Using Citizen Science and GIS Technology to Connect the Local to the Global

ESRI Education User Conference

Keynote Address

Saturday, 10 July 2010, during the Plenary Session, 8:30 a.m.–noon

Mark Chandler, Ph.D., International Director of Research for Earthwatch Institute

‘People today are challenged with understanding how their decisions impact the local community as well as their impact on populations and places far away. The common axiom “think global, act local” reflects the need to juggle the local context of our actions with the larger global context. This is true in respect to issues such as food supply, energy use, water, biodiversity, and our role in natural disasters. And this concept of scale is important not only because it helps connect our local communities to a greater landscape and ultimately the Earth, but also because it helps direct the scope of the social institutions and efforts that should be involved.

Dr. Chandler will discuss these points and how powerful learning can happen when people are directly engaged in projects that operate at multiple scales—and are connected via tools such as GIS and GPS technologies. See examples of how different audiences can participate in field-based projects involving sustainable landscapes, agriculture, and more. Hear how addressing problems with scientific investigation can stimulate interest and thinking about the connection between the communities people call home and the greater world in which they live.

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