Aug. 7, 2012
Northwest graduate student’s case study earns first-place award
Davie Crawford, a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University’s geographic information science master’s program, recently won first place in the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) 2012 Student Competition.
Crawford’s paper, titled “Implementing a Utility Geographic Information System for Water, Sewer, and Electric: Case Study of City of Calhoun, Georgia,” is related to his thesis. In the paper and his thesis research, Crawford designed, implemented and summarized a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the city of Calhoun, Ga., to improve the efficiency of managing water, sewer and electric.
Crawford graduated from Northwest in April. He currently works as GIS manager for the city of Calhoun. His responsibilities include managing, planning and coordinating GIS-related activities for city departments. He also spends time educating and training department personnel on how to use GIS in addition to researching improvements and enhancements to the city’s GIS.
While Crawford said he hopes the top honor enables more people to view and benefit from his paper, he also looks forward to conducting additional research.
“I was able to apply the knowledge and experience gained in the program to my real work environment and create a successful GIS for the city of Calhoun,” Crawford said. “I look forward to applying more of the experience I have gained through Northwest's GIScience program to future projects.”
Crawford’s thesis advisor was Dr. Ming Hung, associate professor of geography in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
“Davie is a self-motivated student and professional,” Hung said. “When he was admitted into our GIScience program in 2005, he already had experience working with GIS for the company Woolpert Inc. Through coursework, he continuously improved his skills and knowledge.”
Hung noted the city of Calhoun offered Crawford the opportunity to implement its GIS in 2007.
“Putting GIS to work in his workplace is one of his long-term goals,” Hung said. “He presented a great example of integration between coursework, thesis research and workplace. I am pleased to see that he was awarded first place in the URISA Student Competition.”
The URISA Student Competition is open to current students or students who have completed degrees within the previous year. Papers submitted to the URISA 2012 Student Competition are evaluated based on four criteria:
- Demonstration of expertise and understanding of geographic information science, spatial technologies and their application
- Explanation of how the paper contributes to a larger body of work in the field
- Demonstration of innovative approach and critical thinking
- Quality of writing and presentation of the material
As the winner of the 2012 competition, Crawford will receive a certificate signed by the URISA president and a URISA membership for one year. His paper will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the URISA 2012 Annual Conference Sept. 30 through Oct. 4 in Portland, Ore.
Founded in 1963, URISA is a cross-discipline association of professionals in the GeoSpatial industry. URISA is the leading provider of learning and knowledge for the GeoSpatial industry. One of URISA’s goals is to help GIS professionals and other information technicians to solve challenges in state, regional, and local governments. URISA is considered the leading organization for the use of GeoSpatial technology in urban and regional environments. For more information about URISA, visit http://www.urisa.org/.
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