Registration Opens for the Virtual URISA GIS Leadership Academy


Sharing is Caring

URISA is pleased to announce that registration is open for the next virtual URISA GIS Leadership Academy, taking place the week of November 9-13, 2020.

Academy faculty collaborated for several months to optimize delivery of instructor-led online GIS leadership training and delivered the inaugural virtual Academy during the week of August 3-7 to extremely positive reviews.

* Every respondent (100%) would recommend the virtual GLA to colleagues.

* When attendees were asked for their greatest takeaway:

- Virtually everything. I am a Department Head for a brand new department. While an exciting opportunity, there is no training manual for taking on the task. The GLA has served as that trading manual for me.

- Especially for a first outing, all the speakers and staff did a great job of limiting technological pitfalls and kept the GLA running smoothly. I think the technology savvy and often chatty GIS professionals are the perfect group for a virtual academy such a this. Please consider continuing with virtual GLAs in a Post-COVID world to make such a great learning opportunity available to a wider audience.

The curriculum emphasizes best practices and skills-based training taught by GIS experts committed to preparing others for leadership in managing challenges and figuring ways to help groups and organizations achieve their goals. As with the in-person program, attendance at the GLA earns substantial GISP® Education Points.

The cost of attending the virtual GLA is 50% of the cost of attending the in-person event; just $600 for URISA members and $800 for nonmembers. The Virtual GLA requires Zoom meeting capabilities. Each day will have frequent scheduled breaks, a lunch hour and optional evening meet-ups at the 'Virtual Lounge'. Because the interaction of each cohort is so important in the Academy, class size limited to 40 individuals. The first virtual GLA in August reached capacity in three days.

The URISA GIS Leadership Academy has enjoyed steady and enthusiastic participation since it was first presented in 2007. Since then, nearly 900 GIS professionals have attended the specialized five-day GIS leadership and management training program that focuses on:

GIS leadership and management techniques

GIS Strategic planning

Successful team development

Organizational capacity building and sustainability strategies (ROI, innovative funding ideas)

Program investment and justification

Change management

Situation assessment and organizational performance evaluation

Ethics and professional challenges

Problem solving

The Academy is taught by GIS leaders (all are GISPs and accomplished in the field). Each GLA includes numerous interactive exercises, team-building tools, and opportunities to delve into topics in a way you cannot do at a large conference. Attendance is limited in size to encourage such interaction and the virtual GLA is capped at 40 participants.

Three in-person programs were scheduled to occur in 2020, but all three were postponed to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is also open for each of these in-person events:

* Minneapolis, Minnesota - June 7-11, 2021

* Portland, Oregon - August 16-20, 2021

* St. Petersburg, Florida - November 8-12, 2021

The GLA has likely been on your GIS professional development wish list for some time. Take advantage of the opportunity and register today:

Explore more: Professional Development

Geospatial Newsletters

Keep up to date with the latest geospatial trends!

Sign up

Search DM

Get Directions Magazine delivered to you
Please enter a valid email address
Please let us know that you're not a robot by using reCAPTCHA.
Sorry, there was a problem submitting your sign up request. Please try again or email

Thank You! We'll email you to verify your address.

In order to complete the subscription process, simply check your inbox and click on the link in the email we have just sent you. If it is not there, please check your junk mail folder.

Thank you!

It looks like you're already subscribed.

If you still experience difficulties subscribing to our newsletters, please contact us at