2009 Recipient of the AAG-GIS SG's Robert T. Aangeenbrug
Distinguished Career Award is
Jerry Dobson (Department of Geography, University of Kansas)
Dr. Jerry Dobson (Department of Geography, University of Kansas)
The GISSG is delighted to announce the winner of the 2009 Robert T.
Aangeenbrug Distinguished Career Award: Professor Jerome (Jerry) Dobson from
the University of Kansas. Jerry received his bachelorˇ¦s and masterˇ¦s
degrees in Geography from the University of Georgia and his Ph.D. in
Geography from the University of Tennessee. He is currently president of
the American Geographical Society (AGS) where he leads the societyˇ¦s efforts
to establish GIS research programs in foreign countries, and he was recently
nominated a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science in 2007.
Jerry has been a stalwart supporter of the GIS
movement since the 1970s and a tireless advocate for both GIS and
Geography. He took his first GIS course in 1973, and for more than three
decades Jerry has fought a two-front battle persuading geographers that GIS
is essential to geography while simultaneously trying to convince the GIS
community that geography is the disciplinary home of GIS and must be the
scientific foundation for GIS. His 1983 article on ˇ§Automated Geographyˇ¨ in
The Professional Geographer is considered a turning point in both
communities, and his GIS World/GeoWorld column (1991-2004) ˇ§The G in GISˇ¨
influenced a generation of professionals in both communities.
In the mid-1980s he proposed the National Center for
Geographic Information and Analysis and led the ad hoc committee that
successfully convinced the White House and Congress to fund it. Jerry was
among the original founders of both the AAG GIS Specialty Group and the
University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. Jerry has made
numerous impressive research contributions employing GIS and automated
geographic methods, most notably leading the development of the LandScan
Global Population Database, now the de facto world standard for estimating
populations at risk during natural disasters, wars, and terrorist acts.
While simultaneously touting the power of GIS, he has also worked to raise
awareness of the societal implications of geo-technology and coined the term
ˇ§geoslaveryˇ¨ with Peter Fisher in reference to GIS-based human tracking
systems. A recent 2007 article "Bring Back Geography!" in ArcNews is yet
another example of the tremendous effort heˇ¦s put into enhancing public
understanding of the GIS and geographic revolution. His recent work has
taken on a humanitarian theme with developing a new world standard for the
cartographic representation of landmines and minefields.
Chair, AAG GISSG (2008-2009).