- June 5, 2007
- Posted by: EARSC
- Category: EARSC News
Professor Curran is awarded the honour for his international contributions to Earth observation (EO), an important field in contemporary geographical science and discovery.
A former NASA research scientist and advisor to the European Space Agency (ESA), Professor Curran has pioneered the remote sensing of vegetation amount and condition on Earth from space.
Amongst his many achievements, Professor Curran co-developed ESAís operational global chlorophyll maps, which have proved vital for the study of terrestrial climate change effects.
The RGS (IBG) Patronís Medal, personally approved by Her Majesty the Queen, originated in 1831 as an annual gift of fifty guineas from King William IV.
In 1839, the honour was divided into two gold medals of equal value and designated the Founderís medal and the Patronís medal.
Today these two Gold Medals are amongst the highest international accolades and are awarded for the encouragement and promotion of geography, science and discovery.
Twentieth century geographers
Professor Curran also follows in the footsteps of leading geographers of the 20th century to be honoured in this way, including Sir Roderick Murchison, Professor William Davis, Sir Halford MacKinder and Professor C Dudley Stamp.
“Receiving this Medal from the Royal Geographical Society is a singular honour,” said Professor Curran.
“The thought of walking in the footsteps of previous medal winners is a most humbling experience.”
Professor Curran is an influential geographer involved with academic activity at the highest level, not least through membership of the Natural Environmental Research Council, the Quality Assurance Agency Board and Policy Committees of Universities UK.
He is Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, having served until 2005 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton.
Professor Curran is the youngest recipient of the Remote Sensing Societyís Gold Medal and his achievements have been previously acknowledged by NASA, ESA and the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS).
He has published the seminal text in the field of EO, along with around 400 other publications in books and journals; has supervised more EO PhD theses than any other UK academic; was on the Geography panel for RAE 2001; and led the ISPRS ‘International Working Group on Global Ecosystem Monitoring’.