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NACIS Board Member Candidates and Bios


Vice President-elect (1 will be elected)

Amy Griffin
I am a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales Canberra in Australia, where I teach courses on environmental hazards, GIS and remote sensing. My cartographic research investigates perceptual and cognitive factors that affect how we see patterns and use information we extract from maps and other related visual representations of data to solve geographic problems.  I've been a NACIS member since I was a MSc student and regularly attend the conference. The NACIS annual meeting was where I gave my first solo professional presentation and it was really important to my development that the audience was so friendly and interested in what I was doing. I hope to help support the continuation of the NACIS spirit, which is lacking at many other professional meetings. My past service to NACIS has included two terms on the Executive Board and I am currently a member of the Cartographic Perspectives editorial board. If elected, I hope to work to sustain and support interactions between students, professional cartographers, academic cartographers, and the other random map lovers who sometimes appear at our events, both physical and digital.  The organization's ability to provide a mixing ground for cartographers with diverse experiences and perspectives is its strength, and is one we must actively work to support. 



Eliana Macdonald
Eliana is a creative cartographer who enjoys working with people almost as much as she enjoys making maps. Eliana joined Ecotrust Canada after completing a BSc in Geography at the University of Victoria. She spends her days creating maps that illustrate natural resource issues within British Columbia, including those within forestry, fisheries, energy, land use planning, and First Nations use and occupancy. She specializes in working with First Nations GIS practitioners and non-profit clients. In her spare time Eliana enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, gardening and knitting. Eliana has attended and enjoyed the annual NACIS conference since 2008, each year becoming more inspired and informed by her fellow attendees. Eliana is excited to bring Canadian spelling to the minutes of NACIS, as well as continuing to support the valuable work of the organization.


Directors-At-Large (3 will be elected)

Mamata Akella
My name is Mamata Akella and I'm a Web Map Specialist at the National Park Service.  I want to say what an honor it is to be nominated for a position on the NACIS Board! 

At the National Park Service, I build online maps for individual Parks and partners using a variety of open source and proprietary tools.  Prior to joining the NPS, I worked as a Cartographic Product Engineer at Esri where I was responsible for building online multi-scale basemaps for the company and specific user groups.  I hold my BA in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara and my MS in Geography from Penn State University.

My first NACIS meeting was as a grad student in St. Louis (2007) where I had my initial experience presenting a poster on my graduate research to this awesome cartographic community.  Although I was pretty nervous and intimidated by the talent I was surrounded by, I found the saying of NACIS is nicest to be so true!

Since 2007, I've continued to attend the annual meetings presenting my work each year.  In 2011, at the Madison meeting, I was asked to join Tim Wallace in organizing Practical Cartography Day for Portland and am now working with Andy Woodruff to do the same for Greenville.   This has given me the opportunity to work with current NACIS Board members and to bring interesting work that is being done by cartographers to the NACIS community.

If elected as a NACIS Board member, I hope to continue my involvement, being active in committees and supporting the overarching goals of the organization and its members who make NACIS what it is.   I'm also excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with inspiring minds in our field to come up with new and creative ideas for where NACIS will go in the future. 

Kenneth Field
Kenneth Field is a self-confessed cartonerd with a personal and professional passion for mapping. Having gained his Bachelors in cartography and PhD in GIS, he went into academia where he spent 20 years in key positions in UK Universities.  He has presented and published widely. He blogs, tweets, is the current Editor of The Cartographic Journal and Chair of the ICA Map Design Commission. He co-founded The Journal of Maps, is a Fellow of both the British Cartographic Society and Royal Geographic Society and is a Chartered Geographer (GIS). Put simply he loves maps, makes maps, writes about maps and encourages others to make better maps. He is the proud owner of an original Harry Beck tri-fold first edition London underground map. He moved to Esri in 2011 where he works as an evangelist for high quality cartography and helps develop the next generation of tools to support more intuitive, better map-making. While his work characterises his geo-lifestyle he can also be found on a snowboard, in a pair of hiking boots, behind a drum kit or supporting his football (soccer) team.

He is keen to develop his involvement with NACIS to serve the membership and to use his experience to help promote better mapping among the wider community of map-makers. Building bridges between old- and new-skool, professionals and amateurs, traditionalists and coders is vital for the health of cartography. All professional organisations should provide a forum for sharing and to give others insight to enable their own work to thrive. NACIS is perfectly positioned to develop and promote cartography in this way and he would be honoured to serve the community in these objectives.

Will Fontanez
Will Fontanez is Director of the Cartographic Services Laboratory at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He has been in this position for the past 26 years supervising the workings of the Lab and teaching the art and science of mapmaking to undergraduate students. Five of his former students have, or are currently working, in the Cartographic Division of the Central Intelligence Agency. Ten have secured National Geographic Society Cartography internships resulting in extensions or full time employment. Some others are working with GIS in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville. During this same time he has produced hundreds of maps of all types for publication.

Will's cartographic interests include education, GIS and desktop mapping integration, map design, electronic atlas development, and presentation graphics. He holds BA and MA degrees in Geography from East Stroudsburg University and Ohio University respectively. He has been a member of NACIS since 1988, served on the NACIS Board in 1991-92, and helped to organize NACIS XX in Knoxville, Tennessee.

When he is not making maps, Will is the Eastern Technical Director for the National Gymnastics Judges Association and an international official. He conducts judges training courses and makes assignments to USA Men's Gymnastics events.  If elected as a board member, Will would bring years of experience in the areas of meeting organization, teaching, and mapmaking to the NACIS community.

Daniel Huffman
Daniel Huffman is a freelance cartographer, intermittent educator, and implacable map critic based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Hooked on NACIS since his first annual meeting 2009, he presently (and excitedly) serves the Society as the co-Editor of the Atlas of Design, an Assistant Editor of Cartographic Perspectives, and the Map Gallery and Student Map & Poster Competition Organizer. Daniel's cartographic interests and writings center on mapmaking as an aesthetic practice, and how we can retain our humanity against the encroachment of insensate machines. He believes that for mapmakers to maintain their relevance in the midst of changing attitudes and shifting technology, organizations such as NACIS must take the lead in shaping public understanding of what mapmakers do, and of the value of a well-crafted spatial story. Daniel hopes now to have a chance to serve on the Board of Directors, bringing his experience and perspectives to the Society's decision-making arm.

Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith has been a cartographer at National Geographic magazine since she graduated from Middlebury College in 2010 with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. Her published work at NGM ranges from visualizing satellite discoveries of emperor penguin populations in Antarctica to illustrating the mountainous approach to the K2 base camp, from compiling the most up-to-date data of the Mesoamerican Reef's fragile habitats to highlighting the underground tunnels of Rafa that drive the Gaza Strip's economy. At last year's PCD, Maggie shared tips learned through the creative, collaborative process of producing an award-winning Civil War poster map and digital interactive. She has been involved with NACIS since working at NGM, and would be thrilled to tackle the opportunity to serve in an active leadership role on the board.

Maggie stays engaged in the GeoDC crowd, attending monthly meetups, Women in GIS gatherings, journalism and open-source conferences, and presenting at local schools. She often returns to her alma mater to share her professional experiences with undergraduate geography students. Before joining NGM, Maggie first applied mapping as an intern for Brighter Planet, a lab monitor assisting geography students, and as a Cartographic Research Assistant on a multi-disciplinary project on the geography of the Holocaust.

Hailing from Maine's coast and Vermont's mountains, and as a leader of many wilderness and biking trips, Maggie's love of maps was born through ceaseless quests for adventure in her back yard and beyond. Since discovering a passion for storytelling through cartography, she has committed herself to the craft, bringing to it an intuitive visual sense, acute attention to detail, and an eagerness to learn and share new skills and subject matter. Maggie believes strongly in the crucial role we cartographers play in communicating complexity by teasing out the stories and meaning that data embodies, building bridges between science and the general public, and seeing issues through a unique geographically focused lens to contribute nuanced solutions and perspectives. Maggie is most recently excited about animating maps with Adobe After Effects and Edge, and the iterative process of designing digital, interactive and immersive user experiences. She sees the friendly NACIS community as a central hub for skill sharing, providing inspiration, and working together to further our collective craft as tools and methods rapidly evolve. 

Andy Woodruff
Andy has been a cartographer and partner in Axis Maps since 2008, helping design and build a wide variety of interactive web maps as well as a few printed maps. Prior to Axis Maps, he received a Master of Science in Cartography and GIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also worked with the university's Cartography Lab on several of its award-winning maps. He now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is very involved in local mapping projects in the Boston area, ranging from art maps to projects that help citizens and civic leaders alike interact with their city. Andy has been a NACIS member since 2006 and has enjoyed every annual meeting since, presenting work at several of them. He will co-chair Practical Cartography Day at the 2013 and 2014 meetings and is the section editor for On the Horizon in Cartographic Perspectives. As someone actively engaged with the broader web mapping community, Andy would welcome the opportunity to serve NACIS as a Board member and to further develop the relationships the organization has built with the growing ranks of web mappers, helping NACIS maintain its leadership in the field.


Student member
(1 will be elected)

Elaine Guidero

Hi, I'm Elaine. I'm a graduate student at Penn State, studying with Dr. Cynthia Brewer. The germ of my Ph.D. dissertation is about typefaces, what makes them good (or bad) for maps, and how one can arrive at an objective assessment of type on a map. While this pursuit of typography will probably not garner a Nobel Prize, it is deeply satisfying to know that in just a few short years, I will be able to tell cartographers with a certain authority use this typeface, not that one. One of the broader goals I hope to achieve is to inspire a more widespread awareness of design and aesthetic principles, both inside and outside the cartographic profession, by showing people that seemingly picayune details like typeface and color do indeed matter.

Currently I have small copyediting and layout duties for CP, but I wish to be more involved with NACIS and its constituent community, and thus am happy to be considered for one of the student board member positions. I'd like to have more responsibility and see what makes NACIS tick; and I would welcome the chance to play a role in making decisions with and for a society that espouses the same ideals of spreading design interest and awareness.


Also in this section:

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 List of Custom Cartography Companies

 Join NACIS!


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ESRI's Mapping Center

CCA Blog

Cartographic Users Advisory Council (CUAC)

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