Each year, the American Association of Geographers recognizes “outstanding contributions to the advancement or welfare of the geography profession.” This year, UCLA’s William Clark, research professor of geography, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award for his scholarly work, public service, academic leadership and mentorship. The association also honored geography professors Judith Carney and Helga Leitner as fellows for their contributions to advancing geography.

Clark, a population and urban geographer, has produced 10 books and about 250 journal articles. He has also served as an analyst and expert witness in some desegregation and redistricting court cases in various metropolitan areas. Clark was elected as a member in the National Academy of Sciences, elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, an awardee of Guggenheim Fellowship, along with several honorary doctoral degrees.

Leitner studies of global urbanization and has also explored the politics of scale, migration and immigration, georgraphic information systems and local politics, contentious politics and (trans)local activism and neoliberalism. She has published more than 100 articles and has sat on more than 125 graduate committees.

Carney’s work focuses on human-environment geography, political ecology, biogeography, and gender and diaspora studies. Her prize-winning books, “Black Rice” and “In the Shadow of Slavery” overturned longstanding assumptions and prejudices regarding the roles of African slaves and African cultivars in the agricultural settlement of the New World. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller-Bellagio fellowships.