Dr. Christopher Gaffney, Clinical Associate Professor in the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality gives us some insight to his background and recent awards as the editor of JLAG (the Journal of Latin American Geography).
What is your background?
I was born and raised in the USA, but I’ve rented apartments in Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, and Switzerland. I trained as a geographer and have done a fair bit of traveling, always preferring paper maps.
Can you tell us a little bit about JLAG?
The Conference of Latin American Geographers has been in existence for more than 50 years, and the Journal of Latin American Geography is the organization’s primary publication. When I took over the editorship of JLAG in 2015, I was the second editor in the journal’s 15-year history and was given free rein to modernize and professionalize the journal.
Can you talk about the award you recently received for your work as editor?
In 2017, the Association of American Geographers (our discipline’s largest organization) recognized JLAG as the outstanding geographic publication of the year. This year (2022), CLAG gave me an award for distinguished service to the organization. Running a journal takes a team, but the reality is that the work flows upwards, and it really was a labor of love; each issue felt like a child going off into the world. I edited JLAG in Brazil, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, New York, and even on holiday in the Pindos Mountains.
What about your work are you most excited about? Are there any new initiatives you would like to tell us about?
I am really excited about ALTR.earth, a non-profit consultancy that I have been working on for a few years. We are collaborating with landowners, small business enterprises, and tourism operators to design regenerative systems. Related to that is the Travel and Tourism Research Collaboratory that we are launching at the Tisch Center this semester. We have some really exciting work developing around a Global Tourism Risk Index, Regenerative Tourism Design, and Digital Nomadism. I’m looking forward to joining conversations with students, faculty and practitioners to bring together new research strands and explore their practical applications.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Zotero.org, Flourish.studio, and ESRI Story Maps have been too much fun to work with my students on not to share. The original research coming out of the Data Analytics classes is available to the public and will form the basis for ongoing work in the Collaboratory. It’s great to be working with future colleagues on a daily basis and I’m proud of the work we’ve done together.