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Dr. Karl Zimmerer, professor and chairman of the geography department at Pennsylvania State University has been selected to receive the first Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal from the American Geographical Society. The medal will be presented on December 6 at St. Francis University. Dr. Zimmerer will present a lecture on his most recent breakthrough research, “Giving Rise to Sustainability: Tropical Mountain Landscapes and Cities.”

Established in 2002, the Melamid Medal is one of nine medals awarded by the American Geographical Society and recognizes an internationally recognized geographer for outstanding work on the dynamic relationship between human culture and natural resources. Dr. Zimmerer’s recent work regarding the connection of sustainability and geography is considered to be central to the sustainability discussions and debates currently held across the world today. “Karl Zimmerer is one of the leading experts in the area of sustainability and without his work, it would be difficult to produce public policy that sufficiently guides sustainability” noted Dr. Jerome Dobson, President of the American Geographical Society. “His work has critical and practical real-world impact. It is an honor for us to have this opportunity to recognize such a valued colleague as the first recipient of the medal,” added Dr. Dobson.

Dr. Karl Zimmerer is professor and head in the department of geography at Pennsylvania State University and at the Earth-Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), the Institutes for Energy and the Environment (PSIEE), and in cross-campus programs on sustainability. He is also the director of the GeosyntheSESLab (Geographic Synthesis for Social-Ecological Sustainability). Dr. Zimmerer is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of historical and landscape-based cultural-and social-ecological analysis of sustainability, food security, and agrobiodiversity. He has also led research on land use, cultural ideas, social conflict and cooperation, and knowledge systems and the conservation-agriculture interface with resources and policies. Dr. Zimmerer has published five books and more than one hundred scientific and scholarly articles and chapters.