Reginald Golledge, 71, a renowned scholar and longtime UCSB geography professor, died May 29. The UCSB Faculty Club will host an informal memorial at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, and a formal memorial service will take place at the beginning of the fall quarter.
Golledge, who began his career at UCSB in 1977, made many significant contributions to the field of cognitive behavioral geography, which aims to identify and understand the human mental processes that motivate spatial reasoning, decision-making and behavior in a certain environment. He was also a pioneer in the study of disabilities geography, a field which particularly interested him after he lost his eyesight in the 1980s due to a disease of the optic nerve.
Golledge received numerous national and international awards and accolades, and was named to the highly honorable position of Faculty Research Lecturer of 2009 by the UCSB faculty.
Golledge wrote or edited 16 books, in addition to 100 chapters for other books, and more than 150 of his papers have been printed in academic journals and various publications.
His colleagues credit him with strengthening the UCSB geography department to become one of the leading programs in the nation.
“Professor Golledge was a highly respected and beloved member of our faculty, and our campus community will miss him dearly,” UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said in a press release. “His innovative research in behavioral geography and spatial cognition was internationally recognized. Although his eyesight was impaired, Reg was a true visionary who always saw great possibilities and provided the insight and leadership to take advantage of them and help others. We have lost a model teacher and a superb scholar a giant in his field and our hearts go out to his family, his students, and his colleagues.”
Oliver Chadwick, professor and chair of geography, echoed Yang’s attitude toward the late Professor Golledge.
“Professor Golledge was a founding member of our department, a prodigious scholar, a leader in the field of human geography, and an inspiration to his students. His fortitude in the face of physical adversity was legendary, and the academic legacy that he leaves behind has made the department a stronger unit, the university a more prestigious institution, and geography a richer discipline,” Chadwick said.
He is survived by his wife and their two children, two children from a previous marriage and two brothers.