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Thursday, March 26, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: New Competency-based Program Coming, Esri ConnectED at 1000 Schools, GISCI and USGIF Partner

SNHU Planning GIS Curriculum

Rich Schultz has noted on LinkedIn the plan for a GIS program at competency-based Southern New Hampshire University starting next fall. Open source will be part of it. Schultz left Elmhurst, a private liberal arts college outside Chicago to join the online program at SNHU last year.

Amazon Puts Landsat Data on AWS; GIS Firms Use it

The news from Amazon:
You can now access over 85,000 Landsat 8 scenes through our newest Public Data Set: Landsat on AWS. The scenes are all available in the landsat-pds bucket in the Amazon S3 US West (Oregon) region.
Probably more interesting to educators is what Esri, Mapbox, Planet Labs and others have done with the datasets. You'll find what they've built at the bottom of this post.


GPS Day was March 25 per a press release.
GPS Day is an extension of National Surveyors Week, an initiative focused on key educational achievements and land survey awareness. National Surveyors Week is hosted by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and state surveying societies across the country. Download your National Surveyors Week Resource Kit.
While the date has passed, it's a good idea for GIS classes to consider surveying and vice versa on any available date.

Miglarese Distinguished USC Alumna
Aiken native, Anne Hale Miglarese, president and CEO of PlanetiQ, a Maryland-based company that will launch the first commercial constellation of weather satellites, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award for her outstanding service to the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences.
The headline: "Anne Hale Miglarese named distinguished alumni." I don't think that's quite right.

Update on Esri's ConnectED Initiative

A press release in conjunction with the White House Science Fair this week reveals:
I'm not sure if the 1000 schools are new signups since the initiative began or include schools already involved with state or other K-12 Esri licenses. Still, 1000 schools is 1000 schools!

The training grants are apparently not applied for, nor formally announced. I think this event I cited in New Hampshire is an awardee.

The students from Bow won the New Hampshire competition and are currently finalists in the national Samsung contest, as I noted earlier this month.

Official Statement from American Sentinel University on GIS Program Shutdown

American Sentinel University shared this official statement on the GIS program shutdown I covered last week.
The changing healthcare landscape has created tremendous career opportunities in nursing, management and leadership and as a result, American Sentinel University has discontinued enrollment in GIS degree and certificate programs to realign program offerings to meet new career-specific needs in the healthcare industry.
The university is no longer enrolling new students in the GIS programs. Current students may continue to take classes and complete their degree, transfer to another American Sentinel degree program, or leverage credits obtained at American Sentinel toward programs at other institutions.
The decision to discontinue the GIS programs was a difficult decision for the university, but it was important to realign with today’s changing needs. This new focus means that some valued faculty are in new roles or may no longer be affiliated with the university.

Mapping Common Core Test Boycotters

Nola.com offers a map of where in Louisiana students opted out of common core tests in March. The maps seems to be missing a legend.

Where students opted out of Common Core tests in
Louisiana in March. Green means no boycotters.

Why can a Novice ask on Reddit but not use a Manual?

This appeared on Reddit/GIS today:
Hi, I am new to GIS and have a simple question that I am sure can be answered very easily and could be found in a manual. However, I am so green that I am not even sure what keywords to search for! So I am sorry to ask here, but would really appreciate a simple explanation.
Ok, so I have opened a shapefile of the districts of Liberia in ArcMap and all I want to do is change the color of 6 of the districts to represent the area where we recently completed a nutrition survey. Then I will add some labels and thats all.

So I want to know how I can simply change the color of the 6 districts.
Thanks so much for your help.
It's unclear if the person is in a class or learning GIS on his or her own. The responses were quite respectful and did indeed answer the question. My concern here is that this person, who is savvy enough to find and use Reddit/GIS, is unable to use the resources for the software to find the answer.

GISCI Agreement with USGIF on Credentialing

The press release states:
The GISCI Board is pleased to announce that they have [sic] entered into an information sharing memorandum with the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF). This agreement is designed to further inform the Foundation’s Universal GEOINT Credentialing program.
So, for now, nothing is happening. The release does go on to highlight USGIF is beta testing its credentialing program this summer at its GEOINT event. Whether and how the new GISCI exam and USGIF credentialing will impact geospatial education is unclear.

Young Professionals Deals for GEOINT 2015

If you meet requirements you can get a reduced registration for the June 22-25 event in DC or a free one (travel/hotel are your responsibility):
USGIF is now accepting applications and nominations for the GEOINT 2015 Symposium Young Professionals Golden Ticket Program. The Foundation will select up to 25 individuals to participate in this exclusive opportunity, which includes complimentary full symposium and GEOINT Foreword registration for the GEOINT 2015 Symposium in Washington D.C. Selected individuals will participate in several young professionals-only activities such as a mentoring luncheon, special exhibit hall activities, and an invitation to the USGIF Chairman’s Reception.
Applications due April 10.

The Geography of Food

The San Diego State newspaper interviews Pascale Joassart-Marcelli who offers the course Geography of Food (GEOG 340).

Danville High Students Working on School Master Plan
The city of Danville, in collaboration with the school district, is developing a Danville High School Campus Master Plan, aimed at making the campus safer, more attractive and more user-friendly, and the advanced-placement class is assisting with the effort.
The local paper refers to an urban geography class taking part in the special project this semester, but I suspect it's AP Human Geography. In any case, it's awesome.


MITx is offering Design and Development of Games for Learning starting April 1. It's from the team that taught the ed tech course I took last fall, which was excellent. So, if you are thinking about educational games, I think it'd be a valuable course.

Kerski to Keynote Iowa GIS Conference
Central College will host about 100 geographic information system (GIS) users for the Iowa Geographic Information Council (IGIC) conference April 7-9.
The school is in Pella. Attendees will participate in a MapGive project and 5k run/walk. Esri's education manager Joseph Kerski will give the keynote. I wrote about Central last year, noting its one of a few schools in that state that require GIS study for environmental science majors. I spend my time at small Iowa colleges up the road at Grinnell.