Miriam Olivares, researcher and GIS educator, is the GIS Librarian of Yale University. Her permanent appointment is at the Center for Science and Social Science Information. With 18 years of interdisciplinary academic training, scholarly work, and research, she has been providing support to higher-ed communities from dozens of fields of study. Her primary focus is supporting all GIS for teaching, research, and innovative spatial projects at Yale. She supports geospatial endeavors by connecting experts and advising how to integrate GIS into any field, promoting data-driven decision-making and enabling others' geospatial power to influence cutting-edge research and projects. Before Yale, Miriam was the Geospatial Coordinator for the GEOSAT (Center for Geospatial Sciences, Applications, and Technologies) and the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, where she promoted and supported geospatial initiatives across campus for a student population of over 60,000.
Miriam has collaborated as a researcher in projects concerning crime analysis and deterrence, hurricane evacuation zones, marine conservation, maternity mortality, and others. On a given day, she can be advising on how to map or conduct spatial analysis on Lyme disease, land characterization, schizophrenia, crime analysis, or Egyptian artifacts, to name a few. Miriam has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has participated in binational GIS panels and collaborated or consulted with partners in Australia, United States, Mexico, Central America, and, recently, Somalia. She served as a panelist for the Women and GIS Panel organized during the Esri International User Conference 2019, and was a guest speaker for the GIS Peer Success Webinar. In Spring 2019, she was invited by the U.S.-Mexico Leaders Network as a guest speaker to offer a GIS webinar to 500 female high school students, living in Mexico, participating in the program Mujeres Lideres in STEAM.
Miriam has been featured in the Esri Press book Women and GIS: Mapping their Stories, a compendium to pay tribute to twenty-three ordinary girls who became extraordinary GIS professionals. She is a member of the board of directors of Junta for Progressive Action, a multi-service nonprofit based in the Greater New Haven area; and recently served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Yale Library Staff Diversity and Inclusion. She is a fellow of the Yale Timothy Dwight Residential College—where she advises five undergrad students—and was co-chair of the Yale Women in Tech. Since she arrived to the United States, Miriam has been involved in initiatives benefiting communities in need and Latinx communities, offering training to students and educators, collaborating with the Mexican Consulate in Houston, and organizing conferences to raise awareness about Latinx issues such as urban planning or the murders of women in Juarez, Mexico.
Miriam has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Monterrey Tech, is a Master of Science in Land Development, and is a doctoral candidate in Urban and Regional Science at Texas A&M University. She holds a GIS Professional certification by the GIS Certification Institute and a Certificate in Business from the Texas A&M Mays Business School.
She is a GIS research evangelist at Yale, dedicates herself to guiding and educating those who seek to make a difference through GIS and geospatial technology. Her efforts, along with many others highlighted in this book, make it easier for all women in STEM to succeed.