American Geographical Society to Award Charles P. Daly Medal to Dr. Robert Kates

American Geographical Society to Award Charles P. Daly Medal to Dr. Robert Kates


Description: The Charles P. Daly Medal, awarded by the American Geographical Society (AGS), is one of several prestigious honors given by the Society. Dr. Robert Kates, Presidential Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Maine and chair of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Solutions Initiative will receive the medal on the 18th of November during the AGS Fall Symposium, Geography 2050: Envisioning a Sustainable Planet, to be held at Columbia University.

[New York City, NY] — [October 12, 2016]– The American Geographical Society (AGS) announced that Dr. Robert Kates, Presidential Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Maine and chair of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Solutions Initiative, has been selected to receive the Charles P. Daly Medal. The medal will be presented on November 18 during the Society’s annual Fall Symposium to be held at Columbia University.

The Charles P. Daly Medal was established in 1902 by the will of Judge Charles P. Daly, President of AGS from 1864 to 1899. He stipulated that it be awarded by the Society “…for valuable or distinguished geographical services or labors.”

Dr. Kates has devoted an extensive career in geography and is one of the field’s most distinguished practitioners. Dr. Kates was a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, a 1987 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a 1991 MacArthur Price Fellowship recipient and a recipient of the Laureat d’Honneur from the International Geographical Union. From 1986 to 1992 he was a Professor and Director of the interdisciplinary World Hunger Program at Brown University. Since retiring, Dr. Kates has remained active in the field of Geography and has continued to contribute valued work. In 2008, Dr. Kates was appointed the inaugural President Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Maine, Orono.

Dr. Kates will be awarded the Daly medal for his role in helping lay the foundation for sustainable geography. The central question of his scientific work, “What is and ought to be the human use of the earth?” reflects the theme of this year’s symposium, Geography 2050: Envisioning a Sustainable Planet. In addition, Dr. Kates has spearheaded research in the areas of hazards, hunger, climate change and community resilience. His largely empirically based work has appeared in more than 180 published articles and technical reports. His research has been funded by many prestigious organizations including the UN Environmental Program, UNESCO, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

“The intellectual contributions of Professor Kates have been fundamental to the development of Natural Hazards and Sustainability Science as foci for the application of geographical knowledge to address pressing social and environmental challenges,” said Dr. Douglas Sherman, Chair of the Geography Department at the University of Alabama and Chair of the AGS Honors and Awards Committee. “For more than half a century he has represented the discipline of geography through his innovative scholarship and through his nationally and internationally recognized professional service, exemplifying the best of our discipline. His dedication to improving the human condition in the face of environmental threat, especially, is inspirational,” added Dr. Sherman.

Established in 1851, the American Geographical Society (AGS) is the oldest professional geographical/geospatial organization in the United States. It is recognized world-wide as a pioneer in geographical research and education in geography for over 165 years. AGS is a 21st century learning society dedicated to the advancement of geographic thinking, understanding, and knowledge across business, government, academe, the social sector, and education. The goal of AGS is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide. AGS is the only organization focused on bringing together academics, business people, those who influence public policy (including leaders in local, state and federal government, not-for-profit organizations and the media), and the general public for the express purpose of furthering the understanding of the role of geography in our lives. AGS provides leadership to frame the national discussion of the growing importance of geography and geo-spatial tools. The Society maintains its headquarters in New York City.

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Dr. Robert Kates

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