ASU professor honored for work on energy

By

Skip Derra

Martin “Mike” Pasqualetti, an Arizona State University professor and an expert on energy and the social components of energy development, will be awarded the 2015 Alexander and Ilse Melamid Memorial Medal by the American Geographical Society. The award will be presented at the society’s annual fall symposium at Columbia University on Nov. 20.

Pasqualetti, a professor in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, was cited for “substantial and sustained contributions to our understanding of the geography of energy,” said Douglas Sherman, chairperson of the AGS Honors and Awards Committee.

image of melamed medal

The Alexander and Ilse Melamid Memorial Medal

The Alexander and Ilse Melamid Memorial Medal is conferred on scholars who have done outstanding work on the dynamic relationship between human culture and natural resources.

“Being honored by the AGS, one of the oldest and most prestigious geographical organizations in the world, is a humbling experience. However, while the medal may be in recognition of my individual contributions to the geographical study of energy, much of my work would have been impossible — and certainly not as pleasant — without the enthusiasm of my students, the camaraderie of my colleagues, or the leadership of Gary Dirks, director of GIOS, and ASU President Michael Crow. I am therefore particularly pleased to be able to say that I am associated with ASU, my academic home since 1977.”

For more than 40 years, Pasqualetti has conducted and published innovative yet practical research concerned with energy education, the nexus of energy and society, energy security, the social acceptance of renewable energy and the recognition and remediation of energy landscapes.

Pasqualetti, who also serves as co-director of the Energy Policy Innovation Council at ASU, is a world-renowned scholar. He has published books on wind power, nuclear power and landscape development, and his many articles have been cited extensively in related research projects and publications in the U.S. and abroad.

One of his recent research projects focused on the energy/water nexus and its relevance in arid environments like the Colorado River Basin in North America and the Sultanate of Oman. Serving as chairperson of the Governor’s Solar Energy Advisory Council and as a founding member of the Arizona Solar Center’s Board of Directors, Pasqualetti has played an important role in promoting solar energy development in Arizona.

His research and instruction have taken him to Mexico, China, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, the Czech Republic, Germany, Guyana and Palestine, among others.

The American Geographical Society is the oldest professional geographical organization in the U.S. It is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in geographical research and education and has been awarding medals for outstanding accomplishments in geography for more than 117 years.