ESRI CA/HI/NV Regional User Group Conference Will Explore Designing the Future with GIS

The 2010 ESRI California/Hawaii/Nevada Regional User Group (CA/HI/NV RUG) Conference will take place February 3–4, 2010, at ESRI’s new conference center at its headquarters in Redlands, California.

The CA/HI/NV RUG Conference is a forum for ESRI users from California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands to learn how they can best apply geographic information system (GIS) technology in their field. The event encourages information sharing among GIS users, ESRI staff, and business partners.

The Plenary Session will take place in the conference center’s state-of-the-art amphitheater. ESRI president Jack Dangermond will speak to the group about how planners, engineers, scientists, and other professionals can incorporate GIS into planning processes and scientific studies to design a better future for the world. Clint Brown, ESRI’s director of product engineering, will give the Keynote Address. After the plenary, attendees will take part in sessions and activities geared toward helping them launch and maintain successful GIS projects that produce measurable results and can benefit our communities.

Technical sessions will provide attendees with a sneak peek at the ArcGIS 10 beta version, and the ArcGIS Desktop Tips and Tricks workshop, a popular session in past years, will be offered again. New to this year’s conference will be the Hands-on Learning Lab where users can try out what they learned in the technical sessions. Participants can follow tutorials or be self-directed. And Technical Support will give users one-on-one time with ESRI support staff.

Users will also get to share success stories throughout the conference by presenting papers on how they are using GIS. Topics will include infrastructure, development and planning, public safety, and land administration.

“It was useful to have user presentations that focused on work similar to my own,” said Emilio J. Solano, chief cadastral engineer of mapping and GIS services for the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor, regarding last year’s regional conference. “The quality of the technical workshops was similar to that at the ESRI International User Conference, without the big crowds.”

For additional information about the conference and to register, visit

[Source:  ESRI press release]

John Holdren, President Obama’s Science and Technology Advisor, to Keynote ESRI Federal User Conference

Dr. John P. Holdren has been announced as the keynote speaker at the 2010 ESRI Federal User Conference, which will be held 17-19 February 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Prior to joining the Obama administration Dr. Holdren was Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as professor in Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Director of the independent, nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center. From 1973 to 1996 he was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded and co-led the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources.

Holdren holds advanced degrees in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics from MIT and Stanford and is highly regarded for his work on energy technology and policy, global climate change, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as foreign member of the Royal Society of London. A former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, his awards include a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, the John Heinz Prize in Public Policy, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the Volvo Environment Prize. He served from 1991 until 2005 as a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s board of trustees.

During the Clinton administration Holdren served as a member of PCAST through both terms and in that capacity chaired studies requested by President Clinton on preventing theft of nuclear materials, disposition of surplus weapon plutonium, the prospects of fusion energy, U.S. energy R&D strategy, and international cooperation on energy-technology innovation. In December 1995 he gave the acceptance lecture for the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an international organization of scientists and public figures in which he held leadership positions from 1982 to 1997.

Pests and Disease Cripple Cassava Production in Southeast Asia

…from Matangi Tonga Online

“International Center for Tropical Agriculture CIAT scientists and their partners in Southeast Asia have issued urgent preliminary guidelines to tackle deadly pest and disease outbreaks that have crippled cassava production in parts of the region.”

“The spread is almost certainly caused by the movement of infected planting material. One of the first responses is for the authorities in affected countries to impose strict quarantine regulations on the movement of cassava, especially the stems used as planting material, and of related species, like jatropha.

“Farmers also need to be trained to select and safely store clean planting material, and to identify pests and diseases. Establishing an effective surveillance and monitoring system with a GIS database is essential.”

Free GIS Training Workshops at Harvard University Center for Geographic Analysis

Spring 2010 dates have been announced for this series of free two-hour GIS training workshops from Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis. Workshop titles include:

  • GIS Basics with ArcGIS
  • Wrangling Data into Maps
  • Making Sense of Spatial Data
  • Getting the Most out of Google Earth
  • Intro to Remote Sensing
  • How to Create Google Maps Mashups
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

Learn more about the workshops, register online , and even download the materials for self-study from CGA’s Workshops & Training page.