C White Statement
2018 marks ESIP’s 20th year. It is a time to celebrate successes while considering ESIP’s trajectory for the future. It is also a critical time in our broader community to develop earth science capabilities in data management, end use, sharing research, and communicating the science with its value.
During this milestone year, I would be honored to serve you as ESIP’s President. The past two years as ESIP’s Vice President have given me insight and preparation as I worked closely with the current ESIP Leadership, Staff, and Board.
In addition to the standard presidential duties, there are other goals I’d like to see ESIP work towards this year. One is building capacity in our newer members and participants so they connect swiftly, can integrate their fresh ideas, and grow their expertise. ESIP is a notable space for people of different disciplines and career stages to discover and use each other’s strengths; we can be intentional about understanding and building up the best of what each individual and organization brings. Another goal is to fully support the year-long theme of promoting techniques to articulate and measure the socioeconomic value and benefit of Earth science data, information and applications. The fact that ESIP is composed of diverse organizations and perspectives makes us exceptionally qualified to contribute to defining and communicating such value. Besides this, I want the hallmark for our Leadership team to be openness to the membership’s ideas, supporting you all to do the significant work of your careers in harmony with your participation in ESIP. May this be a year where we make Earth Science data matter more, build stronger bridges and friendships within and outside ESIP, grow personally and professionally, and enjoy the work together.
Who I Am I’ve lived in Redlands, California working with Esri (www.esri.com) for the past 10 years. At Esri I have two roles. The first is as a dedicated technology adviser to a set of business partners and key customers. In this role, I understand a customer’s end business objectives and guide them to achieve those objectives the best way with our technology. It requires following industry trends, actively listening for what success means for the end user, and developing a plan for how the organization can achieve that success. The second role is similar in its technical and listening requirements but instead of working with a set of customers, I work with the science and IT community. As a member of Esri’s Virtual Science team, I build dialog between Esri’s software, training, and industry initiatives and the needs of end users. The science community helps Esri refine its products/user experiences, and in turn we strive to make analysis and presentation of data easier and more accessible for them. Prior to moving out west, I lived in Columbia, South Carolina where I earned my Undergraduate and Masters in Geography, and held a variety of geospatial occupations – GIS specialist, data analyst, assisting climatologist, and other research roles. In addition, I held two other interesting occupations: one as staff/instructor at a rock climbing center, and the other as a minister for a non-denominational campus church. Although these two “other” occupations are a bit unorthodox, they were formative service-oriented venues for developing problem-solving, improving team communication, and building capacity for new leaders.
A connection between my professional and personal life is my deep love for the arts. Creativity can be a catalyst for establishing common ground whether that is bridging a generational gap, a difference in political opinions, or explaining one’s research. It is important to leverage all our tools – including the rich mechanisms of visual, musical, performance, and other arts – to open doors for better conversations and mutual understanding. Thus, I believe the arts hold a special role in making progress in our science challenges. Finally, please know I’m aware of being one of the earlier-in-my-career ESIP presidential candidates. That said, within the ESIP membership we collectively have thousands of years of experience, and we (you) are all part of this team. So, I will be rolling up my sleeves, diving in with all my energy, and welcome you to whole-heartedly do the same. The challenges of our day are an all-hands-on-deck matter, and we need the unique gifts every ESIP member brings. I’m looking forward to working with you all.