Professor emeritus John Odland of the Department of Geography at Indiana University died on September 14, 2009. Odland joined Indiana University in 1970 as lecturer and rose through the ranks to the position of professor in 1989. He served the department as chair from 1989 to 1993 and retired in December of 2007.
Odland was known as a rigorous scholar with diverse research interests. These included national and international migration, spatial analyses of labor markets, urban and regional economic inequalities, and spatial modeling. His teaching interests included population geography, mathematical and statistical models in geography, and geographic information systems. Born in Saskatchewan on March 26, 1943, Odland spent his early years in North Dakota, Montana, and Oregon. Working his way through college primarily as a road and bridge surveyor, Odland received his B.S. in geography from Oregon State University in 1966 and earned an M.S. from the same department the following year. He acquired his PhD from Ohio State University in 1972, where his mentors Emilio Casetti, Leslie King, and Reginald Golledge were at the forefront of the quantitative revolution in human geography. Following this lead, Odland became an outstanding spatial modeler, quantifier, and economic geographer with a strong reputation as an empiricist. Odland was also known as an influential teacher and mentor who constantly sought to motivate and facilitate excellence in the students and colleagues with whom he interacted. He has been referred to by colleagues as selfless in his willingness to provide mentorship and to serve as a reviewer for tenure and promotion cases from across the country and hundreds of journal articles and research proposals.
John Odland (Necrology). 2009. AAG Newsletter 44(10): 17.