- Editorial Notes
As always, the Yearbook continues to be the publication of record for all things related to our annual meetings. This issue of the Yearbook contains all of the material related to the Seventy-second Annual Meeting, held in San Diego last October: the Presidential Address, the Meeting Report, the Student Paper Award Winners, the Resolutions, the Abstracts, and our Distinguished Service Award recipients. The meeting was a great success, and the sessions devoted to celebrating the life and work of Larry Ford were quite moving and very much appreciated by all. Thanks to Fernando Bosco and the rest of the San Diego State crew for all their time and effort.
The passing of Larry Ford provided an opportunity to make this volume of the Yearbook one devoted more to some of the unique personages in the field of geography. A number of Larry’s students, both current and former, and some of his colleagues contributed short personal pieces discussing Larry’s influence on their work, on the discipline, and on their personal lives. We have also included photos from some of Larry’s walking tours held every year at various AAG locations. I hope everyone will enjoy the tribute and find joy in the legacy Larry left behind. Barbara Fredrich and Alan Osborn have given us a history of Alvena Storm, one of the first great women geographers, a protégé of Sauer, and past chair of the San Diego State department. For anyone unfamiliar with the life of Alvena Storm, the obstacles she overcame, and her long relationship with Carl Sauer, this article will be quite enlightening. We have also included two pieces that harken back to the times when geography and exploration went hand-in-hand. I caught Bill Koelsch’s talk at the San Diego meeting and was quite intrigued by his story of Henry Fanshawe Tozer, one of the many, but in this case apparently forgotten, nineteenth-century explorer/geographers who formed the initial core of the RGS. Tozer’s research in Greece, the Balkans, the Aegean, and Asia Minor, and the resulting books, are classics in their own right, and his zeal for understanding the landscape brings to mind our own wanderer, Larry Ford. Ron Davidson contributes a review of one of the best geography books in recent years, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, by David Grann. The book follows the lifelong quest of Percy Harrison Fawcett, a recipient of an RGS Founder’s Medal and known in his time as the “Livingstone of the Amazon,” to discover the ruins of an ancient, advanced civilization in the depths of the Amazon rainforest. The [End Page 7] story melds geography, the occult, British imperialism, and the absolute madness of Fawcett’s obsession into a gripping story (and it is apparently bound for Hollywood, with Brad Pitt in a starring role).
As usual, the Yearbook also includes articles highlighting the geography of our region. Natalie Lopez and Chris Lukinbeal use GIS to explore the perceptions of crime in one neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona, comparing residents’ perceptions to those of the police. Aleksandra Ilicheva analyzes the human-animal landscape of the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in Los Angeles in an attempt to uncover the decision-making processes involved in urban habitat restoration. And finally, we include Stuart Aitken’s Presidential Address, the mysteriously titled “The Edge of the World: Embattled Leagues of Children and Seals Teeter on the Rim.” The address moves between the John Sayles film The Secret of Roan Inish and the battle over the appropriately named Seal Beach in La Jolla, California, uncovering the nuances between the geographies of myth and political conflict. Congratulations are also in order for Stuart’s selection as the recipient of the APCG’s Distinguished Service Award.
I would like to share one memory of Larry Ford. I had my mind set on applying to the San Diego State/UC Santa Barbara Joint Doctoral Program and I made the trip down to SDSU to seek support from Stu Aitken and Larry, the two faculty I was hoping would be on my dissertation committee. After meeting with Stu, I...