Dr. Wright is the chief scientist for the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), a world-leading geographic information system (GIS) software, research and development company. She aids in strengthening the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while also representing Esri to the national/international scientific community. Dr. Wright also maintains an affiliated faculty appointment as professor of Geography and Oceanography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.
Dr. Wright’s research interests include geographic information science; ocean informatics and cyberinfrastructure; benthic terrain and habitat characterization; and the processing and interpretation of high-resolution bathymetry, video, and underwater photographic images. She has authored or co-authored more than 150 articles and six books on marine geographic information systems, hydrothermal activity and tectonics of mid-ocean ridges, and marine data modeling and cyberinfrastructure. Dr. Wright has participated in over 20 oceanographic research expeditions worldwide, including 10 legs of the Ocean Drilling Program, three dives in the deep submergence vehicle Alvin and twice in the Pisces V. Her fieldwork has taken her to some of the most geologically active regions of the planet, including the East Pacific Rise, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Juan de Fuca Ridge, the Tonga Trench, and volcanoes under the Japan Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Dr. Wright serves on the Science Advisory Boards of NOAA, COMPASS Science Communication, Inc., and Conservation International, as well as many journal editorial boards. She is a fellow of: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, and Stanford University’s Leopold Leadership Program. In 2007, she was named Oregon Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Dr. Wright holds an Individual Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Physical Geography and Marine Geology from UC-Santa Barbara, an M.S. in Oceanography from Texas A&M, and a B.S. cum laude in Geology from Wheaton College, in Illinois.