UCGIS will be working with the University of Maine to develop a program to advance professional development for women in the geospatial sciences. The project will build leadership capacity and skills around the topics of career retention strategies, mentoring training, career transitions, technical professional development, and work-life balance. While the primary audience is academic professionals, there is a deep appreciation and respect for women who move into and out of academic institutions at different career stages. The program is titled Training and Retaining Leaders iSTEM - Geospatial Sciences (TRELIS) to instill the concept of a human capital trellis or scaffold of support as well as to represent the reality of many nonlinear career trajectories that move sideways, take leaps, and do not necessarily follow a single upward ladder.

UCGIS Executive Director Diana Sinton, along with colleagues Sarah Battersby (Tableau), Barbara Buttenfield (University of Colorado), Karen Kemp (University of Southern California), Laxmi Ramasubramanian (Hunter College), and Elizabeth Wentz (Arizona State University), will work with Kate Beard-Tisdale, of Maine’s School of Computing and Information Science, to host a series of professional development workshops and develop online resources accessible to all.

The first TRELIS workshop will take place in late May, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin. Application materials will be available online in December 2017. For more information on the program contact Diana Sinton and follow updates on the TRELIS webpage. TRELIS is co-managed with the University of Maine and supported with funding from the National Science Foundation.

The Benefits of Membership

UCGIS enables scholars within its member institutions (universities and colleges, federal agencies, and industry partners) to collaboratively engage in interdisciplinary research and teaching to advance GIScience.  UCGIS facilitates and supports scholarly communities and networks to undertake large scale projects that serve the GIS community as a whole.  We are the professional hub for the academic GIS community. Membership allows access, discounts, and opportunities. 

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UCGIS's Reaction to the 2017 Geospatial Data Act

The bi-partisan Geospatial Data Act (GDA) of 2017 (S.1253) has recently been making waves in the geospatial community for reasons beyond its original and important intent: to improve the coordination and use of geospatial data. The Act’s goals have always been to strengthen the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and to reduce duplicated efforts by various agencies in authoring geospatial data.  While the GDA’s goals for improved coordination to advance the NSDI are shared by virtually all within in the wider geospatial community (including UCGIS), language was added to the 2017 GDA bill that could have dramatic implications for the types of individuals, companies, and organizations eligible to earn contracts with the government to produce geospatial data. This unnecessarily and inappropriately harnesses the vast set of applications and projects that characterize our dynamic and rapidly evolving field and will have an impact on the types of employment and activities that students will be able to do, now and in their future careers.

UCGIS encourages everyone to read the proposed Act and become familiar with the issues. Our full review of the problematic language in the proposed Act can be found here (pdf)