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Fall 2011 Edition

Esri Welcomes "Deepsea Dawn" Aboard

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Ocean scientist, geographer, and notable authority in geographic information science, Dawn J. Wright, aka Deepsea Dawn, joins Esri as its chief scientist.

"In her capacity as chief scientist, she will interface with government, business, industry, and the public and collaborate with them to understand and find solutions for our planet," said Esri president Jack Dangermond. In this position, Wright will help formulate and advance the intellectual agenda for the environmental, conservation, climate, and ocean science aspects of Esri's work and represent Esri in the national/international scientific community.

For the past 16 years, Wright has combined her expertise as a geographer and GIS user to map the seafloor, design geospatial solutions for coastal mapping and charting, and advise organizations on oceanography and fisheries. Wright has teamed with scientists worldwide in using GIS to map and analyze terrains, ecosystems, and habitat and worked with the GIS community in developing data models and creating solutions for analyzing the ocean. She serves on the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board.

Wright, currently a professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University, will continue to be affiliated with the university. Her research interests include geographic information science; ocean informatics and cyberinfrastructure; benthic terrain and habitat characterization; and the processing and interpretation of high-resolution bathymetry, video, and underwater photographic images.

Named US Professor of the Year for the state of Oregon by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in 2007, she is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a new fellow of the Stanford University Aldo Leopold Leadership Program in science communication.

Wright received a doctorate in physical geography and marine geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; a master's degree in oceanography from Texas A&M; and a bachelor's degree with honors from Wheaton College in Illinois. She is also certified by the GIS Certification Institute as a GIS professional (GISP).

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