About Me
Hello! My name is Maja (My-a) and I'm a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary. I'm thrilled to be a recipient of the 2022 Esri Canada GIS Scholarship as well as the 2022 Esri Young Scholars Award. GIS has been near and dear to my heart since my first course on the topic in 2012. It's been central to my undergraduate thesis, research internships, years in environmental consulting, and my graduate programs. For my Master's program, I studied drone-based remote sensing and published on the spatial accuracy of drone light detection and ranging. Throughout my graduate experience, I’ve also had the opportunity to work on several GIS group projects relating to geographic object-based image analysis, spatial accuracy of drone photogrammetry, drone-based 3D geologic mapping, drone incidents and accidents, and drone flyability in adverse weather conditions. For my PhD, I applied my knowledge of drone-based remote sensing to a domain I’d long been curious about: disaster management. Since then, my PhD program has reignited my passion for GIS as I’ve learned about its crucial role in preventing and mitigating disasters, providing situational awareness during an event, and serving as an information hub for long-term recovery. The overall goal of my doctoral research program is to evaluate drone-based pre- and post-disaster mapping as a tool to support disaster management, particularly for assessing building damage. My first project provided a critical review of drone-based mapping in natural hazard-related disasters to highlight research trends, biases, and expose new opportunities. In addition to the research publication, I communicated the results of this work to a general audience by writing an article in The Conversation. My second project presented the first pre-disaster drone-based mapping mission over an urban area (downtown Victoria, British Columbia) approved by Canada’s aviation authority. The objective was to assess the quality of 3D data obtained with the only legally approved drone. My third and current project evaluates the use of artificial intelligence (i.e., deep learning) for automatically mapping hurricane roof damage. Check out the story map below for more information. My post-graduate career plans are to apply and continue advancing my geospatial skills in the context of climate change and disaster management. This includes addressing disaster symptoms, such as damage to the built and natural environments. I am also eager to tackle disaster root causes, including issues such as poor disaster risk management, destruction of natural ecosystems, and greenhouse gas emissions. Feel free to contact me at maja.kucharczyk@ucalgary.ca
Award Type
Esri Young Scholar
2022 Scholarship - University of Calgary
2022 Esri Young Scholars Award Winner
Graduation Year
PhD Geography, University of Calgary
MSc Geography, University of Calgary
BS Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
Awarded By
University of Calgary
Poster Title
Automated mapping of hurricane roof damage using deep learning and drone imagery: An end-to-end Esri ArcGIS Pro workflow
Enrolled at
University of Calgary
Awarded By
University of Calgary
2022 Type
Recipients of the Esri Canada GIS Scholarship, Esri Canada Higher Education GIS Award and Esri Young Scholars Award in Canada
Recipients of the Esri Canada GIS Scholarship
Winners of the Esri Young Scholars Award in Canada and Honourable Mentions
Recipients of the Esri Canada GIS Scholarship and Esri Canada Higher Education GIS Award in 2022

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