Roger Tomlinson Prize for Excellence in GIS

This prize is awarded to one undergraduate student and one graduate student in the College of Arts of Sciences each year. The prize is given to students who demonstrate:

  • Academic excellence in GIS-related classes
  • Demonstrated professional interest in GIS through community service, internships, employment, and other activities
  • Creative application of geospatial technologies for research, instruction, community service, and other applications 

2020-2021

Undergraduate Prize: Mackenzie Nelson (Johnston, '21)

Mackenzie Nelson, a Johnston student, has committed herself to deepening her use of GIS as she constructed an emphasis on Human Relationships with the Environment. Mackenzie's excellent GIS skills and professional interest in GIS expanded through an internship working on a digital humanities mapping project called 'Mapping a People's History of the Inland Empire'. This project focuses on mapping historic census data from the early 20th century in the Inland Empire so that data can be used to analyze patterns of segregation, homeownership, and settlement in our region. Her GIS-intensive capstone, 'Spatial Analysis of Racially Inequitable Air Quality in Southern California' is related to that project. It focused on “Exposure to poor air quality has been documented to exacerbate and even cause respiratory conditions that place strain upon the body. However, the impacts of poor air quality are not evenly distributed between racial, ethnic, nor socioeconomic demographics . It is necessary that environmental and public health issues, such as this, be analyzed with an intersectional lens, looking at race, socioeconomic  demographics, industry trends, policies and regulations, and local geography and topography as well as environmental factors.”

Graduate Prize: Aubrianna Kinghorn (MSGIS, '21)

Aubrianna Kinghorn received her B.S. in Geography with an emphasis in GIS from Brigham Young University where she served as vice-President of the Geography club and a teaching assistant to help promote geographical awareness and spatial curiosity across campus. After graduation, Aubri joined ArcGIS Pro Layout team at Esri. She designs, tests, and documents new functionality for ArcGIS Pro Layouts. Aubri also works with GIS users across the world and in a variety of industries to help them understand how quality map layouts can tell stories in a better way. At the University of Redlands, Aubri is working on her Master’s project that focuses on the map legend design to support more comprehensive and useful legend creation tools in GIS software. In her ArcGIS blog, Aubri says “I love good cartography, good burritos, and helping people figure out effective ways to share their data with others.”

2019-2020

Undergraduate Prize: Claire Napier (EVST, '20)

Claire demonstrated academic excellence in GIS-related classes, including Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis, Advanced GIS, Environmental Hydrology, Oceanography, and Biodiversity. She demonstrated outstanding performance in PanaMapping: Geodesign to Conserve the Rainforest, making exemplary use of GIS for mapping and comparing the erosion vulnerability of different catchments and contributing positively to group dynamics and final presentations. Demonstrating professional interest in GIS through community service, internships, employment, and other activities, Claire conducted summer research in 2019 with Hillary Jenkins, doing GIS as part of her analysis of forest recovery response to fires of varying intensity. She moved that project forward with a GIS-intensive capstone that is a creative application of geospatial technologies for research.

Graduate Prize: Ty Hranac (MGIS, '20)

Ty earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Occidental College in 2018. His economics training has been put to good use in GIS modeling and database design. While at Redlands, Ty worked with scientists at Joshua Tree National Park to map the transition zone between the Sonoran and Mojave Desert ecosystems. Ty has been a leader in team projects and study groups. He brings a keen, inquisitive mind to all aspects of spatial communication and geographic analysis. Ty is looking forward to finding an internship opportunity to complete his Master of Geographic Information Systems degree over the summer. 

2018-2019

Undergraduate Prize: Veronica Creed (EVST ’19)

Veronica, an environmental studies student with minors in Spatial Studies and Mathematics, won the undergraduate Roger Tomlinson Prize for Excellence in GIS for activities including co-founding the community mapping club, collaborating with faculty members, and interning at the Center for Spatial Studies.

Graduate Prize: Jonah Lay (MGIS, '19)

Jonah was awarded the graduate Roger Tomlinson Prize for Excellence in GIS for spatial research conducted with Chemistry Professor Rebecca Lyons on “Evaluating the Presence of the Endocrine Disruptor 4-Nonylphenol in California Glaciers”. “The presence of 4-nonylphenol (4NP) in pesticides used in agriculture has led to its accumulation in California glaciers through onshore wind deposition. As an endocrine disruptor, 4NP poses a threat to human health because it can interrupt and alter physiological processes such as human development and metabolism, and lead to ovarian and prostate cancer at higher concentrations. To evaluate the mass of 4NP in the glacier, GIS analysis is conducted with considerations of wind direction, topographic features, and 4NP concentrations throughout the glacial space.”

2017-2018

Undergraduate Prize: Elamar Hienrich (EVST ’18)

Elamar, an environmental studies student with minors in Spatial Studies and Human & Animal Studies won the undergraduate Roger Tomlinson Prize for Excellence in GIS for activities including Esri intern, Esri campus ambassador, Secretary of the University’s GIS club, student assistant at the Developer’s Summit. Research included habitat fragmentation of African Elephants for her Senior Capstone and calculating the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index for a meadow ecosystem in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Graduate Prize: Blythe Spendlove (MSGIS ’18)

Blythe was awarded the graduate Roger Tomlinson Prize for Excellence in GIS for spatial research on “Automation Wetland Prioritization Analysis using GIS”. This project provided a way for employees from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to visualize wetland priorities of different stakeholders when designating wetlands of international importance. A prioritization analysis for wetlands in California was automated into a collection of ModelBuilder tools and scripts and embedded into a web application. With the analysis process thus simplified, decision-makers can easily re-do the prioritization analysis with different weights for the various factors in the analysis and compare the results.

2016-2017

Graduate Prize: Mark Gilbert (MSGIS ’16)

Mark was awarded the graduate Roger Tomlinson Prize for Excellence in GIS for spatial research on “Film and Television Location Scouting: An Online Location Library” for Coachella Valley to provide scouting services to identify suitable production locations such as architecture and landscapes.

Graduate Prize: Brittany Miller (MSGIS ’16)

Brittany was awarded the graduate Roger Tomlinson Prize for Excellence in GIS for spatial research on “Cartographic Representation and Three-Dimensional Modeling of Hopi Archaeological Sites,” is a GIS solution for a real-world problem of improving the archaeological efforts on the Hopi Reservation.