ABS Consulting Group, Inc.: Home | Blog | Resume | Speaking | Publications

Thursday, October 1, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: NSF, OSGeo and MacArthur Awards and How to Win a Map Contest

Freshman Year for Free

If you missed it, a number of colleges and universities are aligned with Modern States Educational Alliance. The Alliance  which will organize more than 30 EDx developed freshman level courses and materials prepping students to take AP or CLEP tests. The idea is that using the free materials students can in fact gain credit via the (fee-based) tests at these institutions. AP Human Geography is not yet listed.

Face to Face  and Online Events (Two Online Ones Today!)

Safe Software Grant Program Webinar
Every year, over 4000 FME licences are donated to individuals and organizations who need it for research, education, [emphasis mine] conservation, and humanitarian efforts. Learn how 5 of our grant program recipients used FME to unlock their data and transform our world. 
The webinar is today at 8 am Pacific Time.

Sleepwalking into the Future? A World without Spatial Thinking

Esri's Joseph Kerski speaks on the subject (pdf flyertoday at the University of Redlands at 11:30 am PT or later (no actual time for talk is provided) via livestream (link to be here at time of event). A recording is expected to be available for later viewing.

AAG to Tackle Disruption in Higher Education

Thriving in a Time of Disruption in Higher Education will be a theme at AAG 2016 Annual Meeting set for San Francisco, California March 29 – April 2, 2016. Papers and sessions are welcome.

Clarion University GIS Conference

Clarion University will host the 10th anniversary Northwest Pennsylvania Geographic Information Systems conference Oct. 15 and 16. University community is free and everyone else pays a minimal fee for one or two days. Keynote topics: (1) Esri and (2) Ushahidi. Sounds like a great, small event.

Free ConnectED Webinar from Esri and NCGE

Wed, Oct 7, 2015 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT, free
This webinar is designed for those just wondering how to start, with a special ConnectED offer from Esri for US K12 schools. Register now!: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2311089148719287297
GIS in Education & Research Conference, Toronto, Nov 30

The University of Toronto and Esri Canada are hosting the one day event with keynoter Mike Goodchild as the keynote speaker. The event is free.


Afraid you'll miss this important news? Subscribe to receive it via e-mail each Thursday.

Twenty Person GIS Shop Offers Internships

ProStar Geocorp in Grand Junction, CO has grown from a one-man shop 11 years ago to 20 today. The company was profiled in the local paper. Most interesting from an educational standpoint is how the company works with educational institutions. Per Page Tucker, CEO and founder:
Now what we’re doing is, we’re starting to work closely with Colorado Mesa University to create an internship program where a student in the computer sciences ... as they are getting into their junior and senior year, they could come work for us as interns. Then they would become really highly qualified. We will give them real-world experience and then if we’re very happy with their performance and they want to stay in Grand Junction, we’ll employ them.
Remember When...

Your local software reseller also provided training? Everything old is new again!
Basic Geospatial Concepts will be addressed in a six-week series of sessions put on by California Surveying and Drafting Supply, Inc. (CSDS). ...
The classes will be held from 6:30–8:30 p.m. every Thursday from October 15 through November 19 at 4733 Auburn Blvd. in Sacramento. The cost is $350 per student and attendance will be limited to 12 students.
This course is ideal for college students majoring in land surveying, mapping, and geographic information system modeling. It also provides an excellent introduction to fundamental surveying and mapping concepts for lay people who want to gain a better understanding of how geospatial technology works.
I'm curious to see how this goes.

How to Win A Map Contest

Wise words for students entering map contests from Gretchen Peterson.

University of Redlands Receives its Largest NSF Grant Ever to Research Spatial Thinking in K-5
Researchers at the University of Redlands have received a grant of almost $700,000 to educate and empower students for success in STEM courses and careers by improving their spatial thinking and computational skills at the elementary level.
The National Science Foundation awarded the highly competitive grant, which is the University’s largest-ever NSF award, to Redlands as lead of the two-year pilot program, commencing Nov. 1, 2015, to develop and test spatial STEM+C (science, technology, engineering, mathematics plus computing) activities in K-5 classrooms.
Supporting partners include schools (AAA Academy in Redlands and Inland Leaders Charter School  and a technology company (Esri). Work begins Nov. 1, 2015 and ends in October 2017.

Professor Wins Saul Katz Award
Maria Brovelli was honored with the 2015 Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software during the FOSS4G 2015 conference in Seoul, South Korea. This was the eleventh year of the award. 
Maria has been working at the Politecnico di Milano since 1994, first as researcher, then as Associate Professor and finally as Full Professor. She is currently teaching Digital Cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Internet GIS. In 1997, she started the Laboratory of Geomatics, placed at the Como Campus of the Politecnico di Milano and up to 2011 she has coordinated its activities as Head of the Lab. She has been involved in Politecnico governance by covering several service activities. Currently (since January 2011) she is Vice Rector of Politecnico di Milano for the Como Campus.
- press release

University Students Put Businesses on the Map
High Point University students help local business owners build their own website at the Triad’s first “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” event on Sept. 28 at the High Point Chamber of Commerce. Search engine giant Google created the “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” program to help business owners across the country build a website for their company so customers can find them online quickly and easily.
At the event, HPU students in the entrepreneurship program assisted any local business owner who did not have a website but wanted to seek guidance in building an online presence.
While there is very little mapping in Google's “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map,” and more website development (and content and potential advertisers for Google) I like the service component of this program.

Where has Public School Enrollment Grown the Most in the Last 25 years?

The article from  American School and University covers important demographic shifts:
One state's student numbers have more than doubled, but 10 states and the District of Columbia experienced a drop from 1988 to 2013.
The map could be improved.

MacArthur Genius Winner Uses Geography at School without Geography Department
John Novembre, a computational geneticist who studies the evolutionary history and genetic diversity of human populations, has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow.
Among Novembre’s most prominent discoveries was the finding that genes almost perfectly mirror geography in Europe—an individual’s DNA can be used to determine the area where they were born, often to within a few hundred kilometers. 
The University of Chicago rebranded and shrunk its geography department to a committee in 1986.

New (and New to Me) GeoSpatial and Related Degree Programs

SNHU Online BS Degrees in GeoSciences

Southern New Hampshire University, SNHU, is one of a few schools offering competency-based degrees.

The online BS in Geosciences has two concentrations: geospatial technology and natural resources and conservation. I count about five courses in geospatial from remote sensing, to spatial analysis to GIS. They are coded as science, geography and IT courses.

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technologies program with a concentration in Geographic Information Systems has a bunch of IT and a smattering of GIS courses. The GIS courses, again, number about five.

The only software mentioned in the courses is ArcGIS. I took a look at SNHU after finding an article it's touting geospatial as part of its STEM offerings.

New Post-Bacc GIS Certificate at Cal State DTLA
We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications to the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Science* at the new Cal State LA downtown campus (DTLA).
The best summary is not on the program website but on this page from Los Angeles County Enterprise GIS. Applications open now; first cohort starts January 25, 2016. Via Esri HigherEd-L.

Esri Education News

Esri Story Map on Remote Sensing

Dawn Wright shared a list of them on GeoNet.
We just released several new story maps that provide insight into imagery and remotely sensed data available through ArcGIS Online.
More SpatiaLABS Coming from Esri

Michael Gould tweeted:
about 20 new SpatiaLabs [sic] exercises are in the pipeline, on business, geodesign and oceans topics.
I guess that means SpatiaLABS are valuable enough for Esri to continue to produce them and distribute them for free under a CC license. The current Labs live here.

I wish I could find all the Esri education resources in one place. One reason I started this newsletter was to collect at least some of Esri's and others' resources educators might miss.

Recent post(s) from Ignite Education