Expanded GIS Day program highlights resources and experiential knowledge

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — An expanded GIS Day program for 2016 highlighting geospatial information includes two days of events Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 14-15, in Penn State’s Pattee and Paterno Library at University Park. Keynote presentations, a career panel, information fair, “lightning talks” and a networking reception highlight this year’s program. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are encouraged to participate and learn more about the extensive resources available in GIS and related fields. The free program is co-sponsored by the University Libraries and the Department of Geography.

The complete events schedule of GIS Day activities at Penn State is available at sites.psu.edu/gisday.

Events on Monday, Nov. 14, begin with an information fair from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Leisure Reading Room, located near Pattee Library's central entrance. This year’s participants include Blue Raster, Population Research Institute’s (PRI) Computational and Spatial Analysis Core (CSA), GeoHIVE, Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA), and Penn State’s Department of Geography, Online Geospatial Programs, Geodesign Graduate Programs, CEI/Envirobotics, Office of the Physical Plant and the University Libraries.

A career panel at 3:15 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, will give attendees the opportunity to hear from Stephen Ansari and Christopher Gabris of Blue Raster; Frank DeSendi, manager of the geographic information division of PennDOT; Raymond Stolinas, director of planning and zoning for the Township of Ferguson; Stephanie Hulina, co-founder and president of GDA Corp.; Mark Niessner, GIS coordinator for the Pennsylvania Game Commission; and Tyler Gill, geospatial analyst for DigitalGlobe. The career panel will be available for live viewing and participation via Mediasite Live and later as an archived program.

Following the career panel on Nov. 14, a networking reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library. A drawing for a $75 Amazon gift card provided by Geographic Research Inc., producer of SimplyMap, will be held during the reception.

The keynote sessions at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, will kick off with a presentation by Blue Raster’s Ansari and Gabris entitled “Protecting the World’s Forests with Global Forest Watch (GFW) Fires.” James Wilson, associate geospatial analyst from DigitalGlobe, will discuss DigitalGlobe’s GeoHIVE (Human Imagery Verification Effort). Both keynote sessions will be available live on Mediasite Live and for encore viewing.

The schedule on Nov. 15 also includes two sessions of lightning talks and will feature speakers with a variety of academic, governmental, and corporate experiences. The first session, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, highlights topics ranging from the use of drones in agriculture, remote sensing applications, and GIS education. The afternoon session, also in Foster Auditorium, will be available for remote viewing live and as an archived program via Mediasite Live offers a glimpse at the new Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal, the connection between GIS and social science research, the use of GIS in an environmental conservation master plan, and a brief overview of online geospatial resources available through the University Libraries.

In addition to the information fair and lightning talks, GIS research posters will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on both days, Nov. 14-15, in the Franklin Atrium, located on the first floor of Pattee Library.

Additional GIS Day-related events will be held prior to and after the two-day event. On Friday, Nov. 11, a Geography Coffee Hour and reception will feature a lecture on international examples of remote sensing and geography by George Mason University professor Barry Haack. The reception will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Room 319 of the Walker Building at University Park, with the lecture set for 4 p.m. in 112 Walker Building. A prize-mapping scavenger hunt is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17, with participants meeting first at 11 a.m. in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, before starting the two-hour GIS outdoor activity. Also on Thursday, Nov. 17, Tara LaLonde will present a session on PolicyMap, SimplyMap and Social Explorer from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in 211A Pattee Library, with remote participation available via Adobe Connect.

If individuals anticipate needing accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, contact LaLonde at 814-863-5753 or tll38@psu.edu in advance.

Last Updated January 13, 2017