In Memoriam: Brad Cullen
Brad Cullen, professor emeritus in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of New Mexico, passed away unexpectedly on June 4, 2016 at the age of 65.
Bradley Thomas Cullen was born on February 8, 1951 and raised in Portola, northern California. He studied for his bachelor’s degree at Chico State University, California, then for his master’s degree at Miami University, Ohio. Next he moved to Michigan State University for a PhD in geography. His doctoral dissertation, completed in 1980, was entitled “Wood products plants in northwestern California: changes in location and size” and examined the forestry industry.
Cullen moved to Albuquerque in 1979 to take up an assistant professor post in the Department of Geography at the University of New Mexico (UNM) where he was to stay until retirement in 2014. During his career at UNM, he served as department chair and was instrumental at one point in advocating for the department when its closure was under consideration. Without his major contributions, the important department of today would be significantly poorer and may not even exist.
Cullen’s work spanned social and economic geography, with his primary research interests being industrial geography and problems related to the environment and energy consumption. Among his many publications was a notable book Sustainable Development and Geographical Space: Issues of Population, Environment, Globalization and Education in Marginal Regions co-authored with Heikki Jussila and Roser Majoral (Ashgate 2002).
He became a member of the American Association of Geographers in 1979 and was actively involved in the Southwest Division, including serving as the Chair in 1992. In addition, he was a strong supporter of the Applied Geography Conferences, serving on the Board of Directors for many years and helping to organize numerous paper sessions. He was also involved in the International Geographical Union including serving on the Steering Committee of its Commission on Marginalization, Globalization and Regional and Local Response. Other service included being a member of the editorial board for the Scottish Geographical Journal.
Cullen had been teaching geography on a part-time basis at Sierra College, CA, since January this year. He had also recently gained certification to teach English as a second language, and had been preparing to serve with the Peace Corps in Mongolia until his health required a change in plans.
Away from his professional life, Cullen enjoyed performances of the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera. He was an excellent cook reputed for his desserts but also loved eating out locally in Albuquerque. In addition, he loved dogs and was always seen driving around town in his Mini Cooper.
Cullen will be remembered as a consistently supportive and friendly colleague. Thousands of students he taught over the years will also remember his dry and wonderful classroom humor. He is survived by his older brother John, and sister-in-law Lorraine, and his beloved nephews and their families.