Dr. Christy C. Visaggi, Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach: (Ph.D. in Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington): Christy is a Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. She is trained in geology, paleontology, marine ecology, and science education at the K-12 level and beyond. Her research focuses on understanding geographic variation in marine communities with implications for the fossil record and modern conservation efforts. Her pedagogical approaches utilize inquiry-based activities, collaborative work, and place-based learning to foster science-literate citizens who are able to recognize the importance and relevance of concepts in life and earth sciences to society. Christy has received awards for promoting underrepresented groups in STEM fields from the Ford Foundation and Association for Women Geoscientists. She has mentored undergraduates as part of a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in biodiversity conservation (National Science Foundation Award #0755109). Christy is passionate about providing opportunities for students to engage in publishable research as part of their educational experience by contributing new data to address scientific problems with presentation of the results to a variety of audiences.
Dr. Amanda Rees, Southwestern Georgia Regional Coordinator: (PhD in American Studies, University of Kansas): Amanda is Professor of Geography in the Department of History and Geography at Columbus State University. Amanda’s work explores how rural and urban spaces shape, and are shaped by, social, economic, and cultural conditions. Recent work includes “Fin-de-Siècle Industrial Communities and the Aesthetics of Built Space” for Journal of Cultural Geography. Her students are regularly engaged in service learning community projects that are published at CSU’s Columbus Community Geography Center. Recently students analyzed food pantry accessibility across Muscogee County, GA and wrote a History from the River for Columbus’ white water river guides along with a map of the river’s new rapids. Dr. Rees is also interested in peer mentoring and recently published “Peer Mentoring Communities of Practice for Early and Mid-Career Faculty: Broad Benefits from a Research-Oriented Female Peer Mentoring Group” in The Journal of Professional Development with Kim Shaw, and editedThriving as a Stand-Alone Geographer: A Handbook (2014) in conjunction with the Association of American Geographers.
Dr. Amy Potter, Southeastern Georgia Regional Coordinator: (Ph.D. in Geography, Louisiana State University): Amy is an Assistant Professor of Geography in the Department of History at Armstrong State University. Her work explores a variety of themes centered on the Caribbean island of Barbuda and the U.S. South. Most recently, she is a Co-PI on a 3-year National Science Foundation Grant entitled “Transformation of American Southern Commemorative Landscapes,” that compares three major plantation regions including the Low Country area of coastal Georgia and South Carolina, the James River area in Virginia and the River Road District in southern Louisiana. She is an avid proponent of undergraduate research, with the grant facilitating student involvement in fieldwork and data collection. She is also an editor for the book Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Methodologies published in February of 2015 by Routledge. In addition to research, she serves as a grader for the AP Human Geography Exam and is a member of GIS Day Savannah planning committee.
Ken Keller, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator: Ken has been teaching AP Human Geography at Walton HS, Marietta, GA since August 2013. Prior to Ken moving to Georgia he taught AP Human Geography at Danbury HS, Danbury, CT, since the course’s inception in 2000-2001. He was a member of the APHG Test Development Committee from 2006-2010 and has scored the APHG exam since 2002. Ken was also an adjunct professor of Geography at Western Connecticut State University from 2008-2013. He is also a current member of the Executive Board of the National Council of Geographic Education (NCGE) and has been a consultant for the College Board for the past 10 years, teaching AP Summer Institutes for new and experienced teachers of AP Human Geography.
Brianna Galbreath, Graduate Research Assistant: Brianna Galbreath is a current master’s student in the department of biology with a concentration in applied and environmental microbiology. She graduated with a B.S. in wildlife and fisheries biology from the University of Georgia in 2013. Brianna developed a passion for geography while looking at the spatial analysis of Baylisascaris procyonis (a nematode found in raccoons) as it spread throughout the country. Since this time, her interest of disease ecology has been coupled with the geographic data that comes along with it. Throughout her career, Brianna has focused on helping spread the word of conservation, forestry, ecology, and now geography to younger generations. She joined the team in 2015 as the BioBlitz coordinator for GGA and now has continued working with the Alliance as a Graduate Research Assistant.
Grace Packard, Undergraduate Student Assistant: Grace is a Psychology undergraduate student at Georgia State University studying with a Pre-Med focus. She’s interested in integrating geography into other academic fields and research.
Ashley Little, Graduate Research Assistant: Originally from San Diego, California, Ashley Little moved to Georgia in 2015 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Georgia State University. She is now researching microplastic pollution as part of her graduate work continuing at Georgia State. As part of her research, Ashley will travel to Puerto Rico to collect data on microplastic abundance and composition in mangrove sediment across the island. Upon her return, Ashley will analyze collected samples in the laboratory to further our understanding of pollution in tropical ecosystems.