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Thursday, August 25, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Two Free Courses on Remote Sensing, Eastern Kentucky May Lose Geography

Programs, Degrees and Courses

There's a nice write-up on GIS at Tufts University (just down the street from me). "Originally, GIS courses were offered almost exclusively to graduate students within the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Since [Patrick] Florance arrived at Tufts in 2006, the demand for GIS instruction has increased dramatically, especially in the last four years. Today, more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students use GIS mapping and data analysis in courses offered in departments including environmental studies, earth and ocean sciences; public health; urban and environmental policy and planning; civil and environmental engineering; international relations; biology; and many others. Introduction to GIS fills to capacity every semester and is offered within the international relations and environmental studies departments, but allows students to pursue research in any area of their choice. Other GIS courses explore the environment, catastrophes, agriculture, medicine, public health, food, and more."

The White House/Department of Education’s Asian American and Pacific Islanders Data Challenge is now open. The University of California Riverside is also a partner in the effort. Submissions are due September 5. Awards include fame but no money: "The Elevate: AAPI Data Challenge is non-monetary. Selected applicants will be invited to a convening hosted by WHIAAPI and AAPIData.com in Washington, DC, on October 7, 2016."

Earth Observation from Space: The Optical View is a free online course from the European Space Agency. "Discover how optical Earth observation data is gathered and used in this free online course from the European Space Agency (ESA)." The course runs five weeks, starting on Sept 12. My Esri colleagues will no doubt give me grief if I don't suggest this would pair nicely with our Earth Imagery at Work course, starting on Sept 7.

Geography is among the majors recommended for suspension in a preliminary report by the  Eastern Kentucky University Academic Budget Review Subcommittee of majors and minors.

Resources and Events

Proceedings from this year's Esri User Conference are available (to all).

Directions Magazine will host a webinar All You Need to Know about the New GIS&T Body of Knowledge, Wednesday, October 26th 2016, 2:00pm - 3:00pm. It will feature John Wilson from USC and Ola Ahlqvist from Ohio State.

This summer, nine students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in New York City took part in a pilot program to develop a game-based remedial math curriculum. Project Sampson combines math concepts with real-world geography problem solving as players work to manage the impact of a natural disaster.

Manitoba K-12 teachers and students can join a collaborative mapping project using ArcGIS Online and the Collector for ArcGIS app. Discovering our Diversity through GIS (pdf) prompts students to discover the diverse qualities and characteristics of their communities’ landmarks. Teacher professional development is included. Esri Canada, MEGUG and Map to Learn are the sponsors.

This fall, the Vermont Geographic Alliance will offer two two-day Saturday workshops for educators interested in learning how to use ArcGIS Online as an instructional tool. Participants receive a $100 stipend.

The Central Appalachian YouthMappers Symposium is set for September 23, 2016 at West Virginia University. (Sorry, I have no further details.) MappersU, an international university consortium on Mapping for Resilience operationalizes and unifies itself via an outreach effort called YouthMappers, established to provide structure and guidance to the individual, student-led chapters and their mapping efforts. YouthMappers launched in November 2015 and now has several dozen school members across the globe.


University of Central Florida scientists (biology, geography, engineering, sociology and education) received a $1.6 million National Science Foundation grant to figure out what makes natural systems and human interaction projects a success. The focus is on a 20 year of restoration effort in the Indian River Lagoon in Volusia County to see if it’s made an impact beyond cleaning the waterway. Geographer Timothy Hawthorne will develop a portal to capture stories and perceptions of restoration in the lagoon.


Shane Bradt, UNH Extension’s geospatial technologies and water quality specialist, is this year’s recipient of the Maynard and Audrey Heckel Extension Educator Fellowship, which recognizes exemplary program accomplishments within Extension. Congratulations to one hardworking educator!