Binghamton University hosts geography conference


Binghamton University will host the 25th annual applied geography conference, October 23 - 26, at the Regency Conference Center located at 225 Water Street in Binghamton.

The conference was initiated in 1977 by John Frazier, professor of geography at Binghamton University, and has been held in various locations around the country. In recognition of the anniversary, the conference returns to Binghamton, the site of the first two conferences.

This year, the conference will reflect upon its 25-year history, reviewing themes such as environmental issues, regional development, and transportation. The conference program will also reflect the new directions the field of applied geography is moving toward such as race and ethnicity, and terrorism. 

Over 200 participants from across the world are expected to attend, coming from as far afield as the Netherlands and Sweden. The conference will also bring together government agencies, academics and practitioners interested in geographic dimension of problems that social and economic relevance.

Events begin at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, with a student poster session that highlights the research of students on geographical issues. The session will be followed by a keynote address by conference founder John Frazier on "Personal Perspectives on Applied Geography in the United States."

Frazier is the co-chair of the geography department at Binghamton University. He is the author of a number of articles and has edited a book titled Applied Geography: Selected Perspectives. He has been a referee for the National Science Foundation, the Journal of Geography in Higher Education and Urban Geography.

Frazier has received a number of federal, state and local grants. He has served as a referee for the National Science Foundation and for a number of professional journals. Frazier also served as a consultant to HUD's Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Division in the 1990s.

He has served on a number of Southern Tier organizations including the Planning Commission of the City of Binghamton for two terms. He also served as a grant writer and researcher for the Commission Advisory and the Broome County Recycling Task Force, which received an ERDA grant that started the County's recycling Program in the 1980’s. Frazier received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Kent State University.

A highlight of the conference is a two-day mini-conference titled "Race, Ethnicity and Place." More than forty participants from around the United States will meet to present research and discuss issues on the topic. Issues include redlining, segregation and discrimination, heath care patterns and the changing geographic distributions of racial and ethnic groups nationally, regionally and locally.

Breakout sessions on October 24 will include discussion on wildfires, globalization and immigration, and racial and ethnic patterns and issues.

On Friday, October 25, the conference will feature a daylong schedule of panel discussions and paper review sessions. Topics include issues in black America and Canada, water quality and climate and air quality. A highlight of the Friday’s sessions includes a panel discussion on the geographic dimensions of terrorism and safety. The discussion will focus on geography's response to the NSF's call for proposals for homeland defense after September 11.

The keynote speaker at the Friday luncheon is Sarah McLafferty who will discuss “Racial/Ethnic Group Disparities in Health Care Access and Health Outcomes in the United States.” McLafferty is professor of geography at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has published in a wide range of geography, epidemiology and urban studies journals and has just cowritten a book on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and public health. She is also the author of Geographies of Women's Health. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Geography and Health and Place, and was a member of the Mapping Science committee of the National Academy of Sciences.

Her areas of research and teaching include the geographies of health and health care, urban geography and spatial analysis methods/GIS. Her research has also explored variations by race and ethnicity in women's geographical access to employment opportunities and health and social services.

The conference is open to the public. Registration fees for the conference is $85, $35 for students. The October 25 luncheon is $15. One-day conference attendance is $50.

The conference is sponsored by the Department of Geography at Binghamton University, the University of South Florida, the University of North Texas, the Southwest Texas State University, Thompson Associates and the Applied Geography Specialty Group (AAG).

For further information on the conference and related events, contact Burrell Montz at 607-777-2615.

Last Updated: 9/17/13