GIS Education News Weekly: Esri EdUC Agenda, MOOC Size, DOL Grant


Esri Ed Conference Agenda Posted

Esri has posted most of the Education GIS Conference agenda. User sessions and technical workshops are noted, but not plenaries. There'll be an "unconference" part again, too. I confess I found the web version rather hard to navigate - even with sessions, grid and map tab to explore.

Learn about National Map Web Services

The USGS’ National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) will be hosting a 30 minute Webinar on “Using The National Map services to enable your web and mobile mapping efforts” on the 30th of April at 9am Mountain Time.  

Teaching and Learning Resources

More Dept of Labor Courses 

The National Information Security and Geospatial Technologies Consortium (NISGTC) (a Dept of Labor funded center) has posted five courses as part of the National Training and Education Resource site. Topics include intro to GIS, cartography, remote sensing and all are based on the GTCM. They each have one review (all are 5 stars) from Philip Davis.

I looked at the intro to GIS course. Registration is required, but the courses are free to do or to download and use. Rick Smith (Del Mar College, a member of the NISGTC) wrote the seven lesson course, which includes reading a series of slides, watching videos (including Penn State Broadcasting's The Geospatial Revolution), quizzes and labs that use ArcGIS. The course is available under CC-BY-3.0 and can be downloaded in four pieces. The contents is delivered in SCORM (a new acronym to me) and in .docx and PDFs. 

Inexpensive Esri Training in Wisconsin

For some of the least expensive GIS training consider this offering from The Center for Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay:

GIS Essential Skills will be offered from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, June 18 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. Participants will learn about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and how to leverage its capabilities for their organization’s benefit. GIS expert and UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. Rachel Russell will lead this hands-on workshop for public and nonprofit managers. Every attendee will receive a one-year ESRI ArcGIS 10.1 Education Edition Software subscription and a copy of “The GIS 20: Essential Skills” workbook to take home. Cost for the training is $99, including materials, morning refreshments and lunch. UW-Green Bay staff and students, as well as team members of an organization already attending, pay a discounted rate of $89.

Habitable Planet Online Course

The Habitable Planet is a multimedia course for high school teachers and adult learners interested in studying environmental science. The Web site provides access to course content and activities developed by leading scientists and researchers in the field.

It's from Annenberg Learner, dated 2007, so it might feel a bit dated.

See the Spread of Democracy Over Time 

Vox offers an animated map of Polity IV scores over time for the countries of the world. Polity IV is the most commonly accepted measure of democracy among political scientists

Countries are ranked on a scale of -10 to 10, with each score broadly representing whether a country has elections, how fair they are, and whether, once in office, leaders can govern like dictators. Anything that scores 6 or higher is a democracy, and shows up in blue on the map.

The animated map and some snapshots of specific dates along the way tell quite a story.

Awards and Honors

UCGIS Fellow Named

John Wilson, director of the Spatial Sciences Institute at USC, has been named a 2014 University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) fellow.

Laituri Interview

The Coloradoan interviews Melinda Laituri, Professor, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and the Director of the Geospatial Centroid at CSU.

On Campus

Measuring Tree Canopy ROI

According to Paul Blome, an urban forestry instructor in the WIU School of Agriculture, the tree "canopy" at Western provides a value of somewhere around $830,000 in pollution reduction alone.

He and his students in his urban forest management course (FOR 407G) figured that out using i-Tree software from USDA.


Elmhurst College's Skills for the Digital Earth MOOC has 1500 students using ArcGIS Online for spatial analysis per a tweet from Esri's Michael Gould. The course ends this week.


Training Grant for Nebraska Community College

Southeast Community College has received a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grant of $2,507,462 to develop two new certificate programs.

That's Department of Labor money and the new programs are GIS technician and precision agriculture. Some 235 people are to be trained over the three year grant. Classes start in September of this year. There's no information if the GIS certificate will follow the GTCM. The school has three campuses in Nebraska.

Published Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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