US National Academy of Sciences Elects Esri’s Dawn Wright

GIS Technology Leader’s Chief Scientist Recognized for Her Original Research

REDLANDS, Calif.—April 27, 2021—Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, today announced that Dr. Dawn Wright, the company’s chief scientist, has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Wright is being honored by the Academy for her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. In addition to her work as chief scientist of Esri, Dr. Wright has been a professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University since 1995 and was integral in building the first geospatial data models of the world’s oceans.

“This is really representative of Esri as a whole,” said Wright. “I’m extremely humbled and honored that my name is associated with this membership. But I have been so fortunate to be working with an amazing variety of brilliant and creative scientists at Esri, as well as students and colleagues at Oregon State University. In both places, the vast majority of my science has been powered by some amazing teamwork.”

“Esri works because it is made up of so many incredibly talented people working together, and Dawn Wright is an indispensable part of why this is such a special, successful company,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “She brings curiosity combined with a truly disciplined scientific research sensibility that elevates everything we do to a higher level than simply that of a tech company.”

Membership in the National Academy of Sciences is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. This year, almost half of the new members elected were women—the most elected in a single year.

Dr. Wright continued, “I am also buoyed by the realization that this will provide many more opportunities for me to help other women and people of color in the sciences to rise, including those pushing the boundaries with GIS and spatial data science.”

Having served on the Science Advisory Boards of both NOAA and the EPA, Wright joined Esri in 2011. Under Wright’s direction, Esri created the Ecological Marine Units (EMUs), a 3D digital ocean from sea surface to seafloor comprised of the most important parameters affecting the ocean’s ecology. It serves as a research tool for ocean planning and projection, while also educating the public about marine environments and how they are affected by climate change.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars, and is committed to furthering science in America. Its members are also active contributors to the international scientific community. Established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, it is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership for outstanding contributions to research.

To view a full list of new members elected to the US National Academy of Sciences, visit

About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at

Copyright © 2021 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, the Esri globe logo, ArcGIS, The Science of Where,, and are trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products or services mentioned herein may be trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of their respective mark owners.

Next Article

Esri and ROK Technologies Strengthen Cloud Offerings to Customers with Platinum Partnership

Read this article