GIS Education News Weekly: Bucknell Lab, Air Camp, Programming in the Curriculum

More GIS at Bucknell Thanks to Mellon Foundation

Opened in February and located just off the entryway to the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library, Bucknell's new Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) is the heart of a strategic digital scholarship initiative at the University, which also include efforts to improve access to scholarship published by Bucknell faculty and students, increase student and faculty use of GIS technology, and to develop new and innovative teaching methods. Funded in part by a $700,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the center aims to find novel uses for emerging technologies in teaching and scholarship, with an emphasis on collaboration.

High Schooler's Video on GPS and Math Takes Second

Home schooled David Hamilton of Lewisville, NC finished second in Math-O-Visio, a competition hosted by Dartmouth College. The national competition ask high school students to create four-minute movies to show how math fills our world. Hamilton takes home $2,000 as the runner-up. Check out "The Math Behind Your GPS." His little sister narrates. (Image at right)

University of Arkansas Online Certificate of Proficiency in Geospatial Technologies

The Certificate of Proficiency in Geospatial Technologies is designed for working professionals and for those who wish to join this field. Courses will equip you with key skills that are in demand in an enormous and rapidly growing range of jobs. You also have the option of taking individual online courses within the program.

It's based on the GTCM and students can consider other certifications from ASPRS, GISCI and Esri.

Further details:

  • 100 Percent Online  
  • 18 hours (up to 9 hours can be obtained through pre-testing)
  • Can be completed in one academic year (two semesters)
  • Designed for working professionals
  • To be eligible, students should have earned an associate's degree, two years of college credit or the equivalent work experience.
  • Air Camp Features Drones

    Air Camp, a week long summer program for middle schoolers from across the U.S. focuses on aviation, and integrates the science, mathematics and engineering of flight. It's based at Wright State University in Ohio. And, this year the students flew and learned about drones.

    On Wednesday, students visited the Springfield airport, where companies like SelectTech Geospatial are conducting research and building unmanned aerial vehicles for industrial and agricultural clients. The students got a chance to fly the UAVs earlier in the day, then visited SelectTech, where they learned to write a detailed flight plan for drones, toured the facility and got a lesson in construction of the aircraft.

    Sadly, there are only 44 slots, each demanding $1000 in tuition. My folks packed me off to an NSF-funded number theory course at Lehigh University for one summer. (I think we just paid for a dorm room and food.) With some help, my final project was proving quadratic reciprocity. I don't remember what that is just now, but hanging out with smart kids and a thoughtful faculty member was a great prep for college and a technical career. Oh, and yes, it was mostly boys.

    University of Oregon Hiring in Clusters; Geospatial Cluster Didn't Make it

    The University of Oregon is trying to raise its academic rankings and is using a process started at the University of Wisconsin: hiring for specific clusters. faculty and staff proposed 34 clusters. These were vetted by faculty to identify the top ten. A proposed geospatial cluster didn't make the final list. Said UO Provost Scott Coltrane, who wrote a paper on cluster hiring, about the submissions: “Some of them did quite well (in scoring) but didn’t make the top 10 — like environmental humanities or geospacial revolution, which is GIS social science applications,” he said. I think that one of the proposed clusters was titled "Geospatial Revolution."

    Tackling the Book Desert

    Unite for Literacy is an organization based in Colorado that is working to bring different organizations together to address the issue of not enough books for kids, especially those in low-income families and immigrant families. The idea is to create a free digital library for kids through its free digital library at The books will be narrated in 17 different languages.

    Among the supporters of the effort is Esri. And, there's a set of static "book desert maps."

    DiBiase on Programming Content in GIS Education

    Esri's Director of Education answers questions from USGIF's Trajectory Magazine.

    Five Most Important Skills For a GIS Career (Redux)

    Joseph Kerski of Esri has created a series of three videos on skills needed for a successful GIS career. He discusses the videos in a blog post. He does not list the skills in the blog post, but you can find them in an earlier blog post on the topic from 2011. (Saved you a click and some minutes watching the three videos!) We at Directions tackled this exercise in 2011, a week or so after Kerski's original post.

    More on Denver UAV Course

    The Very Spatial crew interviews Joe Falconer on his “UAVs for GIS” course being offered at the University of Denver. The online course started on June 9 and is part the DU certificate program. Falconer is Pilot-in-Command and expert in Unmanned Aerial Systems at Aerial Data Systems.

    UW Eau Claire Gets Grant for Interdisciplinary Education Featuring Geospatial Tech

    An interdisciplinary Geospatial Education Initiative (GEI) developed at UW-Eau Claire by a team of faculty members from the geography and anthropology, physics and astronomy, computer science, and information systems departments has been awarded a three-year $418,869 grant from the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin Grants Program.

    SuperGIS Training Center in Malaysia

    To well promote GIS technologies and professionally train our next generation in creating a better world, Supergeo Technologies Inc. cooperates with Geomatika University College (GUC), Malaysia to establish SuperGIS Training Centre.

    Digital Mapping and Art History Institute

    Sweet Briar [College, WV] associate professor of art history Tracy Hamilton is one of 16 fellows selected to participate in the first Kress Summer Institute on Digital Mapping & Art History, which takes place Aug. 3-15 at Middlebury College. It is sponsored by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

    There were 128 applications for the program which is directed by Paul B. Jaskot (DePaul University) and Anne Kelly Knowles (Middlebury College).

    University of Redlands Opens Center for Spatial Studies

    Building upon groundbreaking efforts that began in the 1990s, the University of Redlands announces its new center of distinction, the Center for Spatial Studies (CSS). The Center for Spatial Studies, which opens on July 1, 2014, will provide faculty and students greater access to staff who can help them integrate spatial thinking and technologies into instruction, research, and service to the University and community at large. 

    Saginaw State Students Help Tackle Crime

    After mapping the location of every shooting and homicide in Saginaw (MI) from 2005 to 2013 and statistically analyzing the data, the team [of faculty and students from Saginaw State] reported findings to the Saginaw Police Department and the Saginaw Crime Prevention Council. 

    The effort has turned into a long term project for students and faculty at the University.

    Published Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

    Written by Adena Schutzberg

    Published in


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