MAGIC 2012 Award Winners

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Tony Spicci, Missouri Department of Conservation (MO) - MAGIC Lifetime Achievement Award

While Tony Spicci's day job may be as the GIS Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), he wears, and has worn, many local, regional and national hats that embody the vision of the MAGIC Lifetime Achievement Award. (Perhaps all that hat wearing is why he lost his hair!) Tony first began his career in GIS in the late 1980s in New York State. In 1992, he began his tenure at MDC. Tony quickly became involved in GIS activities in the region, but also used his knowledge outside of the traditional world of GIS. He worked his way through the ranks to become a Lieutenant in the Boone County, Missouri Fire Protection District and the Technical Information Officer for Missouri Task Force 1, which was deployed on September 11.

Tony's time with MAGIC began in 1998. In the years since, he has served on the MAGIC Executive Committee for 10 years, as the Symposium Chair, Consortium Chair and a Director. He is currently MAGIC's liaison to the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). In this role, and also through his appointment to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), he has been tremendous in bringing awareness of regional issues to the national spotlight. Even though Tony is from New York, as he will often remind you, his GIS efforts are always focused on the Mid-America region.

Tony obviously has too much free time. In addition to MDC, NGAC, MAGIC and NSGIC (which he served on the Board of Directors and as President) Tony has also served as the Chair of the Missouri GIS Advisory Committee (MGISAC), and as the Missouri Geographic Information Officer (GIO) from 2006-2008.

Tony may have a lot of acronyms on his resume, but it's the results of his hard work that make Tony one of the most respected GIS professionals anywhere. Tony has clearly given his passion to mid-America GIS and to MAGIC and he is very deserving of this prestigious award.


Liz Cook, USDA-NRCS (MO) & Ray Fox, USGS (MO) - GIS Coordination

Over the last 5 years the State of Missouri has been progressively adopting the use of Aerial LiDAR technology for collecting topographic information over large areas. In an effort to maximize the projects, there has been a grass roots consortium of State and Federal Agencies that is referred to as the "Missouri LiDAR Stakeholders". Partners in this consortium include the MO NRCS, USGS, DNR, SEMA, MO Dept of Conservation, US Fish & Wildlife and the US Army Corp of Engineers. Liz and Ray Fox have been very involved with the consortium from the beginning. They have spent many hours behind the scenes ensuring the success of the Missouri LiDAR Stakeholders and educating users on the benefits of LiDAR. There have been several workshops held, whitepapers written, stakeholder meetings coordinated and possibly a few arms gently twisted. This group is a perfect example of the strength in numbers and though all of the Stakeholders have been key pieces to the puzzle, Liz and Ray have been there every step of the way.


Don Heiman, State of Kansas CIO (retired) (KS) - GIS Innovation

Don Heiman has implemented a bold new vision for modernizing the legislative process, referred to as e-Democracy. His vision, skills and tenacity, coupled with a broad understanding of government finance is part of the story. Don's career working with census, crime data, and econometric studies with Midwest Research Institute, showed him that GIS could be a key underpinning of how Legislators deliberate policy and anticipate impacts of legislation. He collaborated with Sean McGrath, of Propylon, to build and implement the Kansas Legislative Information System and Services (KLISS). Geo Notes, the new term for the GIS tools, is used by legislators to understand and communicate the impact of new legislation on real people and places. Don's vision extends beyond the Legislative Branch to the Judicial Branch, in that KLISS is a "time-machine", archiving all deliberations, changes and supplemental notes for all to know why and how a law came to be written. KLISS opens up the legislative deliberation process with a high degree of transparency; focused on both citizens and policy makers being able to monitor bill status by geographic impact area - all retained as a permanent record of the democratic process. Don Heiman and the KLISS team deserve recognition for outstanding vision and the tenacity to persuade legislative leaders of its value, and to implement KLISS, which went live in 2011.


Larry Zink, State of Nebraska GIS Coordinator (retired) (NE) - GIS Service

Larry has been one of the most committed GIS workers in the State of Nebraska for many years. He started as coordinator for the Nebraska GIS Steering Committee in 1991. He oversaw the evolution of that committee into the Nebraska GIS Council in 1998. He has directed many of the state's GIS projects from a position that has constantly been on the move. He was also involved in the efforts that led to the creation of the Nebraska GIS/LIS Association and served for many years as the Nebraska representative to the MAGIC and to the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). His participation in these groups and in the biennial GIS symposiums has kept GIS users throughout the state and region aware of the Nebraska's GIS activities. Larry's guidance has resulted in a valuable expansion of GIS in the state and he encourages those in the GIS community to become involved. Larry truly deserves to be acknowledged for his outstanding GIS Service to the State of Nebraska and the Midwest region.

John Ellis, The Chickasaw Nation, Map of The Chickasaw Nation - Best Project Showcase

The Chickasaw Nation is located in scenic south central Oklahoma. It is comprised of all or parts of 13 counties totaling 7,443 square miles. The Chickasaw boundary and legislative districts were created in the Chickasaw Constitution of 1855. The Map of the Chickasaw Nation "Unconquered and Unconquerable" was designed to showcase the cities and towns that fall within the Chickasaw boundary along with the Pontotoc, Pickens, Tishomingo and Panola legislative districts. The Chickasaw Nation employs more than 11,000 people. The map was designed to aid the employees in determining location and eligibility for services. By providing maps such as this one, the GeoSpatial Information department plays a role in enhancing the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people. The map was created using ArcGIS v10 and Photoshop CS5. A United States Geological Survey (USGS) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was incorporated as the background to enhance the design of the map. As many employees now frame maps for office use, a neutral color palette was assigned to match the décor of most Chickasaw Nation facilities. The Chickasaw Warrior statue is an icon, a symbol of the Chickasaw Warrior's spirit.

Andrew Fergueson, University of Missouri, Forest Fire Modeling within the Mark Twain National Forest - Best Student Project Showcase

This study used GIS applications to identify areas of forest that have an increased risk for fires. Changing regional climate effects along with bug infestations have created conditions that make Mark Twain National Forest more susceptible to large scale fires. Due to the increase of fire occurrences, with the largest on record occurring during the fall of 2011, it is imperative that more studies be designed to help determine which areas of the park are most susceptible. Further research would help with fire prevention methods and preparations that will help mitigate damage to the forest, surrounding regions, and the people who call this area their home. FARsite forest fire modeling software was used to simulate forest fires in designated zones created in Arcmap on thematic maps converted from LANDSAT 5 imagery using ERDAS Imagine. These designated fire zones were used as test trigger points for fire starts to quantify the number of acres that could be damaged by spreading fires within a three day period.