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The Summit Award 2023




During the opening plenary session of the 2023 Washington GIS Conference, WAGISA was pleased to present the 2023 Summit Award for GIS Person of the Year to Maria Sevier. 

Maria has been absolutely dedicated to the GIS profession and WAURISA/ WAGISA for well over 20 years.  All those who know her are impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that she brings to every GIS effort she is involved in; whether she is developing curriculum to teach a certificate program at local community colleges, bringing GIS technology to a local food bank, working tirelessly during COVID at the Health Department, or volunteering with WAGISA in a variety of ways.  Maria has served on the Professional Development Committee, the Board of Directors, as the Conference Liaison, as Conference Coordinator, and most recently as organizer of WAGISA Conference Speakers for the 2023 Conference.  In all of these roles, Maria has worked tirelessly to make the WAGISA programs and Conferences successful. 

Maria has worked for several local WA government agencies including Clark County, City of Lakewood, and with the Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health Department along with having her own consulting company for more than 12 years.  During that time Maria has completed many successful projects.  When COVID first arose, she helped to develop a series of GIS tools to support  case/contact data collection, managment and mapping related to COVID response and reporting for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department for which the Department received an ESRI Special Achievement Award at the International User Conference in 2022.   Maria pours her whole heart and soul into everything she does.  And for all of us on the WAGISA Board we are pleased that she is receiving this award and recognition of all of her hard work and dedication. 

Thank you, Maria, for your many years of mentorship and volunteer service to the GIS community in Washington State.


Summit Award Info

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 WAGISA board member.

The Summit Award nomination form is available at the following link:

Summit Award Nomination Form

See a list of past Summit Award winners.

                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.

                        Richard 'Dick' Thomas Memorial Student Presentation Competition & Award

                        Here is the link to our 2022 DTA Competition Recording:

                        2022 DTA Competition

                        The Washington GIS Association (WAGISA) 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.  

                        Participants must be:

                        • 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
                        • 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

                          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. WAGISA'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 WAGISA and free registration to the next year's WA GIS Conference. 

                          Frequently Asked Questions

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