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Celebrating Student Achievements 2021–2022

Spring blooms around the Belltowe

This past academic year brought a lot to celebrate at the Center for Geospatial Analytics! Below is a sampling of the outstanding work accomplished by the Center’s graduate students since last July. Congratulations to all!

Doctoral Students

  • Published 10 peer-reviewed articles, including first-author papers in Remote Sensing of Environment, Landscape Ecology and Environmental Research Letters.
  • Deja Perkins was honored by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper as a Black STEM leader. She also won the National Wildlife Federation’s 2022 National Conservation Achievement Award in the category of Young Leader, was featured in NC State Alumni Magazine, and received a Witherspoon Graduate Fellowship for Summer 2022.
  • Alex Yoshizumi received an Energy Data Analytics Ph.D. Fellowship.
  • Research led by Elyssa Collins was covered by The News & Observer, WUNC Public Radio, WNCT (CBS 9 Greenvile, NC), CBS 17 (Raleigh, NC), Mirage News, Futurity, OBX Today, Law 360, and the Association of Flood Plain Mappers.
  • Research led by Katie McQuillan was covered by Verve Times, Science Daily, Futurity, and Nature World News.
  • Elyssa Collins accepted a summer internship with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, working with the Water & Ecosystems lab on the project “Open Science for Hydrology.”
  • Varun Tiwari won the poster competition in the “Sustainable materials, technologies, and economics” category (for Ph.D. students) at the CNR Graduate Research Symposium with his poster “Evaluation of Spectral Reconstruction Technique for Mineral and Snow Grain Size Mapping.”
  • Alex Yoshizumi won the Center’s Advocate Award.
  • Elyssa Collins won the Center’s Beacon Award.
  • Laura Wendelberger, Jenna Abrahamson and Owen Smith were on the team that won the Center’s Collaboration & Innovation Award.
  • Caitlin Haedrich won the Center’s Creativity in Teaching Award.
  • Laura Wendelberger won the Center’s Interdisciplinary Advancement Award.
  • Kimia Karimi, won first place at the 2022 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Geospatial Water Technology Conference Paper Competition.
  • Randi Butler won first place in the Homegrown category of the PackPics infographics and research showcase competition hosted by the NC State Graduate School
  • Christopher Dunstan was accepted to the Data4Justice Accelerator program and received a Witherspoon Graduate Fellowship for Summer 2022.

Professional Master’s in Geospatial Information Science & Technology (MGIST) Students

  • Over the academic year, 34 students collaborated with 30 community or industry partners to develop geospatial solutions as part of their service-learning capstone experience
  • In the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters, graduating MGIST students competed in a poster competition to showcase their service-learning projects: Aidan Thurling won in Fall 2021, and ­­­­­­­­­­­­Katie Kolcusky won in Spring 2022.
  • Peter Erlenbach was profiled by DELTA News and was chosen to represent the Center for Geospatial Analytics as student speaker at the December 2021 graduation ceremony.
  • Joe Kepler was selected for a Defense and Intelligence student intern position for the 2002 Summer Conference on Applied Data Science (SCADS), hosted by the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences at NC State.
  • Rachel Porter was named NC State’s 2022 Esri Innovation Program Student of the Year.
  • Bill Herzig won the Center’s Gladys West Award.

Geospatial Graduate Student Organization (GGSO)

The GGSO is a university-recognized community that supports all graduate students affiliated with the Center, both on-campus and online (M.S., Ph.D., MGIST and Graduate Certificate in GIS). Led by students for students, the GGSO advances networking in the geospatial community, provides a platform for research and offers social events. This year, the GGSO:

  • Planned and coordinated a week-long series of professional development events for GIS Week 2021, including a Spatial Connect Career Fair and UAS workshop.
  • Organized the W.E.B. Du Bois Visualization Exhibit, a data visualization showcase designed to celebrate the visualization work of W.E.B. Du Bois as well as elevate data visualizations centered around racial justice and equity research; the exhibit debuted during GIS Week 2021 as both a physical installation at Hunt Library and an online gallery.
  • Hosted a variety of social events intended to bring together members of the Center community: a Welcome Picnic at Dorothea Dix Park in August 2021, a Landsat 9 Launch Party in September 2021, Holiday Party in December 2021, regular post-Geospatial Forum socials, group attendance at Durham Bulls and Carolina Hurricanes games and outings to 21+ Nights at Marbles Children’s Museum.
  • Hosted four Lunch & Learn workshops: “The World Turned Upside Down: Decolonizing Maps and Science” (October 2021), “From Files in Git to GitHub Actions Magic” (March 2022), “GRASS GIS with Python in Binder” (March 2022), “Career Pathways in Geospatial Analytics” (April 2022).