Professor Ronald H. Buchanan
B.A., PhD., OBE, M.R.I.A.
A graduate in geography of The Queen’s University of Belfast, Professor Buchanan was Director of the University’s Institute of Irish Studies from 1982 until 1993. He was previously Reader in Geography and now holds a personal chair in that subject. Has held short-term appointments at various times in universities in the U.S.A. and in Canada, and undertaken research in Brazil, Japan and several countries of western Europe. Chief research interests are the man-made landscape, its evolution, conservation and planning, and he has many publications in these fields, mainly relating to Ireland.
Prior to his retirement, his membership of professional bodies included the Institute of British Geographers, British Agricultural History Society and the Folk Life Society. He is also a former member of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape. He was also a member of the Cultural Traditions Committee of the Community Relations Council. He was elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 1987, and held office as a member of the council and Vice-President (1992-96).
Involvement in conservation began in 1965 with membership of the Ulster Countryside Committee, a statutory advisory body to the Northern Ireland government on landscape conservation and rural amenity; became vice-chairman and remained a member until 1978. Currently a member of the Historic Monuments Council for Northern Ireland (advisory to DOE NI), and of National Monuments Advisory Council of the Republic of Ireland. Also served on rural amenity committee of Sports Council for Northern Ireland and acted as N.I. representative on the U.K. Committee for European Year of the Environment in 1987-88. Membership of conservation bodies includes R.S.P.B., Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, Ulster society for Preservation of the Countryside (Chairman 1980-1990) and Ulster Wildlife Trust. Established umbrella organisation for N.I. voluntary bodies, Northern Ireland Environment Group (now Northern Ireland Environment Link) and chaired it from 1980-1987; also former chairman of Mournes Advisory council, a member of Strangford Lough Advisory and Co-ordinating Council, both area-based conservation bodies. A life member of the National Trust, he was chairman of the Northern Ireland Regional Committee of the National Trust between 1991 and 2000, and a member of the National Council and the Executive. A former trustee of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and Board Member of the Northern Ireland Museums' Council he was also a member of the Museums and Galleries Commission, 1995-99.