San Francisco State University Launches New Masters Program in Geographic Information Sciences

…from Golden Gate Express

“SF State’s department of geography and human environmental studies is launching a new masters program in geographic information sciences (GIS) this fall – the only one of its kind in the Bay Area.

“”Working in GI science is one of the professions opening up now,” Ellen Hines, associate professor in the department, said. “There’s a job growth in the profession.” Launching the new program was discussed for several years, but faculty officially worked on it for two years.”

Assessment and Evaluation of GIScience Curriculum using the Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge

Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Volume 33, Issue S1 2009 , pages S46 – S69

Steven D. Prager; Brandon Plewe

“Academic institutions are increasingly being held accountable for the quality of education which is, in turn, leading to an increased emphasis on curriculum assessment. This is especially true of geographic information science & technology (GIS&T), in which a rapidly growing profession demands that educational programs produce highly qualified graduates. In response to these demands, the University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) has developed the Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge, to identify the broad spectrum of knowledge, skills and techniques that make up the GIS&T domain. An intended use of this document is to support the development and assessment of GIS&T curricula. The authors address the potential benefits of using the Body of Knowledge through an evaluation of the learning objectives and curriculum of sample courses at two universities. They find that the Body of Knowledge enables robust specification of objectives and curricula, and provides the platform for reproducible and consistent evaluation of both curriculum and, ultimately, student outcomes. It is also flexible in allowing programmes to evaluate curricula based on their own goals and missions, rather than against a single standard curriculum.”

Conserving Rainforest while Sustaining Local Economies

Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture Will Describe World’s First National Low-Carbon Development Strategy at Town & Gown Cultural Series Event on February 8

Robert M. Persaud, minister of agriculture for the South American country of Guyana, will speak on a new approach to rainforest conservation at the next Town & Gown Cultural Series

event. Guyana is working to establish the world’s first national low-carbon development strategy that responds to a developing country’s economic needs as well as global climate change concerns. Introductory remarks will be made by D. James Baker, director of the Global Carbon Measurement Program for the William J. Clinton Foundation and former administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The free event will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, February 8, 2010, at the ESRI Conference Center, 380 New York Street, in Redlands.

Relatively undeveloped, Guyana retains up to 80 percent (162,000 square kilometers) of its original forest cover. That rainforest is part of the Guiana Shield, an area that includes all of Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana and parts of southern Venezuela and northern Brazil. These combined forests are the source of 20 percent of the world’s freshwater and represent 18 percent of all the carbon dioxide stored in the world’s tropical forests. Guyana’s new “avoided deforestation” strategy is to evaluate its standing rainforests as assets that can qualify for carbon financing and programs that provide new economic opportunities.

In addition to his current post, Persaud is also Guyana’s coordinator of information communications technology strategy. He has previously held positions as information liaison to the president of Guyana, head of the Government Information Agency, director of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation, and chairman of the National Communications Network. Persaud holds a master of business administration (MBA) from the University of the West Indies as well as a diploma in news agency journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communications.

The next Cultural Series speaker will be James Fallows—national correspondent for The Atlantic, commentator on American politics and culture, and Redlands native—on Sunday, February 21, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. The series is sponsored by ESRI and the University of Redlands and is intended to share these institutions’ educational and cultural resources with the surrounding community.

Attendees should guarantee seating by preregistering for the event on the Internet at or by calling 909-748-8011.

[Source: ESRI press release]

Assistant Professor Position Open at The University of Arizona; GeoDesign Focus

“The Graduate Planning Program of the University of Arizona’s School of Landscape Architecture and Planning is seeking candidates for two tenure track positions starting with the 2010-11 academic year.

“Position One centers on Geographic Information Systems, Landscape Planning, Regional Planning Land Use Suitability and the emerging area of GeoDesign as it relates to physical planning and design. The successful candidate will be eligible for possible joint appointment with other units in the college. AICP or eligibility is preferred.”

Openings at the University of Nairobi

Applicants should be holders of an ordinary Diploma in Land Surveying, Cartography or equivalent from a recognized institution. In addition, they should have at least three (3) years of industrial experience with GIS, Digital Mapping, Remote Sensing and Digital Photogrammetry. Possession of a higher qualification in Geoinformatics and good computer knowledge will be an added advantage. The successful candidate will be expected to prepare practical classes for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in a busy Geoinformatics laboratory.

Applicants must be holders of a PhD in Population Studies/Demography or related discipline. Those with a Masters degree and a minimum of three years teaching experience at University level will also be considered. In addition, applicants should have a minimum of two (2) publications in refereed journals or two (2) chapters in scholarly books since last promotion/appointment. They must show evidence of continued research activity.  The successful candidate will be expected to teach Demography Technique courses. She/he will be expected to teach at undergraduate and postgraduate degree levels, supervise research projects, initiate and conduct research in their respective areas of specialization and help develop new courses.

Adding Environmental Risk to the Financial Equation

…from the Ethiopian Review

“Despite projections, many financial analysts ignore the risks and opportunities associated with environmental trends. ENVEST seeks to change this.

“In its upcoming report on the Asian Power sector, ENVEST uses geographical information systems (GIS) maps that show the intensity of water scarcity in certain geographic areas overlaid with locations of current and planned power generating facilities. The mapping shows that over half of existing and planned capacity for major power companies, representing 74GW, is located in areas that are already considered water scarce or stressed.”