2013 is a milestone year for URISA’s GISCorps. Ten years ago during URISA’s 2003 Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, GISCorps was officially adopted as a URISA program to coordinate short-term, volunteer-based GIS expertise and support to underprivileged communities worldwide. Volunteers provide their GIS expertise remotely or on-site and have been involved in a variety of missions, supporting humanitarian relief, emergency response, health and education, local capacity building, and community development. Since its debut, well over 400 volunteers have been deployed to 131 missions around the world.
During GIS-Pro 2013: URISA’s 51st Annual Conference in Providence, Rhode Island (September 16-19, 2013), GISCorps will update attendees on the past year’s missions and projects in progress and will be celebrated for its accomplishments. There will also be a URISA GISCorps display in the exhibit hall at the conference with highlights and opportunities to get involved and learn more.
GISCorps is run by a core committee of volunteers who keep the program running. Core committee members work with partner agencies to determine project needs, query the extensive volunteer database for individuals with required skills, and coordinate the interaction between project sponsors and volunteers. Some high-profile GISCorps missions have provided GIS expertise in response to disasters (hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the Asian tsunami, and the Haiti and Japanese earthquakes) while other missions have had more of a humanitarian focus (mapping health and educational facilities in Sierra Leone; trend analysis and data collection to combat wildlife poaching in Zambia; development of a web mapping portal in Armenia; and GIS education and training in Afghanistan, Thailand, and Albania).
URISA’s GISCorps is the perfect complement to a GIS professional’s experience and education. Learn more and register as a volunteer or a friend of the program and start giving back today! For more information, visit www.giscorps.org or www.urisa.org.