The medal was presented during the awards ceremony of the 100th anniversary meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Philadelphia. The medal is named after James Anderson, who served as the chief geographer of the United States while working at the U.S. Geological Survey.
Brown credits her study of geography as a foundation for the energy research she has conducted.
The citation noted Brown, "has become one of the nation's leaders in applying the concepts of geography's innovative diffusion theories to addressing clean energy technology transfer processes."
She was praised for her national leadership in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures in the United States, particularly noting her publication "Scenarios of A Clean Energy Future," which illustrates how technologies and policies could address national energy needs over the next two decades.
"It has been cited in proposed federal legislation and it has played a significant role in international climate change debates," the award read while also noting demand for Brown as an expert witness before congressional committees and as an advisor to boards studying environmental issues on the government level and in the private sector.
Many of the technologies highlighted in this report are under development in the program Brown manages at ORNL, including optical control coatings for roofs, clean diesel engines, combined heat and power systems, and advanced industrial materials that resist degradation at high temperatures.
Brown's research has centered on issues surrounding the commercialization of new energy and environmental technologies and the potential for U.S. carbon emission reductions.