Government geographers recognised at Royal Geographical Society annual awards 2021

David Wood, Head of the Geography Profession said:

On the 1 December 2021 the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) hosted their annual awards ceremony a slimmed down event at the society and geographers from around the world joining us online.

It was fantastic to be back at the Society to see leading geographers from all aspects of our discipline receiving their awards for both 2020 and 2021, which were presented by Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, the Society’s Patron.

The Government Geography Profession also held our annual GGP awards ceremony last year, where we presented the winners of our individual categories. This was an opportunity for the overall winners of the Geography in Government Award for the last two years to be presented with their trophy! It was great to spend time with our winners and see them get the recognition they deserved from our wider community, it really did highlight the important work we do and how we are applying the best aspects of our discipline in the design and delivery of government policy.

My congratulations again to the following nominees from each category:

Advancing geospatial data science
Data Science Campus, Office for National Statistics, for a project entitled ‘Estimating vehicle and pedestrian activity from town and city traffic cameras’

Contribution to the profession
Christine Walton, UK Hydrographic Office, for her extensive 36 year long career at the UK Hydrographic Office covering a variety of roles.

Excellence in geo-visualisation & cartography
OS API Team, Ordnance Survey, who in 2020 OS designed and developed a new suite of Map API’s that has revolutionised the way our public and private sector customers access and use Ordnance Survey data.

Excellence in local government
TAME (Technical Assurance, Modelling and Economics Team) & Strategy team, Transport for the North, who have worked to develop an innovative Future Travel Scenarios approach to help understand, navigate and respond to transport uncertainties.

Impact on policy
Benchmark Team, Geovation – Propositions and Innovation – Ordnance Survey who have raised awareness of the potential risks of using location data to identify ethical principles and promote good practice.

Operational delivery
Ecosystems Analysis Team and Digital & Data Solutions Team, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, for their work on the Copernicus User Uptake Project (UK Action) which has addressed the large increases in the amount of satellite derived environmental data, notably through the Copernicus space programme.

Excellence in Emergency Response
PHE GIS Team, Emergency Preparedness Division – Public Health England for their significant efforts throughout the Covid 19 response in which they worked 24/7 and ensured a response underpinned by robust geographical data, supported by various geographical tools.

However I would like to give specific recognition to the winner of the overall Geography in Government Award which was shared between the Public Health England Team and the Data Science Campus from the Office for National Statistics. Congrats!

As well as seeing our GGP awards presented, it was fantastic to see one of our Deputy Heads of Geography – Claire Hadley – recognised for her lifetime contribution to our discipline when she received a Honorary Fellowship in recognition of outstanding support for the Society and geography. Clare Hadley CGeog (GIS) is Policy and Engagement Manager at Ordnance Survey. Accredited in 2005, Clare has been a Final Assessor for the Chartered Geographer scheme and is now a member of the Society’s Professional Advisory Group. Clare has a Geography degree, and Post Graduate Diploma in Survey, Cartography and Map Production, and an MSc in Geographical Information Systems. Clare is a Chartered Geomatics Surveyor and a Chartered Geographer.

It was also a great honour to be there to see Dr Rita Gardner presented with the Society’s highest award, the Gold Medal approved by Her Majesty the Queen. Rita was Director of the RGS-IBG when the Government Geography Profession was formed and has been a massive supporter of the profession and also provided me with personal support and guidance as we grew and established the profession for which I will always be grateful. Rita was also on my interview panel when I applied for the Head of Profession role, so it’s all her fault!

Government Geography Profession annual awards

We have now opened nominations for our 2022 award, recognising your contribution and impact over 2021! If you want a chance to be at this year’s ceremony, check out our categories and submit your nominations by 11.55pm on 18 March!

These can be individual or team awards, for team awards we encourage nominations from multi-disciplinary teams doing geo projects where at least one member of the team is from the Government Geography Profession.

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