AAG John Odland Award

October 13, 2021

The Spatial Analysis and Modeling (SAM) Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) is sponsoring the John Odland Award (SAM student paper competition) at the 2022 AAG Meeting in New York City, New York. The prizes will total a minimum of $1,000.

The competition is open to active undergraduate and graduate students who have previously not won the award. Papers may be of a theoretical or applied nature. They will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Potential contribution to the use of mathematical models, statistical techniques, and other technological and computational approaches for analyzing spatial phenomena in any subfield of geography;
  2. Appropriate and sound use of methodology;
  3. Originality;
  4. Organization and written composition of the paper;
  5. Quality of oral presentation.

Students wishing to enter the competition should submit the title and 1000-word extended abstract (using the required format [download here]) of their paper to SAM Board Member Taylor Oshan (toshan@umd.edu) after registering to attend the 2022 AAG Annual meeting. Students should also include the PIN from their registration so that SAM can coordinate with the AAG to place competition papers into special sessions. The deadline to enter the competition is November 7, 2021. The committee will review the abstracts and let each applicant know if s/he is selected for participating in the paper competition session by November 28, 2021. All invited students entering the competition must submit their completed papers in .doc or .pdf format to the same e-mail address (toshan@umd.edu) by January 17, 2022. Due to the hybrid format of the 2022 Annual Meeting, and to ensure fairness and inclusion, students entering the competition must also submit a video recording of their presentation by February 20, 2022. Recordings may not be longer than 15 minutes. Late submissions of papers and recordings will not be accepted.

The paper must be based on research primarily conducted while the student was at an accredited university. Coauthored papers are accepted as long as the student is the primary author of the manuscript. Each entrant must submit a statement with their completed paper from a university faculty member, preferably their undergraduate or graduate advisor, describing the role of the student in completing the paper by January 17, 2022. If the committee does not receive a letter from a faculty supervisor, the candidate is automatically disqualified from the competition. The same paper cannot be submitted for multiple competitions and may not be submitted multiple years.

The title page of the submitted paper should include the name, current affiliation, mailing address, and e-mail address of the entrant and coauthors if any. The following page should include only the title of the paper and an abstract. No identifying information should appear anywhere else than on the title page of the paper. Papers should be no longer than 35 double-spaced pages, including tables, figures and references.

A panel of judges will review the papers before the AAG meeting. The judges will also evaluate recordings of student presentations. They will NOT base their evaluation on the live presentations, though they may consider contestants' responses to questions from the audience during live sessions on the day of the competition. The winner(s), if any, will be announced at the SAM specialty group business meeting and are invited to the AAG Awards Luncheon. The judges' decision, including the possibility of not awarding a prize, is final.

Important Dates:

Abstract Submission Deadline: November 7, 2021

Notification for Participation: November 28, 2021

Full Paper Submission Deadline: January 17, 2022

Recorded Presentation Deadline: February 20, 2022


Questions about the competition also can be directed to toshan@umd.edu