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GIS Education News Weekly: Competitions, Courses, Degrees, Workforce

Thursday, February 27th 2014
By Adena Schutzberg

Competitions

The Dr. Walter W. Ristow Prize, offered annually by the Washington Map Society since 1994, recognizes academic achievement in the History of Cartography. It is open to all full or part-time undergraduate, graduate, and first year post-doctoral students attending accredited colleges and universities anywhere in the world. Student papers are judged and the winner receives a cash prize and publication of the paper, among other things. Submission deadline: June 1.

The 3rd GIS-focused algorithm competition, GISCUP 2014, is co-located with ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2014. The contest is on map generalization. No information on prizes is available that I could find.

Microsoft Pays for College Students to Learn Data Science, Google Offers Data MOOC 

Microsoft's Data Science Summer School is an intensive, eight-week hands-on introduction to data science for college students in the New York City area. Students will get a stipend and a laptop. Applications due April 18.

Google is offering a self paced MOOC titled Making Sense of Data March 18-April 4.

Graduate Degree News

The Bowling Green State University board approved a master’s degree in Applied Geospatial Sciences, which will be offered through the School of Earth, Environment and Society. The program will focus on the use of geospatial tools for solving problems in the natural and social sciences, with an emphasis on energy.
 
The University of Mary Washington has decided on a slighter higher price for its new Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis (MSGA) degree than other graduate degrees. The reason: "the use and replacement of high-end computers and the purchase of software with specific technological applications that are major components of this program." Two other public institutions in Virginia with GIS degrees are more expensive.
 
Enhancing K-12 Geography

The full text of Dispositions Toward Teaching Spatial Thinking Through Geography: Conceptualization and an Exemplar Assessment by Injeong Joa and Sarah Witham Bednarz is avaiable free for all to read. The article is important because it responds "to recommendations of the report of the Geography Education Research Committee for the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project," a set of documents that seem to be gathering dust

The Colorado Geographic Alliance at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs has received a  planning grant of $50,000 from the National Geographic Education Foundation. The grant will be used to support a collaborative program to develop new ways to teach and learn geography.

The National Governors Association gave Esri its annual Public-Private Partnership Award for improving New Hampshire's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. I guess this releates to the statewide K-12 license.
 
A new iBook, GIS in the History Classroom is available from iTunes (free) on March 1.
GIS in the History Classroom is a guide for middle and secondary history teachers to the use of geographic information system (GIS) software in their classrooms.  It is designed for iBooks on either a Mac or an iPad. Topics include:

• a rationale for the use of GIS software in the history classroom, 
• effective classroom strategies, 
• and technical issues related to developing materials for students.  

Discussion throughout includes sample lessons that enable readers to see how GIS might be integrated into their own plans along with a variety of other, more traditional and familiar historical resources.  Slide presentations are included that both illustrate the text and can be used as part of inservice presentations.  A bibliography of additional resources is available along with references to the research cited.

Mapping Campuses
 
Did you know that the University of Washington is one of the world’s leaders in interior mapping? Apparently it is. While the university uses Esri for its campus map it pulled CAD floor plans in for the final system.
 
Geo and the Workforce
 
There's a new initiative on that topic out of Europe. I guess I missed its launch.

The GI N2K project is an extensive network of 31 partners from 25 countries from the academic and non-academic sector linking up with associated partners from the broader industry (e.g. SHELL), major GI associations and individual experts.

The project will analyze the current market demands with regard to the knowledge and skills and compare them with the current training offer in the GI S&T sector. The existing GI S&T Body of Knowledge will be used as a starting point, updated and brought in line with new technological developments, and with the European perspective in mind.

The new BoK will follow an ontological approach (re-)defining knowledge areas, units and topics, linked to key concepts in the field. The BoK will be a dynamic e-repository including a series of toolsets to maintain and explore it, to define curricula, and to allow to define learning paths and courses. In addition, tools for defining job profiles will be made available too.

GI N2K will test and validate the e-BoK and the toolsets with real world use cases. The new e-Bok for GI S&T will change the way the future GI-professionals are being prepared for the existing GI S&T market . Vice versa, the e-BoK will also allow this market to evolve in a dynamic and innovative way.

Education App for Trees

Texas A&M Forest Service contracted with Timmons Group to develop Tree Trails a new, educational mobile and desktop application designed to collect information about trees throughout the State of Texas. Teachers, youth organization leaders, and the general public can create custom tree trails that tap the corresponding educational curriculum to learn about these trees, and share this information with others. It's Esri-based and uses a Bing Maps base map.

Should GIS Vendors Go on Tour to Educational Institutions?

Landmark Information Group hosted a flood risk mapping workshop at University of ChesterThe workshop is part of a university lecture tour that Landmark is conducting throughout 2014, which provides students studying a range of courses including real estate, construction, GIS, geotechnics and environmental consultancy with practical, hands-on use of digital mapping tools that are heavily used by commercial practices. Should there be more of this sort of touring?
 
GeoLearn: New Online Learning Options
 
GeoLearn, an education startup that serves the geospatial industry with online learning and continuing education credits, launched its catalog of 22 one-hour-long courses. Course topics available at launch include "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's)," "ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys," and "National Flood Plain Insurance."
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