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Retired WVU geography professor receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Greg Elmes

Greg Elmes, professor emeritus in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by the West Virginia Association of Geospatial Professionals for his dedication to the study and promotion of geographic information systems (GIS).

Though Elmes retired from teaching courses at West Virginia University in 2015, he remains active in research in the geography department and with the West Virginia GIS Technical Center, housed in the department.

He has more than 30 years of experience in geographic information systems and the application of GIS techniques to societal issues such as public health, industrial geography, forensics, crime mapping, and public safety.

“It is a recognition of the time devoted to both GIS and promoting GIS as an economic development and environmental tool for the state of West Virginia,” said Trevor Harris, Eberly Distinguished Professor of Geography. “Greg has devoted his life to this university, this department, this tech center, and to the state.”

Most recently Elmes co-edited the 2014 book, “Forensic GIS: The Role of Geospatial Technologies for Investigating Crime and Providing Evidence,” a book of case studies written for researchers, practitioners and students.

The book discusses a wide range of technologies and applications for geographic, or location-based, information systems in forensic science, and serves as a review of geospatial technology—the collecting, storing, processing and examining of geographic information—as it applies to criminal justice.

Elmes earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Newcastle, United Kingdom, in 1972, a master’s degree. in geography from Pennsylvania State University in 1974, a Ph.D. in geography from Pennsylvania State University in 1979, and a master of science degree in Geographical Information Systems from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He joined the WVU faculty in 1979.