Geography Professor Named AAG Fellow

David Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Geography in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University, was recently named a fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in recognition for his significant contributions to advancing geography.

David Kaplan

The honorary title of AAG Fellow is conferred for life and is reserved for a small fraction of the membership who help to address, contribute to, and at times create initiatives to advance the discipline. Fellows also advise AAG on strategic directions and challenges, and mentor early- and mid-career faculty.

"AAG Fellows light the way for the pursuit and advancement of geography," said Gary Langham, Ph.D., Executive Director of AAG. "Their work and experience offer insights into the interaction of space and place with the key issues human societies must understand and help solve. We are grateful for their leadership and advice in advancing AAG and the field."

Kaplan has served the AAG in numerous capacities since becoming a member in 1983, including as president (2019-20), council member, president of the East Lakes Region, and chair of the Healthy Departments Committee.

“Two of the things I am most proud of has been to expand the inclusivity of the AAG. One way has been highlighting the work of professors in community colleges and some of the smaller universities,” Kaplan said. “The other way has been in formally recognizing the international nature of the AAG by adding an International Councilor to the governing body.”

“Disciplinary associations like the AAG are vital in advancing the field of study, fostering a sense of community among geographers, and in nurturing students and junior scholars who wish to pursue geography,” Kaplan said. “The annual conference is a true forum of ideas and people. This year, nearly all Kent State faculty and graduate students are attending.”

Kaplan is well-known both nationally and internationally for his work in political and urban geography. His research interests also include nationalism, borderlands, ethnic and racial segregation, urban and regional development, housing finance and sustainable transportation. Since joining Kent State in 1995, he has written or edited 14 books, ranging from sophisticated analyses of ethnicity and nationalism to textbooks on urban geography. He has published 70 journal articles and book chapters, given over 80 invited presentations, and is editor-in-chief for the journal Geographical Review and editor of National Identities. He is also an American Geographical Society (AGS) Councilor.  

“Geography is fundamental to the way we understand the world because it allows us to see how society, places and the environment affect one another, as well as how spatial distribution and location explain how and why things happen,” Kaplan said. “The American Association of Geographers represents most U.S. geographers and is the go-to organization for geographers from around the world. As a result, we can emphasize the importance of a geographic perspective – critical in issues such as climate change, racial segregation, international tensions and economic development – and we can work to bring geography to greater numbers of people.

For more information about Kent State’s Department of Geography, visit

About the American Association of Geographers
The American Association of Geographers is a nonprofit scientific and educational society founded in 1904. The organization – which comprises approximately 12,500 members from the United States and 100 countries worldwide – has contributed to the overall advancement of geography. Its members share interests in the theory, methods and practice of geography. For more information about the association, visit

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Media Contacts:
Jim Maxwell,, 330-672-8028
Dr. David Kaplan,, 330-672-3221

POSTED: Monday, February 13, 2023 01:08 PM
Updated: Monday, February 13, 2023 01:38 PM
Jim Maxwell