Established in 1992, the name of this organization is the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group (EGSG) of the American Association of Geographers (AAG).


The purpose of the EGSG is to bring together AAG members who have mutual scholarly and professional interests in ethnic geography. Ethnic geography is the theoretical investigation and application of geographic knowledge and geospatial techniques to the experiences and spatial dynamics of ethnic groups.

The mission of the EGSG is to facilitate the sharing of diverse ideas and information among its members and others interested in ethnic geography; stimulate research, pedagogy, and applications in ethnic geography; aid in the advancement of its members and of the field of ethnic geography; represent ethnic geography within geography as a whole and with other related disciplines as well as the general public; and maintain relations with cognate organizations.

As a professional group within its parent organization, the AAG, the EGSG inherently follows the AAG’s broader mission statement and its policies and procedures as detailed in the AAG Constitutions and Bylaws.


EGSG membership is open to all AAG members in good standing. Annual dues are $10 for professionals and $3 for students.


EGSG membership in good standing with regard to AAG and EGSG annual dues can vote for the specialty group’s Board Members and any pertinent issues that members bring forth. Voting for Board Members takes place at annual business meetings held during AAG annual meetings. EGSG members can vote on all other issues at business meeting or via e-mail ballots. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary-Treasurer are the tellers for business meeting and e-mail ballots. Any member present at an EGSG business meeting may call for a vote to have a secret ballot.


A) Membership: The EGSG is administered by a 12-person Board of Directors (the Board) consisting of four officers – Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Newsletter Editor – and eight other Members (including one student member), all elected at large for two-year terms. The EGSG elects Board members at annual business meetings. Each year four new members will be elected (or more, if more positions are vacant). A Board member may hold only one elected position at any given time. To provide continuity and ensure strong specialty group leadership, the EGSG Chair is selected through a succession process beginning as Secretary-Treasurer, then Vice Chair, and finally as EGSG Chair.

B) General Duties: The Board exercises general supervision over the affairs of the EGSG and performs its duties as specified in these Bylaws and the policies of the AAG Council. The Chair must present an annual report of EGSG activities to the specialty group members at the annual business meeting. The Chair must also submit an annual report of EGSG activities, including a financial statement, in a timely manner to the AAG Council. Other than the election of EGSG Board and committee members, the EGSG membership and the Board may conduct specialty group business throughout the year via e-mail discussion and, when appropriate, e-mail voting. With the support of 10 percent of the EGSG membership, an EGSG member can bring any pertinent specialty group issue to an e-mail vote. The Chair will report the results of e-mail votes to all EGSG members.

C) Duties of Board Members:

1) Chair: Presides at all meetings of the EGSG and the Board; serves as an ex officio member of EGSG committees; issues notices of EGSG business meetings; acts as a teller in annual business meeting and e-mail ballots; notifies members of ballot outcomes; conveys information about and the views of the EGSG to the AAG Council; and performs all duties inherent in the office as directed by the EGSG.

2) Vice-Chair: is the Chair-elect; advises and assists the Chair; presides at meetings in the absence of the Chair; acts as a teller in the annual business meeting and e-mail ballots.

3) Secretary-Treasurer: records and reports business meeting discussions and votes; distributes annual business meeting and e-mail ballots; acts as a teller in annual business meeting and e-mail ballots; administers the financial affairs of the EGSG and prepares annual financial reports.

4) Newsletter Editor: solicits articles and information, including award deadlines, and produces in a timely manner an annual EGSG Newsletter. The EGSG Newsletter is a digital document posted on the EGSG Website. The Newsletter Editor notifies the EGSG membership of the posting of each newsletter issue.

5) Board Members: provide advice to and assist EGSG officers in carrying out their duties, serve on committees, and undertake other duties that may arise. The student Board Member represents student interests.

D) Terms of Board Members: All Board Members, including the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Newsletter Editor, have two-year terms.

E) Election of Board Members: Every two years at the specialty group’s annual business meeting, EGSG members elect the Secretary-Treasurer and Board Members from nominations at large. The Chair reports the results to the members present and subsequently to the entire EGSG membership via e-mail. The new Secretary-Treasurer and Board Members assume their positions at the end of the annual business meeting at which they are elected. The EGSG membership votes as necessary to replace Board Members who are unable to complete their two-year terms.


The EGSG holds its annual business meeting during the AAG national meeting at the site of the AAG national meeting. Once listed in the AAG annual meeting program, the EGSG Chair will notify members of the time and place of the annual business meeting. To vote, the annual EGSG business meeting must have a quorum of at least 10 percent of its membership. Among items addressed at annual business meetings are the approval of the agenda and the minutes of the previous business meeting, committee reports, announcements of EGSG award winners, a financial report from the Secretary-Treasurer, and a report of EGSG activities. As interpreted by the Chair and members present, a “relaxed” version of the Robert’s Rules of Order guide proceedings of business meetings.


The EGSG has seven standing committees: 1) five-member EGSG Awards Committee, 2) three-member Outstanding Student Paper committee, 3) three-member Outstanding Dissertation Proposal Committee, 4) three-member AAG Program Committee (including the EGSG Chair and Awards Chair), 5) three-member Website Committee, 6) two-member Newsletter Committee (editor and co-editor) and 7) five-member Student Committee. The EGSG elects these committee members at the annual business meeting. Each committee member serves for a two-year term.


The EGSG has five awards:

1) Distinguished Ethnic Geography Scholar Award: Awarded for outstanding scholarship in ethnic geography; the honoree is expected to give a presentation at the corresponding AAG meeting.

2) Outstanding Ethnic Geography Service Award: Awarded for outstanding service to ethnic geography.

3) Distinguished Ethnic Geography Career Award: Awarded for outstanding contributions to ethnic geography through scholarship, teaching, and service.

4) Outstanding Ethnic Geography Dissertation Proposal Award: Although the topic of the proposal must address some aspect of ethnic geography, applicants do not have to be EGSG members. Candidates must present their research at the corresponding AAG meeting.

5) Outstanding Ethnic Geography Student Paper Award: Although the topic of the paper must address some aspect of ethnic geography, applicants do not have to be EGSG members. Candidates must present their research at the corresponding AAG meeting.

The five-member EGSG Awards Committee seeks nominations for the Scholar, Service and Career awards. The nomination must contain an evaluation of the accomplishments of the nominee that justify the award. The EGSG Awards Committee then carries out an email vote. The Chair of the Awards Committee cooperates with the EGSG Chair in organizing special sessions to honor the recipients of the Scholar and Career Awards.

The two Student Awards Committee accepts submissions and selects honorees for the two student awards – Dissertation Proposal and Paper. Each student award winner receives a certificate of achievement and a monetary stipend as well as recognition in the EGSG and AAG newsletters and at the AAG awards luncheon.

The EGSG Website and Newsletter announce award requirements and deadlines.


The Chair provides an annual report to the AAG Council by its deadline. The report should articulate the mission of the EGSG, its program of activities, a financial report, and any other issues that the AAG requests.


The three-member Website Committee maintains an attractive, informative, and timely EGSG Website. The Website Committee optimizes the Website to help reach the goals of the specialty group. The Website includes the EGSG Bylaws. The annual EGSG Newsletter is a digital document posted to the Website and includes the previous business meeting minutes, highlights about award winners, announcements, articles, and other relevant information.


These Bylaws take effect immediately after their approval by a majority (more than 50 percent present at the meeting) of EGSG members and the concurrence of the AAG Council. With the support of 10 percent of the EGSG membership, a member of the specialty group can propose at any time an amendment to the Bylaws. A majority of EGSG members at the annual business meeting or via e-mail ballot can approve an amendment. The Chair notifies the EGSG membership of approved amendments.