Each month we'll feature at least one GeoMentor volunteer, learning more about them and the wonderful and enthusiastic talent available in our GeoMentor community to assist K-12 schools with GIS and geography applications for their classrooms. Read about our currently featured member of the community below, or check out previously featured GeoMentors by using the navigation links on the right. If you are interested in being featured, go here for more information. We are excited to learn more about our GeoMentor community members!
If you aren't a GeoMentor yet, we'd love to have you participate!
March 2016 Geomentor Spotlight
Rheannon Hart, USGS
Position/ Affiliation: U.S. Geological Survey Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center
What was your favorite class in K-12? My favorite class in school was always science class, biology, chemistry, earth science, etc., and each year, I looked forward to participating in the science fair.
How did you first learn about and/or use GIS? My first experience with GIS was at the USGS. I started with the USGS as a student working on my Bachelor's degree in geology and one of my first tasks was to digitize the state geologic map for use in a groundwater-flow model. Being able to bring a paper map to "life" was extremely fascinating, and from that moment, I was hooked.
Name one thing you love about GIS and/or geography (I know, just one!): My favorite thing about GIS is the problem solving. I love having these separate, but geographically similar data sets and needing to conduct some sort of geospatial analyses in order to answer a specific question. I love having to figure out which tools within the program and the order of the steps that will get me to that answer.
Why did you want to volunteer as a GeoMentor? GIS has so many real world applications, not just in the natural sciences, and I would love to get young kids interested from a younger age. Also, I'm hoping that my mentorship in GIS will spark the desire to attend college in someone who might not have otherwise wanted to attend.
What kind of GeoMentor volunteer opportunity and experience are you looking for? I would like to volunteer as a GeoMentor to high-school and middle-school aged children. I would like the opportunity to help teach the students, as well as the teachers, basic program functionality, to help show the many benefits of learning a GIS.
If someone asked you why they should learn about GIS and/or geography, how would you respond in one sentence? GIS is everywhere--watching the weather or looking at crime maps on the nightly news, allowing the police, fire, or ambulance to know exactly where an emergency is occurring, using the maps on your smart phone or the navigation system in your vehicle--it is so ingrained in our daily lives.
Interested in being featured? Go here for more information. We are excited to learn more about you!