Filtered by author: Diana Sinton Clear Filter

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.

Read More

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???

Read More
1 Comments

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.

Read More

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.  

Mentoring Award for UIUC's Sara McLafferty

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Sara McLafferty, Professor in the Department of Geography and GIScience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has been selected for the 2020 Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award.  Dr. McLafferty has served as both the Department Head and Associate Head during her 20-year tenure at UIUC, as well as Professor and Department Chairperson at her prior institution, Hunter College.  A geographer by training, she applies GIScience approaches and concepts to the field of environmental and public health, along with other topics in the social sciences, through her use of GIS tools, spatial analysis, and computer models. In all of these areas, her students and peers reference her dedication to collaborative work and her promotion of their own scholarship. The positive reactions to her mentoring style and practices span her career as well as those of her peers and students, at all levels. She has been commended for her patience, her compassion, and her dedication to students from diverse backgrounds and minorities.

“She made me feel completely comfortable when communicating her critique to me as she is so modest, personable and respectful. Based on my observations, she is always passionate about mentoring and firmly committed to empowering others to pursue their research and education goals.”

Read More

Helena Mitasova Selected for 2020 Research Award

UCGIS is pleased to announce that Dr. Helena Mitasova, Professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Associate Director for Geovisualization at the Center for Geospatial Analytics, at North Carolina State University (NCSU), has been selected to receive its 2020 Research Award.  Dr. Mitasova’s groundbreaking work in the methodological and theoretical developments of open source geospatial software are key to ongoing GIScience activity. With her specific expertise in both geomorphology and open source GIS, she has made fundamental and innovative contributions to 3-dimensional and spatio-temporal dynamics, such as development of open source software modules for spatial interpolation, topographic analysis, water flow simulations, and erosion modeling. For these, the International Environmental Modeling and Software Society awarded her their prestigious Biennial Medal for outstanding contributions to environmental modeling and software (2006). Her co-authored book, Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach (3rd ed., 2008), is one of the most widely cited monographs in the GIScience discipline. Other co-authored books include Tangible Modeling with Open Source GIS (2nd ed., 2018), and GIS-based Analysis of Coastal Lidar Time-Series (2014).  

Dr. Mitasova played a critical role in establishing the first Open Source Geospatial Research and Education Lab in the United States (NCSU OSGeoREL, now the NCSU GeoForAll Lab), which subsequently became a primary node the OSGeo global network of GeoForAll labs. Her long-term contributions to open source geospatial software development and applications have also been recognized by an Excellence in Development award from the Open Geographic Information Systems Foundation (1994), the Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software from OSGeo (2010), and the Waldo Tobler GIScience Prize for outstanding and sustained contributions to the discipline, Austrian Academy of Sciences (2018).

Read More

Online GIS&T Teaching

Rapid responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have left many GIS instructors scrambling to shift to an online educational format with little notice. For those new to the experience, what knowledge can be gained quickly from those who have years of experience?  What's a piece of advice that you might share with your peers at this point in time?

more about our Hawaii venue

Are you wondering about the experience of our 2020 Symposium in Hawaii? UCGIS President Karen Kemp has created a brief video overview of the venue where we'll be, at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu. Our 2020 TRELIS workshop will also occur here in the days immediately before the Symposium begins.

UCGIS part of new National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator Award

UCGIS is a partner in a $1 million grant from a new interdisciplinary NSF program to foster building an "open knowledge network" for spatial decision support technologies. The inspiration for this type of network comes from Tim Berners-Lee's (best known founder of the World-wide Web) vision for the "semantic web," which applies tags with relationships to information on the Internet, allowing computers to do basic reasoning for improving search results and answering questions. Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Assistant all use these technologies.

Individuals from UCGIS’s leadership group are members of a team of 13 researchers and practitioners from 10 different institutions and organizations who are collectively focused on spatial decision support (SDS) systems, a systematic approach that improves access to tools for analyzing geographic data. Despite many successful applications, SDS contributions are limited by challenges in integrating information across complex organizational networks and across an array of data and tools developed for narrow (often disciplinary) applications. The project is being led by PI Sean Gordon, research faculty at Portland State University, which is a UCGIS member institution. "The proliferation of online mapping technologies has greatly increased access to and utility of these kinds of tools, and a logical next step is increasing our ability to find the appropriate data and tools for your problem and link these together for more complex analyses," says Gordon. Through engaging stakeholders in three applied case studies (the management of wildland fire, water quality, and biodiversity conservation), the interdisciplinary project team will develop and test participatory and automated methods for finding and sharing decision-relevant information using semantic web technologies.  

Read More

New Members selected for the Board of Directors

UCGIS Delegates voted last week to elect Jeremy Mennis (Temple University) as the incoming Vice President, and Paddington Hodza (University of Wyoming) and Suzanne Wechsler (Cal State Long Beach) as Directors. Their terms will begin on July 1. Congratulations!  

UCGIS also thanks its outgoing Board Members: Shashi Shekhar (University of Minnesota) is concluding his year as the past-President, and Ross Meentemeyer (North Carolina State University) and Kathleen Stewart (University of Maryland) will complete their 3-year terms as Directors. 

Research Award for 2019 Goes to Keith Clarke

UCGIS is pleased to announce that Dr. Keith Clarke, Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of California Santa Barbara, has been selected for the 2019 UCGIS Research Award. Trained as a geographer, Professor Clarke has made remarkable contributions to the fields of Cartography and Geographic Information Science throughout his lengthy and outstanding research and teaching career.

This award recognizes Professor Clarke’s significant contribution to GIS through the Land Use/Land Cover change model, SLEUTH.  SLEUTH, a cellular automaton model coded in the C programming language, was first written by Dr. Clarke in the 1990s while an ASCE summer fellow at the NASA-Ames Research Center.  Since then he has received funded support to expand, refine, and improve the model’s computational capacity and stability. The impact of SLEUTH can best be understood through examining the many applications and publications supported by the model. Published research on and with SLEUTH has been robust and prodigious, nationally and internationally, reflected in the many hundreds of citations and applications in which it is referenced. Furthermore, Professor Clarke has been providing unreserved support to make SLEUTH available to as many scholars as possible. In addition to making the source code of SLEUTH openly available, he has maintained a model discussion forum for many years and has provided help to many new applications of SLEUTH through supporting graduate students’ thesis and dissertation research. Professor Clarke’s influence and contribution to GIS research has been highly significant through the creation, upgrading, and dissemination of the SLEUTH model.

Read More

Elections 2019

Our Nominating Committee has completed its work for the season and has put forth these individuals to be considered for the upcoming election, listed below. Bios and short statements from all of these candidates is available at the elections 2019 page

  1. President-Elect: Jeremy Mennis, Temple University. 
As per our By Laws, if anyone else would like to run for the position of President-Elect, additional nominations may be made by petition signed by five delegates and received by the Executive Committee no later than May 22, 2019.
  1. Members, Board of Directors (2 will be elected):               
    1. Kevin Curtin, University of Alabama
    2. Paddington Hodza, University of Wyoming
    3. Alan Murray, UC Santa Barbara
    4. Suzanne Wechsler, Cal State University at Long Beach                   

A big THANK YOU to these individuals who are contributing to our democratic process of shared governance!  

2019 Education Award to John Wilson

UCGIS is pleased to announce that Dr. John P. Wilson, of the University of Southern California (USC), has been selected for its 2019 Education Award.  Dr. Wilson is Professor of Sociology and Spatial Sciences in USC’s Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, where he directs the Spatial Sciences Institute as well as the Wilson Map Lab. He also holds courtesy appointments as Professor in the School of Architecture, in the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Department of Preventive Medicine, and in the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Departments of Computer Science and Civil & Environmental Engineering.

The diversity of Dr. Wilson’s affiliations reflects the vital educational roles he has played at USC over the last several decades, where just since 2012 he has designed and established 15 new joint programs, degrees, and certificates through partnerships across campus. His promotion of the spatial sciences as an enabling educational platform is his own prime directive, and he is strongly dedicated to the nurturing and success of the programs with which he has been involved. Internationally, this includes the UNIGIS International Network, a worldwide consortium of universities focused on online geographic information science academic programs.

Read More

Guido Cervone Selected for 2019 Mentoring Award

UCGIS is pleased to announce that Dr. Guido Cervone, of the Department of Geography, Meteorology, and Atmospheric Science at the Pennsylvania State University, has been selected for the 2019 Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award.  Dr. Cervone, a computer scientist by training, applies his expertise to the fields of remote sensing and hazards while also serving as Associate Director for the Institute for CyberScience and Director of the Geoinformatics and Earth Observation Lab. His guidance is highly valued and appreciated by his former and current graduate students, undergraduate students, and post-docs alike, many of who are women or other under-represented minorities within the geospatial sciences. They cite his steady support throughout their academic and professional careers as they build confidence and gain credibility, guiding them through the complexity of seeking and managing external research funding, and inspiring them to pursue excellence in research while not compromising on goals in all aspects of their lives.

“Dr. Cervone believes his students can do it and then they do. His students grow at a rapid pace because of his encouragement, belief in them, and his role as their leader and teammate.”

Read More

2019 TRELIS Cohort Selected

In June 2019, the TRELIS project, Training and Retaining Leaders in STEM-Geospatial Sciences, will hold its second workshop in Washington, D.C. 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 2019 cohort. These TRELIS Fellows will participate in a 3-day workshop that has been designed to target topics and concerns of early-career individuals and focus on envisioning and crafting leadership pathways. Immediately following the workshop, the TRELIS Fellows will continue their professional development exchanges during the UCGIS Symposium.

Read More

Creating & Sustaining Inclusive Workplaces

Ideas about recruiting, retaining, and promoting leadership opportunities for women in the geospatial sciences were the topic of a recent article in URISA's The GIS Professional magazine. Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, a co-PI and leader of the TRELIS program, highlighted how gender affects these matters, often in under-appreciated ways. 

Read More