TRELIS is professional development for women in the geospatial sciences in higher education. Training and Retaining Leaders in STEM - Geospatial Sciences (TRELIS-GS) instills the concept of a human capital trellis or scaffold of support, and represents the reality of nonlinear career trajectories that move sideways, take leaps, and do not follow a single upward ladder.


TRELIS builds leadership capacity and skills around the topics of career retention strategies, mentoring training, career transitions, technical professional development, and work-life balance. While our primary audience is academic professionals, we also recognize and support the women who move into and out of academic institutions at different career stages.


TRELIS has hosted four workshops: Madison, Wisconsin (May 2018), Washington DC (June 2019), online during May 2020-June 2021, and at the Minnowbrook Conference Center in the Adirondacks of New York state (June 2022)!


The TRELIS leadership team includes:


Kate Beard-Tisdale, University of Maine (PI)

Laxmi Ramasubramanian, San Jose State University (co-PI)

Diana Sinton, UCGIS (co-PI)

Sarah Battersby, Tableau Software

Barbara Buttenfield, University of Colorado

Karen Kemp, University of Southern California

Elizabeth Wentz, Arizona State University

Stacy Doore, University of Maine, evaluator


Community response for TRELIS and its goals has been positive.


This is an excellent outcome for UCGIS and the broader geospatial community. The PIs represent the very best of our discipline and will be wonderful role models. The proposed trellis approach in particular has a potential for great success, given that career paths of many women in the GIScience/geospatial data science realm is indeed non-linear. I look forward to strongly encouraging the colleagues, students, and communities that I interact with to participate in this initiative and cannot wait to see what it accomplishes. Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist


Kudos to these women leaders in GIScience for having the vision to create a future-oriented approach to achieving gender equity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. TRELIS-GS takes advantage of the most recent research on networks and professional development to build community. I commend them for their strong focus on advancement by taking a complex approach to achieving culture change and their conceptualizing career paths not as a pipeline but rather as the multifaceted path that characterizes most of our careers. Beth Mitchneck, Professor at University of Arizona and former lead program director of NSF's ADVANCE activities


This is a very exciting award, a long-overdue effort to address the low level of participation by women in geographic information science and technology. I'm especially excited as the grandfather of a young woman who is specializing in geomatics engineering as an undergraduate. Mike Goodchild, Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Barbara



TRELIS is co-managed with the University of Maine and supported with generous funding from the National Science Foundation (Grant #1660400).

1403 Greenbrier Pkwy, Suite 150, Chesapeake, VA, 23320


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