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UK Professor Elected President of American Association of Geographers

By A Fish 

Patricia Ehrkamp
 Patricia Ehrkamp

LEXINGTON, Ky, --  Patricia Ehrkamp, Ph.D., professor of geography in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been elected president of the American Association of Geographers.  

The scientific and educational organization serves around 10,000 international educators, practitioners, researchers and students in  geography. Ehrkamp has been serving as vice president of the organization since 2022. She will assume the presidency July 1.

“I've been involved in different roles with this professional organization since I first presented my research at annual meetings as a Ph.D. student,” Ehrkamp said. “Over the last 20 years, I've served on the boards of various research specialty groups in the organization, across different subfields such as European, feminist, and urban geography.” 

The discipline of geography spans a variety of subfields that address such questions as climate change, environmental degradation, international migration, geopolitics, and water and food security, she said.

She hopes to lead the organization in working toward more equitable worlds and advocating for academic freedom. A mentoring task force Ehrkamp initiated intends to create support structures that make the discipline of geography and university departments more welcoming — efforts she championed while chair of the department at UK. Ehrkamp also plans to encourage high-quality geographic education, research and public engagement to inspire future generations of geographers to tackle global challenges.

"It's a tremendous honor to be serving in this role and to have this opportunity to advance professional and academic geography,” Ehrkamp said, “I'm excited to work towards positive change by focusing on mentoring and fostering high quality geographic research, education, and outreach.” 

This is the first time in the Department of Geography’s 80-year history that a faculty member is serving in this important role.

“We are incredibly proud that professor Ehrkamp has been elected president of the AAG,” said Matt Wilson, geography department chair. “She has shaped so many careers in our department and I look forward to her efforts to shift conversations in the discipline.”

Ehrkamp was named the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor in 2021-2022. She serves as an associate editor at Political Geography. Her scholarship on immigration, transnationalism, citizenship and the geopolitics of refugee resettlement has been funded by the National Science Foundation and is published in the top internationally peer-reviewed journals in the field.