February 05, 2015

Geographic information system program is Feb. 19

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- You might not know what “GIS,” or geographic information system is, but the chances are you benefit from it daily. 

The opportunity to learn more happens on Feb. 19 when Southern Illinois University Carbondale hosts the Illinois GIS Association regional meeting, “Building GIS Careers and Collaborations.” The conference runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various locations within Morris Library. 

GIS is used to integrate, store, edit and analyze information and interpret data. The technology has broad applications, contributing, for example, to the creation of Google Maps; floral and fauna analysis by the National Park Service; locating the source of 911 calls by emergency services, and even charting property values for real estate and taxing agencies. 

The lineup for the day’s events is:

  • 10:30 a.m. -- What is ILGISA? Andrew Vitale, ILGISA president and an SIU alumnus.
  • 10:45 a.m. -- Introduction of SIU GIS programs: Justin Schoof, chair, Department of Geography and Environmental Resources and Guangxing Wang, associate professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Resources.
  • 11 a.m. -- Panel session: GIS Careers in the Public and Private Sector: Panelists include William Barrett, city of Marion 911 coordinator and SIU Carbondale alumnus; Jon Bathgate, GIS specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Chris Weston, a doctoral student in SIU Carbondale’s environmental resources and policy program, and former Esri employee (Esri is an international supplier of GIS software).
  • 1 p.m. -- GIS faculty research demonstrations: Guangxing Wang, “GIS Applications in Geography,” Jonathan Remo, assistant professor in geography and environmental resources, “GIS Applications in Floodplain Management and Hazards,” Marybeth Brey, post-doctoral fellow, SIU Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, “Asian Carp Telemetry and Visualization,” and Eric Holzmueller, associate professor, Department of Forestry, “GIS Applications in Forestry.”
  • 2:15 p.m. -- Current GIS Student Research: Graduate student presentations on topics including: agriculture, environmental science and remote sensing.

A registration fee applies for event participants. More information about the Illinois Geographic Information Systems Association is available at www.ilgisa.org.