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Geography professor voted first female president of national society

Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Decades after publishing her first journal article with the American Geographical Society, a geography professor has been voted the organization’s president.

Marie Price, a professor of geography and international affairs, will become the first female president in the history of the AGS this June. Price said she hopes to focus on increasing the diversity of the society’s members and including more young people.

Price said she hopes that her tenure as president will reshape the demographics of people interested and engaged with geography, which has historically been made up of men.

“I’d like to see the membership grow. I’d like to have more college students involved in the organization. I’d like to see it more diverse, more men, women, more ethnic minorities,” Price said.

She said has seen young people take greater interest in geography recently because of advancements with geography technology, and she wants to capitalize on that momentum in her role.

“I think there are not just people studying geography, but there is a passionate public out there that really likes geographic information. Whether it’s taking quizzes or seeing really cool maps, anything that generates that excitement,” Price said.

She said she plans to generate maps, raise awareness of what geospatial technology can do and sponsor “mapathons” – events during which people analyze satellite photos of unmapped areas and create maps of them.

Price, who has worked at GW for 25 years, previously had stints as the director of Latin American studies and served as the chair of the geography department. In 2005, she received the Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching.

Price said she will also fundraise for AGS scholarships and will oversee the process of reviewing and awarding grants.

Price said she will remain in her position as a professor at GW, but her new job will require many late nights traveling back and forth to the society’s headquarters in New York City.

The council voted her president-elect after former president Jerome E. Dobson announced his retirement from the post. He will remain on the council when his presidential term ends in the summer.

Price said she has enjoyed being involved with the AGS because it is another outlet for her interests in the field.

“At the core, I am very passionate about geography,” Price said. “I’m happy to be part of an organization that is trying to talk to people in meaningful ways.”

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