Six CPGIS Members Named The 2024 AAG Fellows

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) Fellows is a recognition and service program that applauds geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing geography. 

Congratulations to Professors Ling Bian, Min Chen, Chunyuan Diao, Song Gao, Shih-Lung Shaw, and Yehua Dennis Wei,  the six CPGIS members who were recently selected into the 2024 AAG Fellows! 


Ling Bian, University at Buffalo
Dr. Ling Bian is a leading GIScientist whose extensive research, service, and outreach efforts, over three decades, have contributed greatly to the growth and development of quantitative approaches in geography. Her many research contributions include the development of a ground-breaking spatio-temporal approach for modeling the spread of communicable diseases among people and through social networks – an approach that has high relevance to understanding COVID-19 spread. Dr. Bian has provided outstanding service to our community through her leadership in national GIScience initiatives, her participation in national and international committees, and her dedicated efforts as section editor of the Annals of the AAG. She led a program to teach web GIS to high school students, creating pathways into geospatial careers for students from diverse backgrounds.

Min Chen, Nanjing Normal University
Dr. Min Chen, professor of geography at Nanjing Normal University, is a leading mid-career scholar in the field of GIScience. With his boundless energy and vision, Dr. Chen has played a key role in building and sustaining GIScience through his extensive research and service activities. Co-author of more than 180 publications, he is widely known for his development of a model-sharing and collaborative simulation platform that facilitates knowledge-building in an open web environment. As executive editor of the Annals of GIS, he has greatly elevated the journal’s profile, making it a leading outlet for GIScience research worldwide. His leadership in various AAG specialty groups and international GIS organizations like the International Association of Chinese Professionals in GIScience have greatly advanced GIS scholarship and provided essential support for emerging scholars in the field.

Chunyuan Diao, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Chunyuan Diao is an outstanding early-career scholar whose extensive research contributions and service to the AAG have strengthened and advanced the field of remote sensing and geographers’ roles in it. Her publications in leading journals and extensive grant-funded research activities have creatively advanced our ability to monitor and model ecosystem dynamics across natural, human-natural, and disturbed biogeographical systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Dr. Diao’s leadership and service to the AAG Remote Sensing Specialty Group have fostered a supportive and expanding scholarly community; and her effective teaching and mentorship activities are helping to develop a new generation of remote sensing scholars whose gender and race/ethnic diversity more fully represent the populations impacted by global eco-environmental change.

Song Gao, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Song Gao is an associate professor of geography and the director of the Geospatial Data Science Lab at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He has established himself as one of the thought leaders and highly cited scholars in the field of geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) and was heavily involved in the geospatial modeling of the spread of COVID-19. He has successfully mentored young scholars and students in GIScience, offered workshops and webinars for the AAG and other organizations, and is an associate editor for AAG’s International Encyclopedia of Geography and International Journal of Geographical Information Science. Dr. Gao’s involvement with cutting-edge data science and AI techniques, his commitment to taking on and solving important challenges, and his enthusiasm for working with different international organizations make him a strong asset to the AAG.

Shih-Lung Shaw, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Dr. Shih-Lung Shaw is a leader in the areas of time geography and the applications of GIS to transportation geography. He is current Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His research developed a space-time GIS framework, which has been used to analyze a large variety of human dynamics phenomena, including both longtime issues such as travel dynamics and more recent phenomenon such as COVID infection patterns. Beyond his innovative, important, and useful research, Dr. Shaw has been a leader in the AAG. He is a former chair of the Transportation Geography Specialty Group and treasurer of the GIS group, and has been the lead organizer of the Human Dynamics Symposium at AAG annual meetings for eight years. Shih-Lung has also been president of the UCGIS and has been a strong supporter of a project to promote the professional development of women in GIScience.

Yehua Dennis Wei, University of Utah
Dr. Yehua Dennis Wei is an internationally renowned urban/economic geographer whose research centers on effects of globalization and institutional change on cities, regions, and sustainability. A pioneer in the study of regional development and regional/ spatial inequality in China, Wei has published five books and more than 250 journal articles and book chapters. He has also edited a dozen journal special issues and served as editor-in-chief of Applied Geography. His awards and honors include the Excellence in Research Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and a role as Overseas Evaluation Expert of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Over nearly 30 years, Dr. Wei has provided valuable leadership to the AAG by organizing numerous special sessions and international conferences, and by chairing three AAG specialty groups (China Geography, Asian Geography, and Regional Development and Planning). The quality and impact of his service are also reflected in the Distinguished Service Award from each of these groups. In addition to revealing spatial inequality and equity issues in China through his research, Dr. Wei has also worked hard to enhance diversity and inclusion in geography and the academe by serving on the AAG’s Enhancing Diversity Committee, and at the University of Utah, on the Diversity Committee, Senate Advisory Committee on Diversity, and Senate Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.