In Memoriam: Recognising the achievements and enduring legacy of Professor Gregory G. Brown

It is with great sadness that I announce that Professor Gregory G. Brown (Greg) passed away on the 2nd January 2020 in California. Greg’s work on public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) and sense of place has been foundational. During an academic career spanning three decades, Greg published multiple seminal works and is the most published author in the field of PPGIS methods for systematically assessing the values and preferences of local communities to guide natural resource management. Further, he advanced multiple novel concepts and methods for connecting place values, place attachment and spatial planning scholarships. He helped establish the International Society for Participatory Mapping and founded the Landscape Values and PPGIS Institute to facilitate global research and communication about participatory spatial planning methods. Over the course of his career, Greg published seven papers in Society & Natural Resources. He also served on IASNR Council between 2012 and 2016 and was a frequent attender of ISSRM.

Greg will also be remembered as a terrific leader, mentor and teacher. At California Polytech State University, Greg was Chair and Department Head of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Sciences (2016-2020).  Students commented that “He was enthusiastic and fun with his lectures. He always provided time for group discussions and some fun activities.” At the University of Queensland (2010-2016), Greg was Head of the Planning Program and also Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee. He was a very generous colleague who provided effective and fair leadership, and was always ready to support his peers and students.  As a teacher, staff remember him as being one of the “most accomplished teachers in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and his students were grateful to him for his dedication, passion and engaging lectures.” Greg is also deeply respected by friends and colleagues from his previous academic appointments at Central Washington University, Green Mountain College, University of South Australia, Alaska Pacific University and Southern Illinois University.

Over his career, Greg supervised multiple PhD students drawing on natural resource management cases from across the world including Australia, China and Africa. I was privileged to be Greg’s first PhD student.  He was pivotal for my academic career – he inspired me to make a shift from the natural to social sciences during my undergraduate program.  In my fourth year of studies at the University of South Australia (2005), he entrusted me to co-lead a Co-operative Research Centre project, and guided me to write three journal articles in one year. He will be remembered as a genius and a true friend who shared a passion for travel and adventure, as well as the occasional beer.

Greg will also be sadly missed by his family. He was a wonderful and generous father and partner.  Our hearts go out to his partner Mare and children at this time who have been of terrific support to Greg over the years. He will be greatly missed.

Professor Christopher Raymond
Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki