Several students gather with Professor Richard Peet on the staircase of Jefferson Academic Center at Clark University in 2004

Professor Peet to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from American Association of Geographers

Three other geographers with Clark ties also to receive honors at AAG meeting
February 28, 2018

Clark University Geography Professor Richard (Dick) Peet will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Geographers (AAG) at the association’s Annual Meeting in April. The AAG will honor Peet “for his extraordinary career as a scholar, teacher, mentor, editor and activist.”

“AAG honors are among the most prestigious awards in American geography. We’re delighted to celebrate this very significant, highly deserved award with our colleague,” said Deborah Martin, professor and director of the Graduate School of Geography at Clark.

Peet has served as a faculty member in Clark’s Graduate School of Geography for more than half a century. He has been deeply involved in Clark’s International Studies Stream Program, and served twice as the acting director. He has held the Leo L. ’36 and Joan Kraft Laskoff Endowed Chair in Economics, Technology and Environment since 2011; the chair supports a professor and program concerned directly with economic change, technological innovation and environment sustainability.  He has also held visiting appointments in Canada, Australia, Sweden, England, South Africa and New Zealand. 

Peet’s earliest work was in economic geography, then he moved into the political economy of development and branched out into globalization and neo-liberalism. He is founding member of the “radical geography movement,” and served as co-founder and editor of two journals in the field, Antipode and Human Geography, the former of which the AAG has labeled “one of the most innovative and cutting-edge frontiers of geography.”

The author of nearly a dozen books and some 135 articles and book reviews, Peet focuses on issues of development, global policy regimes, power, theory and philosophy, political ecology, and finance capitalism. His 2003 book “Unholy Trinity: The IMF, World Bank and WTO” — a collaborative effort with 17 of his students — is especially critical of the increasing influence of institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO) on the economy, and the consequences experienced by people and the environment.

Other scholars with ties to Clark’s Graduate School of Geography who will be recognized at the AAG Annual Meeting in New Orleans in April include:

  • J. Ronald Eastman, professor of geography at Clark and director of Clark Labs, who was selected unanimously to receive the 2018 Outstanding Contributions in Remote Sensing Award from the Remote Sensing Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. 
  • Billie Lee Turner II, currently a research professor and professor in the School of Geography Science and Urban Planning at Arizona State University, who will receive the American Association of Geographers Presidential Achievement Award. Turner taught at Clark from 1980 to 2008. He served as Alice C. Higgins and Milton P. Professor of Environment and Society and for 10 years, over three terms, as director of the Graduate School of Geography.
  • Arthur Elmes, Ph.D.'17, who will compete in the final round of the J. Warren Nystrom Award competition. Elmes will present his paper, "Modeling the Potential Dispersal of Asian Longhorned Beetle in Central Massachusetts using Circuit Theory," to compete for the prize, which is awarded annually for a dissertation in geography. Elmes' adviser was John Rogan, professor of geography. The award is named for J. Warren Nystrom, who received a Ph.D. in geography from Clark in 1942.

The American Association of Geographers is global network of leading researchers, educators and practitioners in geography. Since 1951, the AAG has recognized outstanding accomplishments by members in research and scholarship, teaching, education, service to the geography discipline, public service outside academe and for lifetime achievement.

Established in 1921, the Graduate School of Geography at Clark is internationally renowned for innovative scholarship and is an acknowledged leader in the field. Consistently ranked as one of the top graduate programs by the National Research Council, Clark Geography enables graduate students to train with top professionals and participate in a world-class research community. Clark’s Geography Program has awarded more Ph.D.s than any other geography program in the United States, and has a reputation for training future leaders in the field. Read more about Clark's tradition of pioneering geographic scholarship.


At top: In this photo from 2004, Richard Peet, far right, gathers with students on the steps of the Geography Building/Jefferson Academic Center.