Redlands, California-The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE), which works to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning, is recognizing ESRI staff George Dailey and Angela Lee with the Distinguished Teaching Achievement (DTA) award. Dailey and Lee are part of the education program at ESRI, the worldwide leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology. They will receive their awards at NCGE's annual conference, being held October 9–12, 2008, in Dearborn, Michigan, at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn.

"Both George and Angela have a long history of providing excellent professional support to geography educators working to incorporate GIS into their classrooms," said Kimberly Crews, executive director, NCGE, "and NCGE has a long history of honoring those educators who support geography education."

Every year, the NCGE College, University, and K–12 DTA awards recognize outstanding geography teaching in institutions and communities throughout the United States and Canada including U.S. Department of Defense schools abroad. Dailey and Lee will receive their awards in the category of Informal, Community, and Professional. Out of the five possible areas, this category honors educators whose achievements may impact learners at more than one educational level, or whose contributions fall outside traditional education venues such as educators employed by businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

"I'm deeply honored by NCGE for this award," said Dailey, K–12 Education Program manager, ESRI, who has been working with the geography education community since the mid-1980s. "It has been exciting to help facilitate teachers, students, and others in becoming GIS savvy, but most importantly in becoming better geographic thinkers and advocates. The ongoing strides that NCGE, its constituents, and the geography education community make to advance spatial literacy go to the core of our present and future. I'm happy to help support that mission."

Each DTA recipient will receive a plaque at the 2008 NCGE National Conference on Geography Education, free registration for the event, and a one-year membership in NCGE. NCGE, founded in 1915, has approximately 2,000 members and is today's premier professional geography education association in North America.

"I'm very grateful to NCGE," said Angela Lee, libraries and museums program manager, ESRI. "Cultivating an appreciation and understanding of geography is critical in this increasingly globalized society, and NCGE has done great work to expand geographic education. Helping to create materials that facilitate GIS use and geographic thinking in education has been very rewarding, and I'm pleased to help support NCGE's goals."

Additionally, NCGE is recognizing ESRI's new Our World GIS Education book series with the Geography Excellence in Media (GEM) award. The GEM awards committee chooses from all nominated forms of noncommercial and commercial media published from 2006 to 2008 that exhibit outstanding geographic content or teaching methods and may include Web sites, CD-ROMs, videos, software, television documentaries, films, slide sets, books, and articles. The award is based on the quality and impact of the productions in advancing the learning and teaching of geography for any age group. ESRI also received a GEM award for its first edition of Mapping Our World: GIS Lessons for Educators.