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Nikki Inglis Is NC State’s 2020 Esri Development Center Student of the Year

Nikki Inglis

Geospatial Analytics doctoral student Nikki Inglis has been making a splash with her cutting-edge research on wildland fire and predicting scenic views under climate change, and she is now NC State’s 2020 Esri Development Center Student of the Year.

The honor recognizes her remarkable work (currently under review at a peer-reviewed journal) developing VISTAFiRe, or Visual Interpretation of the SpatioTemporal Arrangement of Fire Regimes. Nikki describes VISTAFiRe as “an interactive, reproducible visualization tool designed to spark insight into the dynamics of fire patterns across space and time.” The system uses “a cadre of open source visualization tools such as Plotly, Crosstalk and Mapbox,” she explains, “and leverages National Park Service data powered by Esri databases to quickly organize, classify and visualize fire patterns for fire managers and the public.” 

“The Esri databases managed by National Parks and other agencies provide the bridge between the on-the-ground knowledge and academic research. None of this work would be possible without these partnerships,” Nikki says.

The Esri Development Center (EDC) Program for Higher Education was established by Esri, the world’s top commercial GIS software company, to “confer special status and benefits upon a select few leading university departments that challenge their students to develop innovative applications based upon the ArcGIS platform.” The Center for Geospatial Analytics was invited by Esri to become an EDC in Fall 2017. Each EDC worldwide can honor one student each year who has shown exemplary work in the area of GIS development and application. 

The award comes with a $500 prize, a certificate of award and free Esri Press book. In addition, Nikki’s name will be engraved on a plaque that resides at the Center for Geospatial Analytics, and she will be entered into the pool of all EDC student winners worldwide, from which one winner will be selected.

Nikki is NC State’s third annual awardee. She is advised by faculty fellow Jelena Vukomanovic and joined NC State in Fall 2018 as a member of the first cohort of students to enroll in the Center for Geospatial Analytics doctoral program.

Congratulations, Nikki, on your achievement!