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May 19, 2021

Dr. Joseph Kerski Selected for UCGIS 2021 Lifetime Achievement in GIScience Education Award

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University College is excited to announce that Dr. Joseph J. Kerski, GIS program adjunct instructor, has been selected as the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) 2021 Lifetime Achievement in GIScience Education Award!

“Dr. Kerski’s decades’ worth of contributions to GIScience education and his support of GIS and geography students and educators is legendary,” said the UCGIS award announcement.

Dr. Kerski, education manager at Esri, is internationally recognized as one of the most influential, enthusiastic, and effective proponents of education involving geographic information science and its related technologies in the world today. UCGIS is recognizing his career-long dedication to staying abreast of the latest technologies and conceptual thinking in GIS education and unparalleled energy to produce and provision others with resources in a myriad of media and with diverse delivery methods.

“Having worked in four major sectors of society (academia, non-profit, private industry, and government, as a Geographer and Cartographer with NOAA, US Census Bureau, and USGS), he brings experienced perspectives about GIScience, GIS, and geospatial technologies to every conversation he has,” said UCGIS.

Dr. Kerski believes in transforming teaching and learning via geotechnologies by writing and speaking extensively, something that has been invaluable to his many students at University College, as well as the GIS industry alike. He has authored or co-authored eight books and over 100 peer-reviewed chapters and articles, but his reach into educational audiences is most profound via his production of open access resources: instructional videos (over 5,000), blog essays (over 1,500), and lessons and other curricular items (over 2,000). He has made educationally focused presentations at about 350 schools and 150 universities, at 150 major conferences, in 16 countries, and on five continents. Each year, he teaches dozens of workshops and presents at numerous conferences, nationally and internationally.

A lifelong learner himself, Dr. Kerski has worked tirelessly to bring GIScience and spatial learning to all members of the profession, to his students and the educational community, and to the general public.

“Every key issue of our 21st Century world, including energy, water, supply chain, health, equity, natural hazards, is spatial in nature,” Dr. Kerski said. “They are complex, geographic, and increasingly affect our everyday lives. Understanding them and solving them is the ultimate goal of using GIS. People using GIS are building a healthier, more resilient, more sustainable future, and that’s why I never tire of telling students, faculty, and administrators about these tools, data sets, and perspectives.”

Dr. Kerski’s efforts have never gone unnoticed. According to UCGIS, his supporters noted, “Joseph has to be one of the most broadly curious and supportive colleagues I know and surely the most generous to the whole educational community with his ideas and knowledge,” and “Joseph is a born educator with a drive to teach as well as to learn that is almost miraculous. I have known many industrious educators in my 45 years of teaching, but none with the energy and drive he brings to his craft.”

UCGIS will honor Dr. Kerski and other award recipients during its annual symposium, online in June 2021.

“Receiving an award from one’s own peers is always the most meaningful. And what makes this especially wonderful is that the UCGIS community is one I have long-lasting and deep respect for. They are truly the world leaders in the Geographic Information Sciences. I have known many inspiring people using GIS in many sectors of society and therefore receiving this award is humbling, but I’m thankful to be a part of a wider community making a positive difference in the world and in people’s lives,” Dr. Kerski said about the honor.

Congratulations, Dr. Kerski! Read more about his well-deserved honor on the UCGIS website.

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