Presentation Title

SAGE 1: The Role of Geography in Nexus Thinking: Becoming Institutional and Community Leaders While Defending the Discipline!

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Abstract or Description

In 2013, Judith Rees recognized the potential of geography in nexus thinking during her Presidential Address to the Royal Geographical Society by reminding geographers of their disciplinary need to "create demand by demonstrating to policy and decision makers in the public and private sectors the contribution that geographical methods and ways of thinking can make to addressing some of the key challenges faced by the world today" (Rees, 2013). This session builds upon the nexus concept, which recognizes the complex inter-relationships between water, energy and food (WEF). This relationship was investigated recently (2014) by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF), whose research found that systematically addressing resiliency to nexus challenges requires understanding connections, surveying and data collecting to understand resources, assessing risks and opportunities, implementing technologies and programs, and collaborating with stakeholders and leading the change. This view of geography reinforces earlier conversations regarding geographical thinking that focused largely on the physical-human geography divide (Harrison et al. 2004), the nexus between power/knowledge and geography (Fahey & Kenway 2010) or between the bio (life) and the geo (earth) through cultural geography (Whatmore 2006). Despite the disadvantage of not being part of a fully-fledged geography department, SAGEs have an advantageous position to successfully utilize the nexus model because of their location in more interdisciplinary departments. This panel will provide a forum of discussion for how to integrate the USCCF steps within our respective university institutions, and more broadly speaking integrate geography within the larger university setting. While primarily focusing on the challenges and opportunities faced by SAGEs in applying the nexus concept, this panel is open to all audiences hoping to engage in a forum for future collaborations.


American Association of Geographers Annual Conference (AAG)


San Francisco, CA