Geographer Sallie Marston Named Regents Professor

April 16, 2021
Sallie Marston

Sallie Marston


Sallie Marston has been named Regents Professor, a title reserved for scholars of exceptional ability who have achieved national or international distinction.

Marston, professor in the School of Geography, Development & Environment and director of the Community and School Garden Program, is internationally renowned for her groundbreaking work on social theory, active citizenship, and social reproduction.

“Sallie’s nomination spoke to her influence and reputation as one of the world’s foremost human geographers and her remarkable achievements as a scholar, educator, and academic and community citizen” said Diana Liverman, Regents Professor and director of the School of Geography, Development & Environment. “Supporting letters highlighted her pioneering contributions on concepts and theories of citizenship and scale; to feminist and political geography, the impact of her two successful geography textbooks, her mentoring of students and colleagues, and the outstanding impact of the Community and School Garden Program in Tucson and as a broader model.”

The Regents Professor title serves as recognition of the highest academic merit and is awarded to faculty members who have made a unique contribution to the quality of the university through distinguished accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, research or creative work.

Marston was honored in 2012 with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Geographers – the most distinguished honors in her discipline. She is the second most cited feminist geographer in the world. She has published 80+ peer reviewed articles and book chapters, is the editor of five scholarly books, and has advised 40 Ph.D. and M.A. students. Her paper on “The Social Construction of Scale” has been cited 2400 times and, along with a second co-authored piece, resulted in a decade-long productive debate in the discipline about one of its central concepts. According to her editor, over 250 colleges and universities across the United States use her co-authored textbooks. People and Places in Global Context is the only U.S. human geography undergraduate textbook that has been translated into German and Chinese.

“Marston’s career achievements are truly remarkable. She has remained a major figure in her field of political geography throughout her career, but also made major prominent empirical and theoretical interventions in social geography, political ecology, and gender and women’s studies, providing insights into citizenship and justice,” said Paul Robbins, geography professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Marston is also noted for her commitment to the Tucson community. The Community and School Garden Program, or CSGP, promotes community-engagement for UArizona students by training them to support teaching and learning in pre-K-12 Title I school gardens. The program, which matches UArizona students with Tucson Unified School District schools, helps build and manage school gardens and support teachers to transform the lives of children. As a result, UArizona students become more knowledgeable about how they can be more actively-involved members of their communities. CSGP has become a national and international model for a transformative university-school outreach program.

“Dr. Marston's research, scholarship, and teaching has grown deep roots in the Tucson community,” said Moses Thompson, CSGP associate director and UArizona/TUSD liaison, “Through her vision and leadership Dr. Marston has simultaneously transformed both K-12 public education and university student engagement in a feedback loop that enriches both.”

Marston is the third professor to be named a Regents Professor within the School of Geography, Development & Environment, joining Diana Liverman and Connie Woodhouse. The school is also the only UArizona unit to have three women Regents Professors at the same time.

Marston joins five other UArizona faculty members to be named Regents Professors in 2021: Steven Archer, Sonia Colina, Marwan Krunz, Dante Lauretta, and Ian Pepper.

"These outstanding members of our faculty exemplify everything we strive to achieve at this university," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "We are so grateful to have such world-renowned scholars and teachers as part of the Wildcat family."