GISS Board of Directors 2020 Election Results

Dear GISS specialty group members,
Hope you are doing well! It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of this year’s GISS election!

  • Bandana Kar (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) will be succeeding to Chair, following her 2-year term as Vice-Chair 

Please welcome our new officers: 

  • Ran Wei as Vice-Chair (University of California, Riverside)
  • Song Gao as Academic Director (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
  • Lei Zou as Communications Director (Texas A & M, College Station)
  • Jordan Burnes as Commercial Director (NiyamIT)
  • Emily Zvolanek as Government Director (Argonne National Laboratory)
  • Avipsa Roy as student director  (Arizona State University)

Congratulations to these new officers and we look forward to the service they will provide our community! Thanks to all those  who expressed their willingness to serve the GISS community in this election.  We are also deeply thankful for the outgoing officers for their service and dedication to the specialty group. It has truly been a pleasure working with all of you.

This is also marks the end of my term as Chair of GISS. It has been a pleasure serving this community and I feel we accomplished many important things including modernizing the constitution (which was last modified in 1988). I want to extend a special thanks to Zachary Christman for his dedication both as a chair but particularly as the chair emeritus who worked along side me through the last 2 years. His contributions, guidance, and encouragement were indispensable. I look forward to working alongside Dr. Kar in her term as Chair as she moves GISS forward over the coming years.

Thanks for your service and collaboration, and I am always glad to continue to offer guidance and support in the years ahead. 


Robert Stewart

Chair, AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group

2020 AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group Annual Best Student Paper Competition Winners

Please join us to congratulate the following students who won the 2020 AAG-GISS Best Student Paper Competition:

1st place:  Yuhao Kang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Advisor: Song Gao.

Paper Title: Human settlement value assessment from a place perspective considering human mobility and perception in house price modeling

2nd place: Seonga Cho, University of California at Santa Barbara; Advisor: Gunhak Lee.

Paper Title: Spatio-temporal optimization applying competitive location model and greedy algorithm

Final list honor mention: 

Dong Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Advisor: Mei-Po Kwan.

Paper Title: Identification of Vehicles’ Refueling Activities Using Space-Time GIS

2020 AAG Session Sponsorships

In order to facilitate the AAG sessions organization,  the current GISS board of directors decided to sponsor all the session requests that are related to our mission statement. Please feel free to add our specialty group “Geographic Information Science and Systems” into your CFP. The default answer to the AAG session sponsorship would be “Yes”!

Mission statement
1. Promote the exchange of ideas and information relating to GIS.
2. Promote GIS research.
3. Improve the understanding of the proper application of GIS procedures.
4. Develop materials and promote activities needed to improve the teaching of GIS concepts.
5. Promote and coordinate activities and directions with other professional organizations involved with GIS.
6. Pursue charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

If you have any other questions, please contact our BOD Chair Dr. Robert Stewart ( or the Communications Director: Dr. Song Gao (

Call for Abstracts: 2020 AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group Annual Student Paper Competition

The Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group (GISS-SG) of the Association of American Geographers is pleased to announce the 2020 Honors Competition for Student Papers on Geographic Information Science topics to be presented at the annual meeting. The purpose of this competition is to promote scholarship and written and oral presentation by students in the field of GIS. Papers are invited from current graduate and undergraduate students on any topic in geographical information systems and geographic information science.

Please see detailed information under the menu Awards –> Student Paper Competition link.

new GISS Board of Directors for 2018-2020

Greetings, It is my pleasure to announce the new GISS Specialty Group Board, began their service at the close of the 2018 Annual Meeting:

Serving 2018-2020:

Chair: Robert Stewart, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Vice Chair: Bandana Kar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Academic Director: Ran Wei, University of California, Riverside

Secretary/Communications Director: Song Gao, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Commercial Director: Wendy Dorman, Radiant Solutions

Past-Chair: Zachary Christman, Rowan University

Serving 2018-2019:

Student Director: Rui Zhu, University of California, Santa Barbara

All 3 constitutional amendments were passed with >95% approval (60% required), and the board will work to update the language of the constitution and post on the webpage at Thank you to all those who stepped forward to run for the GISS Specialty Group Board of Directors, and thanks also to the members who voted in the election. Thank you also to the self-/nominees for Government Director. The board will reach out privately to discuss next steps.

Thank you also to to the outgoing board for your service to the GISS Specialty Group:

Thomas Crawford (Virginia Tech), Academic Director

Min Chen (Nanjing Normal University) Secretary/Treasurer

Yingjie Hu (University of Tennessee) Student Director

Diansheng Guo (University of South Carolina), Past-Chair