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Thursday, July 11, 2019

GIS Education Weekly: The State of the Geography Major

Geography Education

AAG: Should we Be Worried? - AAG President David Kaplan observes, "No matter our research excellence, our success in procuring funding, our prominence in public discussion – if geography loses its majors, the field as a whole is in peril." Kaplan notes former AAG President Ron Abler had "ignore undergrads" at #3 on his list of Five Steps to Oblivion, from 1993. Via Joseph Kerski. This is a topic we need to revisit regularly. That's in part why I cover the new programs and those that are shutting down.

Medium: Is My Learned Society Obsolete? - Bruce Caron, who was one of four keynoters for Esri's Education GIS Summit, is asking. Via @kennethfield. Another topic to revisit regularly.

UN Environment: UN Environment and NASA reach agreement on new global learning initiative - "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United Nations Environmental Programme have agreed to work together on the promotion and implementation of Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) and UN Environment’s activities." GLOBE has been around for a some time; I think the news is that UNEP is now involved. Its logo is not currently listed on the GLOBE website.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Forbes: Hurricane And Earthquake Scales Often Confuse People - Why That's Dangerous - Did you follow Marshall Shepherd on Twitter as I suggested last week? No? Here's another reason you should.

Yahoo: Map: The lowest-paying job in each U.S. state - "According to an analysis by Yahoo Finance — using recently released Occupational Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — the lowest-paying jobs in the U.S. pay an annual mean wage between $18,000 and $26,000 a year." An interesting map to analyze.

Esri Press: New desk copy access was announced at Esri Education GIS Summit. Books are now available electronically before publication. Print copies of some titles are available in the U.S. for a flat fee of $25. Esri is using a service called VitalSource.


GISCI: GISCI Announces Revised Exam Blueprint - "GISCI has released a revised blueprint for the Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam ® for the GISP certification. The December 2019 exam and subsequent exams will be based on the revised blueprint." What's different? About 8% of the content is new; there are details in this crosswalk between the old and new blueprints. I also saw that the pass rate is now 60%, per Bill Hodge, GISCI executive director.

On and Off Campus

University of Oregon: Spatial Data Science: Geography Maps a Course - The article covers what graduates with spatial data science and technology degrees from the geography department are doing. "'We’re not going to use Google Earth, we’re going to teach you how to make it,' Professor Amy Lobben tells her students." This sort of article helps keep new undergrads in the geography pipeline. If your institution doesn't tell its success stories, who will?

Keene State College: Geography Comes to Life for Students Traveling East Asia - Students in the field studies course in Keene State’s Geography, Outdoor Recreation, and Planning Program spent two weeks visiting Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Shanghai, and Seoul. Another vote for field experience.