The 2009 Recipient of the AAG-GIS SG's Robert T. Aangeenbrug Distinguished Career Award is  Dr. Jerry Dobson (Department of Geography, University of Kansas)

Jerome E. Dobson

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.

Jennifer A Miller

Chair, AAG GISSG (2008-2009).