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U of M Professor Esra Ozdenerol Will Give Keynote Address During UK Refugee Week

For release: June 12, 2013
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

Dr. Esra Ozdenerol
Dr. Esra Ozdenerol

Dr. Esra Ozdenerol, associate professor of geography in the Department of Earth Sciences and director of the graduate certificate program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Memphis, will deliver the keynote speech at London’s Refugee Therapy Centre Annual Open Day on June 21. The address is part of Refugee Week, a United Kingdom-wide program of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK and promote better understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

“Dr. Ozdenerol’s renowned work on furthering the cause of social justice gives us a shining example of what we can strive for, and we are honored that she will open the event with her address,” said Dr. Aida Alayarian, clinical director and chief executive of the Centre.

Ozdenerol’s research focuses on community asset mapping and health applications of GIS and remote sensing. She utilizes participatory approaches to build GIS capacity at the grassroots level. GIS mapping and spatial analyses have proved to be valuable in visualizing community dynamics. GIS enables humanitarian organizations to analyze information to reveal hidden spatial relationships that can have a decisive impact on the outcome of their operations.

Ozdenerol has lectured nationally and internationally on GIS issues related to health disparities, and she frequently collaborates with local organizations on mapping projects. GIS has numerous applications, including traditional geographically-related fields like urban planning and cartography, but also environmental impact assessment reports and natural resource management.

“GIS has had a profound influence on geography and will continue to be used in the future as it allows people to efficiently answer questions and solve problems by looking at easily understood and shared data in the form of tables, charts, and most importantly, maps,” said Ozdenerol. 

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