URISA Leadership Academy Early Registration Deadline Approaching

The URISA Leadership Academy (ULA) will take place June 13-17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The deadline to take advantage of discounted registration is March 1. Registrants can save $200 if registered by March 1.

Why attend the ULA? The success of any GIS program is largely tied to the capabilities of its leader.  Strong leadership is necessary to establish a solid GIS program, operate efficiently and effectively, coordinate participants, adapt to change, and move a program forward.  Leadership, however, is a skill that must be developed. The URISA Leadership Academy was established to meet this need.  At the Academy, participants learn key GIS leadership and management factors and techniques, successful team development, organizational capacity building, program investment and justification, GIS politics, change management, situation assessment, and problem solving.

“I’ve been working in the GIS field for 15 years and the ULA was, by far, the most valuable and comprehensive training I have received. No matter how much you think you know about GIS management, you will learn more than you ever thought possible.” – Scott A Weisman, GISP, GIS Technical Services Manager, Tallahassee Leon County GIS – ULA Graduate, December 2009

Attend the ULA and explore GIS Leadership, comprehensively, with your peers. Not that class size is limited due to the interactive format of the ULA.

For complete program and registration information, visit www.urisa.org/ula

[Source: URISA press release]

The Power of Dynamic Spatial and Temporal Characterization in Social Networks

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks Workshop, University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies, 13-14 December 2010

Danielle Forsyth

“Social networks tend to form topically around shared subjects, affiliations, events and causes. They assemble and disperse and their boundaries in space and time depend on their topical viability. Physical and temporal distance are of lesser or greater importance in different communities.

“Social networks, like all networks, compete for resources. They require some form of presence, effort or participation. The investment that people make in social networks depends on the visibility and relative importance of the network topics to potential participants.

“Time and space provide us with a convenient and shared backdrop for understanding dynamic social networks but traditional spatial and temporal boundaries are often replaced by domain specific references to regions, events and schedules. Community specific notions of space and time and their relative importance are needed to understand changing network topology.”

Researchers Map Out Ice Sheets Shrinking during Ice Age

A set of maps created by the University of Sheffield have illustrated, for the first time, how our last British ice sheet shrunk during the Ice Age.

Led by Professor Chris Clark from the University´s Department of Geography, a team of experts developed the maps to understand what effect the current shrinking of ice sheets in parts of the Antarctic and Greenland will have on the speed of sea level rise.

The unique maps record the pattern and speed of shrinkage of the large ice sheet that covered the British Isles during the last Ice Age, approximately 20,000 years ago. The sheet, which subsumed most of Britain, Ireland and the North Sea, had an ice volume sufficient to raise global sea level by around 2.5 metres when it melted.

Using the maps, researchers will be able to understand the mechanisms and rate of change of ice sheet retreat, allowing them to make predictions for our polar regions, whose ice sheets appear to be melting as a result of temperature increases in the air and oceans.

The maps are based on new information on glacial landforms, such as moraines and drumlins, which were discovered using new technology such as remote sensing data that is able to image the land surface and seafloor at unprecedented resolutions. Experts combined this new information with that from fieldwork, some of it dating back to the nineteenth century, to produce the final maps of retreat.

It is also possible to use the maps to reveal exactly when land became exposed from beneath the ice and was available for colonisation and use by plants, animals and humans. This provides the opportunity for viewers to pinpoint when their town/region emerged.

Professor Chris Clark, from the University of Sheffield´s Department of Geography, said: “It took us over 10 years to gather all the information in order to produce these maps, and we are delighted with the results, It is great to be able to visualise the ice sheet and notice that retreat speeds up and slows down, and it is vital of course that we learn exactly why. With such understanding we will be able to better predict ice losses in Greenland and Antarctica.

“In our next phase of work we hope to really tighten up on the timing and rates of retreat in more detail, by dropping tethered corers from a ship to extract seafloor sediments that can be radiocarbon dated.”

[Source: University of Sheffield press release]