Eight Geographers Honored for Service, Teaching, Scholarship

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WASHINGTON,D.C….The American Association of Geographers (AAG) announced the recipients of its 2021 AAG Honors, the highest honors bestowed on its members. Among them is Dr. Carol Harden, University of Tennessee Knoxville, who has received the AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors. 


Dr. Harden, a leading figure in contemporary physical geography and environmental science, is recognized for her career of over a half-century in research, teaching, and service to the profession and the discipline. She is one of the top U.S. physical geographers working in Latin America, and among the leading field-oriented physical geographers. Her Latin American research has focused on soil erosion and land-use impacts, particularly in the Andean region. Exerting tremendous influence across the entire discipline, Harden has played key roles at the NationalAcademies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and National GeographicSociety, as well as editing the journal of Physical Geography. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Environmental ProtectionAgency, U.S. Forest Service, and Tennessee Department of Environment andConservation, among many other agencies.  


Honored alongside Professor Harden this year are seven geographers in academia and the public sector:  


Distinguished Scholarship Honors (2 recipients)


Cindi Katz, City University of New York (CUNY), for pioneering and sweeping contributions to the disciplinary fields of feminist geography, Marxist feminist theory, children’s geographies, political ecology, and epistemology. 


James Tyner, Kent State University, for original, transformative, and theoretically grounded geographic scholarship marked by a commitment to public scholarship and focused on social justice and human rights, including award-winning work on violence, genocide, place, memory and memorialization.  


Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors (2 recipients)


Joseph Oppong, University of North Texas, for exceptional service to the discipline of geography both in the United States and abroad. Oppong has helped reinvigorate and expand the roles of several of AAG’s key specialty groups, served multiple NSF panels, and been a steering committee member and US representative for the International GeographersUnion’s Commission on Health and Environment.  


Patricia Solís, Executive Director of the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER) and Research Associate Professor at Arizona StateUniversity, for her international leadership in facilitating novel geospatial collaborations for sustainability, with partners around the world. Solís has developed more than 50 programs promoting innovations in research, education, and community collaboration, many of which seamlessly serve local and global communities while advancing geography. One example is Solís’ work co-founding YouthMappers, an international universities working to support the creation and use of open geospatial data for humanitarian and development assistance. As executive director of KER, Solís is linking multi-sector community needs with research innovations in Maricopa County, Arizona to improve community resilience. 


Gilbert White Distinguished Public Service Honors


Timothy Trainor, US Bureau of the Census, in recognition of his more than 35 years of service at the U.S. Census Bureau, and the significant advances he fostered to enhance the efficacy and quality of the last four censuses. Trainor played a central role in the development and refinement of the integrated TIGER and MAF systems that underlie statistically sound collection, integration, and application of geographic and demographic data. In addition to improving census data collection, these and related systems provided the foundation for many new geospatial applications, including online mapping and locational services and emergency management systems. Trainor built productive partnerships with local and federal government units and with numerous entities across the private and non-profit sectors. He also assisted in the development of geospatial data improvements elsewhere through his leadership in the International Cartographic Association and in organizations sponsored by the United Nations. 


Distinguished Teaching Honors


Barbara “Babs” Buttenfield, University ofColorado-Boulder, for her career-long devotion to GIScience education. Buttenfield, who established one of the first campus curricula in GIScience, is renowned for her engaging teaching style, remarkable ability to explain complex concepts through example and metaphor, and skill at blending theory with technical skills.In a rapidly evolving field, she delivers courses that are at the cutting edge of GIScience.  


Media Achievement Award


Richard Campanella, Tulane University, for exemplifying how to employ popular media to engage the public in geographical scholarship. As Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture at Tulane University and AssociateDean for Research in the School of Architecture, as well as the only geographer on campus, Campanella uses a variety of popular media, to share his knowledge of New Orleans and the widerGulf Coast with the public. In addition to having authored 11 books on regional geography, Campanella has published over 200 articles in the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, 64Parishes, and other popular periodicals, while offering the nearly 17,000 followers of his Twitter feed @nolacampanellainsights into the historical emergence of the places they live.  Since 1951, AAG Honors have been offered annually to recognize outstanding accomplishments by members in research and scholarship, teaching, education, service to the discipline, public service outside academe, and for lifetime achievement. The AAG Honors Committee is elected by the AAG membership and charged with making award recommendations for each category, with no more than two awards given in any one category. This year’s HonorsCommittee members are Julie A. Silva, University of Maryland College Park(Chair); Amy Glasmeier, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ronald Hagleman, III, Texas State University; Richard Kujawa, St. Michael's College; Andrew Sluyter, Louisiana State University; and Julie Winkler, Michigan StateUniversity. For more than 100 years, TheAmerican Association of Geographers (AAG) has contributed to the advancement of geography. Our members from nearly 100 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG'sAnnual Meeting, scholarly journals (Annals of the American Association of Geographers, The Professional Geographer, the AAG Review of Books and GeoHumanities), and the online AAG Newsletter. The AAGis a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1904.  

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