Meet the lead contributors to our global EthicalGEO dialogue, the inaugural class of EthicalGEO Fellows.
MR. GREG BABINSKI
Mr. Babinksi is the Marketing and Business Development Manager at the King County GIS Center in Seattle, Washington.This opportunity will allow Mr. Babinski to pursue the development of best practices for using GIS for issues related to equity and social justice (ESJ). Many government agencies and non-profits are beginning to apply an equity lens to the development of policies and investments in projects and programs. ESJ policy professionals have an emerging awareness of the benefits that geographic data and geospatial technology provides to understand issues and develop public policy. GIS professionals have defined ethical obligations to society, but many struggle with how to make a positive contribution to ESJ related issues and data analysis. Mr. Babinski’s work as an AGS EthicalGEO Fellow will allow him to advance the collaborative work of developing peer-reviewed GIS for equity and social justice best practices.
MR. WILLIAM EVANS
Mr. Evans, based in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a Project Manager for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team. Mr. Evans plans to use the resources from the fellowship to carry out a pilot project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania using a dual frequency GPS sensor to create highly accurate surveys in an informal settlement. This will empower a local community in Tanzania, but also could be a pathway for people around the world without legal titles to their land. At the same time, he hopes to spark the conversation about the ethical issues involved in using geospatial technology, with a specific focus on land administration. Three issues he hopes to explore are how land rights can protect citizens against expulsion, how they can give residents the ability to access credit, and how this connects with governance as it can be a primary means of taxation.
DR. ALFREDO GIRON-NAVA
Dr. Giron-Nava is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Future Earth & National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara and an Expert Advisor at the Walter Munk Foundation for Oceans. Dr. Giron-Nava plans to use his Fellowship to pursue the creation of the first global map on the prevalence of poverty in fishing communities. He will visit colleagues and field sites to not only gather data on poverty indicators, but also to understand the deeper social and cultural roots of poverty and the potential solutions at local scales.
DR. DAVID PADGETT
Dr. Padgett is an Associate Professor of Geography and Director of the Geographic Information Sciences Laboratory at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Padgett will use the EthicalGEO Fellowship funds to create a tutorial model in support of grassroots organizations’ efforts to use geospatial technology for community empowerment. His goal is to create a portable and user-friendly GIS tool that will empower community-based organizations in their work to improve their quality of life and protect their environment. An additional goal is to present the idea that community stakeholders themselves are best equipped to produce spatial data visualizations of their communities.
MS. ERICA HAGEN
Ms. Hagen, based in Washington DC, is the Director of Map Kibera Trust and GroundTruth Initiative. Ms. Hagen will use this opportunity to bring together people who are interested in issues of access, power, economics and equity in geographic information. She will create and publish guidelines around ethics of mapping, with a focus on global communities who traditionally have had less access to maps and mapping tools. She will include discussions with a variety of people living in and working with digital mapping in low income countries, informal settlements, remote rural areas, refugee camps, and others often left out of the conversation around sustainable access to and use of geographic data and tools.
FR. MICHAEL ROZIER
Fr. Rozier is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. Fr. Rozier says that geolocation data has great potential to improve our lives, but it can also contain sensitive personal health information. With this grant, Fr. Rozier will field a survey to gather public opinion on the use and misuse of geolocation data that reveals information about our health and health behaviors. He says that in an era of persistent data collection, we need a public conversation that is informed both by technology, asking what can be done, and by ethics, asking what should be done.
DR. DARA SEIDL
Dr. Seidl is an independent researcher and recent Ph.D. graduate of the joint doctoral program between San Diego State University and University of California-Santa Barbara. She is based in San Luis Obispo, California. Dr. Seidl will use the grant to develop a video toolbox for educators to teach geo-privacy in high school and college classrooms. The videos will serve as a springboard for discussion of privacy issues related to modern location capture technologies and will come with critical thinking questions and follow-up exercises for students. As a geo-privacy researcher and educator, this project supports Dr. Seidl’s efforts to integrate the latest science on location privacy with entertaining and immersive teaching methods for ethics in geography and GIS.