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October 7th, 2019
The American Geographical Society Names 2019-2020 EthicalGEO Fellows

[New York City, NY] — The American Geographical Society (AGS) has awarded seven EthicalGEO Fellowships as a result of the Society’s EthicalGEO Video Challenge. The Challenge, in its first year and underwritten by Omidyar Network, solicited videos from across North America and was open to anyone with an interest in exploring the ethical issues involved with the use of geospatial tools and technology. Applicants were instructed to submit a three-minute video explaining their “big idea” or project to address ethics and the use of geospatial tools and technology.

Given the extensive and quickly growing use of geographic tools and technology, the EthicalGEO Initiative is designed to begin an international dialog to address geo-ethical issues. The EthicalGEO Fellows have been selected to pursue their projects which will act as a base upon which the dialog will begin. Seven EthicalGEO Fellows, were selected from a diverse group of applicants and will begin their work immediately. The Fellows will receive a $7,500 award to carry out their projects, participate in a number of special activities and events over the course of the next 9 months, and present the results of their work in a public forum in June of 2020.

The 2019-2020 AGS EthicalGEO Fellows are:

Mr. Greg Babinski , Marketing and Business Development Manager at the King County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center in Seattle, Washington,

Mr. William Evans , Project Manager for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Dr. Alfredo Giron Nava , Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Future Earth & National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara ,

Ms. Erica Hagen , Co-Founder and Board Member of Map Kibera Trust based in Washington D.C., Dr. David Padgett , Associate Professor of Geography and Director of the Geographic Information Sciences Laboratory at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee,

Rev. Michael Rozier , Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Management and Policy, Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri,

Dr. Dara Seidl , Independent Researcher and recent Ph.D. graduate of the joint doctoral program between San Diego State University and UC Santa Barbara based in San Luis Obispo, California.

“Ethical issues related to the use of geo technology have captured the interest of the media, geo practitioners and everyday citizens. All of us use this technology on a daily basis…be it to find a location using our phones, analyse data in our jobs, or better understand leading headlines in the media. Our use of this technology and data raises serious ethical questions…privacy, ownership of data, use of data…this list is long and growing. We are very pleased to have this first group of EthicalGEO Fellows lead the way to help us make better decisions as we rely more and more on geospatial tools and data to live our lives.” said Dr. John Konarski, Chief Executive Officer of AGS.

To see the submitted videos as well as more information on the EthicalGEO Initiative, go to www.ethicalgeo.org . The American Geographical Society (AGS) is a 21st-century learning society dedicated to the advancement of geographic thinking, knowledge, and understanding across business, government, academe, social sectors, and most importantly with teachers and students.

Established in 1851, AGS is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States. It is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in geographical research and education for over 168 years. The mission of AGS is to advance and promote geography in business, government, science, and education. Our goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well- being worldwide. AGS seeks to engage the American public, from its youngest to its oldest citizens, with new and amazing ways to understand and characterize our changing world. The Society maintains its headquarters in New York City.