Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Announces Annual Royal Medal and Award Recipients: Professor Iain Stewart, Jack Dangermond, and Frans Lanting Amongst Those Honoured

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) today announces the recipients of their annual medals and awards for outstanding contributions to geography. President Michael Palin presents the awards during a ceremony at the Society headquarters in London this evening.

A total of 16 people have been recognised for their achievements in geographical research, fieldwork, photography, teaching, and in enthusing public audiences.

Jack Dangermond receives the Patron's Medal ‘for promoting geographical science through the development of Geographical Information Systems’ from the Society’s President Michael Palin CBE. Copyright © Howard Sawyer / RGS-IBG

The Society’s two Royal Medals, approved each year by Her Majesty the Queen, are amongst the highest honours in the world for the development and promotion of geography: Professor Diana Liverman, currently Co-Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona receives the Founder’s Medal in recognition of her outstanding contribution to understanding the human dimensions of climate change. She was a key player in the first generation of climate change impacts modelling.

The other Royal medal, the Patron’s Medal, is being awarded to Jack Dangermond, founder of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), for his extensive work promoting geographical science and his role as a main driving force in the development of the Geographical Information System (GIS) industry. His company ESRI has created some of the most successful GIS software used worldwide.

In a selection from other recipients, the University College London (UCL)’s Professor Rick Battarbee will receive the Victoria Medal for his leadership and research on environmental change, whilst Professor Chris Hamnett, of King’s College London, receives the Back Award for this policy-relevant research on housing, social change and inequality.

Professor Iain Stewart of Plymouth University, known to television viewers as the presenter of BBC4 series ‘Earth: the Power of the Planet’, is to receive the Ness Award for championing and popularising geography and a wider understanding of the world and its environments. Photographer Frans Lanting, whose work has seen him travel across the globe capturing extraordinary images of wildlife, habitats and landscapes, will pick up the Cherry Kearton Medal and Award.

Also included in the honours alongside more recognisable names are two geography teachers who both receive Ordnance Survey Awards for excellence in teaching geography at secondary level: Adrian Taylor, Head of Geography at St Mary’s RC High School, Chesterfield and Helen Young, a geography teacher at The Friary School, Lichfield.

Commenting, Dr Rita Gardner CBE, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said:

“We are delighted to be presenting both Professor Liverman and Jack Dangermond the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s Gold Medals. The Society is granting the medals in recognition of the contribution both have made to their respective fields and for their work over decades pushing the boundaries of geographical science and technology.

“Our medal and award recipients announced today illustrate the breadth of geography and its importance in understanding our world’s changing societies, environments and economies.”

[Source: Royal Geographical Society news release, 07.06.10]

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