The National Academies named UCSB Vice Chancellor for Research France Cordova and geography professor Michael F. Goodchild National Associates this January.

The designation honors excellent work by people in Academy committees and entitles the recipient to use the Member’s Center, located at the headquarters of the National Academies in Washington D.C.

Cordova is a specialist in x-ray and gamma-ray astrophysics and has published over 130 scientific papers in her field. In 1996 she was awarded NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal and in 2000 she was designated a Kilby Laureate. In 1997, Hispanic Business Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics,” and Hispanic Magazine awarded her the Hispanic Achievement Award.

“I thought it was a nice gesture for myself and Michael,” Cordova said. “It is a thank you, a recognition that our work is important to the nation’s understanding of science and its impact.”

Goodchild specializes in developing mapping technology and has published over 300 scientific papers in his field. He too is a highly decorated researcher. In 2001, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.

He received the Association of American Geographers’ Award for Scholarly Distinction in 1996, and was given the Canadian Cartographic Association’s Award of Distinction for Exceptional Contributions to Cartography.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” Goodchild said. “It’s a way of rewarding people who have done a lot of work on committees and studies.”

The National Academies is a non-profit organization that was founded by an act of Congress in 1863 and helps counsel the government on matters relating to medicine, engineering, the sciences and general research. It is composed of four academies that each specialize in one of the fields. Each academy is divided into many committees that work on potential policy decisions and make recommendations that are submitted to government agencies and lawmakers.

Chancellor Henry Yang said the awards add distinction to UCSB.

“Both Vice Chancellor Cordova and Professor Goodchild have made exemplary and significant contributions to scientific research and service to the National Academies,” he said. “I am proud that they are honored in this way.”