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Douglas Richardson, Executive Director of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Richardson was elected as an AAAS Fellow for “distinguished contributions to the field of Geographic Information Science and Technology, and for tireless service as Executive Director of the Association of American Geographers.”

During the past fifteen years, Richardson has led a highly successful organizational renewal of the AAG, developing dynamic research and international initiatives, and building strong academic, publishing, diversity, and financial foundations for the AAG and for geography’s future. Prior to joining the AAG, Dr. Richardson founded and was the president of GeoResearch, Inc., a scientific research firm that developed and patented the world’s first real-time space-time interactive GPS/GIS functionality, which has transformed the ways in which geographic information is now collected, experienced, mapped, and used within geography and other disciplines, and in society at large. The concepts, technologies and innovations pioneered by Richardson and GeoResearch are now ubiquitous and at the heart of a wide array of real-time interactive mapping, navigation, mobile computing, consumer devices such as cell phones, and location-based web services. They also have become central to global economic development and planning programs, interdisciplinary research platforms, and the management of day-to-day core operations of most large-scale governmental entities, corporations, and international NGOs.

Richardson continues to develop the field of real-time space-time integration in geography and GIScience through interdisciplinary geographic research in areas such as human rights, health, sustainable environmental and economic development, coupled human-natural systems, and most recently in the humanities.

AAAS members are awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. AAAS steering groups review the nominations of individuals within their respective science sections and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the nominees. The AAAS Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science. The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874.

New Fellows will be honored during a ceremony at the AAAS Fellows Forum on February 13, at the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting Washington, DC. This year’s AAAS Fellows were formally announced in the journal Science on November 27, 2015.