Gerard Rushton

Gerard Rushton

Dr. Gerard Rushton has been a productive scholar in our field for almost 50 years, breaking new ground at every turn in his career.  His work has always been on the frontier of spatial analysis and geographic information systems.  He has led the way in creating new techniques of analysis, exploring and explaining the strengths and weaknesses of already existing techniques, and then using sophisticated methods to help solve social problems.  He is a leader in the health care field, the spatial decision field, the spatial service provision field, and, in general, the field of locational analysis, expanding out across location-allocation, small area demographics, spatial choice behavior, disease cluster analysis, spatial aggregation and disaggregation.

In the 1960s he helped to create spatial preferences as a dynamic research area.  In the 1970s, he was deeply involved in the fledgling field of GIS by working with the collection and management of large datasets.  By the 1980s, he became a leader of location-allocation modeling and began his lifelong attachment to creating solutions for healthcare, elderly, and other social problems. This work was groundbreaking, sophisticated, and widely admired.  In the 1990s, his concern for an open scholarly environment was highlighted in his book, Sharing Geographic Information, co-edited with Harlan Onsrud, another UCGIS fellow, which is based on the premise “that substantial societal needs may be better addressed through increased sharing of geographic information.” By the 2000s, his on-going interest in cancer research has led him to create new methods for the understanding of the spatial distribution of diseases. His work on GIS and public health is now standard fare for epidemiologists, health care workers, and geographers.  Most recently, he has turned his attention to the design of electoral systems for emerging democracies. 

Rushton’s lifetime of scholarly work has been cumulative – he has not abandoned earlier interests, but continues to deepen and make more useful his original foundational work on location theory, now incorporating this work into spatial decision support systems. His hundreds of papers, monographs, books, and book chapters only tell part of the story.  Gerry is an outstanding collaborator and mentor of students. In his research he has collaborated with the “best and the brightest” and he has guided many outstanding professionals to successful academic and professional careers.

In summary, few are as deserving as Gerard Rushton to receive USCIG Fellow status.  Rushton has pursued  a truly remarkable academic career in GIS and spatial analysis with emphasis on developing effective methods for delivering useful solutions to complex societal problems. 

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