One way for students to get a better understanding of the discipline of geography in America is to see who wins the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Honors each year. The recipients for 2012 have just been announced. Granted, there are many people who qualify for the awards and the selection process always involves some political maneuvering, yet the AAG Honors remains one good way for students to learn about some of the leading geography scholars in America. Here’s a selection from this year’s recipients:
AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors
Edward Soja, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, UCLA. His “breathtaking theoretical interpretations of place, location, landscape, city and region have been grounded in his inquiry into the shaping of space and society in Los Angeles including the rise of the city region, the revival of inner cities, and social movements for the right to the city.” He also writes on “how social scientists and philosophers think about space and geography.” He is the author of such books as Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions and Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory
AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors
Judith Carney, Department of Geography at UCLA. She studies political ecology and environmental history of Africa and the African diaspora. She is the author of In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World and Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas.
AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors
Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist of ESRI and Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University. “Deepsea Dawn” is a leading researcher on the use of GIS in studying marine environments. Her latest book is Coastal Informatics: Web Atlas Design and Implementation.