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Theawards the Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors for 2021 to Joseph Oppong for his exceptional service to the discipline of geography both in the United States and abroad. Throughout his career, Oppong has served generously and effectively in numerous support and leadership roles within the AAG and beyond. Oppong helped reinvigorate the AAG’s African Specialty Group (ASG) and has helped guide it to becoming a robust and active community within the AAG as well as a preeminent professional bridge between American geographers and African geographers. Oppong has also played a key role in the recent expansion of medical geography research through his own studies, his graduate advising, and his unflagging service to the AAG’s Medical Geography Specialty Group (MGSG). In addition, Oppong has served on the editorial board of the Professional Geographer, served on multiple NSF panels, and been a steering committee member and US representative for the International Geographers Union’s Commission on Health and Environment. Joseph Oppong is celebrated this year for his creative, consistent, and effective leadership to the discipline of geography and to geographers everywhere.
Since 1951,have been offered annually to recognize outstanding accomplishments by members in research and scholarship, teaching, education, service to the discipline, public service outside academe, and for lifetime achievement. The AAG Honors Committee is elected by the AAG membership and charged with making award recommendations for each category, with no more than two awards given in any one category.
For more than 100 years, AAG has contributed to the advancement of geography. Members are from nearly 100 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography.