Remembering Jack Eichenbaum

Dr. Jack Eichenbaum
February 2, 1943 – December 30, 2023

"Exploration is the laboratory for the science of Geography."

Dear students, colleagues, and friends of the department:

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science is saddened to report that our former adjunct professor and benefactor of the department's Oak Tree Prize, passed away peacefully on December 30, 2023, after suffering from a stroke two days earlier.

Jack was a native of New York, world traveler, and lover of all things Queens. An urban geographer extraordinaire, he devoted his life to learning and teaching geographic knowledge. He immersed himself in the urban environment, exploring it on foot and moving through it as much as possible, and taking numerous students and friends on these personable walks through the city.

Jack served the Department of Geography and Environmental Science for more than 16 years as educator, advisor, and mentor to graduate, undergraduate, and senior auditor students. For the longest time, he taught our "Geography of New York City Metro Area" course that he converted from a sit-down lecture course to one taught mainly in the field assigning students to walk through specific neighborhoods in the five boroughs and immerse themselves in their own city. It was exploration and observation in the true spirit of our discipline of geography. He firmly believed in the city as an active laboratory with complimentary readings, lectures, and discussion.

Jack was a generous benefactor of our department and was the founder (and funder) of the Oak Tree Prize, a competitive prize awarded annually to support students doing qualitative field work and collecting original data within one or more of the five boroughs of New York City. The Oak Tree Prize is open to all Graduate Geography, GeoInformatics, Undergraduate Geography and Environmental Studies majors at Hunter College with a cash award of $500.

Jack was a passionate proponent of meeting in-person and being able to "see" people through interacting with them face-to-face, growing human connections, building relationships, and cross-pollinating ideas through active engagements. His kind attitude, smile, curiosity, and enjoyment of talking with people are very much missed. Please join us on Friday, March 8th for Jack's Memorial Service at 5 PM - 8 PM at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, 47-49 East 65th Street, New York as we gather with Jack's family, friends and colleagues to celebrate and honor his contributions to our department; GISMO, the organization he founded in 1999; and the people and organizations he cared so deeply about. For those unable to attend in-person, a remote Zoom option is available.

RSVP for memorial service or to share a memory, please do so at

In place of flowers, the family requests those who wish to express their sympathy to consider making a donation to the Queens Historical Society (; Cooper Union (; Queens Botanical Garden (; or the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance ( in Jack Eichenbaum's name.

Warmest regards,

Marianna Pavlovskaya, Ph.D., (she/her)
Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Hunter College - CUNY

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