Rob Kitchin, Marshall Shepherd to Receive AAG Media Achievement Award

The AAG will confer the AAG Media Achievement Award to Dr. Rob Kitchin of National University of Ireland Maynooth and Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd of University of Georgia in recognition of exceptional and outstanding accomplishments in publicizing geographical insights in media of general or mass communication.

Rob Kitchin, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Dr. Rob Kitchin

Dr. Rob Kitchin is awarded the Association of American Geographers’ Media Achievement Award in recognition of his exception work both on media and in media. Rarely has a geographer engaged with media on so many levels.

Kitchin’s scholarly work on media and social media has made important contributions to the field of media geography, from advancing our understanding of how we comprehend space (cognitive mapping) through current and future spaces (from cyberspace to science fiction).   He has published twenty-one books and over 130 articles and book chapters. He was awarded the AAG’s Meridian Book Award in 2011 for his book with Martin Dodge, Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life.

In addition, Kitchin has long worked in geographic media, serving as editor of the journals Progress in Human Geography and Dialogues in Human Geography and was past editor of Social & Cultural Geography. He was editor-in-chief of the twelve volume International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. He edits two book series, Irish Society and Key Concepts in Geography.

While an exceptional academic researcher and writer, Kitchin’s media work extends beyond merely studying it to actively engaging in a multiplicity of mediums. He has published three crime novels and two collections of short stories. He writes a regular blog and contributes regularly to the blogs IrelandAfterNAMA and ProgCity, putting him at the forefront of scholars who are finding new ways to disseminate their research and engage with the public. (Kitchin’s blog: )

Kitchin’s research has also been widely cited in a wide range of media, including the New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Wired magazine, The Guardian, the BBC, Irish Times, Reuters, and other media. Kitchin has also served as a media commentator on radio, television, podcasts, and other media outlets. Through these various media, Kitchin has been an outstanding spokesperson for geography and demonstrated the importance of outreach.

For his exceptional engagement with media, his contributions to our evolving mediaspace, and advancing our understanding of media geography, we honor Rob Kitchin.

J. Marshall Shepherd, University of Georgia

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is awarded the 2015 Association of American Geographers Media Achievement Award in recognition of his success in promoting greater understanding of climate phenomena through the print and broadcast media. In addition, his service on national and international committees has been broadly covered in the media, all of which has inspired students to pursue careers in the field.

Shepherd is a leading international expert in the area of weather, climate, and atmospheric related sciences. He is frequently sought as an expert on weather, climate, and remote sensing and has appeared on the Today ShowLarry King LiveCNNFox News, and The Weather Channel. He is frequently asked to present his findings and results to key personnel at NASA, Congress, the White House, the Department of Defense, and officials from foreign countries, and he has written editorials for several newspapers, including the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He has also been featured in Time MagazinePopular Mechanics, and on National Public Radio‘s Science Friday, and has contributed to Ebony Magazine.

Shepherd has appeared multiple times on The Weather Channel, and in July 2014, the Weather Channel introduced “Weather Geeks” – a televised forum by and for the weather community, hosted by Dr. Shepherd. Whether it be mitigating against drought or chemtrails, debating machines vs. humans in weather forecasting, or discussing the pros and cons of storm chasing – Weather Geeks tackles issues that are relevant to the weather community but are rarely explored in depth on television.

Shepherd currently serves on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board, the Earth Science Subcommittee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Advisory Council, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Visiting Expert Committee. He is also a member of the NASA Precipitation Science team. For his pioneering work using satellite data to investigate urban hydroclimate processes, he received the highest federal award given to the Nation’s young scientists and engineers. President Bush honored him on May 4th 2004 at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for pioneering scientific research.

Shepherd joined the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia in 2006. He now has over 70 publications in the peer-reviewed literature and his research is funded by NASA, the Forest Service, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. He was the 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society and fostered several AMS-AAG initiatives. He is also the Climatology editor for the forthcoming AAG-Wiley International Encyclopedia of Geography.