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 Serving Washington's GIS Community

WAURISA Awards

The Washington State Chapter of URISA (WAURISA) strives to show accomplishments of professionals in the GIS community of Washington State along with working with students who are looking into a career in the GIS field.  

The Summit Award

The Summit Award is presented during the annual Washington GIS Conference for highest contributions by an individual to the Washington State GIS Community.

Criteria for the Summit Award:

  • The nominee has changed the GIS profession in some "significant way."
  • The nominee shall have been practicing the profession for at least 10 years within Washington State.
  • The nominee shall have made a significant contribution to the GIS profession and community in Washington State.
  • The person should be known for their excellent work and successful projects in the GIS field.
  • The nominee should have volunteered significant time for the GIS profession and community in Washington State.
  • The nominee should not be a current WAURISA board member.
See a list of past Summit Award winners.

    Richard 'Dick' Thomas Memorial Student Presentation Competition & Award

    This award was established to honor Washington State GIS pioneer and mentor Richard ‘Dick’ Thomas, who passed away in 2006. The intent of this award is to honor Dick by continuing his work of encouraging students to excel in their studies and to transition successfully into careers in the field of GIS. WAURISA’s objective is to inspire students to present their original work related to GIS, geography, or geographic research at the annual Washington GIS Conference.

    Winners of the Dick Thomas award receive a generous monetary award along with a one year membership to WAURISA and free registration to the next year's WA GIS Conference.  The adviser or associated professor of the first place winner also receives a monetary award.  

    To enter the contest, a paper by the student must be presented and judged during the Student Presentation Session at the annual conference by the student.  

    The competition is limited to: 

    • Current students enrolled at least 6 hours in a relevant curriculum at a Washington State secondary school, community college, technical school, or university program, or
    • Current Washington residents enrolled at least 6 hours in a relevant on-line GIS program

      Entries must be:

      • The original work by the student(s)
      • Only one submission per lead student presenter
      • Conducted as a school project or under the supervision of a student adviser or professor
      • Students must be enrolled in a GIS, geography, technology, or related academic program
      • Papers should relate to geography, GIS, or allied technologies as applied to a social, natural resource, business, government, or similar subject

      See the frequently asked questions for more information. 

      Full guidelines are posted in the months leading up to the conference.  Watch for future details!


      Government helping Government GIS Recognition Award

      We all know that person who goes over and above normal job duties, assisting others with technical issues, extra time for phone calls and answering endless questions. Here is an opportunity as a GIS community to recognize those extraordinary individuals.

      Here are the criteria:

      • The organization or individual is a State, county or local government who is assisting another WA government agency
      • The time/work performed is not part of the agency or persons normal duties
      • There is no compensation
      • There is no requirement for the person or organization to perform the work.


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