This year’s recipient of the Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography is Susanna Hecht, professor of urban planning and director of the Center for Brazilian Studies in the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. At AAG 2023, Dr. Hecht will participate in a conversation with Antoinette WinklerPrins, deputy division director of the Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Division of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) of the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Hecht’s creative historical and geographical work is dedicated to advancing the understanding of how forest dynamics interact with human cultures, legal frameworks, and economics to create the conditions for deforestation and reforestation in the Amazon. She has contributed critical research toward changing the policies and market incentives that caused widespread, destructive deforestation in previous decades, and helping to determine a path for renewal and protection. When Hecht started her work, forest resurgence was not widely documented and many misconceptions persisted. Her work, which has combined the techniques of a historian with those of a scientist, is now a landmark in the field.
Her books include The Social Lives of Forests: Past, Present, and Future of Woodland Resurgence (Chicago 2013), edited with ethnobotanist Christine Padoch and ethnoarcheologist Kathleen Morrison; The Scramble for the Amazon and the “Lost Pardise” of Euclides da Cunha (Chicago 2013); and The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon (Chicago 2010, updated 2020).
The Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography is presented annually to an individual geographer or team who has demonstrated originality, creativity, and significant intellectual breakthroughs in geography. Previous awardees have included Kathryn Yusoff, Dawn Wright, Brian Berry, Janice Monk, Mei-Po Kwan, David Harvey, Michael Goodchild, Susan Hansen, Robert Kates, and the inaugural recipient, Yi-Fu Tuan.
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