Awards and Scholarships

Richard D. Wright Award for Excellence in Applied GIS

Dr. Richard D. Wright began his academic career as a classically trained cartographer, graduating with a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Kansas in 1967.

For the next 25 years, he served in the Department of Geography at San Diego State University (SDSU), teaching and advising in the areas of traditional analog mapping and cartography. In the late 1980s, Dr. Wright saw the major potential for the use of GIS and computer-aided cartography in helping advance graduate and undergraduate studies at SDSU and was one of the original founders of the Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR).

Over the next 15-20 years, he was instrumental in generating the external funds needed to build and grow the CESAR lab. In doing so, he brought a range of applied GIS projects to the lab, and these projects and Dr. Wright’s guidance and support helped train two generations of applied GIS specialists at the graduate and undergraduate levels. For his many contributions to applied GIS he was awarded the James R. Anderson Medal by the Association of American Geographers Applied Geography Specialty Group in 2002. In 2009, Dr. Christopher Brown established the Richard D. Wright Award for Excellence in Applied GIS to recognize and honor the contributions of Dr. Wright and to also recognize excellence in students interested in similar applied work we conduct at New Mexico State University.

Full description of the award (PDF).

Robert and Beth Czerniak Outstanding Geography Undergraduate

In recognition of excellence in course work during students’ time as Geography Majors, Robert Czerniak, Professor Emeritus and his wife Beth Czerniak have established two endowed scholarships that apply to graduate and undergraduate students. Each award recognizes excellence in coursework and progress towards earning either the Bachelor of Science in Geography or the Master of Applied Geography, with the intent to provide financial assistance to students. Each scholarship of $200 is awarded to students though the Financial Aid office at NMSU. The scholarships will be announced at the Spring Awards Reception when certificates will be awarded.

Full description of the award (PDF).

Previous Award Winners

Richard D. Wright Award for Excellence in Applied GIS Projects

  • Ryan Blickem (2015)
  • Shelby van Arnam (2014)
  • Madelyn Schoderbek (2013)

Robert and Beth Czerniak Outstanding Geography Undergraduate Student Award

  • Zach Taraschi (2015)
  • Not awarded (2014)
  • Nicole Zamora (2013)