Esri recently awarded grants of geographic information system (GIS) technology and training to 4-H clubs across the United States, assisting club members in their research of local environmental and social issues.
"The use of Esri's GIS technology helps youth become more spatially literate and engaged in their communities at an earlier age," said Esther Worker, Esri youth and community education manager. "Current projects allow members to experience their communities in new ways through problem solving with geographic thinking and tools. Today's 4-H youth are asking relevant questions; acquiring, examining, and analyzing data; and acting on their findings. GIS technology is helping 4-H empower young people to reach their full potential as tomorrow's leaders."
Selected projects include working with local US Fish and Wildlife professionals to map wildlife refuges and identify areas of concern for future monitoring. Other 4-H groups will collect data regarding the availability of wholesome food within their communities in a pilot project for the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Services Food Environment Atlas.
Winning projects also include the mapping of invasive weed infestations and assisting with local disaster preparedness plans.In addition, the grant program includes a category providing introductory GIS workshops for group leaders who would like to sponsor a GIS club in their community but are unfamiliar with the technology.
"The award of the 2011 GIS grant has given the Boulder County 4-H program a springboard to advance our geospatial project," said Kim Morrison, 4-H program associate in Longmont, Colorado. "It has brought together Front Range Community College and local GIS industry professionals to share their expertise with 4-H youth by exploring the GIS world together."
Esri has supported 4-H clubs with its GIS grant programs since 2004. To date, more than 500 grants of ArcView and ArcPad software and Virtual Campus training have been awarded to selected clubs.
For more information on Esri's education efforts in nonformal education, visit esri.com/youth.
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The 4-H club was founded in Ohio in 1902. Since that time, it has grown to become the largest youth organization in the United States, with more than 6.5 million youth members and adult leaders. It is part of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit 4-H.org.
Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com.
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