23 Young Geospatial Professionals to Watch in 2023 – 1 of 23
Name: Sydney Fuhrig
Company: Tennessee Department of Transportation
Current Position: Planning Specialist
Education: Bachelor of Arts in History and Environmental Science from the College of William & Mary
Biography: At the Tennessee Department of Transportation Fuhrig trains colleagues in GIS, helps manage Tennessee’s roadway database, and conducts GIS-based research. During her time at William & Mary, she was the managing director of the geoBoundaries research team, which collects subnational administrative boundary files to build the open-source www.geoboundaries.org dataset. This work has resulted in one of the world’s largest open-source subnational boundary datasets which has been downloaded by thousands of users around the world.
An internship with the Global Environment Facility focused on analyzing GEF projects in the Yellow Sea, and she conducted a remote sensing analysis of chlorophyll concentrations to help examine GEF’s effects in the region. During another internship with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University, Fuhrig cleaned Ethiopian health facilities’ spatial data to aid in COVID-19 tracking and response.
She also completed an environmental science honors thesis, where she explored how socioeconomic conditions shape urban green space vegetation in Richmond, Virginia. Upon graduation, she earned the William & Mary Joy Archer Award for Environmental Research, which recognizes a student who has shown excellence in research through the inception, design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of an environmental project.
Fuhrig is passionate about the future of GIS and was one of the recipients of the 2022 URISA GIS Pro Young Professional Scholarship and continues to be involved in URISA by serving as a member of the URISA Mentoring Network. Her work has been featured in xyHt and the ESRI ArcGIS blog, in addition to multiple publications in academic journals.