ESRI Development Center Student of the Year Award

Nominations accepted until 5PM on Sunday, March 1, 2020

Banner at ESRI User Conference

In 2013, Texas A&M University (TAMU) was designated as an Esri Development Center (EDC). Only a handful of academic institutions worldwide have this distinction. Each year, TAMU awards the Esri Development Center Student of the Year to the graduate or undergraduate student who has had the most impact through their development or application of geospatial science, application, or technology.

The purpose of this competition is to promote GIS research, application, and development by undergraduate and graduate students in fields related to Geographic Information Science & Technology at TAMU. Submission are invited from all full-time, currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from all colleges, departments, degrees, and programs on any topic in geographical information systems, geographic information science, urban planning, computer science, industrial engineering, and any other discipline in which the student's work advances the field of GIS.

Any submission that advances any aspect of GIS is welcome - Desktop GIS, MobileGIS, Web-based GIS, and any other kind of GIS are all welcome. Papers are encouraged on theoretical, conceptual, and methodological developments in GIS as well as on particularly innovative GIS applications.

Paper submissions must be based upon original work completed as an undergraduate or graduate student at TAMU and must be relevant to the field of GIS research and/or application. Submissions must be written entirely by the applicant.

One first-place winner will be selected on the basis of the quality of extended abstracts and other supporting materials and provided with a $500 award, courtesy of Esri. The TAMU EDC award winner will be nominated by the TAMU EDC to the National Esri EDC Student of the Year Competition.

The awards committee reserves the right to not offer any awards if the submissions are not of sufficiently high quality.

View Past Award Recipients


Current full-time Texas A&M graduate and undergraduate students from all TAMU colleges, departments, degrees, and programs are eligible to win this award. Any submission authored by a single student is eligible for the competition, including papers published or work presented in the last 12 months. Team submissions are not permitted.


All application materials must be submitted via email by 5 p.m. Central on March 1, 2020.


All application materials must be submitted as a single .pdf document via email to the TAMU Geography Department Graduate Director, Inci Güneralp -


All application materials must be submitted via email to the TAMU Geography Department Advisor


To be considered for participation in the TAMU EDC competition, an extended abstract must be submitted. Supplemental materials are STRONGLY encouraged and may be submitted on additional pages to support the Extended Abstract, preferably as links to online materials including websites, demos, videos, story maps, etc.


Extended abstract should be 250 words minimum - 500 words maximum (1 single-spaced page of text), not including figures and citations which can be included as additional pages. Abstracts should be prepared and submitted in PDF format, with 11-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and single-spaced lines. Extended abstracts, including the related bibliography and associated tables and figures, must be submitted in the format used by the International Journal Geographical Information Science. The maximum length of the extended abstract should not exceed three pages including all references, figures, and tables.


In addition to an extended abstract, students are encouraged to submit other material that that showcases their work. This could include a link to a website, a YouTube video of the demo system, an installable application, or any other product developed by the student relevant to their application. Supplemental materials are not required but HIGHLY recommended.


The TAMU EDC Awards Committee will review applicants and application materials, choose a winner, and make the announcement of the winner by March 15. The following criteria will be used to assess applicants:

  1. Potential contribution to the field of GIS
  2. Potential impact on society
  3. Innovation
  4. Originality
  5. Appropriate use of methodology
  6. Scholarship
  7. Organization

Judging will take into account the academic level of the applicants.


The TAMU EDC Student of the Year Competition is supported by Esri through the Esri Development Center Program. Texas A&M wholeheartedly thanks Esri for their dedication to building the next generation of leaders in the geospatial fields.

Past Recipients


William (Liam) Lyle Geography


Andrew Flemming Geography


Jacquelin Ferguson Geography


Ryan Conwell Geography


Naga (Raghu) Raghuveer Modala Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Patricia Varela Civil Engineering