The CaGIS Student Scholarships

Each year, the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) sponsors three scholarships to students whose research and accomplishments support the mission of CaGIS. The scholarships recognize academic achievement and encourage the continuing success of outstanding cartography and geographic information science students. The scholarships also recognize achievement or potential for achievement in original research advancing the specific disciplines of cartography or GIScience. Winners are selected based on academic achievement, particularly in the calendar year prior to the award. Applications are reviewed by the CaGIS Scholarship Committee, and awards are announced in March.

2016 Winners

Yingjie Hu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography at University of California Santa Barbara. His research involves geospatial semantics, spatial data mining, and spatial decision support. He is especially interested in the interactions between people and geographic information. On the one side, he looks at the geographic information generated by people (e.g., through GPS-enabled devices or social media platforms), and aims to extract knowledge from these big geo data. On the other side, he develops methods and algorithms to facilitate the use of geographic information in professional decision making as well as a person’s daily life. His PhD advisor is Dr. Krzysztof Janowicz.

Kelsi Davis is a Master’s student in the Spatial Ecology and Conservation (SPEC) Lab at the University of Alabama. Kelsi’s thesis research focuses on assessing the variables that influence aboveground biomass and carbon variation in a high density Costa Rican tropical rainforest and quantifying this by linking remotely sensed data to field plot data via geospatial software. Kelsi’s research will contribute to climate mitigation, biodiversity conservation and the development of geospatial aboveground biomass quantification for this region in the future. Kelsi’s advisors are Dr. Eben Broadbent and Dr. Angelica Almeyda Zambrano.

Rudy Omri is a Master’s student in geography at University of Oregon, advised by Dr. Amy Lobben. His research focuses on neocartography, volunteered geographic information (VGI) and geography of social media where he examines spatiotemporal variability of sampled data representativeness that is voluntarily submitted through Twitter. Outside of his research domain, he is interested in cartography, particularly in cartographic design, interactive mapping, web-based maps and cartographic journalism. Rudy is a co-organizer of Maptime Eugene.


Previous Winners


CaGIS Masters Scholarship Award: Two outstanding candidates will each receive $750. Winners will have demonstrated excellence in cartography or GIScience coursework and the potential to contribute to cartography or GIScience research.

CaGIS Doctoral Scholarship Award: One outstanding candidate will receive $1,500. The winner will have demonstrated excellence in cartography or GIScience coursework and the potential to contribute to cartography or GIScience research.

Winners of both awards are invited to submit their research at an upcoming CaGIS-sponsored conference (such as AAG, GIScience, or AutoCarto) and may be eligible for limited travel or registration support if they choose to present.


CaGIS Masters Scholarship Award: This award is to be granted to two students currently enrolled in, or accepted into, a Masters degree program for the 2015-2016 academic year. Outstanding undergraduates or individuals returning to school that have been accepted to a Masters program in GIScience are also eligible to apply (see below).

CaGIS Doctoral Scholarship Award: This award is to be granted to a student enrolled in, or accepted into, a PhD degree program for the 2015-2016 academic year.  Outstanding candidates that are not currently enrolled as a student, but have been accepted to a PhD program are also eligible to apply.

Award priority will be given to those candidates that are currently enrolled in a four-year undergraduate or graduate degree program during 2015 or 2016, studying cartography, geographic information science, or a closely related field. A letter of recommendation from a faculty member attesting to these eligibility requirements and to scholarly achievement and potential is required. Membership in CaGIS is not required, though professional and service activities such as participation in CaGIS is one of the selection criteria (see below). Prior scholarship winners are eligible to apply in subsequent years if all appropriate criteria are satisfied. Applicants who have applied to, but have not yet been accepted into, graduate school should request that their faculty advisor assess their potential for graduate study in their reference letter.

Selection Criteria

The CaGIS Scholarship Committee reviews each applicant and their package in a holistic fashion. The committee is purposed with awarding applicants that best represent the overall spirit and mission of CaGIS. Each applicant is asked to submit a complete application package which is composed of the following artifacts:

Applicant’s statement

Record of research activities (e.g., published papers, presentations at professional meetings, grant applications, etc.)

Service activities to the profession (active membership on student organizations such as GTU, reviewer for an academic journal, reviewing grant proposals, active membership on a professional board of directors, community outreach, etc.) or non-professional (e.g., assistance with TWiST GIS camp, Boys and Girls GIS camp, GIS corps, community engagement, etc.)

Academic record (current transcripts) with particular emphasis on GIScience and domain specific coursework

A nomination letter by a current CaGIS member

Official CaGIS scholarship application form

The committee examines these artifacts holistically to determine each applicant’s merit. While these artifacts are not weighted per se, their order does reflect the relative importance the committee places on each. While evaluating each applicants, the committee is sensitive to each candidate’s progress toward degree completion (PhD student, ADB, etc.), academic level (MS vs. PhD), and year of study (1st, 2nd, etc.). The committee is also mindful regarding expectations between MS and PhD applicants.

Level of stated financial need will also be considered, if necessary, to break ties, after the primary artifacts have been considered. The committee can choose to award no scholarships. Award recipients will receive a complementary one-year membership in CaGIS.

Application Procedure

1. Prepare the following artifacts to be included in your completed packet:

A digital transcript showing records for relevant years between 2015-2017

A letter of nomination from a current CaGIS member. The nomination letter must be from a current CaGIS member (e.g., faculty member or supervisor) familiar with your research activities.

The completed application form. The 2017 application form will be available in late 2016.

2. E-mail these documents; see instructions on form. Applications must arrive no later than 5:00pm EST on JANUARY 18, 2016.

Notification of Winners

The selected applicants for the scholarships will be notified in March.

CaGIS Scholarship Committee:

Contact Information: