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

Attn: Ms. Joan (Jo) M. Antonson
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1310
Anchorage, AK 99501-3565
Telephone: (907) 269-8714
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

Ms. Sara Morrison, Chairperson
California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names
Northern Region-1
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Region

1234 East Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA 93710
Telephone: (559) 243-4014 Ext. 229 
Fax: (559) 243-4020

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

Georgia Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Steven W. Engerrand, Assistant Director
Archival Section, Georgia Archives
Telephone: (678) 364-3756
Fax: (678) 364-3860
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

Ms. Elizabeth Witkowski
Idaho State Historic Preservation Office

Idaho State HIstory Society
210 Main Street
Boise, ID 83702
Telephone: (208) 488-7467

Illinois Geographic Names Authority

Mr. Robert A. Sinclair
Sinclair and Associates
312 South Fair Street
Champaign, IL 61821
Telephone: (217) 356-9285

Dr. David L. Gross
Senior Geologist & Ass't. Chief
Illinois State Geological Survey
Natural Resources Building
615 E. Peabody Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820
Telephone: (217) 333-0150
Fax: (217) 244-7004

Dr. Edward Callary
Northern Illinois University, Emeritus
3004 Whiteway Dr.
Austin, TX 78757
Telephone: 512-540-4451
Indiana Geographic Names

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

Ms. Anji Auger
GIS Coordinator
Maine Office of GIS
State House Station 145
Augusta, ME 04333
Telephone:  (207) 592-1765
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

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Ms. Dallas Cowart, Administrative Assistant
P.O. Box 2279
Jackson, MS 39225

Telephone: (601) 961-5501
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."

Skip Canfield, Chairman
Nevada Division of State Lands
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
901 South Stewart Street
Carson City, NV 89701
Telephone:  (775) 684-2723

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. William P. Graff
Supervising Topographic Engineer
New Jersey Geological Survey
P.O. Box 427
Trenton, NJ 08625
Telephone: (609) 292-2576
Fax: (609) 633-1004
New Mexico Geographic Names Subcommittee

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
New York State Committee
 on Geographic Names

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
North Carolina Geographic Names Authority

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

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)].

Mr. T. Wayne Furr, Executive Secretary
Oklahoma  Board on Geographic Names
Oklahoma Geological Survey
The University of Oklahoma
2020 Industrial Blvd.
Norman, OK 73069
Telephone: (405) 325-1299 (leave message)
Fax: (405) 366-2882 Office

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


Contact the Governor's office

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
Utah Committee on Geographic Names

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

Mr. Dan White, Cartographer
R4 R0 U.S. Forest Service
324 25th St.
Ogden, UT 84401
Telephone: (801) 625-5183

Vermont State Names Authority

Mr. Scott Murphy, Acting State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0601
Telephone: (802) 828-3265
Fax: (802) 828-2199

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

Washington State Board
 on Geographic Names

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
 Wyoming Board of Geographic Names

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