Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, New York, 25 February-1 March 2022


Wicked Problems – Challenges and Opportunities for Geography Education

Sponsored by the Geography Education Specialty Group


Organizers: Roger Baars (Kyoto University) and Thomas Larsen (University of Northern Iowa)


The multitude of complex and overwhelming problems that the global community faces today requires swift and decisive action incorporating almost all dimensions of everyday life. Wicked problems refer to human-environment phenomena that feature high degrees of uncertainty and a lack of straightforward solutions. Wicked problems, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, social inequality, and unsustainable development, expose multiscale vulnerabilities that can undermine humanity’s path to a sustainable future. Education plays a significant role in tackling these challenges.


Challenges and opportunities exist for teaching wicked problems in geography. Bringing wicked problems to the center of the geography curriculum prompts greater emphasis on knowledge management, problem-solving skills, and critical dispositions in geography education. In this special session, we explore how geography teachers can take up the challenges emerging from wicked problems.


In this call for papers, we seek submissions at the interface between wicked problems and geography education. We welcome papers related but not limited to the following topics:



Please send your abstract (<250 words) to Roger Baars ( and Thomas Larsen ( by 15 October 2021. While both of us plan to attend the conference in person, we are happy to accept presentations delivered via zoom and make the session hybrid (or completely online if required). All accepted participants should:  1) register for the AAG meeting; 2) submit an abstract following the AAG guidelines (; and 3) send your PIN number to the organizers by 18 October 2021.




Roger C. BAARS (Ph.D.)

Senior Lecturer


Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies

Environmental Education Laboratory 

Kyoto University

Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan

TEL: +81-75-753-5935


606-8501 京都市左京区吉田本町

京都大学   大学院地球環境学堂

講師   ロジャー・バース