Esri Announces Winners of the Visualize Your Water Quality Challenge
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Esri Announces Winners of the Visualize Your Water Quality Challenge

High School Students Raise Awareness for Watershed Health with Story Maps

Redlands, California, April 26, 2016 —  Esri joins the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Geological Survey in congratulating the winners of the  Visualize Your Water Quality high school citizen science challenge. In the challenge, students from 13 US states used Esri geographic information system (GIS) software and open water-quality datasets to investigate nutrient pollution in their local watershed—raising awareness for issues affecting areas from the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes region.

Visualize Your Water Quality is part of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's  Nutrient Sensor Challenge. This effort builds on the Open Water Data Initiative's mission to make water datasets more accessible for better management of this valuable resource. Students involved in this challenge created story maps using Esri ArcGIS Online.

Here are the winners of this year's Visualize Your Water Quality challenge

"The winning story maps show that students weighed carefully various elements in a complex issue and put serious study into making the data intelligible," said Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri education manager. "This is the power of geographic thinking: thoughtful analyses of data and careful presentations of patterns and relationships in ways that clarify complex situations."

The grand prize winner will be awarded $2,500 and an invitation to attend the Esri Education Conference in San Diego, California, June 25–26, 2016. The schools winning the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes Regional prizes will each be awarded $2,500. National Geographic has selected a National Geographic Prize winner, who will receive a copy of the National Geographic Atlas of the World. All six winning visualizations will be published in Esri's Mapping the Nation book.

Any US K–12 school can receive a no-cost  ArcGIS Online school account from Esri to be used in conjunction with President Barack Obama's  ConnectED Initiative.

For more information on Esri's education program, visit

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at



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