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Professional Activities

Karen Cangialosi and Scott Strong, biology, received a grant of $550 from the Turks and Caicos Reef fund to support their coral reef monitoring work, including a pilot of a snorkeling education program with students from the Clement Howell High school on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Dr. Lara Bryant, geography, served as an invited member on the opening panel session for this year’s GIS Educator’s Day at the New England ArcUsers Group conference in Saratoga Springs, NY, November 13. The panel, “Educating Indispensable Geospatial Professionals for the 21st Century,” was moderated by Richard D. Quodomine, from the New York State Department of Transportation, and also included Tora Johnson, from the University of Maine at Machias, and Tao Tang, from Buffalo State College. This panel was sponsored by the New York State GIS Association and was the first of two panels aimed at sharing perspectives for improving the preparation of geospatial professionals for careers in both the public and private sector. The panel members shared the methods used in their courses, as well as their ideas about what skills are needed for employees in the current geospatial workforce. Dr. Bryant discussed the need to be able to not only apply learned GIS skills and knowledge in the classroom but the ability to determine which technology and skills are most appropriate in a variety of settings to enhance learning within a variety of disciplines. There is also a need for educators to build a foundation of GIS skills that can begin in the public elementary schools. The panel also focused on the two different types of skills needed in a geospatial career, the knowledge and capability to use current technology, as well as the ability to think critically, and work with others. Much of the discussion focused on service learning and community involvement. All of the panel members discussed how they require their students to complete meaningful projects that are relevant to their local communities.
Senior Kayla Reeves also presented a vernal cache lesson she and her senior seminar group created. The lesson is one of four lessons piloted as part of her senior Geography seminar project and utilizes GPS technology. Instead of teaching GPS as a separate skill, this lesson teaches students to use the technology in the context of learning how to identify vernal pools. Her presentation was attended by educators from many organizations, including the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New York iMapInvasives program, and was very well received.

Penny Miceli (Office of Sponsored Projects & Research) co-led a half-day professional development workshop entitled “Compliance Issues for Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions” at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the National Council of University Research Administrators in Washington DC on November 6, 2011. The workshop was presented with colleagues from Agnes Scott College and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and was attended by research administrators from around the country.

Alex Brown, Coordinator of Greek Life & Student Leadership, recently presented a program entitled “Fraternal Inception” at the New England Greek Summit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The summit brought students, professionals, and volunteers together from across the northeast to address challenges and issues within fraternity and sorority communities, and find new, revolutionary ways to create stronger leaders, organizations and communities. Alex’s program, “Fraternal Inception,” weaves pop culture with education by connecting plot points from the hit movie Inception with tangible lessons helping students understand the importance of taking ownership of their current reality, recognizing the power of ideas, and initiating change.

Sally Southwick (Office of Sponsored Projects & Research) organized and co-led a half-day professional development workshop entitled “Finding the Right Research Administration Situation” at the Society of Research Administrators International annual meeting in Montreal, Quebec, on October 23. The workshop was presented with colleagues from Dakota State University and Christopher Newport University and attended by research administrators from six countries.

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