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Dawn Wright

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Information about Dawn Wright

Profile image of Dawn Wright

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Oceanographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream (Vanilla), Ice Cream (Coffee), Apricots (Dried), Cherries
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches, National Parks
Favorite Quote:
Just do it.

Birthplace

Born:
4/15/1961
Birth Location:
Baltimore, Maryland

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Oceanographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream (Vanilla), Ice Cream (Coffee), Apricots (Dried), Cherries
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches, National Parks
Favorite Quote:
Just do it.

Birthplace

Born:
4/15/1961
Birth Location:
Baltimore
See how Dawn Wright is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Professor and oceanographer Dawn Jeannine Wright was born on April 15, 1961 to Jeanne and Robert Wright. Wright grew up on the island of Maui, Hawaii, fascinated by stories of adventure and discovery of the open seas. She graduated cum laude with her B.S. degree in geology from Wheaton College in 1983. She then earned her M.S. degree from Texas A&M University in oceanography in 1986. During her graduate studies, Wright served as a graduate research assistant and a marine laboratory specialist with the Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M University. Following her work as a marine laboratory specialist, Wright received her Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1994 with her dissertation entitled “From Pattern to Process on the Deep Ocean Floor: a Geographic Information System Approach.”

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hired Wright as a postdoctoral research associate following graduation. She began her teaching career in 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Oregon State University. By 2002, she was promoted to full professor. Wright is an expert on geographic information systems, and her work has focused on mapping the ocean floor in locations around the globe including: Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, in American Samoa, the East Pacific Rise in the Pacific Ocean, the Tonga Trench in the South Pacific Ocean, and the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the North Pacific Ocean. Along with her work in mapping the sea floor, Wright has assisted with a number of outreach programs, hoping to encourage more minority and female students to consider a career in the sciences.

Wright has published a large number of papers detailing her investigations. She has received several awards in recognition of her work, both as a teacher and as a leading scientist in her field. She won the United States Professor of the Year for the State of Oregon in 2007, and has been listed as one of fifteen scientists featured in Portraits of Great American Scientists. She was also named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Wright has co-authored the reference book, Arc Marine: GIS for a Blue Planet.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dawn Wright's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's family background - part one
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's family background - part two
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's education and her career as a college professor
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright talks about the medical complications surrounding her birth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dawn Wright talks about her mother's decision to move from Baltimore to Canada and then Hawaii
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's decision to move to Canada and then Hawaii, and her family's early lives there
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright describes her family's early life on the island of Maui, Hawaii
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Hawaii
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about the people of Hawaii and her experience while growing up there
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright talks about adjusting to her new life in Hawaii as well as her experience at school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes her childhood attraction to the ocean and its influence on her career aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright talks about her interest in space exploration and science fiction
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about her interest in Christianity at the age of eight
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes the influence of her fourth grade teacher, Sue Okata
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about growing up in Hawaii and the weather and sports
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright talks about attending middle school in Hawaii and California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright talks about her high school coach and her interest in track and field at Baldwin High School on Maui, Hawaii
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's decision to return to the Baltimore, Maryland in the 1970s to take care of her ill grandmother
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her experience at Wild Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland and how it differed from Hawaii
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright talks about the teachers who mentored her at Wild Lake High School, and the community of Columbia, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright talks about her athletics and academic performance at Wild Lake High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to attend Wheaton College and major in geology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes her experience at Wheaton College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about majoring in geology at Wheaton College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes the non-conflicting emphasis on religion and science at Wheaton College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright talks about her social life at Wheaton College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright describes her involvement with sports and the BRIDGE program at Wheaton College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright describes her geology field training experiences at Wheaton College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to pursue graduate studies in oceanography at Texas A&M University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright describes her first research experience aboard a research ship
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her master's degree dissertation research
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes the principles that underlie bathymetric measurements
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright talks about her master's thesis advisor, William Sager
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her experience as a marine technician for the oceanic drilling program at Texas A&M University - part one
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright describes her experience as a marine technician for the ocean drilling program at Texas A&M University - part two
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to pursue her doctoral studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about her Ph.D. dissertation research committee
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright talks about her first encounter with oceanographer Sylvia Earle
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright describes her historic dive aboard the Deep-Submergence Vehicle, Alvin
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her bicycle team's third place win in the 1992 NCAA Collegiate Road Nationals
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes her doctoral dissertation research on mapping the ocean floor using the geographic information systems (GIS) technique
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to work at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and at Oregon State University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her experience at Oregon State University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright talks about the importance of mapping the oceans
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about her book, 'Marine and Coastal Geographical Information Systems'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright talks about her research activities in Samoa
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about the ArcGIS model and its applications
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright talks about her professional activities - part one
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright talks about her professional honors and awards
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright talks about her professional activities - part two
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright reflects upon her life and career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about African American oceanographers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright talks about her family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her photographs