Dawn Wright

Chief Scientist
Esri, US

Affectionately referred to as Deep Sea Dawn, Dr. Dawn Wright's contribution to the global scientific community has spanned more than three decades, with her expertise in oceanography and geography world-renowned.

As the first African-American female to dive to the deep ocean floor in a submersible in 1991, Dr. Wright has played a key role in over 20 oceanographic research expeditions, exploring places never-before-seen spanning from Antarctica through to the underwater volcanoes surrounding Japan.

During her 17 years as a professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University, Dr. Wright worked with the next generation creative, innovative scientists to break down barriers in making new discoveries for the future-proofing of the planet.

Following this, Dr. Wright was appointed Chief Scientist at Esri where she currently works with agencies from all corners of the globe empowering the need to understand the earth’s surfaces, and integrating state-of-the-art geospatial technology to unlock previously untapped insights on our environment.

Globally, Dr. Wright has worked with scientific agencies including NOAA, the United States EPA, XPRIZE Ocean Discovery, the Sicence Advisory Council of Conservation International, and the National Academy of Science Ocean Studies Board. Furthermore, Dawn is an elected lifelong fellow of: American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Geological Society of America; the California Academy of Sciences; Stanford University Leopold Leadership Program; and the American Explorers Club.

From her experience with deep-sea mapping and environmental conservation, Dr. Wright has authored over 160 articles and 10 books, in an effort to educate the masses of her mission to see evidence-based decision-making help agencies better understand the totality of the planet to greater protect it into the future.

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