Courtesy Professor - Chief Scientist of Esri

909-793-2853 / ext. 2182


GIS, marine science, ocean informatics

Research Interests

Marine and coastal geography, marine GIS, mid-ocean ridges, coral reefs, analysis and interpretation of towed camera, submersible, multibeam bathymetric and sidescan sonar data, ocean informatics.

Curriculum Vitae


BS Geology (cum laude), Wheaton College (Illinois), 1983
MS Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1986
PhD Physical Geography & Marine Geology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1994


Sep 2013 – Present:
Courtesy Professor, CEOAS, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Chief Scientist, Esri, Redlands, California.

Sep 2011 – Sep 2013:
Professor, Away on Leave to Esri
CEOAS, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

Sep 2002 – Sep 2011:
Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

Sep 1999 - Sep 2002:
Associate Professor
Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Early Indefinite Tenure granted 9/16/99

Sep 1995 – Sep 1999:
Assistant Professor
Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

Jan 1995 – Sep 1995:
Post-doctoral Research Associate
NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, Oregon.

Sep 1990 – Dec 1994: Graduate Student Researcher
Marine Science Institute and National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, UCSB, Santa Barbara, California.

Sep 1986 – Nov 1989:
Marine Technician (aka Seagoing Laboratory Specialist)
Logistics and Technical Support, Ocean DrillingProgram, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Apr 1985 – Aug 1986:
Graduate Research Assistant
Science Operations, Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.


GEO 103 - Exploring the Deep: Physical Geography of the World's Oceans
GEO 103H - Exploring the Deep: Physical Geography of the World's Oceans
GEO 265 - GIS Practicuum
GEO 407/507 - Seminar: Geographic Research
GEO 465/565 - Geographic Information Systems and Science
GEO 499H/599 - Great Women of Science
GEO 507 - Virtual Seminar in Geographic Information Science
GEO 567 - Responsible GIS Practice: Ethics for Future Geospatial Professionals
GEO 580 - Advanced Applications of GIS in the Geosciences
GEO 599 - Special Topics in GIScience (e.g., Public Participation GIS or Ethics for GIS Professionals)
ALS 111 - OSU Odyssey

Graduate Students

Dick, Dori, PhD 2016
Geoanalytical Tools, Spatial Analyses and Predictive Modeling for Marine Megafauna Conservation

Keon, Dylan, PhD 2012
Automated Web-based Analysis and Visualization of Spatiotemporal Data

Sullivan, Colleen, MS 2012
Mitigation of Potential Conflict in the Pacific Ocean Between Existing Stakeholders and Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs: An Application of Modeling to Marine Spatial Planning

Bauer, Jen, MS 2012
Assessing the Robustness of Web Feature Services Necessary to Satisfy the Requirements of Coastal Management Applications

Raiford, Kelvin, MS, 2011
The Use of Geospatial Data to Support Vulnerability Mapping of the Oregon Coast

Reusser, Debbie, PhD, 2010
Biogeography of Nonindigenous Species: From Description to Prediction

Kinzel, Michelle, MS, 2009
Using Educational Tools and Integrative Experiences via Geovisualizations that Incorporate Spatial Thinking, Real World Science and Ocean Literacy Standards in the Classroom: A Case Study Examined

Hogrefe, Kyle, MS, 2008
Derivation of Near-shore Bathymetry from Multispectral Satellite Imagery Used in a Coastal Terrain Model for the Topographic Analysis of Human Influence on Coral Reefs

Vance, Tiffany, PhD, 2007
If You Build It, Will They Come? Evolution Towards the Application of Multi-Dimensional GIS to Fisheries Oceanography

Sullivan, Deidre, MS, 2007
Developing a Plan for the National Coordination of Geospatial Technology Education: A Community College Perspective

Bradford, David, MS, 2007
A Geospatial Data Catalog and Metadata Management Tools for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency\'s Western Ecology Division

Roberts, Jed, MS, 2007
The Marine Geomorphology of American Samoa: Shapes and Distributions of Deep Sea Volcanics

Lord-Castillo, Brett, MS, 2007
Arc Marine as a Spatial Data Infrastructure: A Marine Data Model Case Study in Whale Tracking by Satellite Telemetry

McClung, Steve, MS, 2005
Lahar Hazard Mapping of Mount Shasta, California: A GIS-based Delineation of Potential Inundation Zones in Mud and Whitney Creek Basins

Bower, Peter, MS, 2005
Using an Internet Map Server and Coastal Remote Sensing for Education

Cooper, Colin, MS, 2005
Building and Sharing Spatial Metaphors for the Catalogue of Oregon Marine and Coastal Information

Hedstrom, Keldah, MS, 2005
Introducing Geographic Information Systems to Grass Seed Growers in the Willamette Valley of Oregon

Keith, Chad, MS, 2004
GIS Modeling of Potential Marine Protected Areas in the Northwest Atlantic via Biological and Socioeconomic Parameters

Zanger, Chris, MS, 2004
Modeling the Environmental Protection Agency\'s Level IV Ecoregions within the Klamath Mountains of Southern Oregon and Northern California: A Geographic Information System Approach

Larkin, Emily, MS, 2004
Geographic Information Systems for Coral Reef Conservation, Capacity Building, and Public Education in American Samoa

Martin, Peter, MS, 2004
Spatial Interpolation in Other Dimensions

Lundblad, Emily, MS, 2004
The Development and Application of Benthic Classifications for Coral Reef Ecosystems Below 30 m Depth using Multibeam Bathymetry: Tutuila, American Samoa

Aaby, Alyssa, MS, 2004
Testing the ArcGIS Marine Data Model: Using Spatial Information to Examine Habitat Utilization Patterns of Reef Fish along the West Coast of Hawaii

Selected Publications

Nelson, T.A., Goodchild, M.F., and Wright, D.J., Accelerating ethics, empathy, and equity in geographic information science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(19): e2119967119, doi: 10.1073/pnas.2119967119, 2022.

Sayre, R., Butler, K., VanGraafeiland, K., Breyer, S., Wright, D., Frye, C., Karagulle, D., Martin, M., Cress, J. Allen, T., Allee R.J., Parsons, R., Nyberg, B., Costello, M.J., Harris, P., and Muller-Karger, F., A global ecological classification of coastal segment units to complement Marine Biodiversity Observation Network Assessments, Oceanography, 34(2), 120-129, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2021.219 plus additional resources, 2021.

Wright, D.J. and Harder, C. (Ed.). GIS for Science, Volume 3: Maps for Saving the Planet, Redlands, CA: Esri Press, 228 pp., plus companion portal (ISBN: 9781589486713, Book DOI: 10.17128/9781589486713), 2021.

Sletten, J., D'Iorio, M., Gleason, M., Driedger, A., Vincent, T., Colegrove, C., Wright, D., and Zetterlind, V., Beyond the boundaries: How regulation-centered marine protected area information improves ocean protection assessments, biogeography, and terrestrial ecosystems, Marine Policy, 124: doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104340, 2020.

Wilson, J.P., Butler, K., Gao, S., Hu, Y., Li, W., and Wright, D.J., A five-star guide for achieving replicability and reproducibility when working with GIS software and algorithms, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 110: doi: 10.1080/24694452.2020.1806026, 2020.

Wright, D.J. and Harder, C. (Ed.), 2019. GIS for Science: Applying Mapping and Spatial Analytics, Redlands, CA: Esri Press, 300 pp., plus companion portal (ISBN: 9781589485303, Book DOI: 10.17128/9781589485303), 2019.

Sayre, R., Karagulle, D., Frye, C., Boucher, T., Wolff, N., Breyer, S., Wright, D., Martin, M., Butler, K., Van Graafeiland, K., Touval, J., Sotomayor, L., McGowan J., Game, E.T., and Possingham, H., An assessment of the representation of ecosystems in global protected areas using new maps of World Climate Regions and World Ecosystems, Global Ecology and Conservation, 21, doi: 10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00860, 2019.

Y. Hu, Li, W., Wright, D., Aydin, O., Wilson, D., Maher, O., and Raad, M., Artificial Intelligence Approaches. The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge (2019 Edition), John P. Wilson (ed.), doi: 10.22224/gistbok/2019.3.4, 2019.

Costello, M.J., Basher, Z., Sayre, R., Breyer, S. and Wright D.J., Stratifying ocean sampling globally and with depth to account for environmental variability, Nature: Scientific Reports, 8: 11259, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29419-1, 2018.

Earle, S.A., Wright, D.J., Joye, S., Laffoley, D., Baxter, J., Safina, C., and Elkus, P., Ocean deoxygenation: Time for action, Science, 359(6383): 1475-1476; doi: 10.1126/science.aat0167, 2018.

Townsend, A., Hayhoe, K., Gill, J., Shepherd, M., Foley, J., and Wright, D.The bad news we needScientific American, October 18, 2018 Observations, 2018.

Sayre, R., Noble, S., Hamann, S., Smith, R., Wright, D., Breyer, S., Butler, K., Van Graafeiland, K., Frye, C., Karagulle, D., Hopkins, D., Stephens, D., Kelly, K., Basher, Z., Burton, D., Cress, J., Atkins, K., VanSistine, D.P., Friesen, B., Allee, B., Allen, T., Aniello, P., Asaad, I., Costello, M.J., Goodin, K., Harris, P., Kavanaugh, M., Lillis, H., Manca, E., Muller-Karger, F., Nyberg, B., Parsons, R., Saarinen, J., Steiner, J., and Reed, A. A new 30 meter resolution global shoreline vector and associated global islands database for the development of standardized ecological coastal units, J. Operational Oceanography, doi: 10.1080/1755876X.2018.1529714, 2018.

Walbridge, S., Slocum, N., Pobuda, M., and Wright, D.J., Unified geomorphological analysis workflows with Benthic Terrain Modeler, Geosciences, 8(3): 94; doi: 10.3390/geosciences8030094, 2018, 

Bowlick, F.J. and Wright, D.J., Digital data-centric geography: Implications for geography's frontier, The Professional Geographer, doi: 10.1080/00330124.2018.1443478, 2018.

Wright, D.J.. Swells, soundings, and sustainability, but... here be monsters. Oceanography, 30(2): 90–103, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2017.207, 2017.

Sayre, R.G., Wright, D.J., Breyer, S.P., Butler K.A., Van Graafeiland, K., Costello, M.J., Harris, P.T., Goodin, K.L., Guinotte, J.M., Basher, Z., Kavanaugh, M.T., Halpin, P.N., Monaco, M.E., Cressie, N.A., Aniello, P., Frye, C.E., and Stephens, D. A three-dimensional mapping of the ocean based on environmental data, Oceanography, 30(1): 90–103, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2017.116, 2017.

Karagülle, D., Frye, C., Sayre, R., Breyer, S., Aniello, P., Vaughan, R., and Wright, D.J., Improved Hammond’s landform classification and method for global 250-m elevation data, Transactions in GIS, 22(1), doi: 10.1111/tgis.12265, 2017.

Wright, D.J. (Ed.). Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions, 2nd Edition, Redlands, CA: Esri Press, 500 pp., plus companion portal, e-book (Book DOI: 10.17128/9781589484603, Data DOI: 10.17128/9781589484603_d, ISBN 978-1589484603), 2016.

Wright, D.J., Toward a digital resilience, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000082, 2016.

Sullivan, C.M., Conway, F.D.L., Pomeroy, C., Hall-Arber, M., and Wright, D.J., Combining geographic information systems and ethnography to better understand and plan ocean space use, Applied Geography, doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.11.027, 2015.

Gallagher, J., Orcutt, J., Simpson, P., Wright, D., Kampel, M., Kawano, T., Maltz, F., McCann, M., Pearlman, J. Pirene, B., Pissierssens, P., Raymond, L., Shepherd, I., Waldmann, C., Williams, A. III, Facilitating open exchange of data and information, Earth Science Informatics, 8(4): 721-739, doi: 10.1007/s12145-014-0202-2, 2015.

Dick, D.M., Walbridge, S., Wright, D.J., Calambokidis, J., Falcone, E.A., Steel, D., Follett, T., Holmberg, J., and Baker, C.S., geneGIS: Geoanalytical tools and Arc Marine customization for individual-based genetic recordsTransactions in GIS, 18(3): 324-350, 2014.

Keon, D.B., Steinberg, B.M., Yeh, H.H., Pancake, C.M., and Wright, D.J.Web-based spatiotemporal simulation modeling and visualization of tsunami inundation and potential human responseInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, doi: 10.1080/13658816.2013.875548, 2014.

Falloon, T.J., Meffre, S., Crawford, A.J., Hoernle, K., Folkmar, H., Bloomer, S.H., and Wright, D.J.Cretaceous fore-arc basalts from the Tonga arc: Geochemistry and implications for the tectonic history of the SW PacificTectonophysics, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2014.05.007, 2014.

Meffre, S., Falloon, T. J., Crawford, T. J., Hoernel, K., Hauff, F., Duncan, R. A., Bloomer, S. H., and Wright, D. J., Basalts erupted along the Tongan fore arc during subduction initiation: Evidence from geochronology of dredged rocks from the Tonga fore arc and trench, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13(12): Q12003, doi:10.1029/2012GC004335, 2012.

Wright, D.J., Theory and application in a post-GISystems world, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 26(12) doi:10.1080/13658816.2012.713957, 2012.

Wright, D.J., Roberts, J., Fenner, D., Smith, J.R., Koppers, A.A.P., Naar, D., Hirsch, E.R., Clift, L.W., and Hogrefe, K.R., Seamounts, ridges, and reef habitats of American Samoa, in Harris, P.T. and Baker, E.K. (eds.), Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHab Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic Habitats, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 791-806, 2012.

DiBiase, D., Harvey, F., Goranson, C., and Wright, D.The GIS professional ethics project: Practical ethics education for GIS professionals, in Unwin, D., Foote, K., Tate, N., and DiBiase, D. (eds.), Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education, London: Wiley and Sons, 199-210, 2012.

Wright, D.J. and Wang, S., The emergence of spatial cyberinfrastructure, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(14): 5488-5491, doi:10.1073/pnas.1103051108, 2011.

Wright, D.J., Dwyer, E., and Cummins, V. (eds.). Coastal Informatics: Web Atlas Design and Implementation, Hershey, PA: IGI-Global, 350 pp. (ISBN: 9781615208159, doi: 10.4018/978-1-61520-815-9), 2011.

Heyman, W.D., and Wright, D.J., Marine geomorphology in the design of marine reserve networks, The Professional Geographer, 63(4): 1-14, 2011.

Barron, E.J., Bellingham, J.G., Boss, E.S., Boyle, E.A., Edwards, M., Fine, R.A., Johnson, K.S., Kelley, D.S., Kite-Powell, H., Ramberg, S., Rudnick, D.L., Schofield, O.M.E., Tamburri, M., Wiebe, P.H., and Wright, D.J., An Ocean Infrastructure Strategy for U.S. Ocean Research in 2030, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 98 pp. (ISBN 0-309-18603-X), 2011.

Koppers, A.A.P., Russell, J.A., Roberts, J., Jackson, M.G., Konter, J., Wright, D.J., Staudigel, H., and Hart, S.R., Age systematics of two en echelon Samoan volcanic trails, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 12, Q07025, doi:10.1029/2010GC003438, 2011.

Murphy, A.B., Colleton, N., Downs, R.M., Goodchild, M.F., Hanson, S., Lawson, V., Macdonald, G., Magilligan, F.J., Moseley, W.G., Polsky, C., Seto, K.C., and Wright, D.J. Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 172 pp. (ISBN 0-309-15075-2), 2010.

Wright, D.J., Duncan, S.L., and Lach, D.H. Social power and GIS technology: A review and assessment of approaches for natural resource management, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(2): 254-272, 2009.

Lord-Castillo, B., Wright, D.J., Mate, B., and Follett, T., A customization of the Arc Marine data model to support whale tracking via satellite telemetry, Transactions in GIS, 13(s1): 63-83, 2009.

Wright, D.J. Spatial data infrastructures for coastal environments, in Yang, X. (ed.), Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technologies for Coastal Ecosystem Assessment and Management, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-88183-4_5, 91-112, 2009.

Wright, D.J. and Heyman,W.D. (eds.), Sixth special issue on marine and coastal geographical information systems: Marine and coastal GIS for geomorphology, habitat mapping, and marine reserves, Marine Geodesy, 31(4): 223-371, 2008.

Wright, D.J., Blongewicz, M.J., Halpin, P.N., and Breman, J. Arc Marine: GIS for a Blue Planet, Redlands, CA: ESRI Press, 202 pp. + companion web site, 2007.

Falloon, T.J., Danyushevsky, L.V., Crawford, T.J., Maas, R., Woodhead, J.D., Eggins, S.M., Bloomer, S.H., Wright, D.J., Zlobin, S.K., and Stacey, A.R. Multiple mantle plume components involved in the petrogenesis of subduction-related lavas from the northern termination of the Tonga Arc and northern Lau Basin: Evidence from the geochemistry of arc and backarc submarine volcanics, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3), 8, Q09003, doi:10.1029/2007GC001619, 2007.

Lundblad, E., Wright, D.J., Miller, J., Larkin, E.M., Rinehart, R., Battista, T., Anderson, S.M., Naar, D.F., and Donahue, B.T. A benthic terrain classification scheme for American Samoa, Marine Geodesy, 29(2): 89-111, 2006.

Wright, D.J. and Scholz, A.J. (Eds.). Place Matters: Geospatial Tools for Marine Science, Conservation and Management in the Pacific Northwest, Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 305 pp., 2005.

Wright, D.J. and DiBiase, D. Distance education in geographic information science: Arena Symposium and an informal survey, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29(1), 91-100, and co-editing of special issue, 91-158, 2005.

Hepner, G., D.J. Wright, C.J. Merry, S.J. Anderson, and S.D. DeGloria. Remotely-acquired data and information in GIScience, in McMaster, R. and Usery, L. (eds.), A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science, Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press LLC, 351-364, 2004.

Psuty, N.P., Steinberg, P., and Wright, D.J. Coastal and marine geography, in Gaile, G.L. and Willmott, C.J. (Eds.), Geography in America at the Dawn of the 21st Century, New York: Oxford University Press, 314-325, 2004.

Wright, D.J., O'Dea, E., Cushing, J.B., Cuny, J.E., and Toomey, D.R. Why web GIS may not be enough: A case study with the Virtual Research Vessel, Marine Geodesy, 26(1-2), 73-86, 2003.

Wright, D.J, (Ed.). Undersea with GIS, Redlands, CA: ESRI Press, 224 pp. + CD-ROM, 2002.

Wright, D.J., Haymon, R.M., White, S.M., and Macdonald, K.C. Crustal fissuring on the crest of the southern East Pacific Rise, 17° 15'-40'S, Journal of Geophysical Research, 107, 10.1029/2001JB000544, 2002.

Wright, D.J., and Bartlett, D.J. (Eds.). Marine and Coastal Geographical Information Systems, Research Monographs in Geographical Information Science, London: Taylor & Francis, 320 pp., 2000.

Wright, D.J., Bloomer, S.H., MacLeod, C.J., Taylor, B., and Goodliffe, A.M. Bathymetry of the Tonga Trench and forearc: A map series, Marine Geophysical Researches, 21(5): 489-512, 2000.