News Releases

UWI Senior Lecturer selected by American Association of Geographers

For Release Upon Receipt - August 10, 2023


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. August 9, 2023—The American Association of Geographers (AAG) has announced its first-ever cohort of the new “Elevate the Discipline” programme, which will train and showcase geographers in action—in the media, as voices for public policies, and in advocating for change—on this year’s theme of Climate and Society.

The selected participants drawn from across 11 US states and the West Indies represent the rich and diverse range of practice within the discipline, including hydroclimatology, political ecology, climate and health, disaster geography, geoinformatics, soil science, and more.

Representing the Caribbean is Dr David O. Yawson, Senior Lecturer at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. A geographer with a strong background in agricultural and environmental geography, he is known for his work on agri-environmental resource and food system sustainability. His work on resource and food system sustainability focuses on agronomic and soft approaches to efficient use of water, land, and nutrients in agro-environments and the circulation of these resources via food commodity trade. This work also involves the use of geospatial tools in agricultural and environmental monitoring in the context of climate change, food security, and human resilience.

 The 15 geographers were selected through a competitive process. The programme will train them over the next several months in leadership, media skills, and policy strategies, and thereafter will connect and elevate their work in public discourse. 

“It’s exciting to support the work of these scientists as they engage in community-oriented, justice-based work on climate change,” said Rebecca Lave, AAG’s 2023-24 president and a professor of geography at Indiana University Bloomington, where her specialties include critical physical geography and the political economy of stream restoration. “We want to open up avenues to value and protect geographers’ opportunity to do public and engaged scholarship.” 

The programme was launched in July 2023, with virtual meetings culminating in a week-long intensive training onsite at AAG headquarters in Washington, DC. Thereafter, AAG will work with the participants and their institutions to continue to promote their public scholarship. 

“Geography is essential to understanding and solving the world’s most pressing issues,” said Gary Langham, AAG Executive Director. “We created Elevate the Discipline to help geographers raise the profile of their work, showing how instrumental our discipline is to addressing climate change and critical social issues.” 

Bios of the Elevate the Discipline participants may be accessed here. 


About AAG

For more than 100 years, The American Association of Geographers (AAG) has contributed to the advancement of geography. Our members from nearly 100 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG's Annual Meeting, scholarly journals (Annals of the American Association of Geographers, The Professional Geographer, the AAG Review of Books and GeoHumanities), and the online AAG Newsletter. The AAG is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1904

About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years. 

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Global Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world. 

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University. 

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