MIT’s Glasmeier Awarded for Economic Development and Policy Work

Energy Education Task Force Co-Chair receives honor from the Association of American Geographers.

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Towards a Political Economy Framework for Wind Power

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MIT’s Amy Glasmeier, Professor of Economic Geography and Regional Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and co-chair of the Energy Education Task Force, received a Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) at the Association’s annual meeting on April 12, 2014. Glasmeier was among nine individuals who received recognition from the AAG for their contributions to the advancement or welfare of geography.

Glasmeier received the award for her insightful and data-rich insights into the geographies of economic development and planning, her research on patterns and trends in rural poverty in America, and her outstanding efforts to understand and inform public policy.  In particular, she was recognized for her outstanding contributions to Economic Geography, especially her work on rural economic development, poverty, and the geography of manufacturing. 

Glasmeier is the author and co-author of several monographs – including Manufacturing Time: Global Competition in the World Watch Industry 1750-2000; High-tech Potential: Economic Development in Rural America; From Combines to Computers: Rural Services and Development in the Age of Information Technology; and High Tech America – as well as the Atlas of Poverty in America. These books reflect the topics of her articles, book chapters and policy reports where she has provided important insights into the development of industrial complexes and high-tech industries, geographies of trade policy and globalization, the failures and successes of efforts to end poverty, and the landscape of inequality in the United States.  Her work assesses public policy through careful empirical analysis of economic and census data. One key contribution is Glasmeier’s focus on the unintended effects of public policy, especially in rural America, documenting the impacts of NAFTA, high-tech industries and federal economic development programs on the poor and the prosperity of rural communities.

Unusually committed to informing public policy in the United States, Glasmeier has completed a large number of policy reports for agencies and organizations that include the Ford Foundation, HUD, USDA Economic Research Service, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, the Economic Policy Institute, the Aspen Institute, and the Department of Defense.  Her most sustained concern has been the economy of Appalachia where she twice served as the John D. Whisman scholar with the Appalachian Regional Commission and studied the causes of persistent poverty and the possibilities for renewable energy.

With a degree in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley, Glasmeier has taught planning and geography at UT Austin, Penn State and MIT – providing an important link between urban and regional planning and economic geography. In her writing and presentations she has urged economic geographers to engage with policy, highlighting geography’s skills in understanding spatial impacts and equity and has trained many undergraduate and graduate students in the power of geographic thinking and techniques.

To read about all the AAG winners, visit here.