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Updated April 20, 2009
The AGS Awards Program
of geographical inquiry, exploration, and education by making awards
was one of the earliest goals of the American Geographical Society,
actually provided for in the society’s original charter of 1851.
First to be established was the category of Honorary Fellow.
Medals and other ways of recognizing outstanding work in geography
have been added over the years.
Bestowed upon scientists, explorers, benefactors, practitioners,
and champions of geography. More
than 300 bestowed during first 150 years of the society’s existence.
Most recent recipient — Mary Upjohn Meader.
The Alexander & Ilse Melamid Medal (established in 2002). The Alexander & Ilse Melamid Medal was established in 2002 by a gift from Ilse Melamid. It is given for outstanding work on the dynamic relationship between human culture and natural resources.
Geographical Medal (established
in 1896). Awarded “to those
who distinguish themselves by geographical discoveries or in the advancement
of geographical science”. First recipient—Robert E. Peary.
Most recent recipient—Wilbur Zelinsky.
Charles P. Daly Medal (established in 1902). Awarded “for valuable or distinguished geographical services or labors”. First recipient—Robert E. Peary. Most recent recipient—John R. Mather.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse Medal (established in 1902). Awarded “for the encouragement of geographical research”. First recipient—George Hubert Wilkins. Most recent recipient - Richard H. Nolte.
Livingstone Centenary Medal (established
in 1913). Awarded “for
scientific achievement in the field of geography of the Southern Hemisphere”.
First recipient—Douglas Mawson.
Most recent recipient—Bertha Becker.
Davidson Medal (established in
1946). Awarded for “exceptional achievement in research or exploration
in the Pacific Ocean or the lands bordering thereon”. First recipient—George
Babcock Cressey. Most recent
recipient—David R. Stoddart.
Maitland Miller Medal (established
in 1968). Awarded for “outstanding achievements in the field of cartography
or geodesy”. First
recipient—Richard Edes Harrison.
Most recent recipient—Mark Monmonier.
Cleef Memorial Medal (established
in 1970). Awarded “for
outstanding original work in the field of urban geography—preferably,
though not necessarily, of an applied nature”.
First recipient—John R. Borchert.
Most recent recipient—Susan Hanson.
P. Vouras Medal (established in
1988). Awarded for “outstanding
work in regional geography”. First
recipients—Deborah & Frank J. Popper.
Most recent recipient, John Fraser Hart.
Fliers’ and Explorers’ Globe.
Since the early 1920s, pioneering explorers and fliers have been
invited to sign their names and draw their routes on this historic globe.
The most recent signers—Neil Armstrong,
Brian Jones, Bertrand Piccard, Walter Pitman, Bill Ryan, and Don Walsh.
Wrigley-Fairchild Prize (established in 1994). Given every three years to the author of the best article by a younger or early-career scholar published in the most recent three volumes of the Geographical Review. First recipient—Roger A. Clapp. Most recent recipient - Eric Keys (see recent Award 2009 announcement).
All honorees are determined by the Council of the American Geographical Society upon recommendations from the Honors Committee, the Exploration Committee, or the Wrigley-Fairchild Prize Committee.