Grants & Awards

Each year, the AAG honors special achievements and service to geography through its Grants and Awards programs. Many of our honorees and their colleagues attend the Awards Luncheon, held at each Annual Meeting, to recognize and celebrate their contributions to the discipline.

Learn more about all available grants and awards

Annual Meeting Support

In addition to our Grants and Awards programs, the AAG has a variety of opportunities for students, un-/underemployed geographers, and scholars outside the discipline to attend and participate in the Annual Meeting.

Enrichment Funds

The Annual Meeting Enrichment Funds Committee will allocate approximately $30,000 to support participation of distinguished non-geographers in the AAG Annual Meeting. The priority deadline for applications is November 7. Any applications received after this time will be considered on a case by case basis, if there are remaining funds.

Community College Travel Grants

Support from this grant program is awarded to outstanding students from community colleges, junior colleges, city colleges, or similar two-year educational institutions to attend the next AAG Annual Meeting. The award consists of meeting registration, one year membership in the AAG, and a travel expense subsidy of $500 to be used to defray the costs of attending the AAG Annual Meeting. The deadline for this award is November 1.

Conference Assistants

Students and unemployed or underemployed geographers are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity to help offset their meeting registration costs. All applicants must be registered and paid for the meeting to be chosen as a conference volunteer. Conference Assistants will receive $14.50 per hour in return for their time.

AAG Council Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper at a Regional Meeting

The award is designed to encourage graduate student participation at regional meetings and support their attendance at AAG annual meetings. Each awardee will receive $1,000 in funding towards registration and travel costs for the AAG annual meeting.

Specialty and Affinity Group Competitions

Each year many AAG Specialty and Affinity Groups confer travel grants, hold paper competitions, and bestow honors and awards to their faculty and student members at the AAG Annual Meeting. Notices for these competitions may appear on the relevant specialty group’s website or listserv, in the AAG Newsletter. For more information about a specific competition, please contact the chair of the relevant AAG Specialty or Affinity Group. Contact information for chairs and links to group webpages are available in the AAG Specialty and Affinity Group Directory.

Nystrom Award Papers

A fund established by former AAG Executive Director J. Warren Nystrom supports an annual prize for a paper based upon a recent dissertation in geography. Papers must be presented at the upcoming AAG Annual Meeting. Guidelines for submitting papers for this award differ substantially from those for other papers. Applicants for Nystrom awards should review the full eligibility and application details online.

For further information, please visit the Grants & Awards information page.

Conference Assistants


Students and unemployed or underemployed geographers* (especially AAG members!) are encouraged to sign-up for this unique opportunity to help offset their meeting costs. All Conference Assistants must have a paid conference registration for the current AAG Annual Meeting to be a Conference Assistant. Conference Assistants will receive $14.50 per hour in return for their time. 

This program is very popular! We typically run out of shifts to sign-up for, but we do add shifts periodically. Please check back frequently for additional opportunities.

*Underemployed or Unemployed geographers (making $25,000 or less a year) should submit a brief letter with their application certifying unemployment and financial need for AAG to grant a position. Please send your brief letter to

You can increase your odds of being selected by:

  • Signing-up for available shifts early.
  • Checking back regularly to see if any new shifts have been added.
  • Having a flexible schedule.

10 hours is the maximum number of hours you can sign-up for during the length of the conference.

Shift Assignments/Important Dates:

September 2019: Conference Assistant sign-up opens
February 15th, 2020: Conference Assistant sign-up closes
Last Week of February 2020: Individuals on the Conference Assistant waiting list are contacted with available open shifts
Mid-March 2020: Conference Assistants will be contacted via email with final Conference Assistant schedule
April 6-10, 2020: The 2020 AAG Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado!  

Shifts will be available to sign-up for until February 15th, 2020. Once the schedule is fully staffed, names will be added to the Conference Assistant wait list. We will notify potential assistants by email the last week of February regarding their status (please check your spam filter settings).

If you have any questions, please contact