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  • APCG Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award acknowledges the service of members to our organization, to geography, and to geography education. It is the only award given by the APCG to a member who is not a student. In recognition of her valued contributions to the APCG, to geography, and to students, the APCG is very pleased to present the 2013 Distinguished Service Award to Martha Henderson.

Partly from experiences in outdoor recreation management, land surveying, and controlling wildfires, Martha became particularly interested in human-environmental interactions. For example, she once remarked to a group of environmental leaders on a float trip down the San Juan River, “Thinking about our relationship to Earth is my way of committing to bringing peace into the world.”

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Distinguished Service Award recipient Martha Henderson (center) with Jim Allen (left) and APCG President Michael Schmandt.

After she received her Ph.D. in geography at Louisiana State, Martha’s teaching and research have continued to focus on the ecological relationships of people and their environments, many of which are reflected in their cultural landscapes. Specific cultural-landscape research projects have included her studies of American Indian reservations and of wildfire landscapes of Greece. Like many of us, our award recipient finds doing field studies and taking students on field trips—getting them out of the classroom, library, and computer lab—to be especially gratifying components of research and [End Page 145] teaching. To illustrate, one recent field trip led by this geographer enabled students to participate in a sustainable-development conference in Cuba.

Martha is a highly valued member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College, a small state college in Olympia, Washington, where she is Director of the Master’s in Environmental Studies program. Students have praised her hands-on and interdisciplinary approaches to learning; one student noted that her “passion for and expertise in the art and science of qualitative research encouraged me to move beyond my quantitative comfort zone to greatly enhance the depth of my education.”

This year’s award recognizes the talent and hard work of a member who has been active in the APCG for many years, including positions as vice-president and president. Moreover, Martha’s vision and organizational skills, as well as her dedication to the APCG, are shown in the fact that she organized last year’s highly successful and enjoyable APCG conference, which included a lovely afternoon sail on a two-masted schooner on Budd Bay, part of Puget Sound. Moreover, Martha’s influence with the environmental powers that be was great enough for her to arrange—for each day of our conference—the most perfect early fall weather possible in western Washington.

The APCG is proud to honor Martha Henderson with its Distinguished Service Award. [End Page 146]