my MA is from the University of Toronto. I have taught at Temple University, Temple University Japan, Kobe College (Japan) (Bryant Drake Guest Professor), Northeastern University (Shenyang, China), and Ohio State University. At Temple University, I served as Director of Environmental Studies between 1998 and 2009. I served as Secretary-Treasurer and then President of MSDAAG; on various other AAG committees and groups; as Delaware Valley Geographical Association Councilor; on the Board of Directors—and one year as co-President—of Kobe College Corporation-Japan Education Exchange; and with several local community organizations. I have produced three books—The Quieter Revolution in Place-Based Planning, Contested Lands: Conflict and Compromise in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, and Atlas of United States Environmental Issues—as well as various articles, book chapters, and reports on land use and environmental policy and planning in the US, Japan, and China. I am developing a proposal for a book on watershed management issues in the Delaware River basin. I would be delighted to serve MSDAAG and the AAG as Regional Councilor.

Vote by pressing this link.


For full description of the position.


At the time of his death, John, was Executive Director of the School of General Studies at Kean University, NJ. He began his work at Kean in 1993 as an adjunct, and joined the full-time faculty in September 2001 in the Department of Geology and Meteorology. He was named Executive Director of the School of General Studies in September 2010.  John was also serving his second term on the Faculty Senate, where he was first elected in 2009. He served as secretary for the Faculty Senate from 2010 to 2012. He served on the University Planning Council (UPC), to which he was appointed in 2011. John earned the Presidential Excellence Award for Service in 2008 and was initiated into the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi in May 2009, and had been serving as its President since September 2011.

John received his Ph.D, from Rutgers University. His research interests were in hydrology, climatology, and geographic information systems (GIS).

John was a well-loved sports coach in his home town of Westfield, NJ, where he was known fondly as “Coach Dobo.” He was a member of the Westfield Soccer Association and the basketball, baseball and softball leagues, coaching both boys and girls teams. John is survived by his wife of 19 years, Diana Pereira, and four children, Hailey Paige, Christian John, Jack Tyler and Faith Madison.

The Dobosiewicz Children’s Education Fund (DCEF) has been established to help raise funds for the educational costs of John’s 4 school-age children. Donations can be made on their website.

See more at:


Student Paper Competition
Graduate division: Ist prize, Adrienne Tucker (Penn State)
“Eastern Pacific Ship Tracks in Relation to Sea Surface Temperature Variations”
2nd prize, Erin Goodnough (Penn State)
“A Proposed Open Source Architecture for Collecting and Analyzing USAID Performance Indicator Data”
Undergraduate division: Ist prize Melissa Haller (Colgate)
“Socio-Economic Effects of Nuclear Decommissioning on Local Communities: a Case Study of Wiscasset, Maine

Poster Competition
Tied for Ist place, Carolynne Hundquist (Penn State)
Machine Learning for Post-fire Burn Severity Assessment in Diseased Forests”
Shenuque Tissera and Jennifer Freund (College of Staten Island)
“Differences in Male and Female Seasonality Patterns in the New York Citi Bike Program”

GeoBowl Team competition Final Round, Montclair (aka East Side Red Rocks) beat Penn/ Ship 80-70. Our GEOBOWL Team 2015: Kate Berdan (Geneseo), Jase Bernhardt (Penn State), Mike Calvelli (Montclair), Joe Chappelle (Geneseo), Chris Harding (Kutztown), Ashley Persaud (Hofstra).


Thank you to the members that voted at the Business meeting to add Puerto Rico to the Region. This is an exciting addition to our membership and we look forward to geographers from PR attending future meetings and partaking in regional affairs.
PR welcome fixed
At the AAG Meeting in Tampa, April 2014, discussing PR’s request to join the Middle States. From L to R: Carlos Guilbe, Univ of PR, Derek Alderman, Regional Councilor, SEEDAG, Julie Winkler, President of the AAG, Maritza Barreto Orta, Univ of PR, Grant Saff, Regional Councilor of MSDAAG (and Treasurer AAG), Angel David Cruz, Chair, Department of Geography Univ of PR, Douglas Richardson, Executive Director of the AAG.



Dear members of the Middle States AAG,

The executive board is proposing the attached changes to the Middle States AAG Constitution and Bylaws for vote at our annual business meeting that will take place during the luncheon in York, PA on October 25th. New proposed wording is highlighted in yellow and proposed deletions are represented as strike-through text.

The first change is that we would like to add Puerto Rico to Article IV Section 1 of the geographic boundaries of the division. In doing this we also wanted to clean up the language in this section that divided the region into three districts (remove Section 2).

The second change is in Article IV Section 4 that would be impacted by the deletion of Section 2 where we will try to have the meeting location throughout the Division.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, I look forward to seeing many of you in York next month.

David Fyfe, President (


As the Middle States Regional Councilor I have been asked by the AAG to provide an overview of any recent activities, challenges, events and news in our Region. Please let me know if you have anything to report, or any concerns that you would like me to raise at the forthcoming AAG Council meeting on October 17th. I would appreciate it if you could send this to me no later than October 10th.

This need not be anything formal and I will respect confidentiality if you request it. Some issues that are of particular interest to the AAG are concerns over the health of our programs, budget cuts, enrollments, new initiatives and programs, any new hiring and so forth. Also any suggestions or opinions regarding the effectiveness of the AAG, the Annual Meeting, AAG publications or the Region are most welcome.

I also encourage all members to read the forthcoming minutes of the very productive AAG Council meetings held in Tampa. Important issues regarding the future of the AAG, including changing the name to the American Association of Geographers, and of Puerto Rico joining a regional division were discussed. Some background to the latter is that PR geographers requested that they be allowed to join a region and given the strong historical bonds between our region and PR they expressed a preference for our region. At last year’s Middle States Board meeting, the Board agreed that we would welcome them joining us if the AAG was agreeable, and our membership voted to accept this. In Tampa, with the strong support of Doug Richardson and Julie Winkler, it was agreed that PR could join the AAG and affiliate with a region of their choice (subject to regional approval). PR has now made a formal request to join with the Middle States. This is extremely positive news for our region, but it will, need a constitutional amendment to formally add them to our membership. In order to do this, we need to receive a 66% affirmative vote at the business meeting to be held at the conference in York. A separate notice about the proposed constitutional amendment will be sent to all members by email, sometime next month. I urge all members to support this change.

In addition to the regular Council meetings, the AAG hosted and funded a workshop for all the various regional representatives to share their organizational expertise and experiences as a way to enhance the strength of the regions. This was a very productive meeting, which hopefully will become a regular part of all future AAG annual meetings.
Please feel free to contact me if you are not receiving the monthly online AAG Newsletter and the weekly Digest so that I can have your membership status updated.

Grant Saff, Regional Councilor


There are several resources that Stand Alone Geographers (SAGEs) may find useful:
Thriving as a Stand-Alone Geographer: A Handbook is available for free as a download. You can Google it from several sources including:

There are also other SAGE-related documents posted on the SAGE Knowledge Community > Library tab.

I am looking forward to welcoming SAGEs to our upcoming conference. I hope to chair a session about SAGE experiences and challenges, so anyone wishing to participate should contact me at or

Enid Lotstein

Summer 2014 MSDAAG Newsletter has been published

The Summer 2014 Newsletter has been published. It includes information regarding the Annual Fall meeting, SAGE, information about the Middle States Geographer, and nominations for leadership positions in the MSDAAG.

Rsults for 2014 World Geography Bowl at AAG annual meeting 

The Middle States Geo Bowl team was unfortunately unable to defend their title at the recent 2014 AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa. The team went 3-4 in the opening rounds and thus did not make the final rounds. Our President, David Fyfe and Vice-President, Mark Blumler both attended the event and deserve our thanks in helping organize the team.

World Geography Bowl MSDAAG Team 2014

Our 2014 team (from left to right): Craig Benson (SUNY Geneseo), Ashlee Adams (Penn State), Ari Kaputkin (SUNY New Paltz), Jase Bernhardt (Penn State), Sarah Radigan Lander (Kutztown)

The World Geography Bowl is an annual quiz competition for teams of college-level geography students representing the AAG’s nine regional divisions. Our team consisted of the top six scoring individuals from our Regional Bowl competition held at SUNY Buffalo in October, 2013.

Spring 2014 MSDAAG Newsletter has been published

The first newsletter of 2014 has been published and can now be found in our current newsletter section. It includes information regarding the Annual Fall meeting, SAGE, information about the Middle States Geographer, and nominations for leadership positions in the MSDAAG.

AAG President, Julie Winkler, Supporting the Regional Divisions

The Geographical Bulletin is soliciting manuscripts

The Editor of the the Geographical Bulletin is soliciting manuscripts for upcoming issues. The Geographical Bulletin is a peer-reviewed journal whose primary mission is to provide an outlet for undergraduate and graduate student research in all areas of geography.  Non-student submissions are also welcome.  Many students have had their first professional publication appear in The Geographical Bulletin.  To foster and encourage student publication, a “Best Student Paper” award with a $200 prize is awarded each year to the best paper authored by students.  Students who are completing original research through a senior thesis, masters’ thesis, Ph.D. dissertation, or similar project, are encouraged to submit the results of their research in article form for publication.  The journal is housed in approximately 100 libraries, and is also available in PDF format through EBSCO and ProQuest’s databases. For a style sheet, visit GTU’s website.  For further information, contact Steven M. Schnell, Editor, Geographical Bulletin.  Department of Geography, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, PA  19530.  (610) 683-1595.  E-mail

New Funding Opportunity:

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) has announced a special invitation for proposals for data-intensive analysis or modeling projects that can advance socio-environmental research. “We are particularly interested in building a cohort of funded projects around integration of large and/or heterogeneous social and environmental data sets and/or implementation of such data through a range of modeling approaches to answer innovative questions in socio-environmental research. This is an excellent opportunity to push the computational frontiers of your research!” Please see the links below for: Opportunity Submission Inquires should be directed to Dr. Nicholas Magliocca at

Middle States Geographer : Manuscripts, due 30 November.

The Middle States Geographer is the official academic journal of the Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers. The journal is published annually and includes papers from external submissions and the Division Annual Meeting. The Middle States Geographer contains papers authored by both faculty and students (with peer-review by at least two reviewers) and covers a wide range of topics. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript for review, please visit for the submission guidelines. Please send a digital copy of your manuscript to either Adam Kalkstein ( or Paul Marr ( Manuscripts must be received by November 30, 2013.

Photographs from the 2013 Annual Conference now available

Please visit our 2013 Annual Conference Photos page to see a snapshot of this years conference. If you have any pictures or information you would like to add please send it to our email,

Notice from the AAG: October 27, 2013

In his April 2013 newsletter column, “An American Association of Geographers?,” Past President Eric Sheppard proposed changing the name of the Association of American Geographers to the “American Association of Geographers,” to better reflect the international scope of the AAG’s current activities and membership. Please feel free to share your thoughts or to advocate for or against the idea at the blog following Eric’s column. In order to gauge AAG members’ views on this, the AAG 2014 election ballot will include a non-binding poll asking for your opinion. The poll will be worded as follows: “NON-BINDING POLL: Do you favor changing the name of the Association of American Geographers to the American Association of Geographers? * Yes * No”  This poll will not determine whether a name change will happen, but will inform AAG Council discussion of the topic at its Spring 2014 meeting. Initiation of a name change is governed by the AAG Constitution and Bylaws.

Officer Election Results, October 2013.

We would like to extend our congratulations to Enid Lotstein, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Geography and Earth Science at Bronx Community College, CUNY, who was elected as our SAGE Representative for 2015 and to Grant Saff, Professor of Geography, Hofstra University, who was elected as Secretary, 2015. Traditionally, the Secretary progresses in subsequent years through the positions of Vice President and then President.

GTU scholarship for students to attend the AAG Meeting in Tampa:

Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) and the Association of American Geographers (AAG) have established a fund to support student travel to the AAG annual meeting. The AAG-GTU Student Travel Awards provide travel subsidies of $200 to help undergraduate and graduate student members of GTU attend AAG meetings. Please support our geography students by making a donation to the AAG-GTU Student Travel Awards Fund by using this online form. GTU student members in need of AAG-GTU travel funds can submit applications online at the GTU website. The deadline is February 1, 2014.

AAG: Press Release, October 13.

Julian Bond will receive the 2014 AAG Atlas Award, and will deliver a featured presentation during the upcoming AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa. Julian Bond to Speak at the AAG in Tampa

Request from Regional Councilor for Feedback to Council (10/9/13):

As the Middle States Regional Councilor I have been asked by the AAG Council to provide an overview of any recent activities, challenges, events and news in our Region. Please let me know If you have anything to report, or any concerns that you would like me to raise at the forthcoming AAG Council meeting at the end of this month. Some issues that are of particular interest to the Council are concerns about the health of our programs, budget cuts, enrollments, new initiatives and programs, any new hiring and so forth. Also any suggestions or opinions regarding the effectiveness of the AAG, the Annual Meeting, AAG publications or the region are most welcome. Any issues regarding the effectiveness of our regional structure are also welcome as are suggestions for improving our interactions with members. The Council would also welcome feedback from the membership about any of the following items: 1) The change that has occurred in the way the content of the AAG Newsletter is being delivered (now online only in the form of a weekly update). Are you happy with this change? Are you having problems receiving the Newsletter? Any suggestions about improving the Newsletter? 2) Past-President Sheppard’s column on changing the name of the AAG to the American Association of Geographers. There will be a non-binding referendum on this sent to all members soon. In the interim, Council would like any feedback on this proposal. 3) The new Long Range Planning process is under way with a goal to strengthen the AAG Regional Division network (among a number of others). Members are invited to contribute to the process. In particular we would welcome opinions on how to strengthen the AAG Regional Division network, and of identifying potential future challenges facing the AAG Regional Division system. 4) The Council is exploring the possibility of extending the AAG-funded child care subsidy to the regional meetings. One possibility is that the AAG would make a subsidy of $150 available to members to use at a licensed child-care facility while attending the regional meeting. The Council would like feedback from members’ whether you would support such a policy, and if it would provide an incentive for more members to attend regional meetings. I would appreciate it if you could send any feedback to me as soon as possible, but no later than, 10/24. I will also be available at the meeting in Buffalo to discuss any of the above issues or anything else you want me to convey to Council. All responses need not be anything formal and I will respect confidentiality if you request it. I look forward to your response and hopefully seeing you in Buffalo. Thank you in advance for your help. Grant Saff (

Fall 2013 Meeting Student Paper Competition Announcement

All STUDENTS are urged to come and present a paper at the fall meeting, which will be held at SUNY Buffalo State October 18-19, 2013. MSDAAG also encourages all graduate and undergraduate students to submit and present research papers to the Student Paper Competition. CASH PRIZES are awardedStudent status is as of May 1, 2013. Meeting fees are returned to students who both submit the completed paper in writing by the deadline and present the paper at the meeting. Completed papers must follow the Middle States Geographer guidelines which can be found at  Entrants should submit abstracts not to exceed 250 words and send electronic copies of completed papers to Mark, MSDAAG Secretary & Student Paper Competition Chair, by September 20, 2013. Look for this announcement again in the upcoming summer 2013 newsletter.  More information about the fall 2013 meeting can also be found here:


Officer Nominations are due on September 6, 2013.  For more info please CLICK HERE.

MSDAAG Councilor elected as Treasurer of the AAG

At the Spring AAG Council Meeting, Grant Saff, our Regional Councilor, was elected as Treasurer of the AAG.  He will serve in this position until 2015.  As Treasurer, he also serves on the AAG Executive Committee and chairs the Finance Committee.

Middle States Team Wins Geography Bowl

Congratulations to our Geography Bowl team who won the World Geography Bowl at the recent 2013 AAG Conference in Los Angeles.

Regional Councilor, Grant Saff, coordinated our winning team at the 2013 World Geography Bowl held on April 12, during the AAG Meeting in Los Angeles. The World Geography Bowl is an annual quiz competition for teams of college-level geography students representing the AAG’s nine regional divisions. Our team consisted of the top six scoring individuals from our Regional Bowl competition held at Shippensburg University in November, 2012. The Middle States Division team’s roster was:

  • Shawn Dacey, team captain, undergraduate student, SUNY Oneonta,
  • Jase Bernhardt, graduate student, Penn State University,
  • James Baker, undergraduate student, William Paterson University (also received MVP title),
  • Samuel Finn, graduate student, Shippensburg University,
  • Ekaterina Bezborodico, graduate student, Rutgers University,
  • Raechel Blanchetti, graduate student, Penn State University.

Our team did exceptionally well in the preliminary rounds, winning seven of their eight matches. The championship round pitted the top two teams in a match-up from a round-robin tournament. In the final, our team defeated the Middle Atlantic Division (MAD) by a score of 120-90. Jim Baker won the individual award as MVP, which is a remarkable achievement for an undergraduate. The team members each received $300 from the MDSAAG to help attend the Conference. Please join us in congratulating them on their excellent performance. We look forward to defending our crown at the next AAG meeting in Tampa. Read more at: