Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Geography professor receives peer recognition

Andrew Goetz, chair of the University of Denver’s geography department, is getting the kind of award that speaks volumes about his life’s work: recognition by his peers.

The Association of American Geographers’ Transport Geography Specialty Group (TGSG) will give Goetz the Edward L. Ullman Award, which has been presented each year since 1990 to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the field. The award is named for the late Edward Ullman, who studied transport geography at the University of Washington, focusing on special interaction, railroads and commodity flows.

Goetz was nominated by Professor Tim Vowles of the University of Northern Colorado.

“Professor Goetz is one of the world’s pre-eminent air transportation geographers,” Vowles says. “(He) is also one of the discipline’s leading authorities on intermodal transportation.”

Goetz has published more than 30 articles on air transport, intermodal transportation and transport planning and has published two books, Airline Deregulation and Laissez-Faire Mythology and Denver International Airport: Lessons Learned, a comprehensive overview of the grueling construction of DIA, now one of the country’s busiest airports.

“I was thrilled to hear the news about the award because I know that the list of prior recipients includes the leading figures from the discipline,” Goetz says. “My dissertation advisor at Ohio State, Edward Taaffe, was the first recipient of the Ullman Award, and another mentor of mine, Howard Gauthier, won the award in 1992.”

The award boasts a long list of accomplished experts as prior recipients.

“Although I never met Edward Ullman, I am very familiar with his work, especially his pioneering efforts in the field of transport geography,” Goetz says. “It is a real honor to be receiving this award named for Ullman because he and Harold Mayer were the first to define the field of transport geography in their landmark 1954 chapter in American Geography.”

In addition to his duties teaching, writing and leading the geography department, Vowles also lauds Goetz for his efforts in founding DU’s nationally recognized Intermodal Transportation Institute and the National Center for Intermodal Transportation, a joint venture shared with Mississippi State University.

“Being part of the creation of both centers allowed Professor Goetz to further the impact of geography in the field of intermodal transportation and transportation overall,” Vowles says.

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