Geography's Second Twilight: The James R. Anderson Distinguished Lecture in Applied Geography

Geography's Second Twilight: The James R. Anderson Distinguished Lecture in Applied Geography

Jerome E. “Jerry” Dobson (University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA & President, American Geographical Society, New York City, NY, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJAGR.2017010101
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Abstract

Jerome E. Dobson, professor emeritus, University of Kansas; president of the American Geographical Society; and recipient of the 2014 James R. Anderson Medal of Honor in Applied Geography, discusses his career in the context of America's academic purge of geography. Highlights include his time as a Jefferson Science Fellow with the National Academies and U. S. Department of State. Dobson has been recognized with two lifetime achievement awards for his pioneering work in geographic information systems (GIS) and as Alumnus of 2013 at Reinhardt University. His contributions include the paradigm of automated geography, his instrumental role in originating the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and his leadership of the LandScan Global Population Database, the de facto world standard for estimating populations at risk. His recent research includes testing a new system for mapping minefields; designing and promulgating the current world standard for cartographic representation of landmines, minefields, and mine actions; and leading six AGS Bowman Expeditions.
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What Is Geography? An Answer That Works

Who among you has not been asked, “What is geography?” Who hasn’t struggled to find a simple, understandable definition? Can the answer possibly lie beneath the streets of Washington, DC? I happened to be working there when Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol came out, suggesting that the Secrets of the Ages are hidden below. As I commuted to work one morning, lo and behold, a huge banner on the floor of Metro Center boldly proclaimed, “Geography = Unique Coffee Flavor.” There you have it, folks, geography defined with such mathematical precision that you can almost taste it. Thanks to Starbucks, every Metro rider in our Nation’s Capital now knows the answer to the age old question that still stumps Harvard.

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