GIS in Education

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You are viewing a static copy of the 2009 Sunriver Conference website archived on December 11, 2013. To view current Northwest GIS User Group events and news, visit nwgis.org.
Linking Educators and the User Community GIS has become an important analytic tool and discipline in all levels of education. Please join us to learn how GIS is being used in informal and formal education and learn how you can help educators build programs that meet your workforce needs. The track will end with a panel and open discussion about ways we can create better links between educators and the user community.

Recruiting for a Geospatial Workforce

Historic barriers to wide-spread use of GIS in the classroom are being lifted as educators embrace the power of Web-based GIS and other Internet based geospatial technologies. Two NSF-funded projects at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon - MAPS-GIS (Mapping Analyzing and Problem Solving with GIS) for college level students and GEOSTAC (Geospatial Teaching Across the Curriculum) for high school teachers – will be discussed. We will illustrate how Web-based GIS is being embedded across the curriculum and how it is being used to teach important geospatial concepts and skills and educate students about GIS classes and careers.

Presenter(s): 
Lynn Songer, Eric Sproles
Biography: 

Lynn Songer is a GIS and geography instructor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. She is also the PI for a NSF-ATE grant (GEOSTAC) focused on embedding geospatial lessons across the high school curriculum.

Eric Sproles is a GIS and environmental science instructor at Lane Community College and is a CO-PI on the GEOSTAC grant.

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Acquiring Grants and Creating Effective Parternships

In this presentation, I will focus on getting more from our resources and acquiring grants. Many opportunities are immediately available, but go unused. I will give suggestions on how to access this variety of resources and the logistics of quickly and efficiently utilizing them. Partnerships also play a major role in doing more with less. How to develop useful partnerships that cooperatively benefit both you and the community will be discussed. The presentation will end with the process of grants, grant writing, and determining what you need, how to get it, and what you are responsible for once you get a grant.

Presenter(s): 
Brian Wachs, Crook County HS Teacher
Biography: 

Brian Wachs is a ninth-year teacher in my second year at Crook County High School as the Natural Resources Education Program (NREP) instructor. I graduated from Oregon State University in Rangeland Management and my MAT is in Ag. Ed. I have spent previous years working with the BLM out of Prineville, OR and as a buckaroo on various ranches in central Oregon. Because of a strong affinity for the outdoors, I spend much of my time showing my kids the amazing world outside and helping them to discover that they are more than mere participants in nature; they are stewards and students of it. I have also been an Oregon Science Teachers Association Regional Director for the past four years. I work to coordinate private industry, government agencies, the military, and schools to positively affect the direction of education.

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GIS Education in the University Setting

GIS Education in the University Setting

Baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in GIS are diverse in their intent and scope. A brief overview of GIS undergraduate and graduate programs in the Northwest will be given in light of a few of the educational needs noted by the recent publication of Geographic Information Science & Technology – Body of Knowledge.

Efforts being made by the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) to promote GIS education will be discussed. These efforts include: 1) week-long training workshops for K-12 teachers in the use/implementation of GPS/GIS within their classroom; 2) the construction of articulation agreements with regional community colleges; and 3) the maintenance of suitable GIS curricula to support current degree programs at OIT (i.e., a GIS Minor, a four-year B.S. degree in Geomatics/GIS, and its intent to begin a Master’s program by the Fall of 2010).

Presenter(s): 
Prof. John Ritter
Biography: 

Dr. John Ritter is a Professor of Natural Sciences at the Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, OR where he has taught for 14 years. He is the Director of OIT's GIS Service Center and is the curriculum advisor for the GIS degree option within the Geomatics Department at OIT. He has been an ESRI ATP instructor for 13 years and is an ESRI Business Partner.

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“Less Than What Really Happened” — Archæological and Historical Field Studies with GIS Backbones

Will Rogers once commented: "It's not what you don't know that hurts you. It's what you do know that ain't so." Historical research is a lot like that. You think you have all the answers, and they just don't pan out. For a group of dedicated junior high school students in Lewiston, Idaho (USA), the challenges of learning and applying GIS software led them to discoveries they never imagined. Sometimes the search for truth takes that path. This session will discuss the 5th Street Cemetery Necrogeographical Study, a project honored by ESRI, The History Channel. The Society for American Archæology, the Association of American Geographers, the American Association for State and Local History, and the National Council for Geographic Education.

Presenter(s): 
Steven Branting
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"Hic sunt dracones” — Filling in the GIS Map for the K-12 Classroom

Few schools have successfully integrated geographic information systems (GIS) into the curricula of their K-12 social studies classrooms, even fewer into the wide variety of disciplines that can be effectively impacted by the study of spatial data. Organizing and maintaining a school’s GIS component depend on several crucial management criteria, not the least of which are the appropriate teacher competencies and standards alignment. Among other essential protocols are data storage and retrieval, network functioning, computer platform capabilities, appropriate learning activities and developing a coherent format that is replicable from one campus to another. This session demonstrates a successful school-based GIS program with its complementary college in-service model.

Presenter(s): 
Steven Branting
Biography: 

Steven Branting’s work in archaeology, geography and history has been honored by, among others, The History Channel, the Association of American Geographers, the Society of American Archaeology, and the American Association for State and Local History. His article "Not Your Father's History Lesson: Idaho Students Solve a Necrogeographic Mystery," published in the Western Historical Quarterly (XXXVIII, 2, Summer 2007), was nominated in 2009 by the Western Historical Association for the American Historical Association’s prestigious William Gilbert Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the teaching of history through the publication of journal articles. Mr. Branting retired in 2009 after 33 years as a consultant for gifted & innovative programs.

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