Geography & Planning

Departmental Life: Professional Groups

There are a number of professional organizations that support and provide guidance for the disciplines of geography and planning. The national geography professional organization is the Association for American Geographers (AAG) which holds an annual conference during the spring of each year (see 'Events' for this year's conference location). West Chester University department faculty have held prestigious positions in the AAG. Please see the AAG website for more information.  The Biogeography Specialty Group of the AAG promotes interactions between biogeographers, stimulates active research and tests development in biogeography, and facilitates the exchange of ideas.


The Middle States Division is the regional professional organization of the AAG. The annual meetings are held in the fall of each academic year. The regional meetings are accessible to students who have both presented research papers and participated in the Geography Bowl as well as benefited from interaction with other Geography faculty and students. Please see the website for more information. West Chester University's Geography faculty are past officers and presidents of the MSDAAG.

There is a local chapter of the AAG, the Delaware Valley Geographical Society (DVGA), which has more than a 50-year history of bringing the discipline's leaders to speak at the fall and spring dinner meetings, and memorable field trips. Many of the AAG past presidents have spoken to the DVGA, which is a great opportunity for students to attend a professional event to meet other geography faculty and students. The spring dinner is also an awards ceremony where the top geography students of the departments in the Delaware Valley receive recognition for their achievements. Please see the DVGA website for more information.

The American Planning Association (APA) provides national leadership for planning professionals and academics. The APA national conference is held in the spring. The state chapter is the Pennsylvania Planning Association (PPA) which holds an annual conference in the fall. The local chapter, the Southeast Section Council, regularly organizes and sponsors interesting programs some of which offer professional development credits. West Chester University faculty have been elected to serve on the Southeast Section Council. The Southeast Section Council information is provided on the PPA website

There are two additional professional organizations that provide leadership and guidance to the discipline of geography. The Pennsylvania Geographical Society (PGS) has as its mission to promote the discipline of geography in Pennsylvania. The PGS holds its annual meeting during the fall.

The National Council for Geographic Education works to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning.