Mapping Innovation Earns Instructor Academic Accolades

Sept. 26, 2023

Patrick “Pat” Kennelly, Ph.D., director of Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) geographical information systems (GIS) program, was recently awarded The British Cartographic Society’s annual Henry Johns Award, which recognizes the most outstanding mapping work published in the society’s peer-reviewed “The Cartographic Journal.” The 2022 award is Kennelly’s second Henry Johns Award in three years, having also received the recognition in 2020.

Titled “Decoupling Slope and Aspect Vectors to Generalize Relief Shading,” the winning article represents “a real step forward in the rigorous development of new methods of relief shading,” according to the journal’s editorial board. The paper proposes a new technique to show mountains and other landforms with just the right amount of detail as users zoom in and out of digital map displays.

Kennelly enjoys working with students to not only collect and analyze geographic information, but also to clearly display and communicate results. “Students in our program are in part visual artists using data to paint digital maps of the landscape,” he said.

Kennelly earned his doctorate in geography at Oregon State University. Prior to joining COCC in 2019 as GIS program director, he taught graduate and undergraduate coursework at Long Island University, served as GIS manager with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, and held the role of GIS project manager for a Portland-based environmental/engineering firm.

The British Cartographic Society, founded in 1963, is a leading global academic forum for mapmaking.

Pat Kennelly