Council of Geographic Names Authorities
in the United States

     This page contains links to a representative for each of the recognized state geographic names authorities in the United States, including two U.S. Territories.  These boards, committees, and advisers cooperate with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names in the national standardization process.  In states with no official board or committee an adviser has agreed to provide expertise and information about names in their state to assist in the standardization process.  In addition, there are links to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, the Geographical Names Board of Canada, and to the American Name Society.

     Many states have official geographic names boards while other states have only an expert adviser assigned or voluntarily reviewing name proposals for their states.  One mission of COGNA is to encourage all state governments to take an active role in the geographic name decision process by maintaining their own name authorities who, in turn, recommend names to the federal board using official naming and policies.  In addition, COGNA encourages use of the official names in GNIS at all levels of government and the public.  COGNA recommends that State names authorities promote throughout state government and the citizenry an awareness of the importance of and procedures for geographic name standardization.

Alabama Geographic Names Authority

Dr. Sandy Ebersole, Chairman
Geological Survey of Alabama
Geographic Names Committee
420 Hackberry Lane
P.O. Box 869999
Tuscaloosa, AL 35486-2852
Telephone: (205) 247-3613
Fax: (205) 349-2861

Ms. Judith Bittner
Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Division of Parks Office of History & Archaeology
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1310
Anchorage, AK 99501-3565
Telephone: (907) 269-8715
Fax: (907 269-8908


Arizona State Board on Geographic
 & Historic Names

Mr. Ryan Ehrfurth
Digital History and Maps Librarian
Arizona Memory Project: Special Maps Collection
Researt Support, Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names
State of Arizona Research Library
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
1919 W. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Telephone: (602) 926-3367

Arkansas Geographic Names Authority

Ms. Bekki White, Director & State Geologist
Arkansas Geological Commission
Vardelle Parham Geology Center
3815 West Roosevelt Road
Little Rock, AR 72204
Telephone: (501) 296-1880
Fax: (501) 663-7360

The purpose of the California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names is to provide recommendations to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names

Mr. Solomon McCrea, Chairperson
California Geological Survey

801 K Street, MS 13-40
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 323-9284

Fax: (916) 323-9264

Colorado Board on Geographic Names


Contact the Governor's office

 Connecticut Geographic Names Authority

Ms. Margaret A. Thomas, State Geologist
Connecticut Geological Survey
Office of Information Management
Dept. of Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Telephone: (860) 424-3583
Fax: (860) 424-4058

Delaware Geographic Names Authority

Mr. William S. Schenck
Delaware Geological Survey
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716-7501
Telephone: (302) 831-8262
Fax: (302) 831-3579
Florida State Board on Geographic Names

The main purpose of the Florida State Board on Geographic Names  is to assist the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and offer advice to citizens and governmental entities on name related issues.

Mr. Stephen Hodge, Director
Technical Assistance Program
Florida Resources & Environmental Analysis Center
Florida State Univerity
C2200 University Center
Tallahasssee, FL 32306
Telephone: (850) 644-2882

Kayla Barrett, Assistant Director for Archival Services
Georgia Archives
Telephone: (678) 364-3756
Fax: (678) 364-3781
Guam Geographic Names Authority

Office of the Honorable Madeleine Z. Bordallo
424 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515-5301
Telephone: (202) 225-1188
Fax: (202 226-0341

Mr. Leo Asuncion
, Director, Office of Planning
Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

Attn: Arthur J. Buto
GIS Program Manager
Hawaii Statewide GIS Program
State of Hawaii, Office of Planning
235 S. Beretania Street, 6th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
Telephone / fax: (808) 587-2894 / (808) 587-2899
Idaho Geographic Names Advisory Council



Illinois Geographic Names Authority

Dr. Edward Callary
Northern Illinois University, Emeritus
3004 Whiteway Dr.
Austin, TX 78757
Telephone: (737) 443-7502
Ms. Megan R.L. Compton, MPA
Indiana Geographic Information Officer
Indiana Office of Technology
100 North Senate Ave. Suite N551
Indianapolis, IN 46221
Telephone:  (317) 234-5889

Iowa Geographic Names Authority
Kathryne Clark, GIS Section Supervisor
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Telephone: (515) 725-8354
Fax: (515) 725-8202

Kansas Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Ivan Weichert
Kansas Geographic Names Authority
1932 SW Collins AVE
Topeka, KS 66604-3223

Kentucky Geographic Names Committee

Scott Dobler, GISP
Geography & GIS Instructor
KGA Coordinator
Mesonet Manager
Kentucky Geographic Names Committee Chair
Department of Geography and Geology
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University © 2016
1906 College Heights Blvd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Telephone:  (270) 745-4555

Louisiana Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Darryl W. Mack
GIS & Mapping, Office of Planning
Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development
P.O. Box 94245
1201Capitol Access Rd.
baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245
Telephone:  (225) 379-1283
Fax:  (225) 242-4552

Brian Guerrette, Director of Applications
State of Maine Office of Geographic Information Technology
24 Child Street, SHS 16
Augusta, ME 04333-0016
Telephone:  (207) 624-3335
Maryland Geographic Names Authority

Ms. Jennifer Chadwick-Moore
Historic Preservation Information Systems Specialist
Maryland Historic Trust
100 Community Place, 3rd Floor
Crownsville, MD  21032-2023
Telephone: (410) 697-9539
Massachusetts Geographic Names Authority

Dr. Stephen Mabee, State Geologist
Massachusetts Geological Survey
Department of Geosciences
269 Morrill Science Center
University of Massachusetts
611 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9297
Michigan Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Anthony C. Olkowski
Center for Shared Solutions
Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget
Telephone: (517) 373-7910
Fax: (517) 373-2939
Minnesota Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Kent Lokkesmoe, 
Division of Waters
Telephone: (651) 259-5700
Minnesota Department of Natural Resource

Attn: Mr. Peter Boulay
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4032
Telephone: (651) 296-4214
Fax: (612) 225-2208
Mississippi Geographic Names Authority

Dr. David T. Dockery III, State Geologist
Office of Geology, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 2279
Jackson, MS 39225

Telephone: (601) 961-5544
Fax: (601) 961-5521


Mr. John Dougan, Chairman Designee
Missouri State Archives
Telephone: (573) 751-4236

Erin Fashoway, GIS Coordinator
Telephone: (406) 444-9013
 Nebraska Geographic Names Authority

Trevor Jones, Director and SHPO
Nebraska State Historical Society
1500 R Street, P.O. Box 82554
Lincoln, NE 68501-2554
Telephone: (402) 471-4745
Fax: (402) 471-3100
  In March of 1985, Senate Bill 265, amended Chapter 327 of Nevada Revised Statutes and created a Board to "coordinate and approve geographic names within the State for official recommendation to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names."

Jack Hursh, Chairman
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
University of Nevada, Reno, MS 178
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557
Telephone:  (775) 682-8760

Dr. Christine Johnson, Executive Secretary
Nevada Historical Society
1650 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89503
Telephone:  (775) 688-1191 x 231
New Hampshire Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Ken Gallager
New Hampshire Office of Energy & Planning
4 Chenell Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Telephone: (603) 271-2155
Fax: (603) 271-1728
New Jersey Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Ron Pristas, GIS Specialist 1
Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water Supply and Geoscience
Geoscience Evaluation & Information Section
New Jersey Geological and Water Survey
P.O. Box 427 Mail Code 29-01
Trenton, NJ 08625

Telephone: 609-292-2576 or 609-984-6587
Fax: (609) 633-1004
Zachary L. Stauber
GIS Coordinator
Enterprise GIS Section
Office of Information Technology
New Mexico Environment Department
PO Box 5469
Santa Fe, NM 87502-5469
Mobile: 505-795-4181
Main: 800-219-6157
Fax: 505-827-2765
Mr. Brad L. Utter, Senior Historian/Curator
New York State Committee on Geographic Names
New York State Museum
3021 Cultural Education Center
Albany, New York 12230
Telephone: (518) 473-0028
Fax: (518) 486-2149
Mr. Tim Johnson, GISP (acting NCBGN Chair) Director
Center for Geographic Information and Analysis
North Carolina Department of Information Technology

North Dakota Geographic Names Authority

Claudia J. Berg, Director
State Historical Society of North Dakota
612 East Boulevard
Bismarck, ND 58505
Telephone: (701) 328-2666
Ohio Geographic Names Authority

Mr. David Blackstone, Executive Director
Ohio Geographical Referenced Program
Ohio Department of Administrative Services
GIS Support Center
77 South High Street, 19th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Telephone: (614) 466-4747
Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names
Note: the Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names can be found under General Interest.  The link is at the bottom of the list.

The Board was created by Oklahoma statutes in 1965 the purpose of the Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names is to make recommendations to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names [HB 810, sec. 310 (b), (4)].

Ms. Stacey Evans, Chair
Oklahoma Geological Survey
Sarkeys Energy Center
100 E. Boyd St., Suite N131
Norman, OK 73019
Telephone: (405) 325-8898 


The purpose of the Oregon Geographic Names Board is to supervise the naming of geographic features within the state of Oregon and to make recommendations to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Mr. Kerry Tymchuk, Secretary
Oregon Geographic Names Board
Oregon Historical Society
1200 S.W. Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205-2483

Telephone: (503) 306-5239
Fax: (503) 221-2035

Mr. Bruce Fisher, President
Oregon Geographic Names Board
5062 SE Alii Court
Milwaukie, OR 97267-1709
Telephone:  (503) 653-5359

Mr. Champ Vaughan, Vice President & Interim Committee Chair
Oregon Geographic Names Board
17400 Holy Names Drive, Unit 519
Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Telephone:  (503) 387-3204
Pennsylvania Geographic Names Authority

Ms. Karen Galle
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Historic Preservation
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 2nd Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0093
Telephone:  (717) 705-4266
Fax:  (717) 772-0920
Puerto Rico Geographic Names Authority

Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration
Office of the Governor
1100 17th St., N.W., Suite 800

Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: (202) 778-0710
Fax: (202) 778-0721


Rhode Island Geographic Names Authority

Ms. Meredith E. Brady, Associate Director
Department of Administration
Division of Statewide Planning
One Capitol Hill, 3rd Floor
Providence, RI 02908-6496
Telephone: (401) 222-5772
Fax: (401) 277-2083
South Carolina Geographic Names Authority

Brad Sauls
State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
SC Department of Archives & History
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, SC 29223
Telephone: (803) 896-6172

South Dakota Geographic Names Authority

Ms. June D. Hansen, Chair
SD Board on Geographic Names
700 East Broadway
Pierre, SD 57501
Telephone: (605) 773-3540

Fax: (605) 773-4442 or (605) 773-3921
Gregory H. March
Map/GIS Librarian
University of Tennessee
Map Services G21A Hodges Library
Knoxville, TN 37996
Telephone: (865) 974-3878
Fax: (865) 974-3925
Mr. Richard Wade
Geographic Names Coordinator
Texas Natural Resources Information System
P.O. Box 13231
Austin, TX 78711-3231
Telephone: (512) 463-4010
Mr. Arie Leeflang, Secretary
Utah State Committee on Geographic Names
Division of State History
300 Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

Telephone: (801) 533-3528
Fax: (801) 533-3504

Vermont State Names Authority
Vermont State Board of Libraries
Vermont Department of Libraries
60 Washington Street, Suite 2
Barre, VT 05641
Telephone: (802) 636-0040
Attn: Geographic Naming, Lauren Wallace

Virginia Geographic Names Authority

Sandra Treadway
Librarian of Virginia/State Archivist
Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone: (804) 692-3535
Fax: (804) 692-3603

Mr. Caleb A. Maki, Executive Secretary
Washington State Board on Geographic Names
Department of Natural Resources
1111 Washington Street SE
P.O. Box 47030
Olympia, WA 98504-7030
Telephone: (360) 902-1280
Fax: (360) 902-1778

West Virginia Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Paul Liston
West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey
1 Mont Chateau Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
Telephone: (304) 594-2331
Fax: (304) 594-2575
Mr. Carroll Schaal, Section Chief, WGNC Chair
Water Quality Bureau / Division of Water
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Telephone: (608) 261-6423
Ms. Shelley Messer
State Engineer's Office, Surface Water Division
Herschler Building, 1-W
125 W 25th St
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Telephone: (307) 777-5801