Martin Pasqualetti, professor with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, was recognized this weekend as a distinguished alumnus by the University of California, Riverside’s Alumni Association. Pasqualetti was bestowed the honor at the Chancellor’s Dinner on the university’s campus. Pasqualetti, who is also a senior sustainability scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, is known worldwide for his contributions to the field of geography, specifically in relation to energy policy.
With a 40-year career dedicated to studying the geographical dimensions of energy, Pasqualetti’s work has resulted in advancements in many areas: landscape change, issues of energy security and geopolitics, the sense of place, perceptions of energy provision and use, energy education, environmental costs of energy demand, public acceptance of renewable-energy landscapes and the spatial nexus of our need for food, energy and water.
Pasqualetti earned his doctorate in geography from the University of California, Riverside in 1977 where his PhD dissertation, "Energy in an Oasis," was one of the first studies to examine the growing conflicts between renewable-energy development and existing land use.
According to UCR, the Distinguished Alumnus Award is based on national and international distinction in one’s field and significant contribution to humankind and is the most prestigious honor bestowed by the UCR Alumni Association.
This distinction adds to a long list of accolades and achievements for Pasqualetti. Appointed by two Arizona governors as chair the Arizona Solar Energy Advisory Council, Pasqualetti is also the co-founder of the Energy and Environment Specialty Group within the American Association of Geographers. He is on the board of directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative and serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals, including Energy Research and Social Science. In 2017, he received the Alexander and Ilse Melamid Gold Medal from the American Geographical Society for his international contributions to the study of energy. Earlier this year, he was recognized by the American Association of Geographers for his 50 years of membership and contributions to the organization.
Prior to the awards ceremony, UCR visited the ASU campus to speak with Pasqualetti and to record a video about his work and research:
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