American Geographical Society Awards 2014 Council Fellowships

American Geographical Society Awards 2014 Council Fellowships


[New York City, NY] — [27 February 2014] – The American Geographical Society (AGS) announced today the recipients of the first AGS Council Fellowships to support student research.  Sara N. Hughes, who is a Ph.D. student and political geographer at the University of California, Los Angeles and Oliver H. Wigmore, who is a Ph.D. student at The Ohio State University, were selected from a highly competitive field of applicants.

Ms. Hughes will use the money towards three months of dissertation fieldwork this summer in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. The project explores why Israelis, many of them recent immigrants from the United States, would choose to live in a military-occupied area because of a sense of community and security. She hopes to address how residents are constructing these concepts, how security infrastructure facilitates a certain lifestyle, and how residents are defining danger, safety, and community.

Mr. Wigmore’s research combines field hydrology, satellite remote sensing, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to identify drivers and quantify spatial and temporal variability in soil moisture storage in the pro-glacial valleys and wetlands of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Funds from the AGS Fellowship will be used to purchase components for the development of a multi-rotor UAV capable of operating at 4,000 to 5,500 meters above sea level in the Andes and collect high resolution multispectral imagery. This platform will be used to map surface soil moisture, land cover, and glacier surfaces and to generate digital elevation models at centimeter resolution across the study sites.

“True to our roots in geographical exploration and discovery, the members of the AGS Council selected projects that reflect the changing nature of our world…the research projects we selected are important and what we learn from the results will have real-world applications”, 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 and results of Ms. Hughes and Mr. Wigmore through its 2014 activities and publications.

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.

Sarah Huges
Ms. Sarah Hughes
Oliver Wigmore
Mr. Oliver Wigmore