Joan Clemons died November 28, 2004, in Los Angeles, California. An advocate for K-12 teacher empowerment, women in geography, and community college instructors, she had recently returned from Australia after spreading the last of her husband Tom McKnight's ashes in one of their favorite locations.
Clemons was one of the original members the Los Angeles group that was the beginnings of the Geographic Alliances. She served as coordinator of the alliance, working to make it a valuable asset for K-12 educators. Clemons also worked on the California state standards for K-12 education and served on the California Geographical Society Board of Directors for many years. She was a founding member of the Women’s Network in the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers and recently wrote the History of the Women’s Network.
As the first community college faculty member to be elected President of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers she fought for recognition of the contributions that community college instructors make to geography. She served as Chair of the Department of Geography at her community college before moving to UCLA and working with the chancellor’s office. Her research included development and culture, and the linkages between community colleges and four-year institutions.
Clemons was chosen to receive the 2005 AAG Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geographic Education, which she will be awarded posthumously at the 2005 AAG Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon.
A memorial gathering in celebration of her life will be held January 29, 2005, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at 3240 Tilden Avenue, Los Angeles, California.
Joan Clemons (Necrology). 2005. AAG Newsletter 40(1): 16.