UNC Asheville’s NEMAC honored for special achievement in GIS

Greg Dobson, NEMAC'S director of geospatial technology, displays the SAG award. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

From UNC Asheville:

UNC Asheville’s NEMAC Honored for Special Achievement in GIS

Geographic Information System Provider Esri Awards NEMAC at Annual User Conference

San Diego, California—June 30, 2016—Esri, a world leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, presented UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) with a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award June 29 at their annual User Conference. Selected from over 300,000 eligible candidates, NEMAC received the award for its innovative application of technology, data collection, geospatial information visualization, and thought leadership through GIS in the fields of environmental science, climate, and sustainability and resilience planning.

“The SAG Awards serve a great purpose,” said Esri founder and president Jack Dangermond. “A Special Achievement in GIS Award recognizes best practices for organizations implementing technology to change the world. Highlighting good work benefits the entire GIS community and that’s very valuable.”

Over the last 10 years, NEMAC has utilized GIS technology to:
· Increase the awareness and understanding of flood-related issues through 3D GIS visualization,
· Build spatial and analytical tools that allow forest and land managers to detect threats to our nation’s forests,
· Support local and regional land use, transportation, and economic planning, and
· Design interactive web applications to allow communities and businesses to better access climate information.

“GIS technology allows us to take data and information that traditionally may not be easy to intepret and turn that into actionable decisions,” said Greg Dobson, director of geospatial technology for NEMAC. “By combining spatial analytics with high-tech visualization, we can design and build interactve systems that help communities and organizations better understand complex issues that they may face.”

NEMAC was one of 167 organizations in fields such as agriculture, defense, transportation, non-profit, telecommunications, and state and local government to receive a SAG Award. Esri staff nominate thousands of candidates annually from around the world for consideration and company president Dangermond selects the finalists.

“SAG winners are diverse in their geographical representation by design,” Dangermond said. “We purposely focus on the different regions of the world because we’re looking for best practices of GIS in different cultures and different geographies.”

For more information on how NEMAC conducts applied research through the application of GIS, visit nemac.unca.edu.

UNC Asheville’s NEMAC, established in 2003, specializes in science communication and the development of decision support tools for local, regional, and national decision makers, planners, and the public. Our team of scientists, designers, software developers, and communicators work collaboratively to develop tools that include web applications, interactive GIS applications, multimedia delivery technologies, and print media. NEMAC supports its applied research through mechanisms such as grants, contracts, and agreements with our various partners, including federal agencies; city, county, and state governments; and local entrepreneurs. Learn more at nemac.unca.edu.

About Esri
Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at esri.com/news.

About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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