John E. Gould MEDAL
Established in 2021, the John E. Gould Medal is the newest award created by AGS. It was named after AGS Chairman Emeritus and Treasurer John Gould, who has served AGS in some capacity since 1976. John was the recipient of another AGS medal, the Samuel Finley Breese Morse Medal, which he received in 2008. The medal was created in honor of John’s long term of principled service to the American Geographical Society by dedicated supporter and benefactor Ilse Melamid.
This medal seeks to honor those who advance and exhibit the highest ethical standards in the practice of geography. When designing the Gould medal, we wanted to create a piece that drew on the rich history of the American Geographical Society’s previous awards while looking towards the future. The rock face of the medal makes for an impression simultaneously pre-historic and strikingly modern – reminding the recipient that the practice of geography starts in the Earth, and that we have a responsibility towards it. The reverse of the medal includes AGS’ logo, in continuous use since 1851, connecting the recipient to the many distinguished honorees from AGS’ history. Finally, the choice of fine silver evokes purity, reminding us about the ideals driving our recognition of commitment to ethics in the discipline of geography.