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ASU alumnus named 'Young Geospatial Pro to watch in 2022'


Headshot of ASU alumnus Dave Grafton.

Dave Grafton

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February 09, 2022

Dave Grafton, an ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning Master of Advanced Study in geographic information science alumnus, was named a “Young Geospatial Pro to watch in 2022” by xyHt geospatial magazine. 

The award, part of the trade magazine’s annual features, recognizes up-and-coming young professionals who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments to date and show great promise for the future.

Grafton, now a geographic information systems analyst at geospatial hardware and software company Bad Elf, joins 21 other young geospatial professionals on the national list who are “making a name for themselves in everything from surveying to geographic information systems.”

“I'm honored to be recognized alongside such a bright and accomplished group of geospatial professionals,” said Grafton, who graduated from the master's degree program in fall 2021. “There's so much potential in the geospatial field with the incredible amount of resources and technology available to us today, and I'm ecstatic to be part of the effort to realize that potential.” 

In his current role, Grafton develops tools that integrate his company’s Global Navigation Satellite System receivers with external software to perform various specialized activities. He also helps support the development and field-testing of new geospatial products for user experience and shares his knowledge with others through data collection training.

Previously, Grafton worked for the state of Arizona in the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Center for the Future of Arizona, collecting and analyzing spatial information for the public benefit.

“A priority of ASU’s MAS-GIS program is to bring students and geospatial professionals together. The ability to interact with people working in a variety of fields benefits students by exposing them to the full breadth of being a GIS professional,” said Shea Lemar, director of ASU’s Geospatial Research and Solutions, who also teaches in ASU’s Master of Advanced Study in geographic information science program. “It is so rewarding to see that our alumni are not only succeeding at their place of work but are being recognized at a national level.

“(David) not only excelled in all of his classes, he worked outside of his classes to expand his knowledge and shared his experience by mentoring other students and helped the program to be better.” 

While continuing to advance in his career, Grafton says he’s grateful for his ASU roots. 

“I would just like to say thank you to all of my professors, peers and internship supervisors at ASU that lent me the guidance to lead me to where I am today,” he said. “I appreciate all of you.”

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