Day 2 Keynote

Why the World Needs Geospatial Now More than Ever

Dr. Dawn Wright

1:00 – 2:00 PM (PT) | 4:00 – 5:00 PM (ET)

About the Presentation

It is a huge understatement to say that our human footprint upon planet Earth is creating a host of challenges for all of us, as individuals, organizations, broader societies, species of all kinds. We're losing biodiversity at a rapid rate. Our destruction of habitat is becoming more closely linked to the appearance of disease pandemics. We're facing the challenges of water and food shortages. Unconstrained development as projected into the near future, is just not sustainable. The clock is against us on the climate change front. Hence, it is under the rubic of “use-inspired” that many of us undertake science today, believing in the mandate of science to assist in solving the world’s biggest problems, fostering resilience along the way. At the same time, our digital technologies are enabling us as humans, to make huge advancements in science, in communication, and in being connected, accelerating everything, reshaping our very existence. This talk will focus on various geospatial technologies as an enabler of science as it serves a myriad of environmental professions, providing continually better frameworks for measurement, visualization, predictive mapping, and interpretation, but also of intelligent planning, systematic decision making and collaborative action.

About the Speaker

Dawn Wright
Chief Scientist

Dr. Dawn Wright is Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka Esri), a world-leading geographic information system (GIS) software and data science company. Core to Esri’s mission is to inspire and enable people to positively impact their future by connecting them with the geoanalytic knowledge needed to make the critical decisions shaping the planet. Hence, Esri believes that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future.

As Chief Scientist, Dawn is responsible for strengthening the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while representing Esri to the scientific community. As such, she has served on many advisory boards including the NOAA and EPA Science Advisory Boards, the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board, and the Science Advisory Boards of Conservation International, COMPASS Science Communication, and the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE. Dawn is also a Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, The Oceanography Society, and the California Academy of Sciences, as well as Stanford’s Leopold Leadership Program. She enjoys road cycling, 18th-century pirates, her dog Riley, and SpongeBob Squarepants. Follow her on Twitter @deepseadawn.