Dr. Dobson is well-known for his tenure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1975 - 2001), where he established himself as an advocate for maintaining a tight bond between GIS and geography. His column, "The G in GIS", published from 1991 - 2004 in GIS World/GeoWorld was widely read throughout the broader communities of mapping sciences, both academic and professional. His accomplishments demonstrate a breadth of research contributions including developing a system for mapping minefields (cartographic representation and fieldwork), acknowledging and defining the risks of GIS by coining the term "geoslavery," building and publicizing the LandScan Global Population Project dataset, and contributing to knowledge building in physical geography by employing GIS and automated cartography methods. He has also taken a leadership role in several noteworthy service activities, helping found the Association of American Geographers GIS Specialty Group and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, subsequently holding leadership roles in both organizations.
Dr. Terry Slocum's nomination of Jerry describes many of his noteworthy accomplishments. He summarizes the impact of Jerry's career by stating:
"...I believe that Jerry deserves this award for two reasons: 1) his tireless advocacy of GIS and the field of geography, and 2) his wide ranging and noteworthy research contributions. I can think of others who have promoted GIS and geography and others who have impressive research records, but I can think of no one else who melds these two roles as well as Jerry does."
In support of Terry's nomination, Dr. David Cowen, Carolina Distinguished Professor, also advocates his accomplishments:
"I believe that very few people could have made such important contributions to improving the context in which geography currently exists."