Previous Award Winners

2017 Winners

Carolyn Fish is a PhD Candidate at The Pennsylvania State University. Her dissertation research examines how expert cartographers in the news media and government agencies design climate change maps for the public. The goal of her research is to understand: 1) the current state of climate change maps in media – where they are produced, what and how they illustrate climate change, 2) the goals of the cartographers who design these maps and how they fulfill these goals, and 3) how map users view the effectiveness of cartographic communication of climate change. Carolyn’s research will demonstrate the importance of maps in climate change communication, as well as inform cartographic best practices. Her PhD advisor is Cynthia A. Brewer.
Daniel Stephen finished his Master’s degree in winter of 2016 at Oregon State University, advised by Dr. Bernhard Jenny. For his thesis work he collaborated with Dr. Jenny and others to develop algorithms and cartographic tools for automatically creating flow maps that are easy to read and comparable in aesthetic quality to similar flow maps made manually by cartographers. His professional objectives are to make geographic information more accessible to the public through the development of easy-to-use web tools and desktop applications, and to promote better communication of critical geographical information through good cartography and innovative GIS technology.
Kristen Vincent is a Master’s student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Cartography and Geographic Information Systems, advised by Dr. Robert Roth. With her thesis research, she is examining the complexity of cartographic interfaces and the impact on map-based decision-making using a case study in transnational regulation and trade of hazardous waste. She is also part of a research team studying the North American hazardous waste trade, which was the inspiration for her thesis project case study. Her research will contribute to both the science and practice of cartographic interaction, as well as spatial decision support. Kristen is also a co-organizer of Maptime Madison.


2016 Winners

Yingjie Hu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography at University of California Santa Barbara. His research involves geospatial semantics, spatial data mining, and spatial decision support. He is especially interested in the interactions between people and geographic information. On the one side, he looks at the geographic information generated by people (e.g., through GPS-enabled devices or social media platforms), and aims to extract knowledge from these big geo data. On the other side, he develops methods and algorithms to facilitate the use of geographic information in professional decision making as well as a person’s daily life. His PhD advisor is Dr. Krzysztof Janowicz.
Kelsi Davis is a Master’s student in the Spatial Ecology and Conservation (SPEC) Lab at the University of Alabama. Kelsi’s thesis research focuses on assessing the variables that influence aboveground biomass and carbon variation in a high density Costa Rican tropical rainforest and quantifying this by linking remotely sensed data to field plot data via geospatial software. Kelsi’s research will contribute to climate mitigation, biodiversity conservation and the development of geospatial aboveground biomass quantification for this region in the future. Kelsi’s advisors are Dr. Eben Broadbent and Dr. Angelica Almeyda Zambrano.
Rudy Omri is a Master’s student in geography at University of Oregon, advised by Dr. Amy Lobben. His research focuses on neocartography, volunteered geographic information (VGI) and geography of social media where he examines spatiotemporal variability of sampled data representativeness that is voluntarily submitted through Twitter. Outside of his research domain, he is interested in cartography, particularly in cartographic design, interactive mapping, web-based maps and cartographic journalism. Rudy is a co-organizer of Maptime Eugene. 

2015 Winners

Bojan Šavrič is a Doctoral student at Oregon State University advised by Dr. Bernhard Jenny. Bojan’s research interests are map projections, mathematical techniques in cartography, and the development of tools for cartographers. In his doctoral research, he develops various models to improve map projections for scalable web maps and to automate the selection of map projections and their projection parameters. Bojan is a member of the ICA Commission on Map Projections.
Pai Hui Yu is a Master’s student at Arizona State University. In her research and current work she uses GIS to visualize and analyze how community development and sustainability implementations related to healthy food access, water, energy, and transportation management can improve the overall quality of life. She uses data collected from neighborhood surveys to develop informative maps and efficiently pin-point target areas for sustainability development. Through her work, she hopes to create a framework which aims at capturing how sustainability practices can affect neighborhood satisfaction and ultimately convey results to government and city decision-makers. She is advised by Stephanie Deitrick.
Annalisa Ingegno is a Masters student in geography at the University of Montana. Her thesis research focuses on managing sampling bias when using species distribution models to predict habitat for a rare subgenus of fern, Botrychium sp. She has broad interests in natural resource conservation as well as computer science; Annalisa is attaining certificates in both Natural Resource Conflict Resolution and Big Data Analytics while completing her masters. Annalisa is also active in the Alliance of Disability and Students at the University of Montana where she works to expand the accessibility of electronic media, including geographic information, to all students.

2014 Winners

Song Gao is a Doctoral student at UC Santa Barbara. His research interests include Big Geo-Data Analytics and Place-Based GIS (PBGIS) and he plans to investigate the nature of place by harvesting and conflating multiple data sources such as gazetteers, online social media and volunteered geographic information. His advisors in the Geography Department are Dr. Krzysztof Janowicz and Dr. Michael F. Goodchild.
Mingshu Wang is a Masters student at the University of Georgia. His research interests expands upon the GIS work that he has done for the World Wildlife Fund where he worked on assessing the marine environment of Indonesia with remote sensing and machine learning to explain how biophysical environments dictate marine biodiversity. As a follow-up, he is linking these results with mangrove conservation. His advisor in the Geography Department is Dr. Marguerite Madden.
Helena Merschdorf is a Masters student at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Her research interests include examining: whether there is a “dominant” paradigmatic approach in GIScience and identifying a need for adopting a multi-paradigmatic view to accommodate the multi-faceted nature of space, spatial representations and the societal implications of geospatial information; and the spatial contextualization of subjective quality of life indicators, in order to be able to relate them with their objective counterparts. Her advisor in the Centre for Geoinformatics is Dr. Thomas Blaschke.

2013 Winners

Alexandre Bevington is a Masters student at the University of Ottawa. His advisor in the Geography Department is Antoni Lewkowicz and is working on spatial modeling of permafrost conditions in Yukon. He will not be able to make AAG in Los Angeles since he will be attending a one month course at the University Center in Svalbard at that time.
John Brakeall is a Masters student at Florida International University. His advisor in the Geography Department is Jeffrey Onsted and is working on decision making related to wildfire-modeling in Mexico. He won’t be attending the AAG meeting this year since his thesis research is still in the early works so he doesn’t anticipate presenting his work until the summer.
Paulo Raposo is a Doctoral student at Penn State University. His advisor in the Geography Department is Cynthia Brewer and his proposed dissertation research focuses on spatial pattern comparison between raster datasets before and after generalization. Since he serves as the Secretary to the CaGIS board, he will be at the AAG meeting in LA.

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