Notes and Tips for RTS Chairs

Initially compiled by Alan A. Lew, RTS Chair, 1995-7; Last updated: 10 March 2001; 17 April 2011

BY MAY 15 - Submit the following for the July issue of AAG Newsletter:
(1) Announcement listing next AAG Conference Paper Session Topics and Organizers (if available)
(2) Announce Award Recipient: Student Paper(s), Roy Wolfe Contributions to RTS Award, John Rooney Applied RTS Award
from the Last AAG Meeting
(3) Student paper competition announcement for Next year
- Also send this information to the RTS Webmaster to update the RTS website.

- A major reason for doing this is to give more exposure to the RTS group.

For communication ease, Compile two e-mail lists of:
1 - Board Members (including the student representative), Newsletter Ed., Secty/Treasurer, Webmaster
2 - Past Roy Wolf & John Rooney Award winners (See RTS Award Recipients List for Roy Wolf winners)

- Email past Roy Wolf and John Rooney Award winners in Fall for nominations for the next year’s award
- The Secretary/Treasurer usually takes care of getting the plaques
- The announcement is made at the RTS Business Meeting, where the plaques are awarded
- The Awardees should be invited to the AAG Awards lunch with the RTS Chair - all paid by RTS
- Awards are not made every year; Wolf awards are more common than Rooney awards.

- The most effective way of getting the word out on this award is to send out an announcement to selected departments.
- An announcement should be emailed to the AAG for publication in the July Newsletter by May 15.
- A mailing should also be made in the form of an announcement that can be posted for distribution on RTS-NET and on our WWW homepage (see last year’s announcement on the homepage for guidelines).
- The top awarded paper will be published in Tourism Geographies, either as a full research paper or as a commentary/discussion forum -- depending on the outcome of a review process.
- RTS Board Members serve as paper judges.
- The student paper award winners are also announced at the RTS Business Meeting.
- The Chair is responsible for obtaining Certificates to give to the students (see suggested content below).
- RTS also pays for each student to attend the AAG Awards Lunch.
- Once I knew who the award recipients would be, I would send an e-mail message to student awardees telling them to plan to attend the RTS Business Meeting and the Awards Lunch, and that RTS would be paying their way for the lunch.

- The SG can invite "guests" who are BOTH non-geographers AND reside outside of the US/Canada. This allows them to register at the AAG member rate. Geographers and US/Canada residents do not qualify.

- see RTS Homepage for current guidelines

- RTS pays for ALL Awardees to attend the Awards Lunch, plus the current Chair and in-coming Chair.
- The RTS Chair submits the names of awardees and a short comment to the Registration booth by the time and date that the AAG tells you
- It is a good idea to bring an extra copy just in case the one you submit gets lost -- as they sometimes do. During the announcements, they provide a period at the end for any that were missed. SG Chair will then go to a microphone somewhere and make their own announcement
- You can also submit certificates to the AAG and they can hand them out, although it has been RTS practice to give our certificates to the recipients at the RTS Business Meeting, in which case they just go up and shake a few hands at the awards lunch.
- At the lunch, the paper will be read exactly as it is typed. Only the award recipients who will actually attend the lunch should be listed. I recommend that the paper submit read something like this:

NAME is the recipient of the 1996 Roy Wolfe Award for outstanding contributions to the study of Recreation, Tourism and Sport Geography. The Roy Wolfe Award is named in honor of one of the pioneers in the geography of recreation. NAME's work in the area of TOPIC ...

DITTO for the John Rooney Applied RTS Award.

NAME#1 has been awarded First Place and a check for $200 for the Student Paper Competition of the Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group for his/her paper entitled PAPER TITLE

NAME#2 has been awarded Second Place and a check for $125 for the Student Paper Competition of the Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group for his/her paper entitled PAPER TITLE

NAME#3 has been awarded Third Place and a check for $75 for the Student Paper Competition of the Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group for his/her paper entitled PAPER TITLE


The Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers Presents its 199? AAG Annual Meeting Student Paper Competition First (or Second, or Third) Place to NAME, UNIVERSITY for "PAPER TITLE"

Chair's NAME
Chair - Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group
DATE (that award was made)
CITY, STATE (of conference)

- Tourism Geographies is always open to receiving reports from the AAG on special sessions or on RTS conference activities overall.


- It is best to get some people at the previous year's meeting to volunteer to organize sessions on specific topics for next year's meeting. This will give you something to get started with. Others can be added later.
- Put announcement in AAG Newsletter soon after AAG - by June 1 for July Newsletter
- Request that abstracts & registration PIN be sent about 3 to 4 weeks prior to deadline to session organizers or RTS chair.
- The minimum number of participants that should be expected for a session is 50. A 70 seat oom tends to be ideal for most RTS sessions.

- Remind people in the Newsletter and on RTSNET to send their abstracts either to a paper session organizer OR to you as the chair if they do not know where to send it. REMIND them to get their abstract in about 1-month early.
- Offer to cosponsor sessions with other specialty group chairs as much as possible. Most of them have their e-mail addresses listed on the AAG homepage (
- Organize a couple of discussion panels. People can serve on one discussion panel in addition to giving a paper, and they do not need to send an abstract for the panel. (Alternatively, people can serve on up to two discussion panels; they can be a discussant on an unlimited number of sessions.)

- Search for the keyword "tourism" or "recreation" in the abstract submission console.
- Create Session Topics that fit the range of papers that come up from the search.
- Email everyone who has submitted an abstract that is not yet in a session and ask them to consider participating in an RTS sponsored session.
- Email session organizers of tourism and recreation sessions and ask them to list RTS as a co-sponsor.

- I have heard that you can request specific day and time slots for special sessions by contacting Oscar Larson. I have never done this, myself, however.
- The AAG maintains a list of "Special Sessions" that are promoted in the conference newsletter. You need to ask Oscar Larson to spefically request that a special session be placed on that list.

- Offer to cosponsor RTS-themed sessions that other specialty groups have organized.
- Suggest to the AAG that the RTS SG be listed as the sponsors of any loose sessions that the conference program committee puts together on RTS topics. They are usually very willing to do this.
- Note that it is possible to delete people and move people among sessions up until about 10 days before the start of the AAG conference.

See the Annual Report Links (below this one on the Homepage) for:
- Past RTS Leaders
- Past RTS Award Winners
- Past Conference Sessions
- As his/her last task, the outgoing chair submits the most recent Annual Report and Business Meeting Minutes to the AAG. A copy should also be sent to the RTS homepage webmaster for posting.

Bylaws - I believe that the bylaws are maintained by the AAG Central Office. They need to be informed whenever we make a change to the bylaws (such as adding the past chair to the RTS Board, which we voted on in 2001).

Questions & Answers

> 1) As chair, do all the RTS abstracts and registrations come through me, then I send them on?

Session organizers receive the abstracts for their sessions and submit them directly to the AAG, indicating that RTS is a sponsor of the session. You will receive any loose papers that people want to put in an RTS session, but do not know where to send them to. You can then either send them to a session organizer, if appropriate, or create sessions out of them that you submit to the AAG. You will not see any of the RTS-themed papers that are sent directly to the the AAG. Those sessions are organized independently of any specialty group. (Note that starting with the 2002 meeting, it appears that everyone will register online and will only submit a registration number to the session organizers, along with their abstracts.)

> 2) If nobody, or only a few people, contact the people who have proposed special sessions, do I then fill up the sessions with other 'similar' papers and then come up with a name to fit the session?

See my reply above. Also, sessions can have as few as 3 papers in them, though this is not recommended. I suggest trying to find a discussant if there are only 3 papers. If there are fewer than 3, then I would recommend that the session organizer get in touch with the RTS Chair to see what they can put together. The AAG does not (generally) make any changes or additions to organized sessions.

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