Geographer Heads International Organization

Oct 1, 2015

Sarah Bednarz has been elected as president of the American Association of Geographers.

Bednarz has been active in AAG for more than 20 years, holding offices at the regional and national levels. Her service activities especially focus on geography education, including advanced placement commissions and studies, standards and practice, geography test development, and curriculum and instruction committees. She served as chair of the Geography Education Research Committee for the Road Map to 21st Century Geographic Literacy, nationwide initiative funded by the National Science Foundation that established a plan for large-scale improvement of K-12 geography education.

Bednarz received her A.B. degree magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A.T. from the University of Chicago. She taught in Illinois and the Hearne and College Station public schools for 18 years before earning her Ph.D. in geography education from Texas A&M.

Her many honors include being named the only Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence in the College of Geosciences. She received the Gilbert H. Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education from AAG and the George J. Miller Award from the National Council for Geographic Education. She has received both the Association of Former Student Distinguished Achievement Award at the university level (2004) and at the college level (1997). She served the college as associate dean for academic affairs from 2008–14.

AAG has more than 10,000 members from over 60 countries who share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG’s annual meeting, scholarly journals (Annals of the Association of American GeographersThe Professional Geographer, the AAG Review of Books and GeoHumanities), and the online AAG Newsletter, for which Bednarz writes a monthly column.