Jerome E "Jerry" Dobson

Jerry Dobson

Dr. Jerome E. “Jerry” Dobson is awarded University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Fellow status to recognize his outstanding contributions to geographic information science (GIScience) and his service to UCGIS. Jerry was an early researcher and pioneer who helped establish the field of GIScience. He earned an AA from Reinhardt College, AB and MA from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Tennessee. In 1975, he began his career with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, continuing there until 2001 when he joined the faculty in the Department of Geography at the University of Kansas. Jerry’s outstanding career has provided him significant honor and affiliation including current positions as President of the American Geographical Society, Jefferson Science Fellow of the National Academies, Senior Scientist in the U.S. Department of State, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and member of Sigma Xi. His previous affiliations have included Distinguished Research and Development Staff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, contributing editor and Board of Directors of GIS World (later GeoWorld) where he wrote a popular column for 14 years, and U.S. Delegate and Expert to the International Organization for Standardization. His honors include the Robert T. Aangeenbrug Distinguished Career Award from the GIS Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, and the Cartography and Geographic Information Society’s Distinguished Career Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Dr. Dobson made major contributions to geography and geographic information systems and science including the first GIS research article published in a mainstream geographical journal (Geographical Review, 1979). His research topics have included water availability for energy, protocols for large‐area land cover change analysis based on remote sensing, and the role of iodine in human evolution. Other work has examined evidence for previously undiscovered paleogeographic links among continents. Dr. Dobson published an early seminal article on “Automated Geography” (The Professional Geographer, 1983). This article and additional work by Dr. Dobson and others led the National Science Foundation to fund the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. Dr. Dobson’s recent work has included mapping global population distribution, testing and improving new technology for mapping minefields without walking on them, and an examination of the societal implications of geospatial technology for human tracking and geoslavery. Most recently he has led five Bowman Expeditions to employ GIS in improving U. S. understanding of foreign peoples and places.

Dr. Dobson was among the original founders of UCGIS and served as its second president. He led the initial efforts to formulate the UCGIS research agenda and helped establish a strong UCGIS Congressional program.

UCGIS is pleased to award Dr. Jerome E. Dobson with 2011 UCGIS Fellows status.

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