Geographers scoop awards

Three researchers from the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences have received recognition for their outstanding work in geography by their peers in New Zealand.

In this year’s awards by the New Zealand Geographical Society, three members of the School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences were honoured.

Dr Amanda Thomas received a President’s award for Emerging Researcher in Geography. This award is for excellence in research within five years of the award of a PhD. Since 2014 Amanda has published widely and in some of the discipline’s top journals whilst at the same time being very active in public engagement and in professional networks. Her work focuses on environmental conflicts, how they might be understood through the lens of radical geographies and what the possibilities are for just and good futures.

Dr Marcela Palomino-Schalscha is the recipient of the 2019 Research Collaboration in Geography Award. The citation for her award notes her work in “facilitating conversations and connecting knowledges across communities, space and place. In particular, bringing Mapuche representatives to Aotearoa helped foster links with Māori tourism and education initiatives. These spaces of solidarity and Indigenous knowledges and practices happened because of your collaborative ethos.” Marcela’s active engagement with community organisations in Wellington was also highlighted.

The Society’s highest award, the Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Award and Medal, will be given this year to Professor Warwick Murray. Noting his outstanding record of research in Latin America and Chile in particular, and his prolific output, the Society underscored his recognition as “an international expert on rural geography, development studies, and globalisation.” In addition, Warwick’s active promotion of the discipline was noted through sustained excellence in teaching, research and professional service.

Amanda, Warwick and Marcela play leading roles in the school’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Geography, Development Studies and Environmental Studies and students are benefitting directly from their research-led teaching, their engagement with communities and their focus on current geographical issues. In addition to acknowledging the outstanding achievements of these individuals, collectively these awards are tribute to the vibrant Geography team at the University.

A formal ceremony will be held to present the awards in November.