2015 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition

2015 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition

Win a trip to the GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015 Conference!

The GeoTech Center and URISA are pleased to announce the 2015 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition! The intent of the competition is to showcase the geospatial technology skills of U.S. undergraduate students. Competing students will create a project that utilizes geospatial technology to address a real-world problem. The student will then present the project and the resulting deliverables as a video (approximately 10-15 minutes in length) which not only highlights their use of geospatial technology, but also demonstrates their communication and presentation skills. As Rodney Jackson, Dean of Business, Engineering & Technical Studies at Davidson County Community College states: “The ability to provide a competition for students to demonstrate their geospatial competency to industry partners, within the context of a national conference, has significant value within their educational experience.” More details to follow in the coming months; updates will be posted to the competition website.


Students who are at least 18 years old and currently enrolled during Spring 2015 in a geospatial technology course (e.g., geographic information systems, remote sensing, or GPS/GNSS) or geospatial technology program at an accredited 2-year or 4-year U.S. institution, and reside within the U.S., are eligible to enter. Questions regarding eligibility can be directed to either Tom Mueller at mueller@calu.edu or Scott Jeffrey at sjeffrey@ccbcmd.edu. One entry per studentand only individual student submissions allowed (no group projects).


Entries will be due by Friday, June 12, 2015 and will be judged by a panel of experienced geospatial specialists. The combined scores from all judges will determine the top five (5) student finalists. These finalists will win an all-expense-paid trip to the GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015: Geography at the Nexus of Collaboration international conference in Spokane, WA on October 18-22, 2015, where they will be required to present their project. Judges will then determine the competitors’ final place ranking. It is anticipated that three (3) of the student finalists will be from two-year colleges and two (2) from four-year institutions. The exact split will depend upon the number of students who enter the competition and the quality of the work submitted (judges also reserve the right to invite fewer than five student finalists).

Graduate/Professional GIS Training: Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) offers unique intensive residential conservation training courses hosted in our sustainably-built Academic Center in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. Limited scholarship funds may be available for international applicants and new reduced fees are now available to applicants from less-developed nations. Visit our website (http://SMConservation.gmu.edu) or email us at SCBItraining@si.edu for more details about each course, course costs, and graduate or continuing education credits earned.


Essentials of Open Source GISNew Professional Training Course!

November 17-21, 2014

Spaces still available—APPLY NOW!

GIS, GPS, satellite imagery, and mapping have become essentials in the toolboxes of researchers, natural resource managers, and conservationists. Yet these resources often are not readily accessible to practitioners around the world. Most restricting are the limited access to specialized and expensive commercial software and the lack of training opportunities targeted at conservation applications. Open-source tools are freely available and can be modified and freely redistributed. In recent years, several powerful open-source tools for geospatial analysis have emerged, among them QGIS, and R, a statistical programming language offering considerable geospatial analytical capabilities. Much satellite data useful for analysis and modeling, including Landsat data and NASA’s MODIS data, are now freely available on the Internet.  Taught by Drs. Peter Leimgruber and Melissa Songer of SCBI’s Conservation GIS Lab, this one-week course focuses on the use of specialized open-source software. Essentials of Open Source GIS combines lectures with computer tutorials, where participants work through GIS examples that illustrate the use of open-source GIS for everyday mapping tasks and key geospatial analysis skills.  In one week, the course covers all major concepts to get practitioners quickly and effectively started at working with open-source geospatial analysis tools.


Statistics for Ecology and Conservation Biology

February 9-20, 2015

Gain in-depth knowledge of analysis techniques for cutting-edge ecological and conservation research employing R, a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, in this intensive two-week overview of quantitative methods for ecological research and conservation. Through lectures, discussions, and extensive hands-on computer exercises, focus on increasing your knowledge of statistical methods like generalized linear models, generalized linear mixed models, and classical regression models, the assumptions underlying those methods, and how to interpret and explain their results. Learn from course instructors Dr. Sven Lautenbach (University of Bonn, Germany) and Dr. Justin Calabrese (SCBI) how to choose appropriate analyses for different research questions, the assumptions underlying each model, how to design your own studies, explore your data, perform a range of analyses, understand fitted models, and clearly explain their results. Participants learn how to conduct sophisticated statistical analyses, critically evaluate statistics-based material in current research literature, and deal with the limitations of real datasets in the context of conservation science.


Upcoming 2014-2014 Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Courses : 

Geospatial Faculty Positions at the University of Florida

Information from John Taylor, Field Station and Environmental Education Center

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is in a hiring campaign to recruit 200 new faculty for Fall 2015.  UCF seeks to strengthen its research mission and academic offerings in the broad interdisciplinary area of Geospatial Analysis. In support of this effort, the College of Sciences has established three tenure-earning assistant professor positions expected to begin in fall 2015. Ideal candidates will have a strong background in the application of GIS and other geospatial analytical approaches to address questions in their research area, a desire to collectively build curricula centered on geospatial science, and a passion for integrating multiple disciplines to confront challenges facing society.

Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. from an accredited institution by the time of hire in a suitable field, a research record that demonstrates expertise in the use of geospatial analysis methods, and research and teaching interests that complement and expand existing departmental strengths. We seek candidates with the potential to develop high-quality, extramurally-funded research programs appropriate for a Carnegie very high research activity university and to help develop both undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in GIScience/Geospatial Analysis. Experience and commitment to collaborative, interdisciplinary research is highly desirable.

Examples of research areas include (but are not limited to) conservation and sustainability, coupled human-natural systems, criminology, cultural/demographic/economic/political/social behavior and dynamics, environmental/social justice/health politics and policy, global change, human/natural disasters, landscape archaeology, national security, and urban studies and policy.

UCF is committed to the development of new hires in interdisciplinary clusters. Faculty will be expected to strengthen both their tenure home department (Anthropology, Biology, Political Science, or Sociology) as well as the geospatial cluster. It is expected that there will be both individual and interdisciplinary infrastructure and startup associated with these three new positions. Each new faculty member will have a unique interdisciplinary mentoring team to foster intellectual breadth and to facilitate integrative capacity to strengthen the success of the cluster.

Candidates must apply online at http://www.jobswithucf.com/postings/40000 (Position #37456) and attach the following materials: a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three professional references.  In the cover letter candidates should address their background in geospatial analysis, current and planned future research directions, and GIScience courses that they could develop and teach, and should identify the department(s) for their potential tenure home.

The search committee will begin reviewing applications December 1, 2014 and continue to accept applications until January 1, 2015.

The University of Central Florida is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.  All applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. For more information about these positions please contact the Geospatial Cluster Search Chair, Dr. Cynthia Young, Associate Dean in the College of Sciences at Cynthia.Young@ucf.edu.

BSU Students Needed for Lidar Research Project

Information from Miran Day, Landscape Architecture:

Our project team in Illinois is looking for graduate students who may be interested in researching green wavelength lidar data.

If someone is interested, Rick Twait, from the city of Bloomington, IL will be able to provide more detail info, which will help to write a proposal.

Project: Mackinaw River Water Quality Improvement Project.

Team: the city of Bloomington, IL, IL NRCS, EDF, University of Illinois, and Ball State

Contact: Rick Twait, City of Bloomington  rtwait@cityblm.org

The NCALM seed project grant proposal period is open  http://ncalm.cive.uh.edu/seed/about . A small amount (~40 sq. km) of lidar will be flown for the successful candidate. The project I was hoping to encourage was an evaluation of green wavelength lidar (which penetrates shallow water) overflights of selected stream segments feeding Evergreen Lake (possibly LB, but Evergreen would work better for this project) for performing stream stability analyses.

The State of Illinois flew Lidar in 2012, and the lake tributary streams were very low to no flow at the time of the flights. I was thinking about a comparison of Wayne Kinney’s stream inventory from ~2005, the 2012 State Lidar and Optech Aquarius (green wavelength) bathymetric lidar data for stream stability analysis. The City would hire Wayne to rerun the inventory (at least for the study stretch) if the grant came through. The seed project would evaluate the applicability of green lidar to perform stream characterization and possible habitat analysis.

Most of the work could be done at BSU, with a few site visits.

GIS Day Workshop at Ball State

On Wednesday, November 19th, the Ball State GIS Knowledge Group will be hosting a series of training sessions focused on ArcGIS Online and mobile mapping (primarily using ArcPad).

All workshops will be held in BL224 (the GIS Research and Map Collection), and will be open to students, faculty and staff. Reservations are not required, but appreciated, and can be sent to asgibson2@bsu.edu.

11:00-11:45 ArcGIS Online  Instructor: Angie Gibson

This presentation will outline ArcGIS Online features are available to faculty, staff and students, and how to access them. During this session attendees will learn how to:

  • Obtain access to the BSU ArcGIS Online account and set up class groups
  • How to add and search for content.
  • How to use analysis tools within ArcGIS Online
  • What apps are available within ArcGIS Online (Business Analyst Online, ArcGIS Collector, Community Analyst, ArcGIS Pro)

11:45 – 1:00 Lunch with our visiting ArcPad expert, Joel Bump  (location to be announced closer to the date)

Joel Bump is a Ball State University graduate (BLA in Landscape Architecture ’92) and current State of Indiana employee, who  oversees the management of the Enterprise Data Team who develops and supports INDOT’s enterprise database, data warehouse and geospatial technologies.  He’s had extensive experience with ArcPad and other mobile mapping applications.

1:00 – 2:00  ArcPad Basics Instructor: Joel Bump

A high level demonstration of how to use ArcPad for field inventory. The demo will involve:

  • Defining an item that a user would wish to go in the field and inventory
  • Setup a data file (shapefile) and related form
  • Setup a basic map for ArcPad
  • Collect data points
  • Finally bring the data back to ArcMap.

2:00 – 3:00  Advanced ArcPad  Instructor: Joel Bump

This is a discussion on the more advance topics of ArcPad which will be more interactive with the audience to answer their questions.  Topics may include (depending on the audience questions):

  • Custom Form/Code development
  • Alternative data sources (ArcSDE, ArcServer, ArcGIS Online)
  • Integration of photos and related tables
  • Integration of various hardware options (GPS pucks, range finders, data collectors)