The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 17, 2003

Malanson Named Coleman-Miller Professor

University of Iowa geography professor George P. Malanson has been named a Coleman-Miller Professor, one of the highest and most prestigious honors given to a UI faculty member.

The professorship, effective from August 2003 through June 2008, is one of two such honors named for former UI presidents. The first one was presented in June 2003 when UI law professor and former president Willard "Sandy" Boyd was named a Rawlings-Miller Professor.

Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said, “George’s work as a scholar and teacher brings distinction and visibility to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. We are doubly honored that the University has chosen George as the first recipient of a Coleman-Miller Professorship.”

"Professor Malanson is an internationally recognized biogeographer,” said Marc P. Armstrong, professor and chair of the department of geography. “He is well known for the development of computer simulation models that are based, in part, on fieldwork observations made in mountain environments, such as Glacier National Park. He has also served as a mentor to several students who have gone on to have successful careers."

Malanson came to the UI in 1985 after having received his doctorate from UCLA in 1983. His research involves the northern Rocky Mountains, focusing on patterns and processes at alpine treeline and in montane wetlands. His current research activities include grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Geography & Regional Science division, “Uncovering the Spatial Pattern of Feedback Effects at Alpine Treeline,” and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Biological Resources Division to study “Invasibility of Alpine Tundra.” His recent research extends to land use change at forest frontiers in Ecuador and Thailand.

His service with national organizations includes the National Academies/National Research Council Committee on Geography at the USGS from 2000-2002; the NSF Geography & Regional Science Program Panel from 1998-1999; the editorial board of the journal Landscape Ecology since 1997; the editorial board of the journal Annals, Association of American Geographers since 2000; the Association of American Geographers’ (AAG) Nystrom Award Committee in 1990, 1993 and 1997; and chair of the AAG Biogeography Specialty Group from 1997-99. He teaches introduction to Earth systems science for undergraduates, and his courses for advanced and graduate students include landscape ecology, wetlands, advanced biogeography and advanced landscape ecology.

The professorships, which are designated in several UI departments, are named for F. Wendell Miller, an attorney and farm manager from Rockwell City, Iowa, who died in 1995. Miller's will left the bulk of his estate to the UI and Iowa State University to encourage the advancement of academic endeavors. The Miller Endowment Trust was established from the Miller estate, with interest and income from the trust divided equally between ISU and the UI.

The names of the professorships were changed in 2003 to the Coleman-Miller Professorship and the Rawlings-Miller Professorship to additionally honor Mary Sue Coleman, who served as UI president from 1995-2002 and Hunter Rawlings III, UI president from 1988 to 1995, respectively.

Coleman currently serves as president of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Rawlings recently announced his retirement as president of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,