Dawn Wright, a professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University in Corvallis, was named as the recipient of the 2012 Presidential Achievement Award given by the Association of American Geographers. Professor Wright is an expert in geographic information systems. She is affectionately known on campus as Deepsea Dawn for her work on mapping the ocean floor. She is currently on a two-year leave of absence from the university to serve as chief scientist for the Environmental Systems Research Institute, a leading GIS software firm.
A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she holds a master’s degree from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in physical geography and marine geology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.