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Revised 2015.12.7.

The Geography Faculty Development Alliance

Workshops and Seminars for Early Career College and University Faculty

Workshop Info at AAG

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Why Should You Participate?
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The Geography Faculty Development Alliance is a long-term, broad-based project begun in 2002 to improve the learning and teaching of geography in higher education. The aim is to provide early career faculty and advanced doctoral students with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to excel in the lecture hall, seminar room, and laboratory. Key objectives of the project are to foster a culture of support and success for early career faculty.

This project involves several components: summer workshops, follow-up seminars, panel discussions, and paper sessions at the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers and the National Council for Geographic Education. There is also a longitudinal evaluation and research component to consider the value of the training to early career faculty during the tenure review process. A final component involves publishing the workshop materials as a stand-alone course for use in graduate geography programs, including the books Aspiring Academics (2009) and Teaching College Geography (2009).

University of Tennessee Invites GFDA and Department Leaders to Summer 2016 Workshops

The Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee (Twitter: @UTKGeography) is proud to announce that it will host, in summer 2016, the GFDA (Geography Faculty Development Alliance) Early Career Workshop and the AAG Department Leadership Workshop.

The GFDA workshop is for graduate students and faculty who are beginning their careers in higher education—instructors, lecturers, assistant professors, and other untenured faculty. The workshop is open to faculty from all types of teaching and research institutions inside and outside the US. The workshop, sponsored by the Association of American Geographers, focuses on topics which are frequently the greatest sources of stress in the first years of a faculty appointment.

The AAG leadership workshop is for all geographers interested in improving their programs—chairs/heads, associate chairs/heads, deans, academic advisors, provosts and other administrators, as well as all faculty interested in leadership issues. The workshop is particularly well suited for individuals who may soon assume leadership positions.

Details about workshop dates, cost, and registration will be announced in the coming weeks. Preliminary inquiries about GFDA can be sent to workshop co-leader, Derek Alderman (, Twitter: @MLKStreet). Inquiries about AAG Leadership Workshop can be sent to AAG President Sarah Bednarz (, Twitter: @sarahbednarz).

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is the preeminent research-based, land-grant university in the state and recently received a Community Engagement Designation from the Carnegie Foundation. The university is the site of the Tennessee Center for Teaching and Learning and located near several area resources, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Beck African American Museum and Cultural Center, and Ijams Nature Center. Knoxville has a revitalized downtown with shops, restaurants, historic theaters, museums, art galleries, and an outdoor farmer’s market a few blocks from campus.

A stand-alone unit for almost 50 years, the Department of Geography offers B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. Its award-winning faculty members provide students with the opportunity to study issues that revolve around understanding environmental, social, economic, and technological change—from climate, natural hazards, and ecosystem dynamics to population, urban development, transportation, and human rights. For more information about the Department of Geography, see

Workshop activities will be held in the Burchfiel Geography Building, built for the Department in 2000 and centrally located on campus next to the university’s new student union. The Department of Geography operates a GIS Outreach and Community Engagement Laboratory, and hosts the Tennessee Geographic Alliance and laboratories devoted to geo-spatial analysis, paleoenvironmental research, tree-ring science, cosmogenic isotope analysis, as well as the University of Tennessee’s Initiative for Quaternary Paleoclimate Research.

Geographers at the University of Tennessee are excited to have early career scholar-teachers and departmental leaders come to Rocky Top!

Registration is available through the website of the Association of American Geographers at: