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Tennessee Committee on Geographic Names: Tennessee Committee on Geographic Names

Tennessee Committee on Geographic Names

Tennessee Committee on Geographic Names

The Tennessee Committee on Geographic Names is one of 50 state names authorities in the United States and is a member of the Council of Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA)The Tennessee Committee on Geographic Names is a voluntary group of subject matter experts who act in an advisory role when naming of geographic features (new names for unnamed geographic features, name or spelling changes, or changes in application) within the state of Tennessee are proposed and under review by the United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN).  The USBGN has final approval authority for place naming for federal maps and products.  Information such as online forms for domestic naming proposals, member directory, and links to the websites of several other state names authorities can be found at the USBGN website.      

Please contact Peter Lemiszki, Chair, Tennessee Committee on Geographic Names, with any questions.


Committee Members

Jennifer Barnett                

Allen Coggins                     

Steve Cotham                    

Jason Duke                       

Zada Law                          

Peter Lemiszki (Chair)       

Gregory March                  

Chris Meeks                      

Tiffany Momon                   

Tammy Sellers                   

Kurt Snider                        

David Starnes                    

Chuck Sutherland               

Van West                           

Ronald Zurawski                

Want to Propose a Domestic Naming?

People interested in learning more about the USBGN and Domestic Names can go to the USBGN Domestic Names webpage. 

To Propose a Domestic Naming:

The Domestic form has been replaced with a PDF version (below) that can be downloaded, completed, and returned by email to (or printed and mailed, although as long as we continue to telework full-time, access to the USGS mailroom is infrequent and mail will be delayed).    

Need to Query the GNIS?

The U.S. Board also maintains the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), which serves as the official database for geographic names for the federal government. 

The current public-facing GNIS application (Domestic, Antarctica, and Topographic Cell searches) will be available until Monday, August 30.  After August 30, the system will be unavailable until it's migrated to a new system - a free, open-source, relational database management system. The USGS has been busy for some time developing new tools and may be ready for a seamless transition, but it is more likely the public GNIS will be unavailable for a period of time after August 30.  



Council of Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA)

The Council of Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA) is an association of state and federal government agencies representing the official and recognized geographic names authorities in the United States who work to promote national standardization of the names of geographic features for official use throughout the country.  Please visit the COGNA website for more information.