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This week, geographers from across the country are heading to New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Several faculty, students and alumni from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning will not only be in attendance, but some are even receiving special recognition during this year’s meeting.
Billie L. Turner is a geographer and human-environmental scientist who has dedicated his career to understanding land-change, and its implications, from the time of the ancient Mayans to modern-day Phoenix. A Regents’ Professor with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Turner’s work has taken him to the far stretches of the Earth to investigate sustainability, deforestation and urban land system design. His current work focuses on the creation of a land-use theory to better understand the “why” in relation to land-use, specifically in relation to the urban environment and how certain decisions, such as the configuration of a community and green space, may have an impact on urban heat.
In recognition for Turner’s transformative research on the development of land use and cover change science, leadership in integrating geographical sciences with academics and policy, as well as his extensive contributions representing geography on important national and international initiatives, including the National Academy of Sciences, Turner has been selected as the 2018 AAG Presidential Achievement Awardee. According to the group, the AAG Presidential Achievement Award was established to recognize individuals who have made long-standing and distinguished contributions to the discipline of geography. One of the highest honors bestowed by the AAG, only two geographers are selected each year for this recognition.
Patricia Gober, a research professor and former director of the school, has been selected by the AAG to serve as an AAG Fellow. Gober, who studies water management decisions in the face of growing climatic uncertainty in Greater Phoenix, was selected for this position in response to her significant contributions to advancing geography. Fellows will serve the AAG in addressing key initiatives including advising on AAG strategic directions and mentoring early and mid-career faculty. Gober was previously recognized in 2011 with the AAG Presidential Achievement Award.
Also receiving recognition for his service to the field of geography is Martin Pasqualetti. An energy geographer and professor with the school, Pasqualetti researches renewable energy development, energy and land use, as well as energy and society. At this year’s annual meeting, Pasqualetti will be recognized for his 50 years of membership and contributions to the AAG.
Alumni from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning are also earning accolades from the AAG. Taylor Oshan, who graduated in 2017 with his PhD, will be receiving the Transportation Geography Specialty Group PhD Dissertation Award. Qunshan Zhao, also a 2017 PhD recipient, was selected by the AAG for the Nystrom Award. Levi Wolf, a 2017 PhD recipient, was awarded the John Odland Award. Emily Skop, a 2002 PhD recipient, will be awarded the 2018 Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Distinguished Scholar Award. Skop has worked on issues concerning migration, refugee movements, community building, and the changing social and cultural landscapes of American urban areas.
The school also has several members of its community presenting their research throughout the annual meeting.