American Geographical Society awards medal to Karl Zimmerer

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 1:25pm

Description: The Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal, awarded by the American Geographical Society (AGS), is the latest of prestigious awards to be made by the Society and is presented to an internationally recognized Geographer for outstanding work on the dynamic relationship between human culture and natural resources.  Dr. Karl Zimmerer, of Pennsylvania State University, the first recipient of the medal, received the medal on 6 December 2013 in New York City.


[New York City, NY] -- [11 December 2013] – The American Geographical Society awarded the first ever Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal to Dr. Karl S. Zimmerer last Friday at St. Francis University in Brooklyn Heights.  Before an audience including AGS Councilors, geographic scholars, members of the Melamid family, and family and friends of Dr. Zimmerer, AGS Chairman John Gould and AGS President, Dr. Jerome Dobson, presented the medal to Dr. Zimmerer.  Following the award presentation, Dr. Zimmerer presented a lecture on his most recent breakthrough research:  “Giving Rise to Sustainability:  Tropical Mountain Landscapes and Cities”.


Established in 2002, the Melamid Medal is one of nine medals awarded by the American Geographical Society and recognizes an internationally recognized geographer for outstanding work on the dynamic relationship between human culture and natural resources.  Dr. Zimmerer’s recent work regarding the connection of sustainability and geography is considered to be central to the sustainability discussions and debates currently held across the world today.  “Friday evening was a special night for AGS and the field of geography.  Karl Zimmerer is one of the leading experts in the area of sustainability and without his work, it would be difficult to produce public policy that sufficiently guides sustainability” noted Dr. Jerome Dobson, President of the American Geographical Society.  “His work has critical and practical real-world impact.  It is an honor for us to have this opportunity to recognize such a valued colleague as the first recipient of the medal,” added Dr. Dobson.


Dr. Karl Zimmerer is professor and head in the department of geography at Pennsylvania State University and at the Earth-Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), the Institutes for Energy and the Environment (PSIEE), and in cross-campus programs on sustainability. He is also the director of the GeosyntheSESLab (Geographic Synthesis for Social-Ecological Sustainability).  Dr. Zimmerer is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of historical and landscape-based cultural-and social-ecological analysis of sustainability, food security, and agrobiodiversity.  He has also led research on land use, cultural ideas, social conflict and cooperation, and knowledge systems and the conservation-agriculture interface with resources and policies.  Dr. Zimmerer has published five books and more than one hundred scientific and scholarly articles and chapters.


Established in 1851, the American Geographical Society (AGS) is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States.  It is recognized world-wide as a pioneer in geographical research and education and has been awarding medals for outstanding accomplishments in Geography for over 117 years.  The mission of the American Geographical Society is to link business, professional, and scholarly worlds in the creation and application of geographical knowledge and techniques to address economic, social, and environmental problems.  The Society's work serves to increase geographical knowledge and the recognition of its importance in the contemporary world.  With members worldwide, the Society maintains its Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.