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CGIA 3rd Annual GeoSummit a Great Success

On April 5th, the California Geographic Information Association (CGIA) with co-sponsors:  CentralCal URISA, NorCal URISA, SpARC,  ReCCES, the City of Merced, UC Merced SNRI, and ESRI presented the 3rd Annual  GeoSpatial Summit at UC Merced in Merced, California.  The theme “GIS and Frontiers of Knowledge” focused on GIS education and professional development.  Over 100 attendees included GIS professionals, students from various colleges, citizens, community leaders, and those interested in learning more about GIS.  In addition to the speakers and round table discussions, several attendees brought maps for display in the map gallery which was set up all around the room.

The day started with a welcome from Tom Peterson, UC Merced Provost.  In his remarks he was very encouraging of all attendees in their endeavors to learn more about GIS or include it in their career path.  Our keynote speaker, Steve Shackelton was the Chief Ranger for Yosemite National Park as well as other Park assignments, and now Co-Director of the Grasslands-Vernal Pools Natural Reserve at UC Merced Sierra National Research Institute (SNRI).  Steve presented the attendees with various projects he has and is involved with and how GIS has been an integral component.  He also encouraged everyone on adding GIS as a career enhancement.

After a short break Ruth Mostern, UC Merced, announced the new Spatial and Analysis Research Center (SpARC) on the UC Merced campus.  This is an exciting endeavor and will be open to students and faculty for projects and research.

The first of two breakout sessions, Pathways to Education, followed with representatives from several of the colleges in California.  After lunch the second breakout session was Pathways to Careers with GIS professionals from several industries.  As attendees gathered at the round tables in both of these sessions, the speakers presented education programs and how they use GIS in their fields.

A lightening talk session featured seven speakers who presented great projects in the allotted five-minute time frame.

The final speaker of the day was Kris Lynn-Patterson, UC Division of Ag and Natural Resources presenting Informatics and GIS (IGIS).  The day was filled with great speakers, information sharing, lots and lots of maps representing all kinds of projects, and an opportunity to learn more about GIS.  At the end of the day attendees were already talking about the GeoSummit next year.  Stay tuned for information on the 2014 event.