Esri's Chief Scientist

Dawn Wright on GIS, conservation, climate, and ocean science.

Feb 6th, 2012

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00:01[Music playing.]

00:33Hi, there. I'd like to introduce myself and the fairly unique position of chief scientist here at Esri.

00:41Science is actually a cross-cutting industry that Esri serves but would like to serve much better.

00:47There are many aspects of science that you're probably already familiar with, such as geographic information science.

00:54This is the science behind the systems that deals with the…the issues surrounding the use of GIS,…

01:02…the removal of barriers to the effective use of the technology, and even the ethics of that use.

01:08Then there are the natural sciences that include climate science, conservation science, ecology, geology and geophysics,…

01:18…forestry, agricultural science, and much more.

01:23Hence, we see GIS as the technology that integrates science into many, many practical work efforts.

01:31Ocean science is also big in this regard and hopefully, you've heard of the new ocean GIS initiative…

01:38…that's going on across the entire company, with some wonderful efforts that are going on…

01:44…particularly with the maritime team in Professional Services and their development…

01:48…of the new bathymetric information system, the new ocean basemap, several coastal and marine spatial decision support tools…

01:58…especially the sea sketch ocean geodesign platform that we are developing in close collaboration with UC Santa Barbara…

02:06…and many more.

02:08I'm involved in helping to lead the ocean GIS initiative across the company as my own expertise is in ocean science…

02:15…and over the past 20 years, I've been involved in several expeditions at sea, particularly to look at processes on the ocean floor…

02:23…and then there are also the studies that I've done in geographic information science.

02:30My PhD is from UC Santa Barbara, where I was mentored by ocean optics pioneer Ray Smith,…

02:37…by the father of geographic information science, Mike Goodchild; and by ocean exploration pioneers…

02:43…Rachel Hayman and Ken McDonald.

02:46I came to Esri from Oregon State University where I'm still a professor of geography and oceanography there.

02:54And in that role, I coordinated the campus Esri site license; directed the OSU graduate, undergraduate…

03:03…and working professional certificates in geographic information science;…

03:07…and also directed a sea floor mapping and marine GIS laboratory known as Davy Jones Locker.

03:15So that's me. But let's now turn to some specifics as to what a chief scientist at Esri actually does…

03:22…especially as we've received quite a few questions about this.

03:25Well, first and foremost, my job is to assist Jack Dangermond and the directors with science strategy…

03:32…so that GIS continues to be an effective medium through which scientists can do their best work.

03:38I report directly to Jack, as I seek to represent Esri to the international science community…

03:46…and also to bring the latest in science trends and ideas back to the company.

03:52So this means working closely with the National Academy of Sciences;…

03:56…serving on the science advisory board of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA;…

04:03…serving on the Science Advisory Council of Conservation International;…

04:07…participating in NSF initiatives, such as Earth Cube, which is seeking to build a cyber infrastructure for all of the geosciences;…

04:16…and keeping abreast of the latest scientific journals and books.

04:20I'm also working with Jack on building new partnerships with organizations such as Global Oceans;…

04:26…with President Obama's National Ocean Council and the National Ocean Policy,…

04:32…with the Maps for Science Initiative in the Netherlands, the European Marine Observation and Data Network, and many more.

04:42My work also involves doing science reviews for colleagues here at Esri on statements of work, project proposals and reports,…

04:50…and other research and development scientific activities.

04:54I also work to help connect Esri personnel with a larger, broader network of GI scientists and natural scientists,…

05:02…suggesting names of great speakers for Esri events, making connections between Esri personnel and great scientists…

05:10…to work on demos, or in working with Esri personnel to turn cutting-edge research into viable Esri products.

05:18I organize and lead workshops, summits, and conferences to evolve geographic methods and analytic tools…

05:24…that help scientists to do better science and to facilitate technology transfer directly into Esri products.

05:32And as in the academic world, there are research projects to complete and papers and initiatives to present at conferences…

05:39…and other events, especially where there is a need to communicate Esri's deep commitment to science…

05:45…and its integration into just about everything that we do here at Esri.

05:50So that's a brief look into the world of an Esri chief scientist, and thanks so much for watching.

Copyright 2014 Esri
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