CHARLES M. CRONER, Ph.D. (retired)
Geographer and Survey Statistician, Office of Research and Methodology, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Editor, Public Health GIS News and Information, 1972-2007
Chuck Croner, Geographer and Survey Statistician, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), served as founding Editor of the bimonthly digital newsletter Public Health GIS News and Information (online at http://stacks.cdc.gov ). This pioneering publication, 1994-2006, helped establish the CDC as the lead agency and focal point for the timely dissemination of GIS and public health related developments worldwide. Initially designed for CDC staff, its readership grew to include most U.S. State and local public health departments, and an extensive international audience. Chuck received the highest award from the private sector (ESRI, 2007), and many awards from government, academia and the CDC.
Chuck majored in geography at Towson (BS) and Michigan State (MA, PhD) universities, and studied statistics at Harvard. Prior to graduate school, Chuck served as an Infantry Officer (rank of Captain), and helicopter navigator, in the U.S. Marine Corps. “The military served to advance my geographic foundations, both through formal land and air navigation instruction, and instill in me an indispensable perspective of mapping in dynamic time and space.“
Although there were only several professional geographers employed at the CDC in 1972, Chuck worked to position the CDC into one of GIS and public health leadership. “I believed CDC’s outstanding reputation for medical intervention, including life saving vaccines and the prevention of costly infectious and chronic diseases, could benefit further from the inclusion of geography into the emerging multidisciplinary CDC approach to public health science. The timing could not have been better.” Through the newsletter, the role of geography at CDC reached nationally and across the globe.
Chuck provided CDC public health leadership as the first Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) representative to the nation’s Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), where he “served with distinction” having guided HHS to member status. Chuck is responsible for the successful development of federal GIS interagency agreements with the U.S. Bureau of Census, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development , to leverage geospatial investments; for creating the first long-term collaborative small area GIS study of minority health between CDC and Cleveland’s Center for Community Solutions (CCS); and, for having contributed to the planning and instruction of the USGS Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Summer Faculty GIS Workshops program.
Chuck created CDC’s first GIS Awareness Week, Cartography and GIS Guest Lecture Series, Public Health GIS Users Group, and the Internet GIS Guest Lecture Series. He received numerous career awards for his work with GIS and minority public health disparities. He was tasked by the CDC to help design CDC’s first Enterprise GIS Roadmap.