3/12/2015 American Geographical Society Awards 2015 Council Fellowships


American Geographical Society Awards 2015 Council Fellowships


Description:  The AGS Council Fellowship, awarded by the American Geographical Society (AGS), is the latest of prestigious scholarships to be made by the Society.  The graduate students selected are Ms. Sophia Albov of the University of Montana for her work on the “Socio-geographic Components of the Alternative Agricultural Sector in Finland” and Ms. Nora Sylvander of the Ohio State University for her research into “Understanding the Socio-political Marginalization of Mestizos and Conservation Outcomes in Nicaragua”. The winners were announced by the AGS Council on March 12th, 2015 in New York City.

[New York City, NY] — [12 March 2015]– The American Geographical Society (AGS) announced today the recipients of the AGS Council Fellowships to support student research.  Sophia Albov, who is a graduate student at the University of Montana and Nora Sylvander, who is a Ph.D. candidate at Ohio State University, were selected from a highly competitive field of applicants. The winners were named by Council Fellowship Selection Committee Chair, Dr. Marie Price, who is Chair of the Department of Geography at George Washington University. The fellowship recipients will be recognized at the American Geographical Society’s Fall Symposium held in New York City on November 19th and 20th of 2015.

For Ms. Albov, the fellowship will support her continued research into the “Socio-geographic Components of the Alternative Agricultural Sector in Finland”. This research addresses the question of agricultural sustainability with a focus on three aspects of the alternative agricultural sector, including: urban agriculture, organic farming, and community supported agriculture (CSA). The project has three objectives: 1) to identify the geographic factors that influence the uptake and spatial diffusion of alternative agriculture; 2) to examine the specific European Union (EU) and Finnish state policy mechanisms driving the alternative agricultural sector and changes in Finland’s agricultural geography; and 3) to investigate farmers’ responses and adaptations to these policy mechanisms as well as other complex social and environmental challenges related to food production in the 21st century.

Ms. Sylvander will use the money towards the first phase of her dissertation fieldwork this summer in Nicaragua, which she expects to complete by 2018. Her research in Nicaragua examines the dynamics by which non-indigenous “mestizo” migrants are blamed for undermining conservation goals in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua. Drawing on political ecology, she will explore the relationship between the “Socio-political Marginalization of Mestizos and Conservation Outcomes in Nicaragua”.

“Both of the winners this year have taken on projects that have real-world application. These studies do more than increase our geographical knowledge…they help to build a better world”, said Dr. Marie Price, Chair of the Department of Geography at George Washington University and Chair of the AGS Council Fellowship Selection Committee.

The Council Fellowship was created in 2013 to support AGS student members in their pursuit of geographical knowledge and is worth $1,000.00.  In addition, AGS will promote the work of Ms. Hughes and Mr. Wigmore throughout its 2015 activities.

Established in 1851, the American Geographical Society (AGS) is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States.  It is recognized world-wide as a pioneer in geographical research and education in Geography for over 163 years.  The mission of the American Geographical Society is to advance and promote geography in business, government, science, and education. Our goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide.  AGS seeks to engage the American public, from its youngest to its oldest citizens, with new and amazing ways to understand and characterize our changing world.  The Society maintains its headquarters in Brooklyn Heights, New York.


Sophia Albov; University of Montana


Nora Sylvander; Ohio State University


Contact Information:

American Geographical Society
32 Court Street
Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201-4404
Telephone: 718-624-2212
Fax: 718-624-2239
Email: ags@americangeo.org