It is perhaps a huge understatement to say that our human footprint upon planet Earth is creating a host of challenges for all of us—as individuals, organizations, broader societies, and species of all kinds. We’re losing biodiversity at a rapid rate. Our destruction of habitat is becoming more closely linked to the appearance of disease pandemics. We’re facing the challenges of water and food shortages. Unconstrained development, as projected into the near future, is just not sustainable. The clock is against us on the climate change front. Hence, it is under the rubic of “use-inspired” that many of us undertake science today, believing in its mandate to assist in solving the world’s biggest problems and fostering resilience along the way. At the same time, our digital technologies are enabling us as humans to make huge advancements in science, communication, and connectivity— accelerating everything andreshaping our very existence. This talk will focus on the category of geospatial digital technologies as an enabler of science—providing continually better frameworks for measurement, visualization, predictive mapping, and interpretation—but also of intelligent planning, systematic decision-making, and collaborative action.

Dr. Dawn Wright: Chief Scientist, Esri; Professor of Geography and Oceanography, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University