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  • APCG Distinguished Service Award

The APCG takes great pleasure in honoring Roger Pearson, from the Institute of the North in Alaska, with this year's Distinguished Service Award. Roger has long been an active member and leader in the APCG and the discipline.

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Roger's career began at Illinois State, where he earned his B.S. in Geography Education, followed by a Ph.D. in Geography from Illinois in 1970. His professional career has included the University of Georgia, the Army Corps of Engineers, more than twenty years at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and, for the past twelve years, the Institute of the North, where he is a faculty member and Senior Fellow in Geography. Roger has served as a leader of geography in Alaska, cofounding the state's Geographic Alliance with the National Geographic Society in 1988 and in 1998 co-editing the thematic atlas Alaska in Maps. His leadership in the APCG has taken many forms, including organizer or co-organizer of the association's annual meetings in 1989 and 2008. He has also served as vice president (1999–2000) and president (2000–01). As the APCG president, Roger presided over the 2001 meetings in Santa Barbara that opened on September 12 and commenced with memorial tributes to geographers and attendees who were traveling to the meetings and were aboard the planes that were destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11. Roger and his wife, Marlene, who were visiting relatives in Oregon, were forced to find a rental car and drive nonstop from Portland, Oregon, to Santa Barbara to attend the meetings. He succeeded in bringing the keynote speaker, former Alaskan Governor Walter Hickel, to the meeting via Skype because the governor could not find a flight out of Alaska due to the grounding of planes. His colleagues consider Roger a [End Page 146] quiet leader who knows how to initiate change. He is recognized as a genuine person with a quiet humor that endears him to students and colleagues. A thoughtful and articulate spokesman for the Institute of the North, he has made his mark in the discipline and in the world beyond the APCG.

It is with great pride that we call Roger Pearson one of our own. We are indebted to his leadership during his stellar career in the APCG and in Geography, and for that service we award the Distinguished Service Medal for 2010 to Roger Pearson. [End Page 147]



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