Morag Hawkins, BSc (Hons), MSc

Programme Manager


Silvan House
231, Corstorphine Road
EH12 7AT

Morag has developed extensive experience of enterprise GIS development and implementation in the public and private sectors over the last 30 years. Morag’s blend of skills in geographic information systems, information technology, programme management and forestry are ideally suited to managing complex GIS projects from inception through to completion.

Morag joined the Forestry Commission (FC) in 2006 and moved into Forest Research in 2016. She studied for a BSc. (Hons) in Geography between 1981 and 1985 and went on to complete a MSc. in Geographical Information Science in 1986, both at the University of Edinburgh.  Morag holds Prince 2 Practitioner certification.

Prior to joining the FC Morag was a consultant with Esri (UK) Ltd and a founding member of  Esri’s successful Edinburgh Office. She was accountable for delivering projects in all stages of the system life cycle, including analysis, design, implementation, documentation and project management.

Morag worked for the Crown Estates as a GIS developer and had sole responsibility for all analysis, design and development of an organisation-wide GIS system for The Crown Estate using structured techniques, producing measurable business benefits.

After graduation, Morag’s first job was as a GIS Developer for Bartholomew, Edinburgh. She was part of a team involved in one of the first commercial GIS applications in Britain. She  was Responsible for the administration, control and maintenance of Arc/Info and Oracle software, the analysis, design and development of application software and documentation in CASE tools.

Current Role

Programme Manager

Morag leads the team that is responsible for the development of the Forestry Commission’s corporate operational GIS, Forester. Forester is FC’s principal asset management information system that underpins all the key business processes and activities taking place on the FC estate and associated legal and policy compliance. Forester is a business critical repository of environmental information with over 1000+  users in many different business areas.

Morag’s role is focused on:

  • Establish the strategic direction of GIS ensuring that it aligns with Corporate, Business and Policy strategy.
  • Lead, facilitate and communicate the delivery of the GIS programme of work, to schedule and budget.
  • Assure the quality of the GIS programme.
  • Ensure the effective and efficient service delivery of GIS to the business.
  • Programme management of an internal and external team
  • Champion the use of GIS and develop opportunities with customers to maximise and leverage the benefit of GIS to the FC.
  • Establishment of new technologies such as GIS web and mobile for our customers.

Main publiucations and knowledge exchange activities


2016: Presentation at the Esri Scottish Users Conference “Forester Web as an effective Collaboration tool

2014: Presentation at the Esri User Conference, London “Moving 1000+ ArcGIS for desktop users to the web