A West Virginia University professor will lead a multidisciplinary organization with members spanning 40 states and seven countries.
p. Peter Schaeffer, a faculty member in the Division of Resource Management in the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, has been elected president of the Southern Regional Science Association (SRSA). He is the third SRSA president from WVU .

The SRSA is an organization of university scholars, as well as government and private-sector practitioners representing fields as diverse as economics, agricultural economics, public policy, urban planning, civil engineering, geography, finance and demography. The associations main objectives are to foster the exchange of ideas and to encourage the publication of scholarly studies focusing on issues in the field of regional science. Members address issues ranging from urban and spatial economic theories to applied problems and public policies in regional development, sustainability, environmental management, transportation, land use and many other contemporary societal issues.

The SRSA is a branch of the North American Regional Science Council and the Regional Science Association International. It publishes The Review of Regional Studies, a peer-refereed journal, three times a year.

The SRSA has a long affiliation with WVU and counts William Miernyk, professor emeritus and director emeritus of the Regional Research Institute (RRI), among its co-founders and past presidents,Schaeffer said.

The RRI , located at WVU , creates learning opportunities and provides research support for faculty members and students, while serving as an internationally prominent center for the advancement of regional science. It maintains the SRSA s home page (http://www.srsa.org/).

This years (SRSA) meetings were in the Washington, D.C., area and attracted the largest attendance ever, including a large contingent of WVU faculty and graduate students,Schaeffer said.The size of the organization and the regional science history at WVU make this an ideal venue for graduate students to present their work and begin the process of building their professional network.

The global possibilities of the organization were enhanced two years ago when the North American Regional Science Council, together with the Regional Science Councils of Argentina, Chile and other countries, formed the Regional Science Association of the Americas.

This creates new links and opportunities for scholars and eventually for students,Schaeffer noted.