Plenary Session

Jack Dangermond, Founder and President of Esri

A landscape architect by training, Jack Dangermond founded Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in 1969 with a vision that computer mapping and analysis could help us design a better future. Under Dangermond's leadership, that vision has continued to guide Esri in creating cutting-edge GIS and GeoDesign technologies used in every industry to make a difference worldwide.

Dangermond fostered the growth of Esri from a small research group to an organization recognized as the world leader in GIS software development. Esri employs 2,700 people in the U.S.; many who shared his passion for GIS in the early days are still with the company and remain dedicated to helping our users be successful.



M.S., Landscape Architecture, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, 1969

M.S., Urban Planning, Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, 1968

B.S., Landscape Architecture, California Polytechnic College–Pomona, 1967

Honorary Doctorates

University of Greenwich, London, 2013

University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, 2013

Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts, 2011

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2008

Loma Linda University, California, 2006

University of Arizona, Tucson, 2006

Technical University for Civil Engineering of Bucharest - Romania, 2005

California Polytechnic University – Pomona, 2005

State University of New York – Buffalo, 2005

University of West Hungary, 2003

City University of London, 2002

University of Redlands, 1999

Ferris State University, 1993

Selected Awards

Champions of the Earth Award, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2013 Alexander Graham Bell Medal, National Geographic Society, 2010 Patron's Medal, Royal Geographical Society, 2010 Public-Private Partnership Award, National Governors Association, 2009 Carl Mannerfelt Medal, International Cartographic Association, 2008 Outstanding Service Award, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 2007 Inductee, GIS Hall of Fame, Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, 2005 Outstanding Service Award, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), 2007

Henry Shaw Medal, Missouri Botanical Garden, 2006 Fellow of ITC, The Netherlands, 2004 Distinguished Public Service Award for outstanding contributions to national and international affairs, U.S. Department of State, The Secretary's Open Forum, 2002 08/2010 LaGasse Medal for Excellence in the Management of Public Lands and Natural Resources in the Public Interest, American Society of Landscape Architects, 2000 Brock Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievements in the Evolution of Spatial Information Sciences, International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 2000 Cullum Geographical Medal of Distinction for the advancement of geographical science, American Geographical Society, 1999 EDUCAUSE Medal for developing outstanding, technology-based teaching and learning programs in geography, EDUCAUSE in partnership with the Association of American Geographers, 1999 James R. Anderson Medal of Honor in Applied Geography, Association of American Geographers, 1998 Ed Forrest Award for Excellence in Design/Construction Design Automation, A/E/C Systems International, 1997 John Wesley Powell Award, U.S. Geological Survey, 1996

Professional Organizations

Census Advisory Science Committee

The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), Board Member

National Geospatial Advisory Committee, NGAC

National Geographic Education Foundation, NGS

Earth System Science and Applications Advisory Committee, NASA

Science and Technology Advisory Committee, NASA

National Steering Committee, Task Force on National Digital Cartographic Standards

Role, International Eurasian Academy of Sciences

Executive Board, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA)

National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT)

Information Impacts Committee, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Board of NCGIA—University of California at Santa Barbara

National Science Foundation: SBE Advisory Committee and AC-ERE Advisory Council

Committee on Social Science Association (COSSA)

Committee on Geography, National Academy of Science

President's Engineering Advisory Council, University of California at Berkeley

Editorial Advisory Board, GEO World

Editorial Advisory Board, Geospatial Solutions

Breece Robertson

National Geographic Information Systems Director, The Trust for Public Land

“Using GIS to Create Healthy Parks for Healthy People and Climate-Smart Cities”

The Trust for Public Land's Parks for People Initiative seeks to ensure that everyone-particularly every child- lives within a ten-minute walk to a park, playground, or protected natural area. We particularly focus our efforts on low-income, historically underserved neighborhoods working with a diverse group of partners to create livable, healthy, and resilient communities. A healthy, greener and more livable city brings economic development, new residents and businesses, recreation opportunities for a healthy and active population, a healthier living environment, and myriad other benefits. The Trust for Public Land is demonstrating how strategic green space planning using GIS tools and frameworks, contributes to resilient cities through better integration and connection of existing green investments. This presentation will introduce the Trust's national Parks for People tools like the ParkScore® Index and overview resiliency plans for communities that are aimed at the following outcomes: healthy parks for healthy people and sustainability and green infrastructure for climate-smart cities.


Breece Robertson is the National Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Director for The Trust for Public Land. Ms. Robertson joined The Trust for Public Land in 2001 to create a comprehensive, coordinated GIS program for the national land conservation organization. Today she provides leadership for the trust’s Enterprise GIS program that is the leading provider of “Land for People” science in the country. Ms. Robertson manages a cutting-edge team of GIS staff and consultants nationwide. The team works on projects ranging from city and county open space plans to multi-jurisdictional modeling efforts that cover a wide range of “Land for People” issues like park system analyses, health disparities, storm water management, climate change issues, wildlife protection, protecting clean drinking water and connecting communities.

The Trust for Public Land’s ConservationVision and GIS service weds community engagement to cutting-edge data and mapping technologies to help cities and communities create informed, forward-looking park and conservation plans. Esri, the world’s leading manufacturer of geographic information system (GIS) technology, twice has honored our GIS service for innovation in helping communities meet park and conservation goals. In 2006, The Trust for Public Land was awarded the Esri Special Achievement in GIS award and in 2012, the “Making a Difference” award – a prestigious presidential award. Ms. Robertson presents at conferences annually around the country and is featured in and has authored many publications. Ms. Robertson graduated from Appalachian State University with a Masters degree in Geography and Planning.

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