Susan Christopherson, Professor and Department Chair of the City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, passed away on December 14, 2016.
Christopherson was a geographer committed to the integration of scholarly work and public engagement. She was awarded the 2016 AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors for her considerable and long standing contributions to economic geography research, public engagement, teaching, and service. Her work on media, optics, agriculture, renewable energy, and manufacturing included deep engagement with local economic development authorities to produce research that contributed to spatially and socially balanced economic growth.
Christopherson’s work on nontraditional energy sources continued this tradition, including her appointment to a National Research Council panel to consider the implications of shale gas and oil development for local communities and the dissemination of policy reports on the risks and impacts of crude oil rail transport.
As the first woman to be promoted to full professor within her department as well as the first female chair, she also broke ground in terms of increasing diversity within the field of economic geography, which she accomplished by mentoring and teaching. Christopherson received a Ph.D. from the University of California–Berkeley.
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