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Anne U. White Fund

Deadline: December 31, yearly 


Purpose: The Fund will serve the purposes Anne White held dear if it enables people, regardless of any formal training in geography, to engage in useful field studies and to have the joy of working along side their partners.

Eligibility: You are eligible to apply if you have been an AAG member for at least two years at the time you submit your application. Your partner does not need to be a member of the AAG to be eligible. (For instance, only one of the two joint applicants must comply with the membership requirement, and this person should be listed as “applicant”.)

Criteria: The evaluation committee will select for support proposals that in its judgment best meet the purposes for which Anne and Gilbert White contributed the funds that endow the awards.

Awards: In the past, one or two awards have been made each year of approximately $1,500 each.

Applications: Digital submissions are required. All information must be entered in our online application form.  Acknowledgement of receipt will be returned within a maximum of 2-3 business days. All applicants will be notified of the status of their submission within approximately 3 months after the deadline. Awardees may anticipate receiving their grants by late Spring.

Reports and Acknowledgment: By accepting an Anne U. White grant you agree to submit to the AAG Executive Director a two-page report that summarizes your results and documents the expenses underwritten by the grant. You should submit your report no later than twelve months after receiving an award. Please acknowledge AAG support in presentations and publications of your research results.

About Anne White

In 1989, Gilbert and Anne White donated a sum of money to the Association of American Geographers to establish the Anne U. White Fund. Gilbert White and other donors have subsequently added substantially to the original gift. The Fund's income is to be used to encourage field research conducted by a member of the Association jointly with her or his partner.

Anne Underwood was a native of Washington, D.C. who attended Madeira School and Vassar College, class of 1941. At Vassar she studied American history and economics. She met Gilbert White in Washington and they decided to marry, but only after the uncertainty of his service as a conscientious objector was resolved. That came after he returned from detention in Germany in 1944.She meanwhile had held posts with the Program Surveys of the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Rensis Likert, Director of the first of the national opinion surveys, and then as a field investigator for the National Labor Relations Board.

Following their marriage in 1944, they lived in Philadelphia (1944-46), Haverford College (1946-55), the University of Chicago (1956-69), and the University of Colorado (1970-89). After their youngest child went off to boarding school, Anne joined with Gilbert in field studies of domestic water use in East Africa. Out of this came a monograph they authored with David J. Bradley of the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine. Then followed a series of studies on water supply and health that she completed independently or in collaboration with others. She consulted with government agencies in that field and took part in scientific gatherings.

She was the co-editor of the Natural Hazards Observer during its first two years. In later fieldwork she was especially interested in the complex relationships among water supply, household behavior, and health. She was active in community planning in Chicago and Boulder, including the setting of managed urban growth policies for Boulder, the defeat of a plan to build underground nuclear war shelters for officials only, and the initial design of the Boulder County open space program. In recognition of her role in that effort, the County Commissioners named a hiking trail of striking beauty for her along Fourmile Canyon Creek a few months before her death.Typical of her life is that after she heard a cancer probably would make her next year terminal she chose to spend parts of it in an International Geographical Union field trip in Australia, and in giving her grandchildren their first experience of camping in a wilderness area.

Copies of any of the items listed below are available by loan from the AAG office.

Select Bibliography :

  • With Gilbert F. White and David J. Bradley. Drawers of Water: Domestic Water Use in East Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.
  • Toward a Global Summary of Natural Hazards. In M. Pecsied., Man and Environment, Studies in Geography, No. 11, Budapest: Geographical Research Institute, 1974.
  • Water Supply and Income Distribution in Developing Countries;. In J. Powelson and W. Loehr eds., Economic Development, Poverty and Income Distribution. Boulder: Westview Press, 1977.
  • With Gilbert White. Potable Water for All: The Egyptian Experience with Rural Water Supply, Water International 11, 1986, pp. 54-63.
  • With Samiha E. Katsha. Woman, Water, and Sanitation: Household Behavioral Patterns in Two Egyptian Villages;, Water International 14, 1989, pp. 103-111.

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