Clark University Graduate School of Geography alumna Safaa Karaki Aldwaik received the Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award for her geographic information systems work with the City of Ramallah, Palestine. She received her award from Esri President Jack Dangermond during the Esri User Conference 2015 in San Diego, July 22.
Aldwaik is the Director of Geographic Information Science and Information Technology Department at Ramallah Municipality, Palestine. She has established the first GIS Municipal System in Palestine and is using cutting-edge GIS concepts to implement the first addressing system in Ramallah City and to convert the entire municipal services to e-services.
At Clark, Aldwaik earned two master’s degrees (’07 and ’10) and a Ph.D. (’12) in geography with a concentration in GIS, Land Change and Remote Sensing.
“The knowledge and experience I gained in my time at Clark was priceless and enabled me to change the Palestine GIS interface. GIS now is part of Ramallah City’s daily works,” Aldwaik said. “No words are enough to express my gratitude for Clark faculty, and for my remarkable adviser [Robert Gilmore Pontius Jr., professor and associate director of the Graduate School of Geography].”
Aldwaik also designed a Ramallah Smart City project that turns the entire city into a wireless access zone providing free, 24-hour access to municipal services. She is co-president the Smart Cities Committee established during UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau and Council Joint meeting in Adana, Turkey in December 2014 to improve the knowledge of local authorities and citizens of Middle East and West Asia region in the field of new technologies.
“As you see, being a mother of five children has not prevented me from being a role model for women participating in science, technology, and public services,” Aldwaik noted in a message to Prof. Pontius.
The Esri company develops geographic information systems that “function as an integral component in nearly every type of organization. Esri inspires and enables people to positively impact the future through a deeper, geographic understanding of the changing world around them.”
Established in 1921, the Graduate School of Geography at Clark is internationally renowned for innovative scholarship and is an acknowledged leader in the field. Consistently ranked as one of the top-ten graduate programs by the National Research Council, Clark Geography enables graduate students to train with top professionals and participate in a world-class research community. Furthermore, having awarded more Ph.D.’s than any other geography program in the United States, Clark Geography has a reputation for training future leaders in the field. Read more about Clark’s tradition of pioneering geographic scholarship.