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Thursday, March 19, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: American Sentinel Suspends Programs, GeoTech Awards, Women at Conferences

American Sentinel University Suspends Geospatial Degrees/Certificate

You'll find this note on the page for each of the four GIS degrees/certificates (example) American Sentinel University was offering until January.
Not accepting new enrollments in B.S. Geographic Information Systems as of Jan 9, 2015.
I contacted admissions and the official statement is:
We are not accepting any new students in our GIS programs, and we have not been told if we will offer these programs in the future.
Unofficially, it's my understanding the whole program is being shut down. The university started offering online GIS degrees in 2007.

State of Women in GIS As Told by Tweets at #DevSummit and #FOSS4GNA

Last week two groups gathered to talk about Esri's developer options and free and open source software for geospatial. Here's what Twitter offered about how women fared at each event.

Tamar E Cohen ‏@tamarmalade:
I love being a woman at a conference and getting respect, instead of people assuming I am a secretary. #foss4gna #eclipse2015
Andrew Ross ‏@42aross:
So many amazing women of geo at this year's #foss4gna 
Dane Springmeyer ‏@springmeyer:
Majority of @Mapbox speakers at #foss4gna are Women (6 of 10) who code: https://www.mapbox.com/blog/foss4gna-2015 …
Skora, Will ‏@skorasaurus:
Cc #FOSS4GNA attendees, Men who go to tech conferences: read this please http://medium.com/@sailorhg/coding-like-a-girl-595b90791cce …
LindaHecht @LindaHecht:
From an ex-Esri exec perspective....I had a great time! Such energy and innovation. Thanks for welcoming me.
One note on that last tweet. Linda Hecht did confirm she's left her role as Esri's Chief Marketing Officer. I believe Hecht was the highest ranking woman at Esri, save Laura Dangermond. And, Esri's Amber Case, who headed the Portland R&D office has left the company to join Healthways. She explains her plans on her blog.

Glenn Letham @gletham @AmyNiessen hey Amy is the estrogen catching up with the testosterone levels at DevSummit these days?  
Amy Niessen ‏@AmyNiessen:
@gletham Not quite. Are you here?? 
Marianne Cardwell ‏@emmster07:
The nice thing about developer conferences is that, for once, the bathroom lines are for the men, not the women. #devsummit [similar sentiments in several tweets] 
Kim ‏@kim:  Thank you! "@keitadv: Great meeting you today at #devsummit & thx for kind words. Def check out @ghc #ghc14 - inspiring tech women like you" 

AAG Members Favor Name Change to AAG

The details: Members favor a change from the Association of American Geographers to the American Association of Geographers. The discussion has been going on for some time, with a poll being part of the 2015 elections.
AAG Name Change binding referendum: AAG members were in favor of changing the AAG name from the Association of American Geographers to the American Association of Geographers, by a vote of 2,411 voting yes and 444 voting no (approximately 85% voting in favor of the name change and 15% not in favor).

Great Storytelling about the Power of Maps

A Sheriff And A Doctor Team Up To Map Childhood Trauma is the title of the NPR piece, part of the radio network's What Shapes Health? series. This is a story that shows the power of maps.

This is a great educational resource because:
  • Maps were key to the sheriff and doctor coming together to tackle a problem.
  • The maps were important in making change.
  • The actual technology is not mentioned and doesn't really matter.
  • It's not John Snow.
  • The sheriff and the doctor are both women.

Esri announces GIS in Business MOOC: The Location Advantage

The Location Advantage, a free MOOC begins in May. It's six weeks long and includes "free access to Esri’s cloud-based location analytics platform during the course." I think that means Business Analyst Online. It's unclear who it teaching the course, but the syllabus is available.

GeoTech Center Awards

The GeoTech Center recognizes those individuals and organizations that have helped support geospatial education. The 2015 recipients per the March newsletter (pdf):

Lifetime Achievement in Geospatial Two-Year College Education
Tora Johnson
She teaches GIS and environmental studies at UMM and serves as the director of the GIS Laboratory and Service Center.

Distinguished Geospatial Educator Award
David Skiles
David Skiles is behind the the Front Range Community College GIS program -- Boulder Campus

Distinguished Geospatial Education Partner Award
Through Virginia’s Community Colleges (GeoTEd) project has made significant contributions in support of geospatial education at two-year community colleges in Virginia and the surrounding region.

Ad for Geospatial Semester at Rock Ridge High School

The video below aims to encourage students to participate in James Madison University's Geospatial Semester.

Lyzi Diamond on GIS Education

It's worth the hour or so to listen to Mapbox's Lyzi Diamond explain what's wrong with GIS education  on Hangouts with James Fee from last week. I agree that we need to move from "bottonology" with one software product to "concepts"and the use of many software products to better prepare students for the real world. Diamond argues that students still want to learn to use a piece of software. In short, there is work to be done!

For those who don't want to watch a video, you can use this free cloud tool to create an MP3 from the YouTube video.

New Esri Web Mapping Workbook

Esri published Getting to Know Web GIS, a workbook that teaches students how to use Esri's  technology to create web GIS applications per a press release. The book is 392 pages and runs $84.99.

DigitalGlobe, Esri, NGA Partner to Support Penn State GEOINT MOOC
DigitalGlobe recently partnered with Penn State University, the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Esri for the capstone exercise of Geospatial Intelligence & the Geospatial Revolution MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by Penn State. This exercise allowed students to access an interactive map with current satellite imagery and over 40 DigitalGlobe Landscape +Human map layers to evaluate possible locations for Ebola treatment clinics in Monrovia, Liberia, using Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform. The map was developed to realistically parallel the NGA Ebola Support page for which we provided satellite imagery and map layers to support the international community’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
That's from the DigitalGlobe Blog. A few comments:

  1. Not just any education institution could have pulled this off. Penn State, and instructor Todd Bacastow, have been building a reputation over years to enable this type of project. (Disclosure: I'm on the advisory board for the Penn State MGIS program and have taught in it.)
  2. I'm pleased the project involved a humanitarian rather than a defense topic. The world needs to realize that while GEOINT is strongly associated with defense and offense, the strategies work for humanitarian, business and other areas.
  3. I was over on CoureTalk. the course review website. and there is only one review of this MOOC. If you took it, go over and provide input. These reviews are very valuable to the instructors and potential students.

South Carolina to offer GEOINT Certificate

MaryAnne Fitzpatrick, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina, tweeted that the geography department would offer a GEOINT certificate.

AmericaView Invites Participation in Earth Observation Day, April 8

Thomas R. Mueller, Ph.D., GISP of PennsylvaniaView shares:
Earth Observation Day (EOD) is a STEM educational outreach event of AmericaView and our partners. EOD will be celebrated officially in 2015 on Wednesday, April 8th. The goal is to engage students and teachers in remote sensing as an exciting and powerful educational tool. - http://www.americaview.org/earth-observation-day

We recently uploaded the 'Understanding Land Use and Land Cover Using ArcGIS Online' lesson. It teaches middle school students how to use ArcGIS Online to create a simple land use map. In it, students will learn the difference between land use and land cover, the difference between natural and man-made features, and basic mapping skills including feature identification and polygon/area delineation. The lesson can be adapted by teachers to increase knowledge and complexity, by adding supplemental readings and/or additional mapping questions
It can be accessed with this link: http://www.americaview.org/content/resource/understanding-land-use-and-land-cover-using-arcgis-online

We also have a link to ESRI’s [sic] wonderful ChangeViewer: http://www.americaview.org/earth-observation-day#quicktabs_11%3D2

Finally remember the Memory Game when you were little – well we have a Memory Game using Satellite Imagery, check out this lesson: