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Memorial Sessions

To commemorate notable geographers who have passed away in the past two years, friends and colleagues have organized tribute sessions in their honor.

2164, 2264, 2464, 2564 William Bunge (1928-2013) and Geography (Sponsored by History of Geography Specialty Group)
Thursday, April 6, 8:00 a.m. - 9:40 a.m., 10:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m., 1:20 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., 3:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Room: Boylston, Marriott, First Floor (Paper Sessions)

A series of four paper and panel discussions around the contributions made by William Bunge (1928-2013). Key participant in the 'quantitative revolution'; co-founder of the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute; and author of around a hundred texts including, Theoretical Geography, Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution, Nuclear War Atlas, and Geography: The Innocent Science; Bunge had a profoundly influential if unconventional life as a geographer. Constructive and critical reflections on his intellectual, political, and/or personal legacies are welcome in these discussions.

3231 The Legacy of Karl Butzer Beyond Physical Geography (Sponsored by Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Historical Geography Specialty Group, History of Geography Specialty Group, Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century Featured Theme)
Friday, April 7, 10:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Room: Room 311, Hynes, Third Level (Panel Session)

Karl W. Butzer (1934-2016) was a distinguished geographer--a Fellow of both the National Academy of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His contributions over a 60 year career were mainly in geomorphology, archaeology, the merger of the two into geoarchaeology. A true multi-talented scientist, Karl also possessed a humanist dimension that was known principally to his friends, close colleagues, and graduate students. This memorial session features contributions by a few of these individuals.

3408 Celebrating Susan Christopherson: A Panel Honoring her Life, Work, and Leadership in Economic Geography (Sponsored by Economic Geography Specialty Group)
Friday, April 7, 1:20 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Room: Room 109, Hynes, Plaza Level (Panel Session)

Susan Christopherson, an economic geographer and professor of city and regional planning known for her scholarly work and expertise on regional economic development, died December 14, 2016 of cancer. This panel celebrates and honors Susan's accomplishments and leadership in the field of economic geography. The panel includes discussions of Susan's contributions by several colleagues and collaborators from throughout her career as well as an opportunity for attendees to share their own experiences with Susan and her work.

In 2016 Susan received the Sir Peter Hall Contribution to the Field Award from the Regional Studies Association. In making the award, Professor Ron Martin of Cambridge University noted, "Over the years Susan has been a leading beacon in regional development studies, contributing some of the landmark papers in the field, and exerting a formative influence on both the theory and practice of economic geography internationally." In 2015, Christopherson received the American Association of Geographers Lifetime Achievement award.
Susan's research and teaching focused on economic development, labor markets, and location patterns in new media and film, advanced manufacturing, and resource extraction industries. She coauthored Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy, winner of the 2009 Regional Studies Association Best Book Award. She published more than 100 articles and policy reports over the course of her career and served as an editor and on the editorial boards of several leading journals (including Regional Studies) and was also editor of the Regional Studies Association's Regions and Cities Book Series.

Susan Christopherson was born March 20, 1947 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She earned her bachelor's degree in urban studies and a master's in geography from the University of Minnesota. Susan earned her doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley in 1983.

Susan joined the faculty at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1987. She was appointed Chair of Cornell's Department of City and Regional Planning in 2014. Susan was the first woman to be promoted to full professor in city and regional planning at Cornell, and the first woman to chair the department in its nearly 80-year history.

3504 From Appalachia to Ogallala: Honoring Stephen (Steve) E. White (Sponsored by Association of American Geographers)
Friday, April 7, 3:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Room: Room 104, Hynes, Plaza Level (Panel Session)

This is a memorial session honoring Stephen E. White (1947-2015). Steve was a professor of geography and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University. In his professional career spanning more than 40 years, Steve authored or co-authored over 75 articles and book chapters on such topics as population migration, human-environment interaction, and the economic and social impact of irrigation water use and groundwater management policies. His regional interests centered on the Appalachia in Kentucky, where he grew up, and the High Plains/Ogallala region of western Kansas. Steve was an award-winning educator and an insightful, kind and supportive colleague, friend, and mentor. Steve loved to laugh and always had a self-deprecating sense of humor. The panel will reflect on Steve's contributions to the discipline and celebrate his life.

3563 In Honor of Tom Wilbanks (Sponsored by Association of American Geographers)
Friday, April 7, 3:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Room: Commonwealth, Sheraton, Third Floor (Panel Session and Reception)

This memorial event and reception will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 3:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the Commonwealth Room at the Sheraton Hotel. Several of Tom’s close friends and colleagues, including Bob Kates, Ron Abler, Bill Doolittle and others will participate in the session and share memories that they have of him.

Along with Tom’s family, the AAG has created a new award, the AAG Thomas Wilbanks Award for Transformational Research in Geography, to honor researchers who have made significant contributions to Geography and GIScience. It is already available and accepting contributions through our website if you would like to contribute. We would also welcome you sharing this link, if you know of colleagues or organizations that would be interested in contributing.

Tom was a groundbreaking scientist addressing issues of global climate change and influencing environmental policy for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was a leader in the first comprehensive U.S. national energy plan and occupied key roles at the National Academy of Science. He was co-author and editor of multiple books, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and named co-laureate for the Nobel Prize of Peace in 2007. It is an honor for us to host this event for such an accomplished scientist and hope those interested will attend.

4332 In honor of Doreen Massey (Sponsored by Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group, Latin America Specialty Group, Economic Geography Specialty Group)
Saturday, April 8, 11:50 a.m. - 1:10 p.m.
Room: Room 312, Hynes, Third Level (Panel Session)

Initiated by the editorial board of "Economic Geography," this panel commemorates the life and work of Doreen Massey.