Citation for 2003 Anderson Medal

Prof. Barry Wellar

University of Ottawa

Perhaps one of the highest compliments that we can pay a geographer is to say his/her research and perspectives have mattered in society. Professor Barry Wellar, University of Ottawa, has for more than 30 years taken a "common sense" approach in the use of geographic methods and research findings that have illustrated to a number of constituencies that "geography matters." Barry’s record is one of scores of publications and public presentations that focus on topics that are of vital importance to public policy experts. He has always gone beyond the printed word, lobbying and arguing for the implementation of specific findings. In this way, Barry Wellar’s efforts have frequently broken new ground by "making waves" in normally calm waters.

Among Barry Wellar’s career events are those that pushed the use of NASA satellite imagery and remote sensing techniques into urban applications, such as in the measurement of housing quality and land use change analysis in the 1960s. In the 1970s Barry was involved in the USAC project lead by HUD and OMB that involved original applied research into information systems design and evaluation, standards, and GIS applications for governments at all levels. Also, in the 1970s, Barry served as a Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor in Urban Affairs and during that stint advised the Carter Administration, contributing to Small Community and Rural Development Policy. In the 1980s, Barry advised the Task Force on Canada’s National Urban Strategy with emphasis on the implications of an "urban sustainability index." Since the 1990s, Barry has worked on a "Walking Security Index Project" for the safety of pedestrians in North America.

All of this research has resulted in more than 500 radio, TV, and newspaper interviews and reports on issues of importance in housing, land use, traffic analysis, and planning. Thus, in addition to being a first-rate researcher, Barry Wellar has ventured boldly and successfully into the public eye in important ways. He is the unanimous choice for 2003 Anderson Medal of Applied Geography.