Thursday, November 19, 2009

This is Geography Awareness Week…

The National Geographic Society promotes Geography Awareness Week (GAW) every November in the third week. It is a week for classroom activities, awareness events, and after-school programs providing students opportunities to know and understand their planet by bringing geography to life. National Geographic offers resources and cool interactive map downloads that make the subject fun, interesting, and educational for children of all ages.

A grassroots celebration that encourages GIS users to open their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public on November 18th is called GIS Day. This awareness campaign lets GIS users share their knowledge and passion with others by demonstrating the tremendous impact GIS technology is making in our lives each day. 10,000 organizations in over 80 countries celebrate GIS Day. This tradition began in 1999 and is always celebrated on the Wednesday of National Geographic's GAW.

Colorado GIS Day events include GIS Alley Fort Collins CO, Jefferson County Colorado Golden CO, GIS Services ESRI Henderson CO, event focus on GIS Services Boulder County Longmont CO, City of Thornton Thornton CO, event focus on GIS Services Adams County Colorado Westminster CO, event focus on Planning/Economic Development ESRI Aspen CO GIS Services Mountain Shadows Montessori School Boulder CO, Boulder County Boulder CO event focus on Agriculture, Assessor/Cadastral Records, Conservation, Demographics/Census/Elections, GIS Services, Health and Human Services, Law Enforcement, Planning/Economic Development, Public Safety/Emergency Management, Survey, Telecommunication, Transportation/Fleet Management, Water Resources, Boulder CO K-12 Education Tri-State G&T Assoc. Inc. Brighton CO, event focus on Electric/Gas Utility Kohl Elementary Broomfield CO K-12 Education ESRI Broomfield CO K-12 Education ESRI Broomfield CO K-12 Education City and County of Denver Denver CO, and at Colorado State University Fort Collins CO.

If you attended a GIS Day event, let me know how it went.

Today is also the American Cancer Society's 34th annual Great American Smokeout - For smokers who want to kick the habit, an American Cancer Society interactive Web page offers help on how to quit for good.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The First Rung of the Ladder…

This blog has been following the geospatial career market. Most current indicators point to great demand for an increasing number of geospatial related services in dozens of markets from smart grid technologies, location intelligence, and mobile applications to name a few. Job seekers will tackle the overall employment increase by stepping on many different rungs of the corporate ladder.

Now, there is good news for those that need to start on the first rung of the ladder. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant to The Pikes Peak Community College Geography Department in August of 2009. This pilot program seeks to implement a Tiered Internship Model for Students in Geospatial Technology (TIMSGeoTech). Interns that have an interest in starting a geospatial career can participate in this program and create a network of contacts while gaining school credit.

The funding of $149,542 will sustain the program from this year through the summer 2011. Under-represented groups will benifet from TIMSGeoTech through outreach to workforce development offices, by providing resources to unemployed and underemployed individuals. The PPCC GIS Advisory Board, made up of Colorado industry professionals starting with Donna Arkowski, the PPCC Geography Department chair, and Dr. Irina Kopteva, principal investigator for the project and adjunct Geography and GIS instructor. The work is supported by Mary-Ann Wermers, dean of Health, Environmental, Natural & Physical Sciences; Jennifer Jirous, Colorado Community College System; Jason San Souci, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NCDC Imaging & Mapping; Richard Serby, president and owner of GeoSearch, Inc.; Jay Tilley, senior vice president and general manager of Sanborn, Inc.; Cynthia Pesek, director for Career and Technical Education at Academy School District 20; Patressa Gardner, South Carolina Advanced Technological Education (SC ATE) Center; and Dr. Phillip Davis, National Geospatial Technology (GeoTech) Center.

The results of TIMSGeoTech will provide many opportunities for programming students. There are always geospatial jobs for candidates using VB, Java, Python, html, xml, ESRI's map objects, and other programs that integrate provide digital map development, spatial data management, application development, data migration, and more. GIS is a rapidly changing and developing industry.

To step on the first rung of the ladder in this industry, a GIS certificate and AAS degree, along with a full retinue of GIS coursework is a great place to start.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Climate Change, Clean Tech Jobs, and Blog Action Day 2009...

Blog Action Day 2009 organized by got 13,601 blogs from 156 countries with more than 18 million readers to participate in an annual event held every October 15th where bloggers across the world unite to write about a single issue on a single day. This year the issue was Climate Change. More than 50 nonprofit partners including the TckTckTck coalition and The Alliance for Climate Protection added support not to mention that United Kingdom, Spain, and The White House joined the cause.

All the big players played. The GIANTS of blogging, which includes Mashable, asked followr's how we can reverse climate change? Suggestions for save the world were sought by The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and The Official Google Blog's green tour roamed the company's campus. Greenpeace made a video and WWF bloggers from around the globe exhausted the subject, while The Nature Conservancy devoted it's voice to outlining the science of climate change.

Somehow, this blog missed the news of the event until recently but would have blogged about what Climate Change is doing for geospatial careers. I know this isn't Oct 15th but this is a great topic for my blog. At a time when the overall employment picture remains grim, one sector known as "clean tech", is enjoying real job growth. Thanks to infusions of federal government stimulus money, state lobby efforts, excitement in venture capital investment and moves by traditional industrial corporations Clean Tech is in demand to improve efficiency, cut pollution and bolster renewable energy.

The geospatial growth area is the smart grid. A loose term that includes everything from enhanced monitoring and control of the existing electrical grid to improved consumer energy management. The Economist Magazine suggests that the federal stimulus package alone would spur enough spending on clean energy to create an estimated 2.5m jobs, from academic researchers to factory workers making wind turbines. President Obama announced $3.4 billion in spending projects to modernize the nation's electric power system on Oct 27th at a solar plant in Arcadia, Fla. White House officials say the projects will create tens of thousands of jobs in the "near term" and lay the groundwork for changing how Americans use and pay for energy.

Search for "smart grid," and some 775 jobs come up, including, hardware, software, and project engineers. GeoSearch also has jobs looking for experience in the siting and permitting of Energy (Wind/Solar/Power) and/or Transmission projects in the US.

The collective effort of Blog Action Day 2009 to address the issue of climate change seems remarkable. The effort is on-going and you can get involved, by visiting their Take Action section. This blog will continue to monitor updates and ongoing opportunities for involvement here in the coming weeks and months ahead, and hope you'll stay join me.