MacArthur Fellows Program

Robert W. Kates

Geographer | Class of December 1981

Worcester, Massachusetts
52 at time of award

Robert Kates is a geographer who studies the human environment and how people interact with the world around them.

His research concerns the prevalence and persistence of hunger, long-term population dynamics, the sustainability of the biosphere, and theory of the human environment.  He is a co-author and co-editor of Climate Impact Assessment: Studies of the Interaction of Climate and Society (1985), Perilous Progress: Managing the Hazards of Technology (1985), The Environment as Hazard (1993), and Population Growth and Agricultural Change in Africa (1993); and a contributor to Hunger in History: Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation (1989), and The Earth as Transformed by Human Action (1990).

Kates is Professor Emeritus at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, where he served as director of the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Program (1986-92).  He is an executive editor of Environment magazine and continues to work as an independent scholar in Maine.

Kates received an M.A. (1960) and a Ph.D. (1962) from the University of Chicago.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

News About This Fellow
August 13, 2013
"Lessons in Resilience From New Orleans"
The New York Times
Robert W. Kates , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
January 1, 2012
“Natural Hazards, Climate Change, and Adaptation: Persistent Questions and Answers”
South Australian Geographical Journal Vol. 111
Robert W. Kates , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
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