The generation of new knowledge in today's highly globalized society requires scientists and scholars, universities, R&D business, and federal agencies to promote international research collaborations as a way to enhance intellectual capacity and increase competitiveness. The Association of American Geographers (AAG) will continue to help geographers in t he United States develop international collaboration through formal activities sponsored by the International Geographic Union (IGU). This award will support 145 United States geographic scholars (72 junior and 73 senior scholars) through partial-travel support to attend IGU Congresses in 2012 and 2016 and three IGU regional conferences in the intervening years. Thirty scholars will attend the IGU Congress in Koln, Germany in 2012, 25 scholars will attend each of the regional conferences in Kyoto, Japan (2013), Krakow, Poland (2014), Moscow, Russia (2015), and 40 scholars will attend the 2016 IGU Congress in Beijing, China. The support provided through this award will provide benefits to individual researchers and the broader geographic community by stimulating scholarly publications; by fostering collaborative, multinational research and improving geographic education. The award also will contribute to human resource development, including international scientific leadership and the broad enrichment of geography and related fields in the U.S.
Widespread participation of U.S. geographers in these International Geographical Union-sponsored conferences will strengthen U.S. ties with international scholars. Early-career scholars are provided professional development opportunities through participation in international events. In follow-up surveys of individuals supported with previous support to IGU conferences, 80 percent of the respondents stated that their teaching activities were enhanced by their participation by their international experiences. Such successes demonstrate that this travel-support program can help develop collaborations that result in a technical knowledge base that can translate research and development into useful applications for solving societal problems. American scholars also are provided with unique opportunities for outreach, positive engagement, and improved research programs through partnerships in the regions where the conferences are help.