TRELIS Workshops Held in June 2022

We hosted an All TRELIS event at the Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, with members from all 4 cohorts in attendance as we celebrated our 5th year of activities and continue our post-COVID networking. Over 30 TRELIS Fellows participated in this multi-day gathering. Our trellis scaffolding needed this rejuvenation of TRELIS energy now more than ever! 

UCGIS nominees appointed to NGAC!

Department of Interior appoints TWO UCGIS nominees to National Geospatial Advisory Committee

 We are thrilled to announce the appointments of Dr. Clio Andris, Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr. Kathleen Stewart, University of Maryland, to serve as members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC).

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TRELIS 2022 Cohort Announced

In June 2022, the TRELIS project, Training and Retaining Leaders in STEM-Geospatial Sciences, will hold its fourth workshop at the Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake, New York. TRELIS is a unique model for professional development for women educators in the geospatial sciences. The program builds leadership capacity and skills to address career development, communication, conflict resolution, and work-life integration. With the name, we instill the concept of a human capital trellis or scaffold of support and embrace the reality of nonlinear career trajectories that move sideways, take leaps, and do not follow a single upward ladder. There is significant demand for TRELIS-related knowledge and support in the geospatial sciences, reflected in part by the large pool of applicants to TRELIS events each year. 

We are pleased to announce the following members of our 2022 cohort. These TRELIS Fellows will participate in a workshop that has been designed to target topics and concerns of early-career individuals and focus on envisioning and crafting leadership pathways. This year, on the final day of the workshop, an All TRELIS event will include members from the 2018, 2019, and 2020-21 cohorts. Afterwards, the TRELIS Fellows will continue their professional development exchanges during the UCGIS Symposium at Syracuse University.

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UCGIS to Support I-GUIDE Community Champions

Based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the Institute for Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment (I-GUIDE, iguide.illinois.edu), is pursuing advances to transform geospatial data-intensive sciences as it integrates AI and cyberGIS, reproducible data-intensive analytics and modeling, FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data principles, and innovative education and workforce development programs. Funded by NSF, this new national institute is enabling geospatial data-driven scientific discovery to better understand the risks and impacts of climate change and disasters, with a particular emphasis on food and water security.

Through its involvement with I-GUIDE, UCGIS is offering an annual opportunity for individuals at its member institutions to participate as they undertake their own short-term project in alignment with certain ongoing I-GUIDE activities. Suitable for PhD students, researchers, or faculty, the selected participants are eligible to receive a small stipend. Through their activities, UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champions contribute to our outreach goals and advance I-GUIDE’s mission.

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UCGIS to collaborate on I-GUIDE grant

UCGIS to Collaborate with National Geospatial Institute to Address Climate Change Resilience and Sustainability Challenges 

October 6, 2021
St. Charles, Missouri

 A new national initiative to enable geospatial data-driven scientific discovery will create a $15-million institute to better understand the risks and impacts of climate change and disasters. Based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Institute for Geospatial Understanding, through an Integrative Discovery Environment (I-GUIDE), will receive the funding over the next five years as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) initiative. To date, the HDR initiative has established five institutes across the United States to explore questions at the frontiers of science and engineering.

 “The goal of I-GUIDE is to revolutionize theories, concepts, methods, and tools focused on data-intensive geospatial understanding for driving innovative cyberGIS and cyberinfrastructure capabilities to address the most pressing resilience and sustainability challenges of our world such as biodiversity, food security, and water security,” said Shaowen Wang, head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science at U of I and founding director of the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies (CyberGIS Center), who will lead the institute.

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Interview with new Executive Director Aaron Addison

On July 1, 2021, Aaron Addison took over the helm of UCGIS as its new Executive Director. He joins UCGIS with decades of experience with geospatial technologies, data management, teaching & learning, and organizational management in higher educational contexts.  We asked him to share his thoughts after his first couple of months on the job. 

UCGIS: What drew you most to the idea of working with us?    

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2021 Student Research Awards

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) is pleased to announce the recipients of its student awards for excellence in research during its 2021 Symposium.  We send a hearty thanks to the suite of judges from 15 different universities and geospatial organizations who evaluated the talks and posters, using multiple criteria including the robustness of the research and the effectiveness of its presentation.  We are very grateful to Esri and other sponsors who have made these awards and the Symposium possible through their financial support.

2021 Lightning Talk Awards

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Board of Directors has new members selected

For our annual elections for our Board of Directors, UCGIS delegates voted last week and selected these individuals to join our Board starting on July 1, 2021.

  • President-Elect (Vice President): Shih-Lung Shaw, University of Tennessee
  • Director (3-year term): Patricia Carbajales-Dale, Clemson University
  • Director (3-year term): Somayeh Dodge, University of California, Santa Barbara

Congratulations to these individuals!

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Aaron Addison Selected as UCGIS Executive Director

UCGIS is pleased to announce Aaron Addison as its next Executive Director. Addison has worked as a GIS professional for over twenty years, spending much of that time at Washington University in St. Louis as Director of Data Services in the library and as Coordinator of GIS, where he and his team worked to establish a university-wide geospatial program for research and teaching. He has particular expertise in the acquisition and use of research data and is a founding member of the Research Data Alliance, though it is his acumen in business development, operations management, and collaborative team building that will be the most important factors in his UCGIS activities. Addison holds an MS in Geographic Information Science from Northwest Missouri State University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

“Aaron has just the right combination of experience in business management and GIS within the context of higher education to serve as UCGIS Executive Director. The Board of Directors is excited to work with Aaron as our new Executive Director and confident that under his guidance UCGIS will continue to thrive,” says UCGIS President Jeremy Mennis, of Temple University. Addison has worked previously with UCGIS, serving as both a delegate from Washington University and Chair of the External Relations Committee from 2017 to 2019. 

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Fall 2020 Education Survey Results Published

In January 2021, the UCGIS Education Committee surveyed the UCGIS community to ask about their teaching experiences - the good, the bad, and the ugly - from fall 2020.  There were some technologies worth trying, some strategies that failed, and some innovations and ideas worth repeating. Screen-Cast-O-Matic was a clear winner. Lousy internet connections undermine all types of efforts every time. Virtual field trips can be wildly successful.  Here are the summarized results (pdf) - download to read them all!

UCGIS Partners to Offer Discounts on Spatial Statistics & Mapping with R Classes

Looking for some targeted professional development to enhance your mapping and spatial analysis skills with R?  Consider upcoming summer 2021 sessions of Spatial Statistics for GIS Using R (https://www.statistics.com/courses/spatial-statistics-for-gis-using-r/) or Mapping in R (https://www.statistics.com/courses/mapping-in-r/). Each of these 4-week-long online courses is taught by well-known and familiar experts from within our own GIScience community. Starting now: the classes are available to individuals from UCGIS member institutions each at a $150 discount (25% off the $589 per class price). 

Since the early 2000s, The Institute for Statistics Education (statistics.com) has been known for providing solid, rigorous short courses on a wide range of statistics and data science topics.  Their classes have always been offered online (asynchronous), with three main elements: weekly lessons with assigned readings, a private discussion board for students & the instructor, and homework assignments that will receive instructor feedback. Plus, these courses are eligible for CEU and other credit options (see the website for details).

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TRELIS Receives Supplemental Funds

UCGIS is pleased to announce that our TRELIS program has received supplemental funding from the National Science Foundation!  This means that we will be able to recruit a 4th cohort (one extra to join the originally planned three)!  In-person conversations about TRELIS topics are optimal and desired, so we will recruit this 4th cohort in Fall 2021 in anticipation of an in-person event in spring 2022.  We will also be able to host an "ALL-TRELIS" day during that same time frame and invite TRELIS Fellows from the 2018, 2019, and 2020 cohorts to join us!  

For any questions, please keep track of the TRELIS website. You can also reach out to Kate Beard-Tisdale (University of Maine,  TRELIS PI), Laxmi Ramasubramanian (San Jose State University, TRELIS co-PI), or Diana Sinton (UCGIS, TRELIS co-PI).

Fellowships Engage COVID-19 Geospatial Research and Education

The Geospatial Software Institute (GSI) Conceptualization Project has announced 16 fellowships to researchers at 13 institutions to tackle COVID-19 challenges using geospatial software and advanced capabilities in cyberinfrastructure and data science. A full list of the fellows, with biographies and project information, is at https://gsi.cigi.illinois.edu/geospatial-fellows-members/. The Geospatial Fellows program will enable diverse researchers and educators to harness geospatial software and data at scale, in reproducible and transparent ways; and will contribute to the nation’s workforce capability and capacity to utilize geospatial big data and software for knowledge discovery.

The GSI Conceptualization Project is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and UCGIS is a partnering organization in the efforts, along with the American Association of Geographers (AAG), the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Technical and cyberinfrastructure support are provided by the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies (CyberGIS Center)  at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Built on the progress made by cyberGIS-related communities, the GSI conceptualization project is charged with developing a strategic plan for a long-term hub of excellence in geospatial software infrastructure, one that can better address emergent issues of food security, ecology, emergency management, environmental research and stewardship, national security, public health, and more.

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Education Committee Publishes Report

Members of the UCGIS Education Committee have published a report following their interactive session during the June 2020 Symposium, Capturing New Opportunities in GIScience Education.  The session focused on three topics: 1) opportunities, 2) equity and accessibility, and 3) effectiveness. You can find a full copy of the report here (pdf).

Geo-related Ethics in the News

Like many in the Geographic Information Science community, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) is concerned with media reports of the apparent dismissal of a GIS Professional employed by the Florida Department of Health after she refused to alter publicly available COVID-19 geospatial data for what are perceived to be political purposes. Our concern is magnified given what we view as continuing threats to scientific integrity germane to Geographic Information Science, for example in a recent initiative at the EPA. Ethical conduct is embodied in the UCGIS mission to “Advocate policies for the promotion of the ethical use of and access to geographic information and technologies…” and in the GIS Certification Institute’s (GISCICode of Ethics, which includes the obligation to “Provide full, clear, and accurate information.” UCGIS will continue our longstanding activities to promote ethics in Geographic Information Science through education and research. More information on the importance of ethics as it relates to science and the profession can be found in the UCGIS  GIS&T Body of Knowledge sections on Professional and Practical Ethics and GIS and Critical Ethics.

 

COVID-research by Geospatial Fellows

Supported by the National Science Foundation, the Geospatial Software Institute (GSI) conceptualization project (https://gsi.cigi.illinois.edu), along with its partners such as the American Association of Geographers (AAG), Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), NORC at the University of Chicago, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), and University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), has recently created a Geospatial Fellows program to foster collaborative work on advancing COVID-19 research and education.

Apply by July 31, 2020. Find more info at https://bit.ly/GeospatialFellows and become a Geospatial Fellow for joining the collaborative fight against the COVID-19 crisis.

2020 Innovation in GIScience Education Award

Last year, UCGIS introduced a new biennial award for Innovation in GIScience Education. This month, the 2020 recipient was finally announced. In recognition of efforts far and beyond expectations, during massive disruptions at our universities in the first few months of this year, the UCGIS awards the 2020 GIScience Education award to the entire global GIScience Education community. For every person who jumped into online teaching and learning, and did all they could to just make it work and support their students, the citation says it all: 

For meritorious service in developing innovative learning techniques to advance GIScience education and promote equity and inclusiveness under trying circumstances and extreme risk of mortal illness.

Reflections from a Decade of Online Teaching

by Karen Kemp, Professor Emerita at University of Southern California and UCGIS President 2019-20

As I hear from many of you and read lots of blogs and articles about the challenges of going suddenly to online teaching, my heart goes out to the many of you trying to do your research, advise grad students and learn to teach your own courses online while at the same time learning to teach your school-age children and keeping them entertained while dealing with everything surging around you. I am moved to think about all the lessons I learned in my own decade of teaching online. In 2008 when I started teaching in the expanding online master’s in GIS&T program at the University of Southern California, I was just as green as all of you. How do I do this???

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UCGIS joined by AAG and URISA in Response to EPA Transparency Rule

There is currently a rule under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is cause for major concern within the research community. The proposed Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science rule indicates that as the EPA uses scientific research to guide future policy decisions, preference will be given to studies which make their raw data publicly available. Consequently, this would allow the EPA discretion to discount research that does not fully disclose such data, which includes any findings that draw from personally identifiable medical and location information as well as proprietary data. 

UCGIS, in partnership with the American Association of Geographers (AAG) and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), submitted a public comment expressing our opposition to this proposed rule.

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GIS&T Body of Knowledge helpful for COVID-19 Related Topics

Are you teaching and learning about mapping diseases and other topics related to COVID-19?  Remember that the GIS&T Body of Knowledge has helpful articles on classification and clusteringkernels and density estimationpoint pattern analysisproblems with scale and zoningstatistical mappingspatiotemporal representationrepresenting uncertaintyepidemiology, and public health, among many others that you might find helpful.